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In recognition of NAIDOC Week 2020, we are spotlighting some of the most inspiring Indigenous creatives around. Here we talk to the talented singer, songwriter, producer, beat-maker and visual artist Tamwah
What is your full name?
My sovereign artist name is Tamwah
Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born Naam (Melbourne) & have been living on beautiful Bundjalung country (Byron Bay) for 20yrs+
How long have you been singing for and how did you start your career in music?
Music has always been an important part of my family. I’ve been singing & making up my own songs since I was a mini human. My parents used to jam some nights together, when us kids were meant to be in bed, mum on piano & dad singing. They sounded so good! I joined my folks, singing & making harmonies in my early teens. We did this whenever we got together until my dad crossed over in 2017.
My first instrument was violin when I was 7yrs old, I moved to vocals in my teens & never looked back. My mum’s record collection really influenced my taste in music, with records from Sergio Mendes, Elis Regina, Bob Marley, Roberta Flack & Stevie Wonder.
Tell us about your beautiful music and the meaning behind some of your lyrics?
My music comes to me when I am connecting with my ancestors, usually walking on the beach, feeling nature. My last single “Elevate” is a song for us first nation peoples, our stories & our voices. It’s about elevating our minds, culture, making positive choices /goals & being aware that we are bigger than the system!
Here the song here
Some lyrics below:
I got to find my way / Aye Yoooo x3
I need to mediate, levitate, elevate my mind
Mountain tops can seem so high
Kick off my kicks / connect with the source of all life
The soul is something that money cannot buy
BUT if you listen to the system then the system will try.
Facebook, IG both spies
gathering data clogging up my third eye
Sending me emails with more things to buy
distracting me from growing myself
messing with my mental health
BUT true wealth resides on the inside
Tell us what NAIDOC Week means to you?
Naidoc week is really special to me, it gives me strength to see our culture celebrated & shared in class rooms, through events & on social media. It shows me that if we can all respectfully come together for one week we can bring the spirit of Naidoc week into the entire year.
How can others get involved with Naidoc Week in a meaningful way?
There are so many interesting events listed on the Naidoc Week 2020 website. You could also buy black, as in, support Aboriginal businesses & creators. Or make a playlist on Spotify of your favourite Aboriginal artists & share that with your mates.
Follow Tamwah’s Instagram here
Visit Tamwah’s website here
Tamwah is launching a new EP on November 17th called Love Like Water that features collaborative songs with other Indigenous artist from Australia and Barbados and local talent Anna Rizzo-Tassone.
If you would like to support you can jump on the Australian Cultural Fund website here