Thu 26 Nov 2020

Photo by David Kelly

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 spoke with multi-award winning singer/songwriter Shellie Morris. Shellie creates music and sings in around 17 Australian Aboriginal languages, preserving and promoting culture. Armed with personal experience of connection and disconnection, Shellie imparts the importance of having a voice, listening to one another and that every individual is important.

 

Please tell us about any of your new (or upcoming) releases, or what you have been doing recently:

 I released Dharuk Gurtha in August as part of my sold-out Darwin Festival performance. I wrote with good friend and incredible musician Jason Durringu. It was a beautiful process, sitting in Ramingining and writing about what culture means to the community there, the fire of our languages that burns in us all. Languages are something that are so important to me. I have been blessed to be invited to work with so many communities around this land. This year has been difficult for us all and it’s been really hard not to be working in community and sharing. But, I have been able to visit some wonderful young people in Minyerri, Jabiru and Wollongong. 

Putting your own music aside, can you choose a song by a First Nations musician that has had a big impact on you, and can you tell us about your connection to that song?    

For me, seeing Yothu Yindi live in Sydney when I was in my teens was a catalyst. I had grown up as an adopted Aboriginal girl in a non-Indigenous family which was very inclusive but I had no idea who I was or where my connection was. Seeing Yothu Yindi singing in language in a packed venue in Sydney spoke to me in a deep way; then being asked to tour with them through my career has completed a connection circle for me, the members are now family. As a bit of a trailblazer for remote womxn in music, I also want to shine a light on all those incredible creatives who are ignoring geography and putting music out no matter where in the world they are. Music is a great way to share where you come from and of course all those incredible people working with language as rehabilitation, reclamation or singing in your first language. 

 

Now we dive into Shellie Morris' pick of Wuigada favourites:

*Please note there are names of deceased peoples in this list and some videos contain images of deceased persons.

Yothu Yindi - 'Treaty'

Yothu Yindi - Treaty (Original Version)

 

Tiddas – 'Anthem'

Tiddas : 'Anthem'

 

Dr G – 'Bapa'

Gurrumul - Bapa

 

Warumpi Band - 'My Island Home'

My Island Home - Warumpi Band

 

Emily Wurramara – 'Ngarrikwujeyinama'

Ngarrikwujeyinama

 

East Journey – 'Big Lights Big City'

Bright Lights Big City

 

Djakapurra Munyarryun – 'Galiku Mari Gutharra'

Click here to listen to the track via Facebook.

 

King Stingray – 'Hey Wanhaka'

King Stingray - Hey Wanhaka

 

Dhapaṉbal Yunupiŋu - 'Märi Wurrapa'

East Arnhem Live Dhapanbal Yunupingu [Official Video]

 

Ripple Effect Band – 'Ngúddja'

Ngúddja

 

Listen to the Wuigada playlist via YouTube now.

More Wuigada stories: Deline Briscoe, LJ Hill, Selwyn Burns, Roger Knox and Kutcha Edwards

Artwork by Dixon Patten.