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BIGSOUND 2019 Artist Focus: DRMNGNOW

28 August 2019 | 8:46 am | Artist Submission

What you need to know about your BIGSOUND artists.

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Answered by: Neil Morris

Give us a short description of your music: DRMNGNOW is the decolonial, forward-thinking, Indigenous hip hop/electronic project of Yorta Yorta artist Neil Morris – transfixing, challenging, confronting, spiritual, moving and paradigm-shifting.

Which acts are on your must-see list at BIGSOUND? Electric Fields, Sycco, Rebecca Hatch, Kobie Dee.

Why should people come and see you among the many amazing bands at BIGSOUND? DRMNGNOW is a unique project within the musical landscape of this country at present which marries hip hop of the now with the soulful classic era and a sweeping electro, synth-fused sound, with a decolonial message and linked deep into Indigenous spirituality.

What music trends do you think are dominating right now, and do you have any predictions for the coming year? Music that is about setting paradigm shifts and the reframing of power and historical societal narratives. Music that is honest and transformative not only sonically but also socially. The crossover between art and social change is peaking and it's a beautiful thing resonating deeply in music right now.

In your career to date, what have been the key watershed moments? Playing Golden Plains to an audience deeply engaged, which included custodians of the land, the Wathaurong peoples, right at the very front. Very powerful. Performing at SXSW this year with a custodian of the Austin area in attendance. All moments where first peoples are made to feel safe.

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What industry lessons would you like to take away from the BIGSOUND conference? Getting a solid feel for the experience of showcasing with a touring band.

What do you identify as the most pressing issue impacting the Australian music industry at present? The enabling of First Nations POC and queer gender non-conforming voices' platform to impact. Quality music and highly important narratives from these important corners of our communities are manifesting rapidly currently. Music has a high social responsibility. These voices and amazing talents deserve the platform. Now is the time for enabling.

What is the best bit of advice you've been given to prepare for your time at BIGSOUND? Be focused on what you aim to achieve, but also make time for the organic to come forth out of the experience.

When and where is your BIGSOUND showcase? 3 Sep, Home: Official BIGSOUND Welcome Party, The Valley Drive In, 12.30pm; 3 Sep, The Valley Drive In, 10.50pm; 5 Sep, Ric's Big Backyard, 10.50pm.