4 WA Indigenous artists you should be listening to right now

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Western Australia is brimming with Indigenous talent hailing from across the state. These musical artists stem from a diverse range of genres ranging from contemporary music such as hip-hop and funk, to traditional styles of music such as choir. Here are four WA musicians Proudroots thinks you should give a listen to.

Hyclass

Of Maori, Samoan and Fijian heritage, this local female hip-hop artist has blown up, performing at festivals such as Groovin The Moo, Fairbridge and Perth Fringe Festival. She has also supported other local acts such as Split Syndicate, Marksman Lloyd and SUPEREGO.

Listening to a lot of Hip-Hop and R&B from an early age and growing up in a family that regularly played soul, funk, disco, and reggae music, Suzie Tuialii decided to pursue Hip-Hop Artist and perform as rapper Hyclass.

This infusing of various genres is reflected in her latest track Water performed with Strictly D.T. Featuring shameless sound production accompanied by an ‘in-your-face’ drum beat and smooth rap lyrics, Water is a nod to classic old-school Hip-Hop, and an enjoyable listen.

You can purchase Water and other Hyclass tracks on Bandcamp, and give it a listen on Youtube (video below).

Ziggy Ramo

Growing up in Arnhem Land (Northern Territory), regional New South Wales as well as spending time in both Sydney and Perth, Ziggy Ramo is one of the most promising young rappers to come out of the Australian Hip-Hop scene.

Addressing the social issues and injustices faced by Aboriginal Australia through his music, there is a politicised fire to be found throughout his lyrics.

Ramo’s EP Black Thoughts illustrates the power behind the artist’s words, melding contemporary indigenous issues with the smooth call back to old school hip-hop. Rapping about the issues of blackface, identity, and discrimination, Ramo leads the listener into a thought-provoking, audible journey.

Ramo is prophetic with his words, with ‘Black lives matter’ the first line uttered in the eponymous single featuring Stan Grant. It’s a jarring reminder of the incendiary current political situation facing Indigenous people, both in Australia and overseas.

You can stream Ramo’s latest EP Black Thoughts on Spotify.

The Struggling Kings

Hailing from One Arm Point in the Kimberley, Western Australia, three brothers – Luke, Mark and Daniel Riches – make up The Struggling Kings.

Taking out the award for WA Music’s Best Indigenous Act for 2019, the band employs a creative concoction of indie rock coupled with their Indigenous roots.

Their latest EP Oceans is a feel-good, summer record. With cleanly toned guitars combined with a country twang, the record makes way for a breezy listen, making you wish you could escape the cold Perth winter for the far north Western Australian summer warmth.

Ardyaloon slows things down into a sweet ballad, paying homage to where the band comes from in the Kimberley. Incorporating Bardi lyrics throughout the song, Ardyaloon refers to Ardyaloon or One Arm Point, an Indigenous community town on the Dampier Peninsula. It is home to the Bardi people, who speak Bardi, a non-Pama-Nyungan dialect.

You can listen and purchase The Struggling Kings latest EP Oceans on their website here.

Madjitil Moorna

Madjitil Moorna is a choir made up of Indigenous and non-indigenous people who sing mainly Indigenous songs, in either Indigenous or English language or a combination of both.   The choir promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island language songs and compositions by Indigenous artists from around Australia.

Starting out as a community arts project in 2006, the choir has since grown into a very busy not-for-profit organisation, run largely by volunteers. The choir focuses on ‘singing, learning and healing’ as well as bringing cultures together.

Currently headed by musicians Della Rae Morrison, George Walley, Kobi Morrison, Candice Lloyd and Jo Randell, the group currently meets weekly. People from all backgrounds, ages and abilities are welcome to have a go at weekly rehearsals, held in Forrestfield at Anderson Rd Community Centre on Monday nights.

You can find out more about Madjitil Moorna on their website.

Header image credit: Ziggy Ramo Facebook, The Struggling Kings Facebook, Hyclass Facebook pages. 

Joseph Wilson

Joseph Wilson

Joe is a law and journalism graduate who likes to write about anything and everything.

Western Australia, and indeed the country, is filled with so many unique and talented Indigenous and Pacific artists. 
For more on the state of Aboriginal visual art in Western Australia, check out our article on the effects of COVID-19 on the art world. 

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