First Nations Compilation Album

South East Arts is currently producing a compilation album of First Nations songwriters living across the Yuin Nation. The album is one of a range of projects engaging community in the lead up to the second Giiyong Festival in 2021, which will be delivered by South East Arts and Twofold Aboriginal Corporation at Jigamy, near Eden.

The compilation album will be a key piece of merchandise for the festival and raise funds to support the biennial event. Up to ten artists and bands from Wollongong to Eden will be featured on the album, creating a unique mix of country, hip hop, folk ballads, pop and rock.

Project manager, musician and co-producer Jazz Williams from South East Arts said an album like this is long overdue on the south coast. ‘Many of the musicians we invited to contribute an original song to the album are people we’ve worked with before and all the artists are working towards a career in the music industry. We’ve recorded five tracks so far and already the standard is incredibly high’, Ms Williams said.

The compilation album is being recorded, mixed and co-produced by local musician and sound engineer Ricky Bloomfield from Bear Productions. The recording project has been made possible through a grant from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and to extend elements of the project more broadly throughout the community, South East Arts will deliver in-person and online song writing workshops in the months to come.

‘A compilation album like this has not been created before on this stretch of coast, even though there has always been talented First Nations musos and songwriters living here. This recording will be a great tool for these artists to promote themselves and our region and hopefully generate more performance opportunities at our regular venues and events’.

As with many of South East Arts’ initiatives, there is a strong element of professional development for local artists within this project. Some contributors have not experienced a recording studio environment before, and everyone has to ensure their APRA membership is up to date. A superannuation fund will be established for those who don’t yet have one and all artists signed a non-exclusive license agreement with South East Arts, which was prepared by the Arts Law Centre of Australia.

‘We wanted to ensure that the artists are protected in terms of their copyright and intellectual property, and the license agreement clearly states that no producer or session musician involved in the recording of their song will seek any copyright interests. A non-exclusive license means that when each artist receives a copy of their own final mastered track, they can use it in any way they like for their own personal promotion or re-record the same song for another purpose’, Ms Williams

‘We pay all the artists and session musicians for their time and contribution, and all proceeds from album sales will support the Giiyong Festival. South East Arts hired the Umbarra Cultural Centre building through Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council to set up a temporary recording studio for our first week-long session in early October and it was the perfect location. Stay tuned for a release date and launch in 2021, as this is going to be an outstanding album showcasing some the region’s
most unique musical voices’.

Media contact: Laura Jackson