WATCH | Behind the Scenes: Filming With Nahko at Wanderlust

Thanks to an untimely hailstorm, it’s the music video that almost wasn’t.

Nahko is a presenter at Wanderlust Festivals. Classes with music and yogi dance parties are just two of many experiences that await you at a festival this year. Find out more | 2016 lineup | Buy tickets  

Guest Post by Jefe Greenheart

I first envisioned collaborating on a music video with Nahko and Medicine for the People almost five years ago. My wife Kelly and I, who together run a production company called Circus Picnic, got our chance to work with them last summer when we followed the “medicine tribe” along the Wanderlust Festival tour. It all culminated in the creation of an ambitious acoustic recording through the woods of Squaw Valley.

But it was the video that almost never happened.

Right when everyone gathered, a formidable hail storm forced us all inside the nearest hotel lobby. Nahko had to leave the next morning, so there was no way to reschedule for another day. The disappointment was palpable, but then Nahko busted out his guitar and turned the sad situation into a jam session.

Finally, the hail storm passed and we were able to head outside. My chief collaborator (and lovely wife) Kelly organized the shoot and choreographed where everyone would emerge to follow Nahko through the woods. What a wild bunch: acroyogis, hoopers, and winged dancers joined the tribe along the trail.

We filmed the anthemic song “Aloha Ke Akua” only three times. What you see in the final video is take two—right after the fog cleared and the sun came out. It was incredible how well Nahko could play guitar and sing while skipping on boulders bare foot. He never stopped or asked to start over. He just went for it.

Kelly and I first met Nahko in 2010. We had brunch together with his bandmates at JJ Hope Medford’s place in Portland, Oregon. Kelly and I had been vagabonding for over a year at this point, and found him a kindred spirit. We were, and still are, inspired by his message—to join a movement to live harmoniously with Mother Earth, feel more connected with spirit, and to “find our medicine and use it.” That morning we promised we would collaborate together one day down the road. I’m so happy it was in true Medicine for the People fashion—inviting the community and celebrating in the cathedral of nature.

Jefe and Kelly Greenheart are a husband-wife team that produces short docs about the Wanderlust Festival experience. To learn more about their filmmaking adventures, please visit Circus Picnic.