So ‘For My Titta’s’ was the first single you released in June, it was obviously released in a really prominent time in 2020, but first I just wanted to ask about your music history, about whether music had always been an outlet for you growing up?
Yeah, music’s always been a big part of my existence, it’s helped me through a lot of rough times in my life. Music’s been a massive outlet for me since I can remember. I’ve been writing songs, not necessarily rapping but I’d make up songs, and I’d sing them, just by myself. Later on, I realized that I don’t have a singing voice. I got told that off a few people, “Just shut up!” [laughs]. Then I started rapping when I was about 14 years old. In high school, I started writing little raps with my friends and then I’d go to in my teens and in my adolescence to Blacktown and have freestyle rap battles, and rap battle people for my sister girls who were very like, “my sister will rip you in a rap battle”, and so I would. But that was a rough time in my life, so the music I was writing wasn’t necessarily good for my soul or empowering at all, it was pretty sad, I guess, and dark.
And when you released ‘For My Titta’s’, was the inspiration around that to put out a song of empowerment for women around you?
Yeah, there’s not a high representation of women in the industry, also First Nations’ women, there’s not many of us, so I wanted to give back to my community, all communities of sister girls and generations of matriarchy of women. I kind of wanted to give a testament to my sister girls, let them know how special they are and how appreciative I am of them. Basically, it’s a song about First Nations women empowerment, and I’m really glad it’s hit other women also, which is really beautiful.
At the start of the video I love how you say “never be ashamed of who you are” as you’re painting your daughters face, it seems like a big message in your music, “don’t be ashamed of who you are”, “stand true to who you are”. Is being unapologetically truthful something important to you?
Yeah, growing up in Aboriginal communities we have this thing called “shame job”, or you know, “that’s shame, don’t do that” or “that’s really shame, I can’t do that”, and I think that’s a boundary that was made through intergenerational trauma. Shame is something that’s been passed down to our mob, cause there’s no word in our language that translates to being ashamed, so I guess that was a big part of me. Also, decolonising and telling my daughters never be ashamed or if people tell you “that’s shame” not to be ashamed, cause it’s holding you back. I think there was a lot of meaning behind me saying that to her and saying it to my fellow aboriginal brothers and sisters, and aunties and uncles, don’t be ashamed cause there’s nothing to be ashamed about.
And since you dropped that single, it seems like the last six months have been pretty busy for you. What’s it been like? Has it been a bit of a whirlwind?
It’s been crazy! I honestly didn’t think it would, even when people ask, “what are your dreams for the future?” I’m kind of like, “Well, I’m living in it, so I don’t really know what my dreams for the future are,” cause it’s like this is more than what I expected. I think it’s been really good, I think Covid’s been a blessing, not for everybody, it’s sad times, even during the pandemic I feel like I’ve had time to sit back and plan things, which has been really nice. The whole experience has been an honour, and I’m really humbled by it. It’s surreal!