BIGSOUND Unveils First Nations House
Presented with Spotify
BIGSOUND, produced by QMusic, continues its support and dedication to opening more spaces for First Nations music, dialogues, and community connection in 2020 and beyond with the announcement of this year’s First Nations House, a unique partnership with Spotify as part of their ongoing commitment to promote and increase the representation of First Nations artists from around the globe, on and off their platform.
Launching today and remaining open for the next 12 months, BIGSOUND’s First Nations House will be a safe and dedicated 100% virtual global meeting space for supporting, promoting and celebrating First Nations music from around the world, including hosting workshops and performances, and a platform for artists to gather and share their music and messages.
“Against the backdrop of the pandemic we have seen significant impact to the music industry with the impact to First Nations artists disproportionate,” said Jonathan Harrison, Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, Spotify Australia & New Zealand.
“Now more than ever, our commitment to increasing the representation of First Nations artists on the Spotify platform, and off, is crucial. We are extremely proud to advocate for Indigenous music through our partnership with BIGSOUND to bring First Nations House back to this year’s event. By providing a space to nurture and support Indigenous music, we can showcase the creativity and diversity of First Nations artists, driving broader engagement within the music industry.”
Through the partnership with Spotify, the BIGSOUND First Nations House programming will be BIGSOUND’s premiere musical performance event with its series of exclusive Dreaming Loud Showcases. Eight selected artists will perform a filmed on country showcase performance nightly on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October, including: Aodhan, Birdz, CLOE TERARE, Kee'ahn, Matalja, Oetha, Southeast Desert Metal and The Yorke Band.
Following the final showcase, the entertainment will continue with a Dreaming Loud DJ set featuring special guest Dameeeela.
The digital platform will also spotlight the 22 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from The BIGSOUND50.
There will also be a special performance presentation by Indigenous Music West at Manitoba Music. Filmed in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg) and the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien'keh:ka of Kahnawà:ke (Montréal), Indigenous North will offer electrifying performances and interviews for an intimate picture of outstanding artists from those regions, including Celeigh Cardinal, acclaimed country singer/songwriter Don Amero, Inuk singer/songwriter Elisapie, and multi-instrumentalist R&B artist Sebastian Gaskin.
BIGSOUND First Nations House presented by Spotify is also honoured to feature artwork by Dylan Mooney: a Yuwi man from Mackay, central Queensland, Torres Strait Islander from Darnley Island and Badu Island and Australian born South Sea Islander. “This artwork represents the importance of music for Indigenous peoples,” said Dylan, “our people create songs to tell stories, to share our cultural knowledge and to bring awareness to the wider community.”
The newly-added BIGSOUND First Nations House programming sits alongside the already-announced First Nations conference program line up in what is an outstanding and unique representation of the music, voices, conversations and issues faced by Indigenous and First Nations communities and artists today.
“As the industry re-futures, it is imperative that spaces like BIGSOUND and Spotify support, promote and celebrate Indigenous artists and the music they make,” said First Nations Producer and Programmer, Alethea Beetson.
“In a time where there has been a resurgence of Black Lives Matter, which has long been the Black Deaths in Custody movement in so-called Australia, the BIGSOUND First Nations conversations address the issues of systemic racism in the music industry by offering Indigenous led solutions to some of the now common problems we are facing in 2020, and beyond.
Included in the conference program, Kev Carmody will host a keynote presentation titled “Cannot Buy My Soul”; Ziggy Ramo and Rhoda Roberts will discuss the future of the music industry from a place of sovereignty, truth-telling and change for “100% BLAK: The Indigenous Future Of The Music Industry”.
“Beyond the Black Tile” will feature Dameeeela, Busty Beatz and more for an honest discussion between people of colour and the music sector about performative allyship and real reparations from the music industry with pathways and suggestions on how to dismantle and reform the systems from within; and “Cultural Resurgence” will tackle the importance of storytelling and culture in and through music with artists Dr Lou Bennett, Gina Williams, Jeremy Dutcher and Thomas E.S. Kelly.
Other BIGSOUND First Nations Conversations include: “Pay The Rent; Can ‘Quotas’ Lead to Reparations?”, a Keynote with “Maimouna Youssef AKA Mumu Fresh”, “Rest Is Revolution: When Self-Care Is More Than A Buzzword, It Is Survival”, and “Community>Industry: The Application Of Indigenous Knowledges in the Music Sector”.