My Mind is the second single taken from DOBBY's (Rhyan Clapham) upcoming self-titled E.P.
The young rapper spoke exclusively to NITV about the inspiration behind the track and the accompanying video clip, which features "12 dedicated and inspiring Aboriginal people".
The 24-year-old who proudly identifies as a Filipino and Aboriginal musician, and a member of the Murrawarri Republic in Brewarrina, NSW says that his new song and the lyrics shine a light on the everyday pressures, both internal and external,
"You’ve got a lot of people who are having to deal with meeting expectations as blackfellas and having to prove themselves all the time and prove their identity and prove their worth," the rapper explains.
"That's the whole idea behind it. The pressure that a lot of people put on mob to work hard. Look at NAIDOC week for example, we are working hard, we’re exhausted to the point where we can’t even see each other's gigs cause we are busy working at another NAIDOC day event."
For DOBBY, the song is his way of acknowledging everyone going through the struggle,
"I see the hard work you are putting in, for me it doesn’t go unacknowledged. I respect your work and your hard work," he says.
Touching on mental health, political activism, passion and dedication, family and community and identity, My Mind aims to raise awareness in many areas.
"We are still subject to thorough scrutiny when it comes to Aboriginality. Many of us often find ourselves having to justify our families and history if our skin doesn’t match their presumptions. It’s time to delve into conversations about all of our beautiful blak people, all shades of black and brown," DOBBY told NITV.
The accompanying video clip was an important part of the single release and DOBBY brought on friend and close collaborator Benjamin Ling to create a clear vision of those who inspired him, and most importantly, in environments that they were comfortable in.
The clip features 12 Aboriginal people who are involved across multiple fields that inspire DOBBY with their dedication, fire and hard work despite the surrounding systems that continue to oppress.
The result is a compilation of close ups in different environment that mean something to the guests, with scenes being shot all across Sydney including Mt. Druitt, Como and Redfern, NSW.
DOBBY says, "I wanted the clip to be 'them just being them' because, firstly, this is close friends and family. They are all strong and staunch deadly blackfellas, no matter what they are doing. The whole idea is representation, it’s not about seeing blackfellas in their field at all times , the point is seeing them and recognising at all times that they are strong, hardworking and dedicated."
We are surviving and smiling and showing our best selves despite all these pressures internal and external. I see them working hard but also just being so deadly at it.
The rapper had a long list of people he wanted to feature in the film clip that inspired him with their spirit and tenacity, this included artist and musician Eric Avery, Arts director Lily Shearer and Environmental justice advocate Kaleesha Morris.
"Some are political activists, rappers, health care workers, they span across all fields but they all are striving and surviving and fighting all in the same way. So when I look at people like my cousin Lily Shearer, when I look at people like Lowanna Moran I see hard work and dedication and fighting to have your voice heard. That’s why I chose those particular people," DOBBY says.
If there was just one take away from the song and the clip, for DOBBY, it is representation,
"Knowing what blackfellas are doing, what we look like and how strong we are and how resilient we are, cause we are all smiling in those shots. We are surviving and smiling and showing our best selves despite all these pressures internal and external. I see them working hard but also just being so deadly at it."
Watch the film clip for My Mind exclusively through NITV below:
FEATURED CAST (In order of video appearance)
Bundjalung, Widjibal, Maori performance artist & writer,
Awarded the UNSW Medal for Theatre and Performance Studies with 1st Class
Honours. Currently teaching at a Secondary School as a Teach For Australia Alum.
JENAVIVE WESTBURY: Wiradjuri woman. Law graduate, recipient of the
UNSW Law Judge Bob Bellear Memorial Scholarship.
Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandjalang and Gumbangirr artist. Specialises
in Violin, composition and Dance. Works with Marrugeku and developing a solo for
Burrbgaja Yallirra performance.
Ngiyampaa, Wailwan and Gamileroi woman, currently working as
Indigenous Education Presenter at Australian Museum.
Djugun woman, and member of the Yawuru Nations from
the Kimberley region. Art curator, educator, facilitator and writer, Georgia is
currently working as the Program Assistant for Performance Space and Outreach
Project Officer for Solid Ground, Carriageworks.
Gadigal woman, and also a member of the Bundjalung, Arrernte
and Kalkadoon clans. Actor, Musician and Environmentalist. Currently working as
the presenter for the Bird Show at Taronga Zoo.
Descendant of the Kuku Yalanji and Djabugay
peoples, the Mununjali Clan of South East QLD and the Meriam people of the
Eastern Torres Strait Islands. Dancer for Bangarra Dance Theatre since 2012.
Kamilaroi Emcee. One half of Izzy n The Profit, Rap workshop facilitator and
host for Hip Hop cyphers across Redfern and Liverpool.
Strong Gamilaroi woman and proud educator.
Gumbaynggirr & Kulkalgal woman, Indigenous &
Environmental justice advocate.
RILEY COURT BENNETT:
Member of the Barkindji and Dalabon nations.
Currently studying a double degree in Medicine/Arts at UNSW.
Member of the Murrawarri republic and Ngemba nation. CoFounder
and Co-Artistic Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts, Recipient of the
Australia Council for the Arts Ros Bower Award 2016.
MY MIND – SONG LYRICS
Coming from my mind...
Imma lose my mind...
My brother my brother been working so hard all
Wall full of gold here, chillin’ in my old room
Bouncing to raps that I found in the past, I’mma
turn up the volume
Brain’s gonna go soon, but I never know when,
Educated guess, don’t have much time left
inevitable death, or I’m dumb, blind deaf.
Get it off my chest,
Passion the sign of a great mind live a great life
We can aim high at the same time
Can't shine, in the middle of the daylight
Grinding till I'm all run out of golden years
Writer's block recycled all my old ideas
Brain in the bind, unsettling, feel it rattling in my
Travel all the way to my melanin, paranoid
Think you’re irrelevant, kick your melon in
Fingers in a million pies, trynna live a million
lives, everyone dies,
Think another window went by, guess I gotta
keep it in mind
Got a funny feeling inside, meaning I don’t
really feel right,
stuck in my thoughts,
I been really busy and tired, you can make the
video live, is it my time?
My brother my brother
my brother my brother
my tidda my tidda
my tidda my tidda
You against the world
My brother my brother, been workin so hard all
My tidda my tidda been working so hard all day
Can I have a min of your time?
Why don't you come here and live in my mind?
I been having trouble sleeping at night
Second guessing always eat up my life
So ironic I don’t feel like I’m eating right
workin’ up late till the beat is right
till desire to boogie’s a piece of pie
till I satisfy every Bla Bi Bo Bi
Got my damn feet up
I can feel the pressure better get my Sangria
people tell me
listen to me DOBBY they been looking for
somebody that can bring us all together
But fella’s Storytelling, Aesop
Talk about my skin at NAIDOC
Cousin put away the face wash and get up and
Nah shame job!
I got my nephew producing it ay
Wanted to check what he'd do with it ay
Everyone listening losin it, and I should
mention he new to it
Guapo Filipino photogenic
How you growin up and tall already?
Know yourself brother don't forget it if you
really got a dream then go and get it
cuz they get butthurt like Tabasco, I'm bout to
rip up the dance flo
I know my story I let it tell ‘em through my
dance moves and my cerebellum
through my voice box, and my focus, hopin’ all
of ‘em would notice
And I won't quit till my throat give, till my lungs
die, till there's no spit
Follow DOBBY @DOBBYau