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 none other than the highly acclaimed soul musician, Emma Donovan. On her mother’s side, Emma is part of the famed Donovan family of singers of the Gumbaynggirr people, of what is now known as Northern New South Wales. On her Father’s side, Emma is of the Yamatji people, of what is now known as Western Australia. Emma started her singing career at age seven, appearing in family band The Donovans, before starting her original music career by founding the acapella group The Stiff Gins in 2000. After The Stiff Gins, she released a solo album Changes in 2004 and an EP Ngaaranga in 2009. In 2015 Emma began her ongoing collaboration with Melbourne combo The Putbacks, meeting drummer Rory McDougall and bassist Mick Meagher when they were playing together in The Black Arm Band

Emma told us about what she has been up to recently: 

“I released Crossover with The Putbacks in November 2020 and we have a new album out in a few months titled Under These Streets, a special commission with the City of Melbourne. 

It’s nice to come out of Crossover into this new album and see how we have grown as a band. I moved back to Melbourne at the start of this year, and it’s been wonderful being closer to The Putbacks and being back in the recording studio. 

Under These Streets is a capsule for our relationship, filled with songs that cover how we write and record together as one.” 

We asked Emma to select a song by a First Nations musician that has had a big impact on her, she chose 'Heal the People' by Uncle Archie Roach. 

“This song has always been my favourite. I was in the Bloodstreams choir and it was the one song that hit me. Within the lyrics, Archie talks about the mob in this non-judgemental song about where he has come from and the healing he has done. 

Seen my brothers and sisters in the park, Drinking all the bitter wine that they bought. Don’t you know, don’t you know; I’ve been down this road before…” 


Emma Donovan’s top 10 songs for Wuigada are: 

Dan Sultan – 'Never Let You Down' 

Never let you down


Archie Roach – 'We Won’t Cry'

We Won't Cry (feat.Paul Kelly)


Yothu Yindi – 'My Kind of Life' 

My Kind Of Life


Tiddas – 'Waka Nini Yana' 

Waka Nini Yana


Ruby Hunter – 'Let My Children Be' 

Ruby Hunter Let My Children Be


Coloured Stone – 'Black Boy' 

Coloured Stone - Black Boy (1984)


Bart Whiloughby – 'Aboriginal Woman' 

Aboriginal Woman Music Video produced by Mike Middleton


Briggs – 'Bad Apples'

Briggs - Bad Apples (Official Video)


George Burarrwanga & Birdwave – 'My Island Home'

My Island Home George Burarrwanga & Birdwave


Gurrumul Yunupingu – 'Gatha Mawula'

Gathu Mawula


Listen to the Wuigada playlist in full via YouTube now.

Visit all the Wuigada stories, or check out: Marlene CumminsBenny WalkerStiff GinsRipple Effect Band, Waveney YassoSue Ray, Troy Jungaji Brady, Dave ArdenShellie MorrisDeline BriscoeLJ HillSelwyn BurnsRoger Knox and Kutcha Edwards.

Artwork by Dixon Patten.