Highly respected Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan releases her first solo work today, the powerhouse new track Blak Nation. Download / stream HERE.

Emma explains the premise of song saying, “Lyrically Blak Nation is about a cultural practice called back burning, we make a cool fire to promote regrowth. The ‘cool fire’ is reference to the new generation.

Bringing the Blak Nation to front of this nation, new artists continuing to tell their powerful stories.

That ‘cool fire’ is new generation of Blak voice in Music industry today.

I’m proud of the progress we have made as a nation. Seeing Aboriginal names of Country & People shared.

To see all kinds of people acknowledging traditional places where they live and work. This didn’t happen for my old people and even me growing up, it’s good to see it more now.”

Blak Nation is the first taste of Emma’s debut solo album, set for a 2024 release.

Emma has been touring the country for over 20 years, performing soulful songs, and sharing powerful stories with audiences around the globe.

Emma will take the stage for her headline debut at the Sydney Opera House on its 50th birthday, October 20 and Brunswick Ballroom, Melbourne as part of the Always Live Ballroom Mixtape Series, on December 3. Tickets for both dates are on sale now.

Emma is one of Australia’s most revered voices. She first appeared on the stage with her renowned family band The Donovans, performing church song renditions with her mother Agnes, her five uncles and maternal grandparents Micko and Aileen.

Emma has toured and recorded with artists such as Paul Kelly, The Teskey Brothers, Paul Grabowsky, Spinifex Gum and the late Uncle Archie Roach AC, and Aunty Ruby Hunter. Emma was part of greatly admired Melbourne rhythm combo The Putbacks and the extraordinary Black Arm Band project. Her collaboration with The Putbacks won multiple awards including best Soul/RnB album 2021 (Crossover) and 2022 (Under These Streets) at the AIR Awards and Best Soul, Funk R&B or Gospel Act, Best Group and Best Album for ‘Crossover’ at the 2021 Music Victoria Awards.

On her mother’s side, Emma is part of the famed Donovan family of singers of the Gumbaynggirr people, of what is now known as Northern New South Wales. On her father’s side, Emma is of the Yamatji people, of what is now known as Western Australia.

Emma regularly performs songs in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar traditional languages, and shares stories to provide her audiences with an understanding of Country and community.


Fri 20 October

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Sydney 

With special guest Radical Son. Tickets here.

Sun 3 December 

Always Live Ballroom Mixtape Series

Brunswick Ballroom, Melbourne 

With special guest Pirritu. Tickets here.

“Emma’s voice is everything you’d want in a soul singer. She’s the real deal.” – Wax Poetics

“Donovan can front a well-oiled soul band in her sleep” – Rolling Stone