Contest call for songsters

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Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
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BRAMS' David Batty and Goolarri Media Music Development Officer Tania McKenna developed the Indigenous Song Writing Competition.
Camera IconBRAMS' David Batty and Goolarri Media Music Development Officer Tania McKenna developed the Indigenous Song Writing Competition. Credit: Carly Laden

Aspiring indigenous songwriters will have a chance to have their voices heard in a new competition.

The Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service has teamed up with Goolarri Media to develop an indigenous songwriting contest, giving emerging artists the chance to express themselves.

Artists are encouraged to write songs in line with the theme of being smoke-free or how smoking has affected them or others.

BRAMS’ David Batty said the idea of the competition came about when trying to figure out a way to engage with indigenous youth.

“We want to empower the community to have a go at songwriting and express themselves through this art form,” he said.

“We chose the theme of smoking and being smoke-free because one in five people in Broome are dying because of smoking, and indigenous families in the communities here in Broome and across the Kimberley are quite large.

“We get a lot of people that come to us and tell us about how smoking has affected their family so we want them to take those emotions and put them in a song that can potentially be heard around the region.

“One of the entries we have already received even gave us the analogy that quitting smoking is like losing a best friend because they felt that even when they were down or felt alone, the cigarette was always there.”

Goolarri Media music development officer Tania McKenna said her involvement in the competition took the form of helping the songwriters enhance their songs and performances.

“We want to give everyone the skills and the tools for everyone to successfully write a song and perform it instead of expecting them to be able to do it on their own,” she said.

“As much as it is a journey to give up smoking, it is also a journey to become a performing artist. You may find out something about yourself that you never knew before.

“We’ll be offering support in the form of songwriting workshops and mentoring the songwriters in performance preparation so people feel like this is a serious step towards a brighter future that is smoke-free and potentially a career path.

“In the arts, there is no right or wrong way to do it.” BRAMS and Goolarri Media are already receiving entries, including expressions of interest from potential songwriters, ahead of the closing date on Monday, April 15.

Ms McKenna said after the closing date, the panel of judges would assess each song before the finalists were chosen.

“Once the finalists have been decided, they will perform in a concert on Frida,y May 24 where a winner will be identified along with a second, third and fourth prize,” she said.

Mr Batty said the competition winner would have a chance to perform at Male Oval on Friday, May 31 to commemorate World No Tobacco Day and Broome’s Reconciliation Day.

“It would be a fantastic opportunity to be able to perform on such a significant day,” he said.

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