Spotlight On: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists
In the spirit of reconciliation, Wall of Sound acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Today is Invasion Day. It was the day that began the devastating land dispossession, violence, racism, and the cause of much trauma felt by our First Nations people. Today all that is amplified by a government that refuses to change a date. A date that was only implemented in 1994.
Wall of Sound AU stands by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and calls for the date to be changed to further reconciliation, strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
With this article we would like to feature some amazing First Nations artists across many genres (not just heavy acts), some who sing in beautiful language, and celebrate their talent and stories.
Chasing Ghosts is led by frontman Jimmy Kyle, a proud Koori man, and their song ‘Summer‘ is the first track from a forthcoming EP titled Homelands. Find them on Spotify here.
These fellas are a Yolŋu surf rock band, and the two founding members, Yirrna Yunupinu and Roy Kellaway, come from a family of iconic musicians – Yothu Yindi. Their track ‘Hey Wanhaka‘ is deadly and is a sure sign of exciting things to come. Find them on Spotify here.
A Butchulla hip hop artist, Birdz, is making waves in the scene. And his track ‘Bagi-la-m Bargan’ ft. Fred Leone has caught the attention of over 20,000 people since its release in December. Fred Leone is also a celebrated Butchulla artist, who’s powerful voice raises this song to another level. If this track doesn’t give you the chills, I don’t know what will. Find him on Spotify here.
A proud Warnindhilyagwa woman, Emily Wurramara’s voice is to die for. Think rootsy, bluesy and a bit folky, it’s magical, light and full of stars. ‘Cruisin” is her latest song, and it just begs for further listening. Find her on Spotify here.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Baker Boy, but he’s worth talking about even more. Bringing singing in language to the forefront of Australian music, his tracks are catchy and celebrate his culture. ‘Better Days‘ also features Dallas Woods, a proud Noongar man, and Sampa The Great. Find Baker Boy on Spotify here.
Another of Australia’s up and coming hip-hop acts, Dallas Woods is making music that calls out Australia’s issues around racism and the justice system. ‘Heaven Of My Own‘ features Miiesha, and is beautifully constructed with some 90s vibes. Find him on Spotify here.
A Pitjantjatjara/Torres Strait Islander woman, Miiesha oozes RnB, gospel and soul sounds. She only debuted in 2019, but already her talent and passion has soared into ears around the country. Her track ‘Drowning‘ is part of her debut collection Nyaaringu, which features songs about her life, community, and people. Find Miiesha on Spotify here.
Wildheart is led by frontman Axel Best, a proud Yugambeh man, and their single ‘Rising Tide‘ features Shaun Ailen, who is also a Yugambeh/Bundjalung man. If you like it heavy (and we know you do) check out this track and its message of mistreatment of Indigenous Australians and the divide between their communities and the rest of the country. Find Wildheart on Spotify here.
You can’t compile a list of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists without including Briggs and Trials of A.B. Original. Briggs is a Yorta Yorta man, and Trials is a Ngarrindjeri man, and together they don’t sugar coat their lyrics or political stance. Take their track ‘January 26‘ for example. Check them out on Spotify here.
Mo’Ju has an incredible voice, and is of Wiradjuri heritage. This track ‘Native Tongue‘ is from her 2018 album of the same title and explores her Aboriginal and Filipino identity. Find Mo’Ju on Spotify here.
There are countless other talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians that we couldn’t list, so if you have any favourites that we’ve missed, please comment below.
Words by Ebony Story, a proud First Nations woman.
Twitter: @EbonyStory04 Instagram: @ebonyrose.s
To support our First Nations people and Reconciliation, you can march in the protests taking place all over our country today.
Sydney – 9am @ The Domain
Melbourne – 10:30am @ Parliament House
Canberra – 10am @ Tent Embassy
Brisbane – 10am @ Queens Park
Perth – 1pm @ Forrest Place
Adelaide – 11am @ Victoria Square
Darwin – 10am @ Civic Park
Hobart – 12pm @ Parliament House Lawns
Newcastle – 10am @ Civic Park
Rockhampton – 10am @ Central Park
Lismore – 1pm @ Lismore Entertainment Centre
Albury – 10am @ Albury Botanic Gardens
Lithgow – 11:30am @ Queen Elizabeth Park
Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.
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