Up-and-coming female musicians in the Northern Territory are using songs to keep their culture and language alive.

26 April 2019

Up-and-coming female musicians in the Northern Territory are using songs to keep their culture and language alive.

Through a unique development program called Desert Divas these artists are given skills, mentoring and the opportunity to record a song with award-winning producer Anna Laverty.

Presented by MusicNT, which is supported by the Department's Indigenous Languages and Arts program, the Desert Divas is a platform for Aboriginal women to showcase their music and talent.

They tour festivals across the Northern Territory uncovering talent and providing enriching experiences for both performers and mentors. The musicians have recently released a second album, Desert Divas Volume II.

The album features eight rising stars including Mandy Garling (Darwin), Kiriz Oliver (Darwin), Shannen Rae Cubis aka Shanaray (Darwin), Eleanor Dixon (Barkly), Jillian Moody (Barkly), Bronwyn Stuart (Alice Springs), Cassandra Williams (Alice Springs), and Rita Tomlins (Alice Springs).

Rita told NITV that it was a great experience being mentored by a Grammy award-winning artist.

'My mentor Nai Palm has been so down to earth, so real and I just feel lucky to have worked with her. I feel so privileged to be a part of the Desert Divas program. I just want to do music! I hope to release an album in the near future and I'm inspired to learn the flute,' Rita said.

'I've never had a musical duckling before,' mentor Nai said. 'A lot of her skills are naturally intuitive and it really didn't take a whole lot of pushing to inspire her to blossom into a receptive student and mega super star. This whole experience has been like finding another sector of my family.'

Find out more