Jillian Moody was one of eight artists featured on the album and she tells NITV that her song My Brothers Arms has become a song of healing for her community.
"My Brothers Arms is about a brother and sister who were searching for their parents. This song is a true story about my friend and the sad thing is that my friend recently lost her brother and when she heard the song she said it is healing her." Says Jillian Moody.
“In the centre I work at we use music as therapy for the mums and kids. When we sing for the kids they just stop and listen and I can see how it is healing them."
“I have seen this song touch people in different ways and a lot of people have told me that this song is healing them. Our [Aboriginal] music goes ways back and it's still a part of us even through a violent invasion and it heals us." Adds Jillian.
Jillian also works as an Aboriginal health professional in the WA region and told NITV that even in her job music is being used as a way of healing our young kids.
“In the centre I work at we use music as therapy for the mums and kids. When we sing for the kids they just stop and listen and I can see how it is healing them." Says Jillian.
Jillian was paired with Leah Flannigan as a mentor and Leah tells NITV that working with Jillian was rewarding on many levels.
“I think it’s a great program that they have put together as there is a lot opportunities for male bands in the area and, just hearing of women around the country, this program is helping to find even more amazing talent and more women voices. Working with Jillian was rewarding on many levels. Jillian has more life experience then me and she knew what see wanted to say and just needed someone to help put it together.” Says Desert Diva Mentor, Leah Flannigan.
“Being an Indigenous musician can lead to pigeon-holing but I think that art should be treated as art. From what I’ve seen in the industry the pigeon-holing comes from the non-Indigenous sector and that’s the biggest hurdle for upcoming Indigenous musicians today. Also, the non-Indigenous art sector doesn’t understand the complexities of the Indigenous identity but at the end it’s not about them.“ Says Leah.
“The Desert Divas project is defiantly helping to find showcase more Aboriginal women’s voices which is needed in the industry.” Adds Jillian.
There are a lot of government art and music projects that fail but Leah tells NITV “because this project was started with the vision of two Aboriginal women Catherine Satour and Jacinta Price the program is going to last."
Desert Divas Volume II is the second compilation from MusicNT’s premiere music development program Desert Divas and Sista Sounds. Over the past six years, MusicNT’s Aboriginal women’s music programs have expanded their reach across the Northern Territory delivering Sista Sounds music workshops in remote communities and Divas professional development programs in regional centres. The Divas program has included Saltwater Divas in Darwin, Barkly Divas in Tennant Creek, and Desert Divas in Alice Springs.
The album officially launches this Friday 17 March and the proceeds of Desert Divas Volume II will go towards continuing to promote and support MusicNT’s Aboriginal Women Song.