Q&A Scene: Kutcha Edwards


Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
The tour is funded by Arts Victoria to support performers playing at new and exciting venues and to new audiences. I thought to myself if prisons would be considered new venues, and not to be disrespectful, inmates being new audiences, we could apply and low and behold we were successful with the grant.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Kangaroo Stew and Damper, because I’m Aboriginal, Mutti Mutti.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?
‘Is This What We Deserve’ because it poses a question with the audience deciding the answer.

Any on the road anecdotes?
I remember travelling with our band Black Fire and driving from Townsville to Mt Isa in a 20 seater bus. We got around 200kms from Mt Isa, it was getting just on dusk, when next minute we were having to shunt wild bullocks off the road. There were no fences up that way. We went on to write a song called Suicide Road which was included on our album ‘At Time to Dream’.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
My family, my people and country.

What’s next for you?
I will continue the continuum, singing my Songline.

What’s your scene?
Any scene that I’m in.

About Kutcha Edwards

Kutcha Edwards, renowned singer and songwriter, alongside comedian Shiralee Hood, have created an extraordinarily unique entertainment experience. Fusing music, spoken word and comedy the Inside/Outside Prison show will bring together regional communities for a performance of songs and stories from Kutcha, Shiralee and the inmates within the prison system.

Kutcha and Shiralee, accompanied by Dan Fox and Tom Lynch, create a connection between the worlds inside and outside of prison while giving a voice to the voiceless. The performance follows workshops and concerts staged within Victorian regional prisons where Kutcha and Shiralee have for many years been presenters in the acclaimed and award winning ‘Beyond the Bars’ project. ‘Beyond the Bars’ are live-to-air radio broadcasts from within prisons and is now in its 14th year. The program was recognised in 2004 with a Human Rights Award and the ‘Inside/Outside Tour’ is designed to complement and extend the benefits of the project for all those involved including local communities. A CD of last years’ broadcasts will be launched during the show.

The Inside/Outside Prison Tour is a show featuring Kutcha’s music and songs and MC’d by Shiralee. Tales woven into the fabric of the evening’s performance will enlighten and inform those with the privileges of freedom to glean an understanding of the dilemmas and challenges suffered by the incarcerated as well as the released. Through songs, stories and a whole lot of blakfella comedy, Kutcha and Shiralee break through the barriers and a few prison walls to share with their audience some of the experiences  from life on the inside of prison.

Kutcha Edwards and Shiralee Hood are highly respected artists, skilled and experienced at community engagement, who have developed a profound understanding of the need for cultural connection to address some of the ways of thinking and behaviour (on the inside and the outside) that has seen Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples become the most highly incarcerated people in the world.

Kutcha is a multi-talented Mutti Mutti / Yorta Yorta / Boonwurrung / Wotjobaluk / Dja Dja Wurrung man from Balranald, New South Wales. During the course of his remarkable life, Kutcha’s music and community work have seen him awarded the NAIDOC National Indigenous Person of the Year and a Deadly Male Artist of the Year. Kutcha’s music echoes themes of hope, resilience, redemption and joy. A leading voice of the Stolen Generations, Kutcha explains, “music is not what I do; it is who I am”.

Shiralee is Australia’s #1 female Aboriginal comedian. Winner of Deadly Funny 2009 and nominated for a 2012 VIPA Award, Shiralee has been rocking audiences throughout Oz with her comedy style. From surviving Canberra fires to living with the Tent Embassy sacred fire Shiralee’s outrageously witty account of events will ignite your passion.

On Thursday 30th April Kutcha Edwards & Shiralee Hood perform Inside/Outside Prison Tour 2015 at The Bridge Hotel Castlemaine from 8pm. Entry is $10.

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