Young and talented, Dharawal musician and Illawarra local Aodhan performed at a youth event on Saturday.

The gig, Pop-Up Parties No. 2, was a youth-led initiative supported by Shellharbour City Council and hosted at Blackbutt Youth Centre in Shellharbour.

Aodhan performed alongside Illawarra talent and refugee Stefan.

“It was quite a nice little performance. I had a nice time watching Stefan play as well,” said Aodhan.

Shellharbour Mayor, Counsellor Marianne Saliba told NIT the event was a chance for youth to host.

“This helps young people mature to really great responsible adults as they understand what is involved, they think through the processes, they know how to undertake it, they’ve now done it themselves,” she said.

“It helps them in their futures no matter what they end up doing.”

Shellharbour Council Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer and Yuin woman, Maiquilla Brown supported the Mayor’s comments.

“The entire idea of this program is that young people wanted more opportunities to run events for other young people,” she said.

“2020 left a lot of dark memories for people, a lot of disconnection and loneliness. So, I hope that as we travel into 2021, we can combat that with more community events that bring people together.”

Brown said both performers being local was something special.

“Being an Aboriginal woman myself I think it’s really important that mainstream opportunities go to everyone and not just your typical mainstream artists.”

“Our headline act, Stefan, he is a refugee. He writes music about his family and growing up as a refugee. It’s really cool to have that mix between him and Aodhan, they’re both two young diverse performers,” she said.

Albion Park local Aodhan won the 2019 triple j Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative and has been making waves as an up-and-coming artist.

“My Dad is a muso, so music has always been around. I got my first plastic stringed guitar when I was about five,” said Aodhan.

Aodhan began writing songs at 13, developing his interest and love for music.

“In the beginning I was learning lots of Ed Sheeran songs as they were quite easy and I wasn’t listening to much else at the time. I did sort of look that way in terms of playing and writing. Eventually I started getting into Indie taste a bit more and more Australian music,” he said.

“I feel like I haven’t really found my own unique sound. There is so much out there that nothing will ever feel unique, but I experimented a bit and landed here.”

A young, talented Dharawal singer/songwriter, Aodhan joins a deadly community of Blak performers.

“I’m really proud to be part of a community that is really starting to rise,” he said.

“It’s so awesome to be amongst all these other Aboriginal artists that are all doing such crazy amazing things.”

With a big year coming, Aodhan has big goals.

“There’s definitely a lot more happening this year than last. If things clear up then my management are talking about a tour, more headline shows. I’ve got my EP coming out this year, so more music,” he said.

By Rachael Knowles