Music Australia News

First Sounds Brings Indigenous Artists To The Airwaves

Graham Strahle
| November 26, 2019

A landmark CD project called First Sounds is raising awareness of Indigenous music artists and is aiming to take their work to wider audiences via Australia’s extensive network of community radio stations. A joint initiative of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and First Nations Media Australia (FNMA), the first disc in a planned compilation series comes out in February 2020 and will be made available through indigiTUBE – FNMA’s online video service which supports First Nations communities and streams content to some 24 radio stations across the country.

It is presently in the planning stages, and Indigenous artists invited to submit their music for inclusion in the project. Any original work can be submitted to indigiTUBE’s website for judging by a panel of leading First Nations artists which includes singer-songwriters Leah Flanagan and Warren H Williams along with Gavin Ivey, Program Manager at Sydney’s Koori Radio.

Sound files are open until 30 November and need to be uploaded in WAV format, along with a title and description plus a few other details. It can all be done here.

All entries will be included on the indigiTUBE website and CBAA’s own distribution channel, Amrap, which shares and syndicates content via national satellite to some 250 stations around Australia.

CBAA describes First Sounds as “a new and unique initiative to get more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists heard across Australian radio airwaves”, and says its aim consists of “broadening the reach of Indigenous heritage, history and culture and supporting the burgeoning First Nations music industry”.

Radio, as the chosen platform for promoting this CD, has unique benefits due to unrivalled reach into regional and remote communities and low operating costs.

Emily Wurramara, Brisbane-based singer-songwriter from Groote Eylandt, is one of many leading Indigenous musicians who have forged their careers on radio airplay. Welcoming First Sounds, she said in CBAA’s announcement: “This is such a great initiative. There is so much deadly talent in this country and having a dedicated strategy to share their music across the country through CBAA Amrap and community radio will not only benefit the artists, but also expose and educate Australian listeners”.

CBAA is the peak body representing community radio and television stations in Australia. It also supports Indigenous people through its Community Radio Awards which offer an Excellence in Indigenous Broadcasting Award among other categories.

Launched in 2009, FNMA’s indigiTUBE media platform aims to support and preserve Indigenous language and culture.

First Sounds has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.

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