“To all the people out there who know how to sing or dance the way your culture does, I hope you’re teaching the young ones, because if you’re not going to, then who is? Think about that.” –Byron Nicholai

A 16-year-old high school junior whose first language is Central Yup’ik, Nicholai is quickly gathering an online following for videos performing an old-school Alaskan art. Beginning in 2013, Nicholai began recording clips of his singing and drumming on an iPhone and posting the videos to a Facebook page he created called “I Sing. You Dance.”

The title for the page comes from something he noticed while performing at Alaska Native dance festivals. Elders in the crowd would inevitably start nodding their heads to the beat. He sang, they danced.

As of this week, the page had gathered more than 3,700 followers and a loyal, growing fan base for songs that Nicholai said he often makes up on the spot.

“Yesterday I just posted a video, it said that, 'In Alaska, there are many different cultures, but me, I am Yup’ik,” Nicholai said in an after-school phone interview.

Responses to "Toksook Bay teen takes his Yup'ik singing skills online (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very nice voice! Talented young man, keeping traditions.

  2. Linda Franz says:

    I am learning Hawaiian, so that my grandchildren will be able to speak it also. You inspire me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks from Brazil. Keep singing your traditions and sharing with us. We need real stuff in this fake superficial world.

  4. Wolf says:

    Cowlitz from Washington.

    Great singing! You Alaska Natives are really putting your culture out there in amazing ways.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi i have no account, profile or number but my name is Sue Graham and i watched this at home in Australia. Great voice and sound .....more please :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Awesome. stay strong.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You have made the elders proud <3

  8. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful singing, you are an inspiration for Indigenous People everywhere!

  9. Love it! This young man is the future for tradition for his people. Keep singing and dancing Bryon, learn as much as you can, someone has to hold this precious heritage or it will disappear.

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