In the vibrant world of Australian music, a fresh collective known as 3% is making waves with their unique sound and a powerful mission. This remarkable trio, composed of talented artists Nooky, Dallas Woods, and Angus Field, is on a quest to bring First Nations voices to the forefront of the industry.
This Blak collective, unapologetically proud of their heritage and culture, is breaking new ground in the Australian music scene. The name “3%” carries a deep meaning – it signifies the 3% of Aboriginal people who survived and persisted against all odds. For 3%, it’s a reminder of their strength and resilience.
Nooky, a gifted rapper and the host of Triple J’s Blak Out, alongside the formidable Noongar MC and rapper Dallas Woods and Gumbaynggirr singer-songwriter Angus Field, are forging a path of unity, empowerment, and musical excellence.
The origins of 3% date back to 2022 when these artists came together in the studio. What emerged was something extraordinary, music that resonated deeply and authentically with the essence of Blak Country. According to Nooky, the energy in those sessions was undeniable, and the music they created was some of the best they had ever made.
The chemistry between them was undeniable, lifting each other up and rekindling their love for music. As Nooky explained, “For me, maybe for Dallas as well, it brought back a bit of the fun in music, brought back some of the love. And we made good music, music that was enriching for the soul.”
But 3% isn’t just a musical collective; it’s a family. These artists have created a tight-knit group that shares a profound sense of unity and purpose. Dallas emphasized that it’s about having fun, being authentic, and telling their stories from a place of experience and enjoyment.
Angus chimed in, highlighting the significance of their collaboration and how it has allowed them to access a part of themselves that they hadn’t tapped into for some time. He acknowledged the importance of writing music for their people, for each other, and for the broader Indigenous community.
3% is not just making music; they are using their art to convey a powerful message. Their debut single, “Our People,” serves as a prime example. This anthemic track, featuring a sample borrowed from The Presets’ iconic “My People,” encapsulates a sense of history, resilience, and cultural significance.
“Our People” addresses ongoing issues affecting Indigenous communities, from youth incarceration to deaths in custody. It tells stories of oppression, resistance, and perseverance in a way that only First Nations artists can deliver.
Nooky underlined the importance of this track, saying, “We’ve got a song called ‘Land Back’ that features Say True God? It’s a banger! There’s another called ‘Higher,’ which is about being Blak men, being vulnerable, and finding hope in the darkness. When we lose hope, we lose the fight.”
3% is on a mission to showcase the incredible talent of Blak artists from every corner of Australia. Nooky explained that their project is about empowering their people and leading with strength, love, and pride. It’s not just about making music; it’s about uplifting their people, their culture, and themselves.
Nooky also emphasized the need for more Blak representation in the music industry. He believes that the time for the Blak takeover is now, and the collective efforts of Blak artists are beginning to bear fruit. More Blak artists are gracing festival line-ups, receiving radio airplay, and climbing the playlists.
The members of 3% are leading the way for a new generation of First Nations artists. Their music is a vessel for cultural storytelling, knowledge sharing, and authentic representation. They want to ensure that young Indigenous artists are nurtured, guided, and encouraged to let their inner warriors awaken when the time is right.
As Dallas aptly put it, “We don’t want to force them to grow up too early, we want them to enjoy being young; but the minute they know that they have to be the warrior they were always meant to be, they need to fight in their way.”
The unity, strength, and pride that 3% brings to the stage are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Their recent debut headline show was a testament to the power of their music and the connection they have with their audience. The room was filled with “their people,” and the energy was electric.
In a heartfelt moment, Chance The Rapper graced their performance, demonstrating his support for 3% and their message. He stands with them, recognizes their talent, and amplifies their voices.
3% is not just a musical group; they are a movement. They are empowering their people, sharing their stories, and pushing for a Blak future in the Australian music scene. Their journey is a testament to the strength of community and culture.
Nooky concluded with a powerful statement: “It’s our time now. If people aren’t going to put us on the top spots, f**k it, we’ll make our own spots, make our own radio stations, our own shows. Done.”
3% is a shining example of what can be achieved when artists come together to make meaningful music and deliver messages of hope, strength, and resilience to their people.
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