Introducing Gumbaynggirr artist Tasman Keith and his new single, My Pelopolees
The powerful single speaks on personal triumph and overcoming the odds that Aboriginal people face in today’s society.
There's an incredible amount of impactful and powerful music coming from Australian indigenous musicians, whether it's in hip-hop through artists like Baker Boy and Emily Wurramara or on the other side of the spectrum, artists like Kardajala Kirridarra, who work with more dance-focused sound. Gumbaynggirr artist Tasman Keith is a musician more-so in the former category, and his latest single, My Pelopolees, is the perfect example of why he's an important newcomer to the Australian hip-hop world. In addition to being an incredible single that combines the world of traditional hip-hop with R&B and funk, My Pelopolees is an ode to his grandfather William Jarrett (better known as Billy Jack) and uncle Mark Ballangarry (Uncle Spits). "Uncle Spits originally coined the term ‘Pelopolees’ (meaning people) long before the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until then that my Grandfather pulled inspiration from the word and recorded a song, which told Uncle Spits’ story," he says on the single. "Sadly, Uncle Spits passed away in 2016 and in 2017, I began to write my version of the song, now titling it My Pelopolees."
Check out the single below, and get to know Tasman Keith and his great new single a little better below that:
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Tasman Keith, a Gumbaynggirr man from Bowraville, with a dope new single out called My Pelopolees.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I don't necessarily like to box myself in as I'm always down to experiment with music, which will be shown as the year rolls out. But if I had to put the vibe with my current single onto paper it would be Hip-Hop and Trap mixed with some mission slang.
What are your production and writing processes like?
It all depends on the song itself as each process is different and ideas can come along at any time. For a majority of the time I like to do it with a minimum amount of people in the room, and really limit it to who is involved in the song and keep it to who is really there to focus and remain switched on.
If its a room full of other artists or something for a feature, I’m always writing to better my competition so I enjoy that push. But it can really happen at any time, sometimes I may just jump in and freestyle the first couple of takes, others I may sit and write. Either way, it comes along I always make sure it's as close as I can get it to being perfected by the time its ready.
Can you tell us about your new single, My Pelopolees?
My Pelopolees in its rawest form is simply an ode to my Grandfather Billy Jack (William Keith Jarrett) and my uncle Spits (Mark Ballangary). It introduces Bowraville slang in the form of ‘Pelopolees’ which simply means people, whilst also speaking on a personal triumph and overcoming the odds that Aboriginal people face in society, and the fact that even after we’ve passed our spirits live on throughout our communities, I like to believe that this single has continued to do that for Uncle Spits and will for myself.
Any shows coming up?
Currently we are rolling out the single My Pelopolees which will then further into the overall project it is from, so once I have gotten out of that zone I believe we are definitely going to look at hitting a few cities in the near future, but as of now there is one coming up at the Oxford Art Factory with Rapaport and Dawn Laird on the 28th of July.
What’s the rest of the year have in store for you?
Firstly seeing My Pelopolees do its thing with the film clip and overall song being out, then basically rolling out the rest of this dope project that myself and James Mangohig have executive produced, with Nooky on production as well. Definitely more shows and always working on new music.
Where can we find more of your music?
If you want my old mixtapes, they can be found being played in mission whips in Bowraville, but as for my new music it is on all streaming platforms, e.g. Spotify and Apple Music. Youtube, Soundcloud, Basically everywhere music can be found these days.
Follow Tasman Keith: FACEBOOK