The Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival is in full swing down under with more than 40 artists gathering to share, celebrate, educate, contribute and inspire.
"Culture is knowledge, and knowledge is survival" Deborah Cheetham writes of the Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival for The Guardian. An Indigenous musician herself she continues:

For us the visual and performing arts have always been the way we know the world and give meaning to everything in it. For more than 1000 generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have passed on all knowledge of geography, the sciences, medicine and humanity through the visual and performing arts. No fear of a hard-drive meltdown in traditional culture. As long as you knew the song or the dance or the story, culture would survive.

The festival presents a range of art forms including Indigenous theatre, music, literature, film, cabaret and dance. Bringing their musical talents to the second annual, 12 day celebration are artists Tiriki Onus, Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach and Cheetham. “Come and witness first-hand an ancient culture that has always been contemporary to its time, informed and shaped by the knowledge of 1000 generations” Cheetham invites in her list of highlights (get the full report here). Scope full festival schedule here and watch Bart Willoughby - who performs “We Still Live On” this Wednesday at the festival - now:

VIDEO: Bart Willoughby - “We Have Survived”
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Aperture: f/2
  • Exposure: 1/100th
  • Focal Length: 50mm

The Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival is in full swing down under with more than 40 artists gathering to share, celebrate, educate, contribute and inspire.

"Culture is knowledge, and knowledge is survival" Deborah Cheetham writes of the Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival for The Guardian. An Indigenous musician herself she continues:

For us the visual and performing arts have always been the way we know the world and give meaning to everything in it. For more than 1000 generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have passed on all knowledge of geography, the sciences, medicine and humanity through the visual and performing arts. No fear of a hard-drive meltdown in traditional culture. As long as you knew the song or the dance or the story, culture would survive.

The festival presents a range of art forms including Indigenous theatre, music, literature, film, cabaret and dance. Bringing their musical talents to the second annual, 12 day celebration are artists Tiriki Onus, Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach and Cheetham. “Come and witness first-hand an ancient culture that has always been contemporary to its time, informed and shaped by the knowledge of 1000 generations” Cheetham invites in her list of highlights (get the full report here). Scope full festival schedule here and watch Bart Willoughby - who performs “We Still Live On” this Wednesday at the festival - now:

VIDEO: Bart Willoughby - “We Have Survived”

OKA Talks Touring with RPM
 By: Eugene Boulanger  | Photo: OKA 

Australia’s OKA is no stranger to the Canadian West Coast summer music scene. They’ve toured Canada several times over, traveling as far as Evolve Music Festival and Folk on the Rocks. I had a few questions for the boys and Zappa gladly accepted the opportunity to answer. 
EB: Of Evolve, Shambhala, and Folk on the Rocks, which outdoor music festival have you enjoyed the most and why?
Z: Oh man. That is too hard. I thought these interviews usually start with an easy question? We love the crazy uniqueness of Shambhala, the awesome vibe of Evolve but I must say from last year my personal favorite was Folk on the Rocks. There was something magical about being so far north. Oh yeah… and I also partied extra hard. Ha.
EB: You’re from The Land of Milk and Honey; Folk On The Rocks happens in the Land of the Midnight Sun, what was your experience of Yellowknife like?
Z: It really surprised us. We had no idea what to expect. All we heard about in the lead up to the festival was the famous enormous mosquitoes. I don’t know what happened – but hardly any were around. You can tell the festival really lights up the town. Our shows were so much fun and we met some awesome people. The sun not really going down was also a trip out too. My favorite time of the day is twilight. I call it the ‘goo’. When we were there the goo lasted ALL night. Super stoked.
EB: I saw you guys play at Shambhala Music Festival outside of Nelson, BC, last year. I had a really good time. Although Nelson is in the Kootenays, I’m curious of your experiences of the West Coast of Canada – the fans, the people, the scenery – what’s your take?
Z: There’s no doubt the West Coast of Canada holds truly some of the most staggering and beautiful landscape we’ve ever seen. As a touring band you quickly get sick of the 4-6 hour drives between every gig. For us some of the most incredible journeys have taken place through the Kootenays and beyond. I still remember my first ride on the Jasper Highway to Robson Valley Music Festival. Every turn we were met with mind-blowing mountain ranges and such pristine glaciers. Makes traveling easy. The people we meet? Well lets just say they are better than the scenery.
To read the rest of the interview with Oka at rpm.fm, click this link.
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D
  • Aperture: f/16
  • Exposure: 1/100th
  • Focal Length: 42mm

OKA Talks Touring with RPM

Australia’s OKA is no stranger to the Canadian West Coast summer music scene. They’ve toured Canada several times over, traveling as far as Evolve Music Festival and Folk on the Rocks. I had a few questions for the boys and Zappa gladly accepted the opportunity to answer.

EB: Of Evolve, Shambhala, and Folk on the Rocks, which outdoor music festival have you enjoyed the most and why?

Z: Oh man. That is too hard. I thought these interviews usually start with an easy question? We love the crazy uniqueness of Shambhala, the awesome vibe of Evolve but I must say from last year my personal favorite was Folk on the Rocks. There was something magical about being so far north. Oh yeah… and I also partied extra hard. Ha.

EB: You’re from The Land of Milk and Honey; Folk On The Rocks happens in the Land of the Midnight Sun, what was your experience of Yellowknife like?

Z: It really surprised us. We had no idea what to expect. All we heard about in the lead up to the festival was the famous enormous mosquitoes. I don’t know what happened – but hardly any were around. You can tell the festival really lights up the town. Our shows were so much fun and we met some awesome people. The sun not really going down was also a trip out too. My favorite time of the day is twilight. I call it the ‘goo’. When we were there the goo lasted ALL night. Super stoked.

EB: I saw you guys play at Shambhala Music Festival outside of Nelson, BC, last year. I had a really good time. Although Nelson is in the Kootenays, I’m curious of your experiences of the West Coast of Canada – the fans, the people, the scenery – what’s your take?

Z: There’s no doubt the West Coast of Canada holds truly some of the most staggering and beautiful landscape we’ve ever seen. As a touring band you quickly get sick of the 4-6 hour drives between every gig. For us some of the most incredible journeys have taken place through the Kootenays and beyond. I still remember my first ride on the Jasper Highway to Robson Valley Music Festival. Every turn we were met with mind-blowing mountain ranges and such pristine glaciers. Makes traveling easy. The people we meet? Well lets just say they are better than the scenery.

To read the rest of the interview with Oka at rpm.fm, click this link.

Thelma Plum Feels Change For The Better
 By: Ron Harris aka Ostwelve 

Thelma Plum has been making some major noise in Australia after winning the triple j Unearthed competition, and now shares some answers to some questions.
The triple j Unearthed competition for the National Indigenous Music Awards in Australia took place last month, and a surprising winner surfaced from its ranks. Seventeen-year-old Thelma Plum took the judges and audience by storm and took the honors of winning the competition and the opportunity to perform at the National Indigenous Music Awards on August 11th in Darwin.
We got a chance to ask some questions of Thelma and she was kind enough to answer.
RPM: What is your name, location and occupation?
Thelma Plum: My name is Thelma Plum, I am from Brisbane and I am a musician.
RPM: How do you do today?
TP: Very well thank you, recovering from a gig last night!
RPM: After winning the triple j Unearthed competition, congratulations by the way, how have things changed for you?
TP: Thanks so much! Things have changed so much – for the better though! I think this was a great thing for my music as it has now opened lots of doors.
To read the rest of the interview with Thelma, and to watch a video of Thelma singing an unreleased song, click this link.
  • Camera: Canon EOS 550D
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Exposure: 1/160th
  • Focal Length: 44mm

Thelma Plum Feels Change For The Better

Thelma Plum has been making some major noise in Australia after winning the triple j Unearthed competition, and now shares some answers to some questions.

The triple j Unearthed competition for the National Indigenous Music Awards in Australia took place last month, and a surprising winner surfaced from its ranks. Seventeen-year-old Thelma Plum took the judges and audience by storm and took the honors of winning the competition and the opportunity to perform at the National Indigenous Music Awards on August 11th in Darwin.

We got a chance to ask some questions of Thelma and she was kind enough to answer.

RPM: What is your name, location and occupation?

Thelma Plum: My name is Thelma Plum, I am from Brisbane and I am a musician.

RPM: How do you do today?

TP: Very well thank you, recovering from a gig last night!

RPM: After winning the triple j Unearthed competition, congratulations by the way, how have things changed for you?

TP: Thanks so much! Things have changed so much – for the better though! I think this was a great thing for my music as it has now opened lots of doors.

To read the rest of the interview with Thelma, and to watch a video of Thelma singing an unreleased song, click this link.

DOWNLOAD: The Medics – “Joseph”

Australian band The Medics are hot right now – with their recent new album, new videos, and now multiple NIMA nominations.

To get a taste of why this band’s “rock songs with a melodic pop heart” are catching on fast, download this track, Joseph. The Medics’ passion and drive is infectious – turn it up and enjoy.

To download the track Joseph by The Medics at RPM.fm, click here.

NIMA 2012 Finalists Announced

The National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) celebrate Australia’s most outstanding Indigenous musical artists, from “the Top End to Tasmania.” Young newcomers The Medics have scored three nominations, with multiple noms also going to Troy Cassar-Daley, Busby Marou, Gurrumul Yunupungu and Impossible Odds.

Here are the highlights of this year’s finalists:

National Artist of the Year

  • The Black Arm Band
  •  Gurrumul Yunupingu
  •  Jessica Mauboy
  • Busby Marou
  • Troy Cassar-Daley

National Album of the Year 

  • Ngambala Wiji Li-Wunungu – Together We Are Strong - Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen
  • Winanjjara - Warren H Williams and the Warumungu Songmen
  • Foundations - The Medics
  • Busby Marou - Busby Marou
  • Home - Troy Cassar-Daley

National New Talent of the Year 

Read the full list of finalists at nima.musicnt.com.au.

Watch the video for National Song of the Year finalist Song of Arnhem Land, by East Journey at RPM.fm by clicking this link!