The 29-year-old artist talks with NITV News about spreading the music of the Gamilaraay people across the world.
By
Naveen Razik

Source:
NITV News
29 Oct 2019 - 9:05 PM  UPDATED 29 Oct 2019 - 9:05 PM

It's almost three months now since when you debuted on Australia's Got Talent, how has your life changed since then?

Tambo: Look, life in general is busy and it’s getting busier!  I think right now I'm just in a position where I'm trying to grow and use the momentum to move forward and not only pursue my music, musical career, but also create programs and launch programs that are geared towards empowering youth.

Have people stopped you in the street? Have you had anybody ask you for selfies?

Yeah, look, there’s a few selfies here and there. And certainly, people come up here and there at the shop and just come up for a yarn, to congratulate and just share their views and their words. It’s something I haven't got used to; it blows me away every time!

It seems like there has been such a big response to your music from all sorts of communities nationwide. Is that really encouraging for you?

Yeah it’s super encouraging! To break into the world music charts in the United States and chart at number two over in the UK and obviously number one in Australia, it’s been out of this world.

And to receive so many messages from not just our community, but all communities and nationalities people from all walks of life, it just blows you away.

I'm a language artist, I'm just singing in my language, that means that there's only a very small group of people that may understand what I'm singing about. But, you know, a lot of people have written in from all over the world just to share what they felt.

I think that's been the most beautiful thing here because us as First Nations people we operate in the spirit, we're spirit-led first.

To have that from all around the world, [and to have] people reach out and go “Wow, I just want to share how you made me feel,” that’s been great.

How did you sort of come to discover music and the music of your people specifically? When did you become a performer?

I grew up doing traditional dance and song in Tamworth. I was lucky to grow up on country and against it just progressed over the years. I moved away and finished my degree in social work, but I always wanted to do something that was cultural, culturally related.  It was a celebration of who I am and where I come from.

Why is it significant for you to keep the languages and traditions of your nation alive in this way?

I've always been passionate about culture, my identity, where I come from, and to be in a position now to celebrate that and infuse language with current beats and rhythms and sounds, it's just really exciting for me.

I never really sort of set out as such to be in this position. I just set out to want to share culture and keep culture live and learn as much about me and my identity as possible. It's led me here, and I certainly feel blessed.

So after performing to this massive TV audience of millions, you're now going to be doing your first live tour, playing at venues like the Gasometer in Melbourne and Oxford Art Factory in Sydney. Are you looking forward to getting on the road?

It's exciting and it's daunting, daunting all in the one! It’s my first live show, people were buying tickets to come to see me, there's going to be some great supports that I've got on board which I think people will be really excited about but you're a bit nervous because you don't know who's going to come.

You sort of play those scenarios in your head - “I hope mob actually rock up! I hope people rock up!”

There's also the excitement, playing your first live shows and doing your first tour. I'm really excited to be stepping out and, you know, sharing my music and journey with those that turn up.

Do you have any advice for any other artists who are in your position, young Indigenous artists who are hoping to break into the music industry?

It's cliché, but honestly, my advice would be ‘don't let the voice of fear govern you’. And if you've got a vision or passion for music, whatever it is in life you want to do, don't let that little voice of fear hold you back.

The more that you can break through that voice and just keep walking and believing in your journey, the more doors will open for you.