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6 TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2016
TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2016 7
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Beats of the Barkly
hop over to WA
Beats of the Barkly
hop over to WA
ON TOUR: Hip hop musicians of the Barkly (from left) Alex Johnson (MC Elio), Lourick
(Justin) Rankine (MC JR), Richard Peterson (MC Widget) and Trevanne Williams (MC
A GROUP of hip hop
musicians from the
Barkly will perform in
Tennant Creek next
Thursday before go-
jor music festival in
For the past week Barkly
Regional Council (BRC)
and independent hip hop
producer Monkey Marc
have been supporting and
mentoring Desert Hip Hop
to rehearse and prepare for
the upcoming gigs.
Desert Hip Hop was born
after several talented In-
digenous musicians were
discovered under the
Barkly Desert Cultures
program, a youth diver-
sionary project run by
BRC and facilitated by Monkey Marc and
Beatrice Lewis since 2014.
The Indigenous musicians, including
members of the E-Town Boys from Elliott,
Hill Boys from Wutunugurra, and Desert
Sevenz from Ampilatwatja, made their debut
performance at Wide Open Spaces music
festival in Alice Springs last year.
Since then the lads, ranging in age from
19 to 23, were headhunted to appear at
Bush Bands Bash and various gigs in Alice.
They’re looking forward to the Nannup
Music Festival, in the south west of Western
Australia, during March.
“We feel excited about going to gigs and
travelling to new places, getting our message
out there about kids, us mob, doing the right
thing,” said E-Town crew member Alex
Johnson, aka MC Elio.
Alex, along with fellow E-Town member
Lourick (Justin) Rankine (MC JR) and Hill
Boys Trevanne Williams (MC Jedda) and
Richard Peterson (MC Widget) are busy
rehearsing 10 new songs for their tour and
“Music changed my life,” said Richard,
who has written a song called Don’t Run Me
Down. “Before this [Barkly Desert Cultures]
there was nothing for me. I sniffed petrol. I
drank. I smoked ganja.
“This program and Monkey helped me. I
stayed on country, tried to make changes. I
don’t sniff petrol. I don’t drink or smoke. I
have a family. I get a lot of negative talk
but I’m staying strong. That’s the message
of my song.”
All four young men have written lyrics
based on real life experience, from prison
life to personal challenges. Another one of
the songs called Wrong Turn tells the story
of two fictional characters, a boy called
Brookie and a girl called Jewel who take
the wrong turn in life.
Monkey Marc, who has been working
with BRC’s Youth, Sports and Recreation
Coordinator Sean Spencer, said the topics
covered in the group’s repertoire reflect the
challenges and positive changes the young
men want to make in their lives through
music, in particular hip hop.
“The four young men practicing now have
really grown together and helped each other
out. MC JR has proved to be a natural at
turning out the beats with the Hill Boys lead-
ing the way with their lyrics,” said Monkey.
Sean added that after working with the
group of young men for over 12 months it
is amazing to see the changes.
“Their self esteem and confidence have
grown immeasurably. They’ve really ma-
tured,” he said.
Desert Hip Hop will perform at the Civic
Centre in Tennant Creek on Thursday 25
February from 7pm. Gold coin donation.
This gig will be followed by their WA tour
(4-7 March) where the band will support the
headline act Kingfisha. Rayella, supported
by Barkly Regional Arts, is also appearing
at the Nannup Music Festival.
on page 7.
From page 6.
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