Budjerah is still in some sense of bewilderment. Days before his set at The Great Escape in Brighton, he revealed to the world that he was the latest act to feature on a remix of ‘2step’ by Ed Sheeran, joining a globe-trotting cast of artists like rapper Lil Baby and Ukrainian band Antytila. He’s still “pinching myself”, he said on Twitter.
“I don’t really have a clue how it came about. It was shocking that he even said my name right for the ARIA Award [Budjerah won Breakthrough Artist at the 2021 ceremony]. There’s so many other great Australian artists he could have got… he could have got Kid Laroi or Sia, but he picked me.”
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Fingal Head, Australia and of Bundjalung descent, said that the process of working with a mega-name like Sheeran stretched his skill set. “I think I wrote three different verses: the first one was like how I’d usually do it, with lots of harmonies. I made it really pretty and with some drawn-out singing, and when I was learning how to sing, that’s what I did” he said.
“I did it that way, but the way he does his verses it’s very fast and like a rap, so they came back to us and asked me if I could just pick up the pace a little bit. I had to try and figure out how to do me and do me in a rapper way – I think it was good because it really expanded my skills with my voice.”
Watch the full interview with Budjerah at The Great Escape above