We’re pleased to add some new music to our Always Was, Always Will Be playlist — a collection of music from First Nations artists curated by Yorta Yorta/Bangerang woman and Acclaim staff writer Taneshia Atkinson. The ongoing playlist aims to platform storytelling that highlights the creativity of First Nations people, the power of community and the impacts of colonial violence — whilst reclaiming space and paying homage to the very first storytellers. From newcomers to the music scene, debut tracks and timeless melodies, be sure to follow the playlist for regular updates of some of the best tracks traversing First Nations voices.
To get you started, we’ve pulled a few standout tracks for some more insight into a few highlights from the newest update of Always Was, Always Will Be:
Blak Britney – Miss Kaninna
Blak Britney is Miss Kaninna’s debut single and is the ultimate anti-establishment anthem showcasing provocative lyricism enriched by the smooth balance of pop, rap, and R&B. Delivering intimacy through sharing moments of her personal life, while spitting razor-sharp unapologetic bars, Miss Kannina is undeniably powerful and it’s clear that she has much more where this track comes from. 2023 is going to be a big year for the “deadly bitch / a Blak Britney Spears”.
Gumleaf Bass – PRODIKAL-1, Uncle Ossie Cruse
First things first. As the title suggests, the bassline of this song is quite literally from a gumleaf, played by Yuin Elder Uncle Ossie Cruse. Historically, while the origins remain a little unclear, the gumleaf was used by many First Nations peoples as a musical instrument, possibly as far back as the 1800’s. Through this infusion on the track, PRODIKAL-1 celebrates his community, bringing tradition and original storytelling to the front while amplifying his clever lyricism and suave flow.
Hear no, Speak no – Narli
Hear no, Speak no opens with a soothing chord progression inviting you all the way in before energy fuelled Narli emerges. The track delivers an infectious chorus you can bop to, with the messaging of Hear No, Speak no intensified by an eerie rolling synth, paying homage to 90’s hip-hop. One of our favourites from Narli.
The Problem – LIL YOUNGINS
The LIL YOUNGINS are a young Aboriginal rap group based out of Maningrida in Arnhem Land. On the track, LIL YOUNGINS talk of the systemic struggles faced by the kids of Maningrida, touching on youth crime sharing “services are around they / ain’t helping the youth… the kids are not the problem / maybe the system is the problem”. The powerful up and coming group were mentored by emcee J-MILLA who is also a co-writer on the track. Big things to come.
Lemme Know – Kootsie Don
Bad Apples signee Kootise Don delivers a delicate late-night-smooth-90’s-R&B vibe with her debut single Lemme Know. With production by Jayteehazard, the track offers self-assurance, confidence, and inimitable flows sharing the message ‘if you can’t support me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.’
Keep it locked to Acclaim, and follow the playlist for regular updates.