Musicians championing indigenous languages
According to the United Nations, optimistic estimates suggest that at least half of today’s over 7,000 spoken languages will be extinct or seriously endangered by the end of this century.
2022 sees the start of the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages, drawing global attention to the critical situation faced by many languages and advocating for their preservation and promotion.
One of the people championing first nation languages is Clint Bracknell. He’s a musician, singer and songmaker, and releases his music under his Noongar name, Maatakitj. Clint is also a Professor of Indigenous Languages in Australia. Clint has teamed up with multi–ARIA Award winning dance producer Paul Mac to release an album sung in Noongar, called Noongar Wonderland’.
Renata Flores has been described as “Peru’s queen of Quechua rap,” combining trap, hip-hop, and electronic influences with Andean instruments. When she was only 14 her Quechua cover of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, got over one million views. Now writing her own songs in Quechua, she uses this urban music to teach young people this ancient language. Renata told our reporter Constanza Hola about her passion for her language.
Singer-songwriter Cina Soul is from Accra, Ghana and performs in Ga. Her songs are infused with Highlife, Soul and R&B. Although Ga was originally spoken in the Ghanaian capital, now languages such as Twi have taken over the cultural scene. Cina tells Tina Daheley how she’s been bringing the Ga language and culture back to the mainstream.
Julie Fowlis is an award winning folk singer who grew up on the Scottish outer Hebridean island of North Uist. She’s a leading exponent for the Scots Gaelic language and traditions, thanks to performances around the world, and even on the soundtrack of Disney Pixar’s film, Brave.
Producers: Andrea Kidd and Kevin Satizabal Carrascal
(Photo: Clint Bracknel. Credit: Jayga Ringrose)