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'It ain't over': Aboriginal youth anthem to keep communities safe from COVID-19

Mi-Kaisha and Nooky shooting One Point 5 Source: Supplied

Aboriginal artists Nooky and Mi-Kaisha have collaborated for the track 'One Point 5' to encourage young Aboriginal people to keep themselves and their communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mi-Kaisha Masella says the track 'One Point 5' aims to reinforce the key messages to help keep communities, families and Elders safe and encourage the practices of social distancing, hand washing and wearing facemasks.

According to health authorities, Aboriginal people are at greater risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19. This heightened risk makes it essential for frequent and reliable information to reach and circulate within Aboriginal communities.

“I was motivated to be part of this project because I knew how important it was to amplify Indigenous voices and the message of keeping mob safe during the pandemic,” Mi-Kaisha says.

“I knew how greatly COVID-19 had impacted the wellbeing of Mob and wanted to create music with a message of encouragement.”

She also stresses that when contacted to work on the project with hip-hop artist Nooky, she immediately took the opportunity and their collaboration flowed smoothly from the word go till the release of the track on Friday (July 31).

“It is just a kind of fun project to encourage youth to practise social distancing and stopping the spread and hopefully bring some joy and giving something back to our community,” she told NITV Radio.

It’s important for our Mob to know that we’ve still got to practice social distancing, good hygiene, washing our hands, things like that, and that’s what this track is about, helping get that message out there.

The two Aboriginal artists have worked together on other projects before. So, blending their genres in One Point 5 was seamless and fun.

“Nooky and I have worked together previously… When two people love music, and you both have a shared message to share, the creativity just flows. I think we really ended up with a really cool synthesis of RNB and Hip Hop.“

One Point 5 was entirely recorded in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Redfern and features choreography by Yuin, Bundjalung, Munanjali, Gamillaraay as well as Murray Island nations man, Darren Compton.

“Nooky and I can only speak on our own behalf. So, bringing more Aboriginal people into that space was important, bringing in other Aboriginal people showcasing the culture was really important to us.”

“In everything we do with community or for the community, we make sure that we have a diverse representation of Aboriginal culture, a diverse representation of Aboriginal people and a diverse strain of perspectives as well.”

A screen grab of Mi-Kaisha Masella from the trach One Point 5

Mi-Kaisha explains that sending a message to the youth, particularly in these tough times is very important and stresses that while many young people within the Indigenous community understand and strictly abide by the health message and norms effortlessly; many others haven’t adapted to the changes quite well.

“I guess it is just about giving young people resources and information on why it is important that we stay home and isolate when necessary it is important that we don’t go out when we don’t need to.”

She says not being able to see their mates and connect with their elders is a facet of the restrictions that’s proving the hardest to deal with.

“Our young people and our community are so reliant on connection with each other as well. So, it has been really a challenging time for everyone to not be in that normal routine and being able to see the mob and your family.”

One Point 5 is a joint collaboration between NSW Health Creative 33 agency and various First Nations Artists.

The clip was shot entirely outdoors with participants respecting self-distancing rules and wearing masks.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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