A SCALA initiative showcasing aboriginal artists at SCALA Live. Presenting local artists, Nathan May (soloist) and Kuko (duo) plus Robert K Champion (duo) from Victoria plus SA’s own Jessica Wishart (duo) as the headline act.
1. Nathan May
Multi-talented emerging singer-songwriter Nathan May descends from the Arabana, Yawuru and Marridjabin clans and SCALA would like to congratulate Nathan for recently winning the 2019 South Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young Achiever Awards (Arts). Well done you!
When Nathan’s not helping others, he writes in memory of his friends and family and as a reminder that there’s always hope. He sings with a wide open smile from deep within his soul and has an innate ability to craft songs and e press feelings of wide appeal to a broad audience that are way beyond his 24 young years.
Formerly a student at the Centre for Aboriginal Music Studies (CASM) Nathan is now studying Popular Music & Creative Technologies at the University of Adelaide Elder Music Conservatorium.
In the Ngarrindjeri language, Kuko means two, and for Sonya Rankine and Shane Labady there is something very special about that number. Both industry veterans, together the two have hit one very exciting musical wavelength.
Both from Moonta Bay, Sonya is also a Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, and Ngadjuri woman from Narungga country. Recently returning to music through this collaboration, she is known for songs that are self-reflective and soulful. Shane Labady brings over twenty years as a singer/songwriter.
3. Robert K Champion
Robert K Champion moves audiences with his haunting guitar music and compelling stories of life, love and loss across the Australian landscape. Known as a deadly guitarist, Robert is a modern-day storyteller, performing original compositions; contemporary folktales and country ballads. Robert will be featuring his violinist at this event.
In 2013 Robert released his EP, ‘This Road Is Too Long’, and in 2018 he released his long-awaited debut solo album ‘1977’.
4. Jessica Wishart
JESSICA WISHART is a young Bidjara woman who writes and performs songs inspired by her love of music, family and culture. She is a storyteller whose songs take elements of country, folk and soul music and weave them into deeply personal tales which capture and express her unique experience.
In 2017, she recorded and released her debut EP, working with acclaimed songwriter and performer John Baker, recorded by The Yearlings’ Chris Parkinson and featuring additional vocals by Nancy Bates. Also in 2017, she has performed at Tandanya’s Survival Day concert, at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and at Spirit Festival, and is one of two artists in Nexus Arts’ Creative Pathways development program for Aboriginal contemporary musicians.
Jessica’s music speaks from deeply held personal beliefs, drawing upon her experiences as an Aboriginal woman, daughter and mother to explore her culture and its place in community.