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'It's an attitude': Budjerah reflects on blak excellence ahead of First and Forever Festival

Joseph Guenzler -

R&B star on-the-rise Budjerah says the term blak excellence - a key theme of the First and Forever Festival curated by Briggs and Paul Kelly - is a call to the past as much as it is recognition of those achieving great things today.

Earlier this month Briggs announced the blockbuster lineup taking to Ngannelong (Hanging Rock), a sacred gathering place for Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Wurundjeri Traditional Owners, for a mammoth day of music on November 27.

Briggs noted the celebration of blak excellence shirked political agenda, letting the talent speak for themselves in an environment open to all.

"There's a whole new generation of punters and listeners and consumers that are ready for black stories and Indigenous music, and it's not foreign to them and it's not this shoehorned approach," Briggs said.

Budjerah, a 20-year-old Coodjingburra man, made waves with singles such as What should I do?, Talk and Missing You prior to earning his spot on the festival lineup.

Featuring the likes of Baker Boy, BARKKA, Jess Mauboy, Dan Sultan, Thelma Plum and King Stingray, Budjerah said he believed all of the artists on the lineup embodied the notion of blak excellence.

"Indigenous excellence comes from the people that came before us, that stood up against the norm to pave the way for us today." he said.

"They have given us opportunity to have an event like this, First and Forever, to show how us Aboriginal people excel in the gifts we have."

Budjerah said he took great inspiration from his cousin and Actress Nakkiah Lui, and the late Uncle Archie Roach.

Budjerah implores a message of determination and perserverance.

"The main thing I wanna do is to encourage people to live their life to the fullest," he said.

"Don't be afraid to take opportunities that present themselves to you. Even the smallest things can grow into something big.

"I believe excellence is an attitude. Do everything to the best of your ability and do what you love and passionate about."


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