By Ben Anderson
"When I first started dancing here in (Anchorage)," Phillip said, "I couldn't have named another peer my age who was doing Yupik dancing. It was nonexistent."
Soon Kairiuak and the Blanchetts were joined by Karina Moeller, a Greenlandic Inuit singer who moved to Alaska to work full-time with the band after a chance performance together at an Alaska festival. After Moeller arrived on the scene, Pamyua was officially born. They released their first album, "Mengluni" or "The Beginning" in 1998, followed by "Verses" in 2001.
In 2003, they released "Caught in the Act," featuring their most contemporary music to date, blending traditional Inuit music with jazz, funk, soul, and reggae influences. That album won them the Record of the Year award at the Native American Music Awards, popularly known as the "Nammys." In 2005, they returned to their more traditional roots, with a collection of rhythm heavy songs on "Drums of the North."