A fierce musical tribute to Australia’s indigenous matriarchy
Australia’s latest hip hop superstar calls out oppression and offers hope for the country’s indigenous women.
Before she adopted the name BARKAA and released her debut single in March 2020, Chloe Quayle’s life was sadly familiar amongst Australia’s indigenous community.
She was only in her mid-twenties but she was already caught up in a cycle of drug addiction, incarceration and homelessness.
She had her music.
She recorded songs on her phone and was rapping in street battles in Sydney’s Blacktown.
But she says she was just re-traumatising myself, rapping about what was wrong with her life, normalising the grief.
It was during her last stint inside, when her son was born in prison, that she realised that her music didn’t have to be that way.
‘I knew I was a strong Black woman. I just had to get it out. How can I be true to myself and heal?’
The result was ‘For My Tittas’ – For My Sisters – a debut single that is angry and confronting but uplifting and empowering as well.
The song celebrates First Nation women and is driven by her matriarchal upbringing.
BARKAA is convinced that indigenous women in Australia need to confront the injustices of the past (and present) and call upon the power of their ancestors.
Jimblah, arguably Australia’s most respected indigenous hip hop artist described the songs as ‘Blak greatness’.
The song has resonated with women from all walks of life in Australia.
‘I knew the song would powerful for the mob,’ BARKAA says. ‘But the impact has been so much more powerful than I thought it would be.’
Main image: Artwork for the single of ‘For My Tittas’ by BARKAA (© BARKAA)