Birdz has made his return today with the searing ‘Bagi-la-m Bargan’, linking up with his cousin Fred Leone.
Released under Briggs‘ label Bad Apples Music, the song is set from the perspective of a young Butchalla man seeing Captain James Cook – the man who spearheaded the invasion of Australia in the 1700s – sail past Kgari, which is now commonly referred to as Fraser Island.
Leone, a Butchulla Song-man and also Birdz’ cousin, sung his entire part of the song in language. The two co-wrote the song alongside Trials.
“While the song itself is character driven, it’s also a family affair and that’s what makes it extra special,” Birdz said of the song in a press statement.
“As well as being cousins, Fred’s like my big brother and mentor, and Trials is like my brother too, so the whole process of writing the song was mad organic and one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had in my career so far.”
The song is being released alongside the NITV documentary Looky Looky, Here Comes Cooky. The documentary is set to air on NITV at 8:30pm tonight (Thursday, August 20), after premiering at the Melbourne International Film Festival earlier this month.
- READ MORE: ‘Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky’: Mo’Ju and Alice Skye on the power of First Nations-led storytelling
“I told Fred about this project and he showed me the Butchulla song. This is how the creative process of ‘Bagi-la-m Bargan’ started,” Birdz said.
“My verses are written from a character perspective of a young Butchulla warrior whose home, people, and overall existence is under threat. Tapping into the mindset of someone preparing for war.
“The dominant narrative of Australian history neglects the fact that there was active Aboriginal resistance against European invasion. The song is inspired by this resistance.”