A radiant fusion of hip hop, brassy tones and uplifting joy, the brand new single Keep Ya Head Up from Wemba-Wemba MC Ridzyray releases today as part of the Singing Our Futures program, The Archie Roach Foundation’s mentoring experience centred around helping First Nations artists on their songwriting and recording journeys. Adding to already released singles from Emma Donovan, Kee’Ahn, Kiwat Kennell and Madi Colville-Walker, the brand new Singing Our Futures Vol.1 EP is set to land on Friday November 17, amalgamating of all of the incredible Singing Our Futures tracks together as one powerful and unified collection. And Ridzyray will launch his single at Workers Club Melbourne on Friday October 20.
Finding Ridzyray teaming up with prolific hip hop artist and drummer DOBBY to bring the brand new single Keep Ya Head Up to life, the end result is nothing short of pure feel-good vibes, and oozing with authenticity. Drawing stylistic inspiration from Kayne, Bob Marley and Tupac as well as a multitude of artists who have left their own indelible influence on Ridzyray throughout his lifetime, Keep Ya Head Up seamlessly blends vulnerable lyrical origins with fresh and enigmatic sonic surrounds – and some long-awaited familial shout outs, as Ridzy elaborates, “I don’t really know how to describe it, music is still such a new thing for me so most of the time I just throw some sounds and words together till I feel good about it so I guess it’s a “feel good sound”. Keep Ya Head Up is kind of like a message and reminder to myself to be proud of the things I’ve over come in life, what I have accomplished and who I am and to not let that self-doubt and negativity consume my brain. And I’m hoping that people can relate. Plus, all the family always ask for a shout out in the songs so I threw in as many as I could at the end there.”
With glittering trumpets, saxophone, trombone, grand piano, synths, guitar, backing vocals, percussion, and Ridzyray himself on lead vocals, Keep Ya Head Up dazzles as a cohesive and exuberant venture, powerfully driving home Ridzyray’s positive message while also celebrating the power of music at its heartfelt core. And for Ridzyray, a talented and eclectic artist who has swiftly earned the moniker as one of Australia’s best kept secrets, the opportunity to work alongside his Singing Our Futures program mentor DOBBY was as effortless as the affable charm on display throughout his brand new track, as Ridzy shares, “The experience was so simple and smooth, I had an idea of what I wanted and shared it with him. It’s like he knew exactly what I wanted and what it needed to bring it to life and next thing I know we had a track there ready to go.”
An all-encompassing artist who writes and self-produces all of his own music, Ridzyray has become renowned in and around the industry for his fresh eclectic style fusion in his music as well as his insatiable positivity. Whether dropping bop after bop or wowing with slick delivery and compelling wordplay, Ridzyray’s latest single releasing as part of Singing Our Futures, the vision of beloved song man and storyteller Archie Roach, is a gleaming extension of Ridzyray’s own creative and personal journey to date, as Ridzy elaborates, “For me, Uncle Archie Roach stands as a symbol of what is possible for indigenous artists, he’s paved the way for so many of us, and I’m honoured to be mentioned in the same sentence. I was always playing sport and was sure that would be what I’d end up doing but injuries led to mental health issues which led to addictions and substance abuse and the only way out of that hole for me seemed to be music. I’m just doing what brings me joy, I feel very, very lucky.”
A meaningful and culturally safe songwriting program that supports emerging First Nations artists to tell their story through songwriting, Singing Our Futures was devised pre-COVID and was one of the leading programs of the Archie Roach Foundation. Led by Candice Lorrae (The Merindas), an established singer-songwriter and music producer with Jawoyn and Torres Strait Islander roots, Singing Our Futures has since evolved into an impactful and ever-growing initiative for emerging artists and storytelling that spans genres and generations, burgeoning in 2023 with the impending release of the anticipated Singing Our Futures Vol.1 EP due out on Friday 17 November.
Bringing together all previous singles unveiled under the Singing Our Future program this year as well as some still to come, this extraordinary upcoming EP includes the spell-binding debut track Take No More, by Kee’ahn and Emma Donovan, the powerful dive into deep connection, Disconnected from Torres Strait Islander artist Kiwat Kennell, as well as the mesmerising ode to home and country via Yinyarr Mulana Winyarr by Yorta Yorta creative Madi Colville-Walker, and pure serenity courtesy of Narrm artist Maylene Yinarr’s This Is For Us.
Keep Ya Head Up is out today via Cooking Vinyl Australia.
The Singing Our Futures Vol.1 EP is due out Friday November 17.
FRI 20 OCT | THE WORKERS CLUB, MELBOURNE | 18+ | TICKETS