Features May 31, 2018

Kuren: On the Indigenous artists inspiring the next generation

Former Assistant Editor
Kuren: On the Indigenous artists inspiring the next generation

As part of Reconciliation Week (May 27 – June 3), we asked emerging electronic producer  (aka Curtis Kennedy) to share with us his favourite Indigenous musicians who he thinks will inspire the next generation of artists.

Kuren, who has been a brewing talent on the electronic scene since he was just 14 years old, has today announced the release of his debut album Melting Conceptually to be released on June 29 via ONETWO.

Recently signing with Native Tongue publishing, the young, self-taught producer collaborated with Ivan OozeSydnee CarterAustenSam PhayTwerl and Kat Vinter on the album.

Curtis, a descendant of the Wiradjuri people, works closely alongside the Indigenous community, using his music to support a variety of initiatives.

He composed the music for SBS’s Walkley Award-winning interactive animation My Grandmother’s Lingo in 2016, and most recently worked with Urban Theatre Projects to compose the music for the BLACK BOX art installation in Barangaroo, which opens on June 2 and will run until June 24.

Kuren was Unearthed’s NIMA winner in 2016, and was a finalist for the J Away Unearthed Artist of the Year that same year.

Catch his Like A Version performance tomorrow on triple j!

#1 Ziggy Ramo

In 2017, I was lucky enough to spend lots of time and tour all of WA with Ziggy. I was so blown away by this guy. He was such a great human being but his music was also incredible. His message is as moving as it is important, and when you see him hit the stage you can’t help but be blown away. It really took me by surprise to see such powerful messages delivered in such a captivating way.

I remember Ziggy saying he wants to do in Australia what Micheal Jackson did for pop music. I can’t wait to see him grow! 

#2 Baker Boy

You can’t ever say you’ve seen an artist like Baker Boy before. This dude is unique. I haven’t met him yet, but the music I’ve heard and videos I’ve seen this guy has some next-level talent. Being able to incorporate dance and traditional language is something incredible. We are witnessing the birth of something special here – he is truly inspirational to young Indigenous artists.

#3 Zeke Beats

I’ve been a fan of Zeke for a while now and didn’t even discover he was Indigenous until last year. This guy is getting busy jumping right out of Perth and touring the world. Every time I’m out in a club, without fail you will hear a Zeke Beats track. And I’m 100% fine with it. He’s blowing up in the USA and it’s all come from honing his craft. He’s an amazing DJ and proof that if you set your mind to something you can take on the world.

#4 Briggs

I believe Briggs is the voice of the new generation of Indigenous people. Now living in a digital world, Briggs is the one who will speak up and stand up for those who are afraid to speak and also just don’t have the ability to speak. The part about that is his music is amazing. We’re all familiar with January 26. Lyrically, that track won me over. He’s got a great ability to paint a picture in your head. 

#5 Birdz

I’ve been following Birdz for a while now and I’m becoming more and more impressed. I hope to be able to get in a studio and nut out some beats with Birdz some day. He has a really old school flow that connects with a new generation. From all the Aus/Indigenous rappers out there, I would say Birdz flow impresses me the most. Excited to see the future and stoked for all that’s coming for him! 

Melting Conceptually Tour

Friday, July 6 – Blackbear Lodge, Brisbane
Saturday, July 7 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
Friday, July 13 – Fat Controller, Adelaide
Friday, August 3 – Landsdowne Hotel, Sydney
Saturday, August 11 – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth

Related articles