TEN-YEAR-OLD Perth rap sensation Inkabee and cult artist Mo’Ju are some of the amazing acts performing at Yagan Square as part of this year’s Boorloo Heritage Festival.
Now in its 13th year, the Festival shines a light on Perth’s diverse heritage including the Whadjuk Nyoongar peoples of Boorloo.
Held throughout April, it features 90 family-friendly events including walks, talks, workshops and live music.
The Yagan Square concert includes talented local artists Optamus and Joshua “Flewnt MC” Eggington, an award winning Noongar rapper from Perth.
Flewnt burst on to the scene with his breakthrough single Kya Kyana (WAM song of the year 2018) – a roaring Noongar anthem about the history of his family, culture and people.
With a family legacy rooted in activism, Flewnt uses hip hop to articulate a powerful, positive and uplifting message.
He continues to tear up the Boorloo music scene with his live performances and engages with youth through activism and public speaking.
Scott Griffiths aka Optamus is one of the Perth’s most successful hip hop artists. He is MC of the Perth-based Australian hip-hop group Downsyde and a member of WA’s Syllabolix Crew.
Headlining the concert will be Mo’Ju, whose 2018 album Native Tongue was nominated for three ARIA awards including breakthrough artist.
They have toured with both national and international artists, and recently performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for WorldPride.
Mo’Ju draws on their rich cultural roots – their father is Filipino and mother is of Wiradjuri and European heritage – to create highly original, genre-defying music that flirts with multiple styles including pop, funk and soul.
“I have definitely explored my culture and heritage through my music, as any artist seeks to understand themselves and the world they are in through their art,” Mo’Ju says. “I’m not out here trying to make strictly ‘cultural music’. My culture is just part of what I carry with me into any situation. I am trying to make music that speaks to the current global culture that we all live in.”
Inspired by a wide range of artists including Billie Holiday, SAULT, Frank Ocean, Gabriel Garzon-Montano and Emma Donovan, Mo’Ju will be performing tracks from their new album Oro, Plata, Mata as well as some old favourites at Yagan Square.
“Always love coming to Perth – my last couple of trips there was to support the Hilltop Hoods,” Mo’Ju says. “Back in 2019 and again in 2022 as a member of A.B. Original. They were incredible shows. Great crowds, we had the best time.”
Also on the bill is 10-year-old Ethan Egginton, aka Inkabee, a young Noongar Wongi rapper from Perth who is making waves in the Australian music scene.
Born and raised in Kwinana, the talented youngster recently released his debut single Beat The Odds.
Drawing on his Indigenous heritage, Inkabee’s music explores themes of resilience, empowerment and cultural identity. His music is a reflection of being a young Noongar Wongi artist growing up in Australia.
The Yagan Square Amphitheatre concert is on Saturday April 15 6pm-9.30pm. Tix at eventbrite.com and for more info on the Boorloo Heritage Festival see visitperth.com.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK