Exclusive: GRID Series shows the creative process with WA rapper Flewnt
In 2019 GRID, the Grass Roots Indie Development program, took place for another year across numerous locations around the country. Emerging artists were invited to take place in the series which would see them not only learn valuable insight from esteemed mentors, but also have their own song professionally produced, mixed and mastered. Today we are exclusively bringing some insight into the creation of one of these songs with a mini-documentary made during last year’s program.
FLEWNT, the subject of GRID‘s mini-documentary, is a proud Noongar man and rapper living in Perth. In the documentary, he writes a song, ‘Children of the Files’, alongside fellow Perth artist, JAMILLA. No stranger to workshops of this nature, FLEWNT facilitates his own song-writing sessions at high schools and works closely with the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation. FLEWNT has more than a few accolades to his name already, having not only taken out both Best Song and Best Hip Hop Song at the WAM Naidoc Music Awards. He also composed and performed the theme song ‘Yokayi’ for the new Indigenous Footy show on NITV of the same name.
‘Children of the Files’ was professionally produced and recorded by one of GRID’s mentors, Anna Laverty with co-production by JAMILLA. The song itself explores the topic of the first generation of children born from the Stolen Generation. It showcases just how formidable FLEWNT is on the mic, floating over a hard-hitting trap beat while remaining staunch as he earnestly and respectfully tackles the subject matter. With JAMILLA providing heavenly vocals herself, ‘Children of the Files’ explores grief and renewal in a slick, impactful way, so it’s only fitting we get to dive further into the process of how this song came about.
Featuring FLEWNT, JAMILLA, and FLEWNT‘s uncle, Robert Eggington, Director of Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation, the mini-documentary shows insight into not just the creative process behind the song, but effortlessly captures how much it means to FLEWNT to be making music like this, and to his broader community as well.
FLEWNT said, “I feel like these days us young indigenous artists we’re almost like creating new indigenous Song Lines in what we’re doing. That’s what the old songs were, to tell stories, and that’s what we’re doing with our music, so as long as we keep true to that fact, that you’re always trying to educate your people or others in what’s going on with you, your life and your culture, then I think you’re doing the right thing.“
Being held in Western Sydney, South West Brisbane, Outer Perth, and both Outer South East and Deep West Melbourne, GRID’s 2019 mentors included the likes of Ngaiire, Hannah and Tim from Middle Kids, Konstantin Kersting (Tones and I, Mallrat), Emily Wurramara, Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy, Alex Lahey) Ecca Vandal, Allysha Joy, Antonia Gaucci, Beni Bjah, and Anna Laverty. GRID alumni includes Gordon Koang, who has gone onto to win the BIGSOUND Levi’s Music Prize and play Meredith Music Festival and become a critically acclaimed artist in Australia.
Watch the mini-documentary below:
Words by Emma Jones