Happy Saturday, welcome to your 5th gift of the week.
Today we will talk music. We would like to see an increase in the promotion, recognition and financial support of BIPOC artists. Music is one way for Australia to tell its diverse stories, to share and celebrate ourb cultures and confront our histories.
Today we are sharing with you a specially curated Spotify playlist called “Bring us Together”, and introducing three talented Australian musicians.
Between the gigs, festivals and hottest 100’s celebrating local music, many of us have bonded with friends and strangers over a good tune. Australia hosts one of the largest globally recognised free-to-air radio stations (Triple J), that’s helped artists grow exponentially and gain global recognition.
In our playlists, you will find artists you’ve known before, and discover new ones. A selection of up-and-comers from across music genres, each one representing their proud heritage and background.
Emma is an Indigenous Australian musician who started her career at the early age of 7 in her uncle’s band “The Donovans.” Emma’s mother, Gumbainggir/Danggali woman Agnes Donovan, supported Emma’s singing, by taking her to talent competitions around the country. Now a mother of two girls herself, Emma celebrates her upbringing with her music, and shares the love and loss of years passed, in her latest album “Crossover”, with her music group The Putbacks. Drawing from the dissonance felt the year she lost her mother and had her first daughter, she defines her experience writing in the band as a “safe space” to share personal vulnerable stories from her life. She also sings about history and empowerment. Written prior to the Black Lives Matter movement, the album’s song Mob March became this year the new ‘NAIDOC anthem’. Emma was nominated for Double J Artist of the Year. She won multiple awards, including Female Artist of the Year and she performed at the opening of the 2004 Olympic ceremony. You’ll hear her soulful voice but also funky rhythms, when you listen to “Crossover” in our playlist below.
LFresh the Lion
Formally known as Sukhdeep, LFresh is a Sydney based hip-hop artist, whose music tackles social justice issues, particularly racism and prejudice. He is also an anti-racism ambassador for All Together Now. Recently, speaking at the Big Sound Conference, he shared his plans on changing systems within the music scene:
“The music game is changing. It’s always changing. But right now, we’re at a real special point where those who’ve been traditionally left out of the industry are defying the odds & creating new ways of doing things, inspired by our own cultural influences and values. It’s not just challenging the status quo. I’m talking about creating a new status quo.”
– LFresh the Lion.
LFresh continues to captivate his listeners both musically and verbally across his social channels and media groups. The name “FRESH” is an acronym for “Forever Rising Exceeding Sudden Hardships”, the message he wants to get across for standing tall and overcoming challenging circumstances. And “Lion” – being a link to his Sikh heritage – is a translation from Sanskrit of his surname, Singh.
LFresh has just released his third album, “Southwest”, in which he reflects on the challenges of youth and loss felt because of the disconnection from his heritage and language while growing up. Described by music media as a rapper with roar power, LFresh continues to push boundaries using his voice, lyrics and sounds. You will find L-fresh’s popular track, “1 in 100,000″ on today’s list below.
Formerly known as Cheryline Ernestine Lim, Che’nelle is rightfully described by Samantha Jones from The Tropixs as “a truly unique blend of culture and genres”. She was born in Malaysia to a Chinese father, and a mother of Indian and Dutch heritage, and moved to Perth when she was 10 years old. Earlier this year, Che’nelle released her latest track titled “Invincible”, a softly sung R’n’B tune that packs a punch. On releasing this song, Che’nelle posted on Facebook:
“This creation touched a deep place in my heart. This goes out to all those who have been labeled, all those who were unaware of labelling others and an opportunity to reflect on the toxicity of these normalized judgements made everyday towards others and towards ourselves. Let this be a reflection.
We are not labels. We owe it to ourselves to be great.We can only be the best for others when we are best with ourselves.”
Never to be pigeonholed, Che’nelle writes, sings and produces her songs in both English and Japanese. Her music genres include pop, soul and r’n’b, while her lyrics flow seamlessly from love to loss, covering a range of human experiences.
Che’nelle collaborated with many well-known artists on top songs such as Leona Lewis’s – “Can’t Breathe”. In 2008 she won the Concept Album of the Year in the Japan Gold Disc Awards. You can find her latest track “Invincible”, in our playlist below.
List of tracks and the artist’s proud heritage – see below.
- Better in Blak – Thelma Plum – (Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter & Guitarist)
- Mamalangsing- Bobby Singh (in Djang Djang) – (Punjabi Australian Tabla player)
- I can’t Breathe – Jerome Farah -(Lebanese/Zimbabwean singer-songwriter & Producer)
- 1 in 100,000 – L fresh the Lion – (Punjabi Australian rapper and hip hop artist)
- For my Tittas – Barkaa – (Indigenous Australian rapper and Hip Hop Artist)
- Everything – Camp 8 – (Maori New Zealand Australian singer-songwriter)
- Energy – Sampa the Great – (Zambian Australian rapper and songwriter)
- You + Me – Dizzy Dizzo (Australian-Taiwanese rapper and singer)
- Invincible – Che’Nelle (Malaysian Australian singer-songwriter)
- Crossover – Emma Donnovan (in The Putbacks) – (Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter)