Speakers Profile - Stiff Gins










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Stiff Gins are one of Australia's most well known and loved indigenous acts.

On the verge of their next album release, Stiff Gins Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs have much to celebrate. 18 years ago, their moniker was reclamation of an offensive reference to Aboriginal women, a banner to guide their music in the direction of strength and pride. Three albums and countless breathtaking shows later, the name has become synonymous with musical excellence.

They have travelled the world, received prestigious awards, and created a loyal fan base with their heartfelt songs and emotive performances. They’ve performed in the Middle East and remote communities across Australia, and developed a musical friendship that has transformed them both. Now, with their latest album Wind & Water, they have perfected a sound that honours the raw power of their voices and their history while leading them firmly into the future of Australian music.

‘Wind & Water knew what it was long before we did,’ says Nardi, ‘it was just waiting for us to catch up! ’ Kaleena continues; ‘When we started the album, I think we were still working out who we are as musicians and as people. The cycle of life was such a part of this recording that the album itself became an ending and a beginning. In the process, we found our strength and ourselves. We developed a lot more confidence, and the songs really reflect that’.

From the radiance of Yandool, a welcome sung in the traditional language of Kaleena’s people (Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta), through the shimmering pop sensibilities of the first single Diamonds on the Water, to the celebratory closing River Song, each of the eleven tracks on Wind & Water capture moments and turning points in the women’s lives. Their trademark harmonies still shine, but they’re met with sophistication in their songwriting that can only be found after a decade of making music together.

Wind & Water is also the first full artist album release for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and run label Gadigal Music, created to present the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary music from across Australia.