At only 14 years old, Indigo Ellis is already finding a future for West Australian music
Her debut single Home - released last year - talks about finding a connection with lost family, and it's only the start.
Indigo Ellis is the type of musician who initially blows you away; their vocal carrying such strength and power that it feels almost-healing to listen to. She's also the type of artist that makes you think "what the hell was I doing when I was her age?", her youth being not the talking point of her prowess, but something that makes it - and the messages she shares through her music - all the more powerful, reflective of someone in-touch with her surroundings and the greater world around here, especially as an Indigenous Australian.
As a primary school student, Indigo was quick to take the centre stage. In her later years as a primary school student, she'd study throughout the day and play shows on the weekends and through the holidays; balancing a schedule of musical performances at Perth venues and public spaces with her performing arts career, where she blossomed as an edition to West Australian casts pretty soon after her entrance.
Then, last year - as a 13-year-old - she made a grand entrance with music of her own, with her debut single Home being a show-stopping debut that didn't just capture the attention of those she saw every weekday at school, but those in national news networks, and the judges of some of West Australia's most esteemed musical awards.
It's a single that grabs you from the get-go, with Indigo Ellis' vocal feeling almost-otherworldy as it dances amongst a stirring piano instrumental that really emphasises the thick-cut emotion of Indigo's voice, and how every ounce of her being is drained into a single amongst the year's most personal and intimate. It's so, so, so special - an outpouring of empowering freedom as she sings "I am strong, I am proud," with a presence that will leave you covered with goosebumps, feeling just as in-touch with yourself as you feel like she is with herself.
The song is sung jointly in English and Noongar language, exploring her connection to Noongar Nunga culture and the lost pieces of the puzzle that comes from her family's background with the stolen generation, and the parts of her culture and community she's lost in the process. "Ngany nidja / Moorditjabiny / Ngany koorlinywa / Karlak koorl," she sings in the song's chorus, translating to "I'm here / Becoming stronger / I'm coming / Coming home to the campfire."
It's her attempt to reach out to the community she's lost due to the stolen generation; her attempt to reach out and reconnect with those she hasn't met so she can get a better understanding of herself, her community, her family, and her culture. It does so through the power of music, and the art which can travel throughout the community and close-knit families with the hope of eventually reaching someone.
Home has been quick to emphasise Indigo Ellis as a face of West Australia's musical next generation, too. She won two NAIDOC Music Awards in 2019 for the single, and was the most-nominated artist at this year's WAM Song of the Year Awards, taking out two of them on the night.
It's only the start too, with plenty more to come on the way. In the meantime, however, take a dive into Home below, and join us in celebrating one of Perth's most incredible, promising musicians before she really takes off.
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