When we say “aboriginal,” it refers to the indigenous people living on the Australian mainland and several of its islands, except those from the Torres Strait Islands. However, the term indigenous Australians refer to both Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.
In a 2016 census, it was found that Indigenous Australians made up 3.3% of Australia’s population. Of them, 91% are Aboriginal, 5% are Torres Strait Islanders, and 4% are both.
Some of these 3.3% you can find below in our list of 10 of the greatest and most famous aboriginal singers. Read on to find out more about these amazing people.
1. The Kid Laroi
It is only fitting to start this list with an amazing yet iconic artist, The Kid Laroi. Born Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard, he is an Australian rapper and singer-songwriter.
Howard was born in 2003 in New South Wales. His mother is of aboriginal descent, making him an aboriginal musician. Having an ancestor who was a Gamilaraay or Kamilaroi man allowed him the chance to choose his artistic name, “Laroi.”
Howard first rose to fame after getting an endorsement from the late rapper Juice WRLD. This allowed Howard the chance to join the international music scene.
Some of his greatest hits include “Go” with Juice WRLD and “Stay” in collaboration with Justin Bieber. The latter garnered him a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist.
2. Emily Wurramara
When speaking of famous aboriginal singers, Emily Wurramara does not miss the list. She is an indigenous singer-songwriter who hails from Groote Eylandt. This is the fourth largest island in Australia.
The indie, pop, blues, rock, and folk musician rose to fame with her “Black Smoke” track in 2016. Wurramara’s music is often soulful. She ensures she speaks more of her indigenous heritage while combining English with the Anindilyakwa language.
Some of her other popular songs include “Black Boy” from Deadly Hearts album, released in 2017. There’s also “Dressing up,” released in 2022, from the ReWiggled album. She is a sensational aboriginal singer ready to take the world by storm.
3. Mitch Tambo
Our next aboriginal singer-songwriter is Mitch Tambo. He is a proud aboriginal Australian of Gamilaraay descent. He credits his mother for encouraging him to embrace the Gamilaraay culture.
Tambo gained popularity after joining and reaching the final stage of Australia’s Got Talent season 9 in 2019. Later, he was signed by Sony Music Australia. It gave him the opportunity to dedicate his time and effort to releasing music rooted in dance, pop, hip-hop, and electronic style.
Some of his most famous songs include “Walanbaa,” “Together,” “Love,” and “Dreamtime Princess.” He was nominated New Talent of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards in 2020.
4. Baker Boy
Up next is Danzal James Baker, professionally known as Baker Boy. He is a Yolngu rapper, artist, dancer, and actor and is one of the most prominent Aboriginal Australian rappers.
Baker mostly incorporates his indigenous language, Yolnju Matha, and English in his music to uplift his culture. His great works include the “Cool as Hell” track released in 2019 and was nominated in the 2019 ARIA awards. His other songs include “Cloud 9” and “Marryuna,” both released in 2017.
In addition, Baker’s talents accorded him the Male Artist of the Year award at the National Dreamtime Awards in 2018. He also won awards at the National Indigenous Music Awards. The following year, he received the Young Australian of the Year award.
Our next aboriginal singer on the list is Curtis Kennedy, whose professional name is Kuren. He is an electronic and trap singer, rapper, and record producer from Sydney, Australia.
Kuren represents aboriginal musicians in the electronic genre music scene. His debut album, Melting Conceptually, came out in 2018.
Some of his most loved singles include “Home” featuring Ben Alessi, “Mastercraft,” and “Never Enough.” Kuren is a believer in making music that captures the youth. No wonder his style and music allowed him to be recognized as an amazing aboriginal musician.
Musicians in love with their heritage often portray their culture in their music. This applies to Neil Morris, professionally known as Drmngnow. This name is a contraction of the phrase “dreaming now.”
He is a proud Yorta Yorta-Kaieltheban singer, rapper, dancer, and artist based in Australia. In addition, he is known for music with unfiltered emotion and aspects of political culture as its message.
Some of his best tracks yet include “Australia Does Not Exist,” “Indigenous Land,” and “Get Back to the land.” Based on the titles, we can assume that these tracks speak about his motherland and culture to educate and entertain the masses.
7. A.B. Original
Two talented artists of indigenous descent came together to form A.B. Original. This is an Australian hip-hop duo comprising rappers Adam Briggs and Trials (Daniel Rankine), who doubles up as a record producer. Trials is a Ngarrindjeri, while Briggs is a Yorta Yorta man.
They founded A.B. Original in 2016 and have since released music meant to inform and inspire their fans. Some of their hit songs include “2 Black 2 Strong” and “Dead in a Minute.” The latter featured Australian singer Caiti Baker from the Reclaim Australia Album.
The album won several AIR Awards, including Best Independent Album and Best Independent Hip Hop-Urban Album in 2017.
8. Kobie Dee
Up next is Kobie Dee, a Gomeroi artist from Maroubra, South Sydney. His artistry stems from his talent for storytelling. This allows him to make hit songs that resonate with the youth.
Having performed alongside musicians including Nooky, Jessica Mauboy, and Briggs, Dee has grown exponentially in his craft.
Apart from music, Dee is also committed to community outreach to inspire his fellow generations.
If you want to listen to some cool music, consider his single, “Role Models,” to get you going with your day. Dee is truly a legendary artist in the making. He is one of the new Australian hip-hop artists one should look out for.
9. Jessica Mauboy
We are almost at the end of our list, and this won’t be complete without Jessica Mauboy. She was born in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, Australia.
The year 2006 was the time when she was runner-up in the fourth season of Australian Idol. From then on, opportunities poured in. She was signed up with Sony Music Australia and released a live album of all her performances in the Idol. She was also a member of the group Young Divas in 2007.
Mauboy released her debut album, Been Waiting, in 2008, and this became the second highest-selling album of 2009. It included the song “Burn,” her first #1 single.
She released four albums in total and songs that were top 10 hits. These include “Never Be the Same” and “Can I Get a Moment?”
10. Alice Skye
Last but not least is Alice Skye, a Wergaia woman from Horsham, making her an aboriginal Australian.
Skye is a singer and songwriter with well-known songs. These include “60% Sugar” and “Friends with feelings” from her 2017 album Friends with Feelings. Touring nationally with Emily Wurramara allowed her to perfect her craft exponentially.
She is also a recipient of a few iconic awards, such as the Emerging Artist Award at the Australian Music Awards in 2019. She also won the Best Pop Act in 2021 at the Music Victoria Awards.
Summing Up Our List Of Great Aboriginal Singers
The list above is proof that no matter what race you come from, music has a place for you. It does not discriminate between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.
These singers proved that if you have talent, you’ll go places. That success is within your reach.
We hope that you learned something valuable from our article today. Hopefully. the songs above showed you a culture and heritage that may be different from yours but deserve to be celebrated.