NEWS

Earlier this year, Buddy Hippi came up with a plan to transform an empty shipping container into a self-contained music studio to serve as an extension of the cultural education and healing services he provides for the youth of Boggabilla.

Creative Director/owner of Winangali Infusion, Buddy spent his teenage years in Boggabilla and has a transformative vision for the youth of the town, especially the First Nations youth.

‘We heard about the great work Winangali Infusion was doing via our mutual friend Sydney rapper and Gomeroi man Kobie Dee.’ Said Chris Hamer-Smith, head of Nakama Arts. ‘Buddy needed some assistance to develop a music program that shares the basics of songwriting, music production and Rap, similar to the Art of Rap program that we have undertaken with Kobie’s assistance in Bourke NSW.’   

The brief matched Nakama Arts’ charter perfectly. Wholly owned and funded by TAG, Nakama Arts exists to ‘assist artists who otherwise might not have opportunity.’  

The request to Nakama Arts was to fund the purchase and renovation of the container and provide the necessary studio equipment including midi keyboards, A&H mixer, QSC speakers, Audio-Technica headphones and microphones, computers, cabling and – don’t sweat it – an aircon! 

The town of Boggabilla lies in the far north of inland New South Wales and has a population of around 1000 with over 50% identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders. Like many other remote Australian towns, this close-knit community bears the weight of isolation and absence of many urban amenities.  

Four years ago, TAG Cares was able to offer support in Boggabilla by supplying and installing an audio system in the community centre. During the process the team became acutely aware of the town’s needs, depletion of services and dearth of activities for the youth which in turn created a sense of boredom leading to destructive behaviour and high crime rates in the town. 

Having once trod his own challenging path, Buddy’s experiences shaped his commitment to steering the youth towards something more positive. His journey is more than a personal one; it is a testament to the redemptive power of cultural wisdom and resilience. 

As a Gomeroi Songman, he embodies the cultural heritage to pass down songs to the next generation, and it is this heritage that he channels as the glue binding the growth of Boggabilla’s youth. 

‘It’s my cultural obligation as a Gomeroi person.’ He says. ‘Our people have been denied the opportunity to heal, learn and understand themselves. We work to actively collaborate and increase awareness and education so we can live alongside a system that is accountable and inclusive. Our mission is to use these ‘edu-cultural’ healing practices to enable self-empowerment and growth.’ 

With Buddy and Kobie both coming from similar communities and with cultural kinship connections to the area there was a clear understanding of how the music program would meet the needs of the youth. Not just as a physical space but a beacon of purpose, offering the youth a canvas to express, learn, and grow through art, music, song, dance, and language.  

Its convenient location means kids can walk to the studio after school and it has already become a vibrant hub for the younger ones to have fun and introduce themselves to the new music equipment and empower from within. 

In addition, a tight knit group of teens has also discovered the studio and found a new sense of purpose. The space has become a creative haven for them and given them a sense of belonging especially after graduating school.  

‘The lads have said that music is now a part of their future and they’re set on what they want to do.’ Said Buddy. ‘Having contributed on their journeys we have a compelling responsibility to support and assist them for as long and as far as their talent and passion takes them. Some of them are at a fork in the road and making hard choices between very different pathways. We need to guide them in a positive direction. That’s really what this is all about, then it’s up to them.’

The emerging Boggabilla rappers are already on the bill of the launch event, scheduled for January 26th, and will be performing Hip-Hop tracks they’ve written for the occasion. There’s a lot of effort and work going on in the studio in preparation, which indicates that one of the studio’s founding concepts is already beginning to bear fruit.  

‘There’s no shortage of skills, passion and capability amongst this community.’ Said Hamer-Smith. ‘Buddy and his team are incredibly positive and talented and their commitment to the next generation as role models, mentors and guides is truly humbling. To have played a small part in helping this vision become a reality is a huge privilege for us.’  

| WINANGALI INFUSION WEBSITE |

We’re stoked to announce that we have Kobie Dee and P.Smurf heading out to Bourke these school holidays to run our Art of Rap Workshop!

When: Tuesday, 3rd of October from 2pm
Where: Men’s Hub on Meek St

Don’t miss this chance to write and record with two of Australia’s most talented rappers.
If you have any questions you can get in touch via info@nakama-arts.com.au.

Happy newest release to Stephen Wilson & Minty (Caleb Sutherland)!

Their new collaboration ‘Gone’ is out today on all digital platforms through Darkwood Studio RLS.
We were fortunate enough to be involved with the release, assisting with mixing and mastering the single at NKA Studio.

| STREAM SONG |

Building is now well underway at our new space in Bourke! This will include a permanent music studio, small barbershop and cafe. The dream is for the space to be community led, run by the community for the community, with everyone welcome.

We’ll be running music workshops with guest mentors and weekly studio sessions for anyone to drop in and get creative – making music and skilling up on music production and recording.
And the barbershop will also provide a space for anyone interested to learn the art of barbering and get a fresh cut themselves.

We’re so excited to see things moving forward! If you have any feedback or ideas don’t hesitate to get in touch via info@nakama-arts.com.au.

GNLCA has been diligently working on his craft in our NKA Studio for the past 18 months – under the guidance of mentor, P.Smurf.

And has now released his debut single ‘Dear Mum’ on August 11th 2023.

Couldn’t be prouder of Gianluca and how far he’s come as an artist, we can’t wait to see this song out there in the world!

Produced by Papertoy (Kobie Dee, Jesswar) and released through our imprint, NKA Recordings.
Cover art by April77 Creative.

| STREAM SONG |

So stoked we were able to help support audio & visual production workshops run by Jimblah aka Blkmpire & Mad Proppa Deadly earlier this year in Moree & Armidale.
The outcome of these workshops again highlights the huge amount of creative talent in these areas and this video is a prime example of that, excited to see what the rest of the year brings. Check out their incredible music video linked below.

Produced by Jimblah
Music video by BLKMPIRE

| MUSIC VIDEO |

Our funding body TAG has recently released a new project, TAG 40-for-40! Chris teamed up with TAG’s director Max and they’ve pooled their donations together to support the South East Block Party, hosted by the legendary Kobie Dee.

ABOUT 40-for-40
In celebration of their 40th Anniversary in 2024, TAG has allocated $100,000 to spread the love to FORTY social/community programs. FORTY $2,500 charitable donations will be made to projects nominated by FORTY of their staff members. The team will spend time with each project and share FORTY stories.

Huge thanks to Amanaki Studios for supplying awesome footage for this video, check out their work at www.amanakistudios.com.
Make sure to keep an eye out for TAG 40-for-40 over the next year!

| WATCH VIDEO | FOLLOW TAG 40-FOR-40 |

We’ve been busy running regular studio sessions for students from Bourke Public School at our space at the Men’s Hub in Bourke.
Recently the kids wrote and recorded their very own song for Reconciliation Week called ‘Shine Your Light’ – with local mentor Stephen Wilson and guest mentor from Sydney, P.Smurf. Bourke Public School also made an awesome music video for the track.

Music credit: Ozi Batla – ‘Put It On Wax’ Instrumental, produced by S & Ro Productions

| STREAM SONG | MUSIC VIDEO |