Tue 20 Apr 2021

Wuigada is a dedicated space where First Nations musicians can share and celebrate music made by other First Nations musicians with PBS audiences. 

Wuigada was named and developed by the highly acclaimed indigenous singer songwriter, Kutcha Edwards. Wuigada in Mutti Mutti means 'to sing'.   

In this edition of Wuigada we hear from singer, songwriter and proud Yorta Yorta man from the Dungala (or Murray River), in Echuca Moama, Benny Walker.

We asked Benny about the inspiration behind his third studio album and latest release, Chosen Line

"The title is taken from the song, 'Chosen Line', and what that is about is the career path I took, or the journey my life has taken so far, I’ve said before that it also could have been called 'Unchosen Line'. My family history, my grandparents led me to this point, not through any pressure, but through their own choices. Both my grandfathers were musicians, my mum’s dad was a jazz saxophone player and a drum teacher, and my dad's dad, Archie, was a pedal steel player, and a country guitar player. My dad played guitar, and I had lots of aunties and uncles that are musicians as well, some of them are still out performing. And I grabbed the torch and decided to take it where I could, and do with it what I can. So that’s where the inspiration for Chosen Line came from, and for the artwork on the album, which was done by a Yorta Yorta artist, John Patten, that’s where the inspiration comes from also."

Benny has provided his list of songs for Wuigada, and one that stands out particuarly for him is Archie Roach's 'Walking Into Doors'. 

"When I think of First Nations artists from Australia, I can’t help but think of Uncle Archie Roach. I’ve been lucky enough to record on one of his records and sing in his live show. And I spent quite a lot of time with him over the last five to ten years and I’m incredibly lucky to do that, and I think we are incredibly lucky as people to have a man like that. Such a great storyteller, such a beautiful soul. A song of his that really captures me is 'Walking Into Doors'. It’s a song about domestic violence which is unfortunately all too common. There is something about the way that Uncle Archie delivers his vocals, and the piano and the strings that just paints this heart wrenching picture. That is the thing about music, it shows you things sometimes in even more colour and more light than you could ever imagine. Especially if you haven’t experienced it firsthand. It’s the opportunity for an artist to try and make you aware or to try and put you in someone’s shoes even though you can never really be there. An artist can give you an opportunity to go ‘man, that’s completely unacceptable in society’ without you having to go through it firsthand. I think it’s a way we can effect change as artists, by speaking through experience and getting messages across so people don’t have to go through those things, but so we can take the steps to make the world a better place for other people."


Here are the songs Benny Walker selected for Wuigada:

Archie Roach - 'Walking into Doors'

Archie Roach - Walking Into Doors (Official Music Video)


Dan Sultan - 'Tarred and Feathered'

Dan Sultan - Tarred and Feathered


Alice Skye - 'Grand Ideas'

Alice Skye - Grand Ideas


Emily Wurramara - 'Ngarrikwujeyinama'

Ngarrikwujeyinama- Emily Wurramara


Kee'han - 'Better Things'

Better Things


Troy Cassar-Daly - 'Back On Country'

Troy Cassar-Daley - Back On Country


Dallas Woods feat Miiesha - 'Heaven Of My Own'

Heaven of My Own


Kaiit - 'Miss Shiney'

Kaiit - Miss Shiney (Official Video)


J-MILLA - Unlock the System 

J-MILLA - Unlock The System (Official Music Video)


Mo'Ju - 'Native Tongue'

MO'JU (FKA MOJO JUJU) - NATIVE TONGUE Featuring The Pasefika Vitoria Choir (Official Music Video)


Listen to the Wuigada playlist in full via YouTube now.


More Wuigada stories: Stiff GinsRipple Effect Band, Waveney YassoSue Ray, Troy Jungaji Brady, Dave ArdenShellie MorrisDeline BriscoeLJ HillSelwyn BurnsRoger Knox and Kutcha Edwards.


Artwork by Dixon Patten. Cover photo by Jane Ashley