Singer/songwriter Paddy McHugh has teamed up with First Nations broadcaster Dan Rennie for a new single, ‘Can You Hear Us?’. The song also features contributions from First Nations musician Glenn Skuthorpe and vocalist Pauline Maudy.
‘Can You Hear Us?’ highlights the deaths of Indigenous people in custody, in light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests around the nation.
All proceeds from the song will go to Sisters Inside, a Queensland-based First Nations organisation aiding disadvantaged women and children.
An accompanying music video was released with the single, featuring a compilation of Black Lives Matter protest footage around Australia. Watch the powerful visual below:
The song prominently incorporates the names of the deceased in its lyrics. Per a press release, McHugh and Rennie sought permission from families of the deceased to use the names of their loved ones in the track.
The pair set out to contact 54 families in a “challenging yet immensely rewarding journey”, with the aid of friends, journalists, lawyers and community members.
Talking to these families gave McHugh and Rennie “insight into the significance of their individual searches for justice and closure”. The pair were met with overwhelming and unanimous support.
McHugh and Rennie had been working on the song for several months, prior to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Worldwide protests inflamed their efforts to finish the song, which they now add to the chorus of voices supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.