In difficult times, the courageously creative leader of YT DiNGO, Travers Ross, draws from the wisdom of our First Nations People to deliver a timely message: Wake the F*** Up!
In a cosy wooden room strewn with recording gear, the passionate choreographer shows no sign of letting government restrictions prevent the release of a second EP. Following a prosperous year with the six-song success, ‘Side A’, which included the 2019 GCMA best video winner ‘Shipwrecked’, Travers has just released two bold new singles, with more in the pipeline.
The release of ‘EOTW’ (End of the World), the first tune to feature on the much anticipated ‘Side B’ album, happened to drop during the first week of COVID-19 isolation. The singer laughs at the irony, posting on Facebook: “New theme song for those who didn’t get their toilet paper in time.”
“Some people were really triggered by [‘EOTW’], in good ways, which is what I’m asking for. In the world I live and create in, I would kind of want the world to end in regards to the way we’re doing things as a society and as a system,” Travers tells Blank Gold Coast.
Inspired mostly by stories of the land and its people, Ross spent time in North Queensland communities writing ‘EOTW’ as bushfires ripped through the country. As First Nations knowledge put things into perspective, he couldn’t help but feel triggered.
“Thank goodness I’ve got metal and hip hop, and different ways of releasing it so the aggression has a funnel,” he says.
“You’re able to distort the guitar or make the bass hit a bit harder to allow people to experience those feelings… We need to understand the pain of not being heard now more than ever.”
If you hadn’t guessed, the creation story of ‘WTFU’ has its own unique spin. The track is partially inspired by the artwork of the band’s DJ, Red Belly, who had woven a large black snake from natural materials to represent women of colour being heard and recognised, hence the lyrics: “Let the black woman speak!”
The music video also features the opening poetry and visuals of Indigenous Rights activist, Ruby Wharton. Blended with a mix of chaotic visuals, the finished product will certainly get your attention, to say the least.
“In the lyrics I say everything that needs to be said… I want to see ‘WTFU’ headed towards mainstream, but we’re so red taped with language and everything that it can’t get heard, but it is a dramatic time and it deserves dramatic sayings.”
With an East Coast tour cancelled and performance privileges revoked, Travers focuses on reflection and redefining his goals. With an authentic stylistic approach, the main difference between the two EPs has been “getting to the point,” he says.
“I believe it’s really important that we look within to find our own music, our own sound and our own feels. I understand we’ve been indulged by this other side of the world, but if we can turn inwards, maybe we could do a lot of healing that could’ve been done a long time ago.”
As his eclectic community grows, we can expect to see the likes of more emerging talent featured on the upcoming EP, including Brisbane based hip hop artist Dancing Water. The next release for ‘Side B’, ‘Listen to the First Nations’ will be dropping in a couple of weeks, complete with a video based on a live performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Check out the video for ‘WTFU’ below: