A new wave of indigenous musicians is receiving unprecedented attention from audiences in Australia and overseas, buoyed by a general upsurge of interest in Aboriginal artists.
Hit films such as Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires, the crossover popularity of veteran musicians including Gurrumul and Archie Roach, the television drama Redfern Now and even a coming production at the Belvoir St Theatre about Palm Island, Beautiful One Day, are all contributing to the buzz.
"There's been a wonderful surge of [Aboriginal] artists touring and releasing albums and creating a stronger profile," says Simon Raynor, director of the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo in Melbourne this month. It features many indigenous artists, including alt-country up-and-comer Sue Ray and the genre-defying trio OKA.
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Photo: Supplied
"I think it comes down to really great music,'' Raynor says. ''The quality is amazing and people are only just realising what a huge variety of music we have in Australia."