My most vivid memories of music were of watching my grandfather perform when I was seven years old. He is an ARIA Award-winning jazz and blues musician by the name of Seaman Dan. He used to play at the local venues entertaining crowds of people who loved his performances. Being a language of emotions, I was instantly attracted to the way music made people feel and react. Culturally speaking, growing up, music played a huge part in my life. In the Torres Strait Islands, music is an important art form – it is a way of documenting knowledge and telling stories that are passed down from generation to generation.
I don’t have one favourite musician or band. I have many in all musical genres. I grew up on a steady diet of soul, blues, reggae and hip hop. Tupac Shakur’s music played an important part in my adolescence, as did De La Soul, Public Enemy and all the great poets of that era. They were telling stories about their realities, their trials and tribulations; all of which I could relate to. I was magnetised by hip hop and it became my way of life. I was enriched and inspired by its freedom of expression.
I just fell into music and performing. I first pursued it as a passion and later a career. My first crew was the Poverty Ass Production Crew. I was introduced to a guy named Chris Rada, who later became a good friend of my cousin Jess Lee. Along with three other members we formed a crew and that’s when I got into recording music as a career. Today I work with Mike Justice of Meridian Nights. We forged a partnership with my label, One Blood Hidden Image Entertainment Group, to deliver music for like-minded people. We also mentor younger artists in order to help them fulfill their musical dreams.
4.The Music You Make
The music I make is a blend of hip hop, soul and reggae with the indigenous Torres Strait culture. Our first single release is called ‘Island Home’. This is a hip hop remake of ‘My Island Home’, first sung by the Warumpi Band and made famous by Christine Anu. Our live performances blend indigenous Torres Strait and hip hop culture. The fusion of the two cultures adds a theatrical element to the performance that speaks of our story and journey.
5.Music, Right Here,Right Now
The music scene at present is difficult to navigate. Music is so accessible; that makes it easy for anyone to create a song and put it out to the world. Although this can give the unheard a voice, it can also, in my opinion, have an effect on the quality of music being put out. We pride ourselves on the quality of our projects for our fans, listeners and music lovers of all genres to appreciate and enjoy.
‘Island Home’ out now through digital distributors.