"I don't fit the category of Aussie" - indigenous rap artist

By Taroi Black

An Australian indigenous rapper has raised concerns over the unfair treatment of indigenous musicians in the industry. 

Geoffrey Glen is attending the Ethno New Zealand music workshop at Hoani Waititi Marae.  

Glen says the initiative provides him more opportunities than his own country. 

"I don't fit the category of 'Aussie', 'Australian', but I guess you can't get more Aussie than me because I'm indigenous.

"In the hip hop world a lot of people exclude indigenous artists because we're not the white Australian rapper."

Glen grew up in Queensland and, like many rappers, the music he makes is a reflection of his upbringing.

In 2013 a video of Glen freestyling on a train went viral on social media, attracting over a million hits.   It was his breakthrough into the music industry. 

This year at Ethno NZ he has collaborated with Jaru Slabb, an Australian singer, to create a music piece for the festival. 

"The song is about everybody having their dream together because, singly, we all have a dream but it's just not as big as what it could be together."

About Ethno New Zealand:

Ethno NZ describes itself as "a marae-based programme that provides an opportunity for people from across the globe to come together and engage through music in a manner that is characterised by respect, generosity and openness."

Ethno New Zealand 2019 (January 18th -28th) includes artists from New Zealand, Chile, India, Norway, Solomon Islands, Aboriginal Australians, Iran and more.