• Dallas Woods stands in front of his hometown's sign. Wyndham, WA (Red Bull Music)
Red Bull Music has released a three-part documentary series called "This is Home", the first episode follows Wyndham rapper Dallas Woods.
By
Grayson McCarthy-Grogan

18 Apr 2019 - 3:11 PM  UPDATED 18 Apr 2019 - 3:17 PM

Last week, Red Bull Music revealed the first episode of its three-part documentary series This is Home; an up-close look at the meaning of home for Australian artists as they revisit the integral people and places that have shaped their lives and careers to date.

The first episode features Noongar rapper, Dallas Woods and his hometown of Wyndham in Western Australia's Eastern Kimberly. 

Woods is now based in Melbourne, focusing on his music career. So going home to the Northernmost town in the Kimberley is always a joy to see family and friends. However, it can also be a time to reflect on those he has lost. 

In This is Home, Woods returns to Wyndham to visit the town and community that shaped his life. With a population of less than 1000, temperatures that climb to the high 30s, and a unique history of its own, Wyndham is a rugged place with lots of character. 

Talking on his connection to Country, Woods' This Is Home takes viewers to the picturesque places on the region’s map, Five Rivers Lookout, The Grotto, The Salt Flats, as well as the historic town itself, as he relives memories of his childhood. Meeting up with old friends, mentors and respected community members, Woods reflects on the change in himself and his surroundings as he goes.

"As soon as school would finish, we'd get, like, a backpack with hand lines, walk down with a few of the brothers, a lot of high hopes for a big fish," he said.

The Grotto is one of the places Woods would go to when he was younger, every Wednesday with a young men's group.

"It was like a reward. We always looked forward to the Grotto, especially during wet season," he explains.

"Two of the local Aboriginal police officers at the time, Uncle Percy and Uncle Rex, they'd take out all the school kids, you didn't have to be just Indigenous. We learnt discipline, we learnt country and we learnt friendship with all the boys. 

"When you are able to influence someone's life in a positive manner, that's what you strive for. With mentors, they come with the good and the bad, they like the devil and an angel on the shoulder."

This Is Home is interspersed with snippets from Woods’ recent Red Bull 64 Bars episode, a project where rappers 'hit the booth' and lay down 64 bars of rhythms.

Now a single called Chapter One, the track is a whip-smart display of lyricism that powerfully paint the lifestyle Woods was immersed in as a young Indigenous kid growing up in remote Australia. 

Woods says that it took him a while to get started on the rap and lyrics, but once he got the first line down it only took around half an hour to get the full 64 bars complete.

Thinking about home and his childhood brought back memories of learning culture and the beautiful landscape of the Eastern Kimberley.

Woods says that honesty in his music is important, and to him, the fact that people can relate to his music is very meaningful. However, often he finds himself inspiring those who don't necessarily relate.

"I've been doing tours and when I've been out at communities, they've been like 'I've worked at this community for a bit and we're proud of what you're doing, you know, you're amazing' but then there are people I talk to in Melbourne, and they have no idea of what's going on in their own country.

Like, they ask me, 'the Kimberley where's that?' I'm like 'what? you don't know where the Kimberley is?' It's almost like a hidden treasure," he says.

"You also got like, some people asking 'oh, is that Africa?' and I'm like 'nah, it's Australia.'

"Man, it's crazy like, their concept of what Australia is, is pretty much what's on the ads or the Sydney Harbour Bridge."

Dallas Woods is currently touring the country, he will be at Bryon Bay Bluesfest this Easter weekend. He also has shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 

 

Grayson McCarthy-Grogan is Yanyuwa, Garrawa and Kuku Yalanji man and NITV Digital Producer. He writes about Sports, Music, Politics and Indigenous Affairs. To follow Grayson or contact with story tips, find him on Twitter @GraysonMcG