Breaking down barriers with uncensored, authentic honesty, Birdz has just dropped his new EP Place of Dreams via Bad Apples Music.
Released less than a week ago, the EP has attracted plenty of hype, particularly the music video for ‘Black Child’.
‘Black Child’ was a project between Birdz and Wiradjuriand Filipino artist Mojo Juju.
“It felt very organic and natural. I felt like I’d known her for a long time, but we’ve only recently connected. She brought that soul feeling to ‘Black Child’,” Birdz said.
The song draws from Birdz’s personal and family experiences of harsh realities for First Nations people.
“I wrote it a few days after my grandmother’s funeral. Sadly, sometimes the only chance we get to connect with family is at a funeral.”
“I kept thinking about the lack of relationship I had with my grandmother due to history and the experience my father had. I was fortunate at that time to be surrounded by family.”
“I guess I was really inspired by that experience to write ‘Black Child’, so that was a really healing time in the studio for me.”
The video, featuring appearances from First Nations artists Alice Skye and Kaiit, has a high class, Renaissance feel to it.
“When we were coming up with ideas for the video, I really wanted something to reflect that strength and that excellence of culture. I wanted something that my son could look at and be proud of. Something he could see greatness in.”
Place of Dreams is a politically driven EP, with a message that comes from the heart of its creator.
“We have these limitations forced upon us, [like] we’re only good at football and dancing. Growing up, I always felt like having a dream was almost frowned upon. I wanted to break those barriers and that glass ceiling.”
“When I write that heavy stuff, and when I am creating, I really try not to censor myself, there’s no sugar-coating. The reality is harsh, so speaking about it should be. If you’re offended by the words, then I’m offended by the reality.”
“If you are unaware or if these are issues you haven’t thought about—that’s the point. I want you to think about it and your own position and how we, as Australians, are all complicit. We are all responsible in some way.”
Working with Listen to the Graphics, Birdz created an EP cover artwork that was as loud and powerful as the EP itself.
It displays controversial illustrations that depict scenes surrounding Aboriginal identity and experience in Australia.
“I had this idea of the souvenirs, the tokenistic things you see at a market, that token Australian identity. And I had this idea of flipping that.”
“It exposes ignorant Australia’s attitude towards the ongoing plight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I really wanted the artwork to be able to stand on its own and hit as hard as the music does.”
Birdz produced Place of Dreams with Bad Apples Music, where he received immense support and understanding.
“They know where I come from, they know my story. Briggs and everybody on the label have similar stories, so they can relate, and they get the vision. They are so supportive in making sure that artists drive their vision and are at the forefront of it.”
Birdz, although receiving lots of love after the EP’s release, remains humble.
“The people that have been rocking with me since day one have been excited for new material and I’ve been fortunate with these new songs to have new listeners and fans hitting me up saying they love it.”
“I have to shout out to my mob and my family, to everybody who has been supporting me. I have so much love for them.”
“For my brothers and sisters in the communities and the mob out there, I want them to be inspired. To know that there’s another brother out there in solidarity that has had a similar experience, know that we’re still here and we are still strong, [and that] you can achieve anything you want to.”
The seven track EP Place of Dreams is now available to stream and download.
By Rachael Knowles