Mon 16 Nov 2020

                   Photo by Ryan Osland

Welcome to Wuigada.

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

Each week we'll be sharing playlists curated by First Nations musicians, as nominated by other First Nations musicians involved in the project, ensuring that curatorial control of Wuigada is collectively self-determined by First Nations musicians.     

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

It is our pleasure to feature Aboriginal (Kamilaroi), Cherokee Indian and Irish singer-songwriter, L.J. Hill, in this edition of Wuigada.   

For contemporary singer/songwriter L.J. Hill, music has always been a part of life, and his songs illustrate the rich experience of a full life lived from the northwest plains of New South Wales to the city streets of Sydney and Melbourne. His world weary voice tells a story of struggle and hardship countered by delicate melody lines when he sings of love and unrequited love in both the city and the bush. L.J. Hill has so many stories to tell, and he tells them in the most unique and wonderful way.


Please tell us about what you’ve been up to: 

I’m in Armidale - in lockdown - looking at music courses, adding to my skills. You never have enough and you never stop learning. If you stop learning, you’re spinning your wheels in the mud.  

I mostly only wanna learn stuff that I like - I mean stuff that pricks my ears up, stuff that grabs me. I play 3 instruments: guitar, mandolin, ukelele.  

Have you been writing any music?  

I’m a songwriter - I've got two albums out. I haven’t written anything for a while but I hope to release an album next year. 

You’ve told us that Glenn Skuthorpe’s ‘From The Cradle To The Grave’ is an important song to you, what does it mean to you?  

We’re both from same country - I’m from Narrabri, he’s from Goodooga - same region in the north of the state. I just like his work. The beginning and the end, the journey of life, life and death, full circle. Listen to ‘From The Cradle To The Grave’ below. 

Is there anything else that you’d like to say?   

One last spiritual thing - our ancestors, they breathe the same air as we do. Even though they’re in another realm, we’re all breathing the same air. That takes away a lot of the sadness of them not physically being here. When you think of them breathing the same spiritual air they’re not separate they’re here. In Koori culture, we don’t say goodbye. That’s useless saying goodbye because they’re always here. American Indians are the same. 


Cover image of LJ Hill by James Henry.


Now we dive into LJ Hill’s pick of legends & pioneers:

Glenn Skuthorpe - 'From The Cradle To The Grave'

Cradle to the Grave


Archie Roach - 'Down City Streets'

Archie Roach - Down City Streets (Official Music Video)


Archie Roach - 'Took The Children Away'

Archie Roach - Took The Children Away (Official Music Video)


Jimmy Little -  'Yorta Yorta Man'

Jimmy Little - Yorta Yorta Man


Jimmy Little - 'Baby Blue'  

Baby Blue Jimmie Little

"Jimmy Little, when he was at his peak, starting off he had hall the screamers and the rockers and the ravers around him - here he was with his quiet voice, that cut through the din. You don’t have to roar to be powerful." LJ Hill 


Stiff Gins - 'Diamonds on the Water'

Diamonds on the Water


Troy Cassar-Daley - 'Lonesome But Free' 

Troy Cassar-Daley - Lonesome But Free (Official Video)

"He’s a supreme country artist, him being black and being a supreme country artist in this country is a bloody big statement. He’s a great artist. A great writer. He can write about anything." LJ Hill 

Leah Flanagan - 'Love Like Water' 

Love Like Water


Emma Donovan - 'Ngarraanga'

Emma Donovan Ngarraanga Video Clip


Listen to the Wuigada playlist via YouTube now.

More Wuigada stories: Sue Ray, Troy Jungaji Brady, Dave ArdenShellie MorrisDeline BriscoeLJ HillSelwyn BurnsRoger Knox and Kutcha Edwards.

Artwork by Dixon Patten.