FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MEDIA RELEASE
The latest single by Torres Strait hip hop artist Mau Power aptly demonstrates everything that this impressive musician’s music is all about. Titled Freedom, it features iconic Indigenous artist Archie Roach and is set to become an anthem for not only Indigenous Australia, but also anyone who acknowledges the importance of self-empowerment and freedom in today’s society. It harks back to Mau Power’s heartland – Thursday Island – and his own journey into finding himself and establishing his music career. Freedom is a song with a social conscience, and one with a message that crosses cultures, genres and generations. When music historians look back on the local scene, Freedom will be one of those songs that earmark a special time in Australian music.
For Mau Power, penning Freedom was something of a natural progression in his self-discovery as a musician. “The inspiration for Freedom came from listening to the music of the pioneers that laid the foundation for the Indigenous music industry,” he says. “The catalyst was my personal journey of change and transformation. I was looking to write a song that represented my journey to self-empowerment and freedom, in the process releasing all the chains and the stigma that often dictates what an Indigenous Torres Strait man is perceived to be.”
When it came to writing Freedom, Mau Power had Archie Roach in mind well before he spoke to him about the track. He says it was an absolute honour to have a musical icon such as Archie feature on the track. “When I wrote the chorus and bridge, it was done with his vocals in mind,” he says. “I performed on a set before Archie in 2012 for the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival and when he took the stage he gave me a shout out. I was humbled by this and it was there when I said I would like to do a collaboration with him. Freedom was in development shortly after that.”
Recording the track, Mau Power drew from personal experiences to guide the lyrical direction. “The recording process was more emotional than most of the other tracks,” he says. “I had to be in a mind state where I could draw on deep emotions and record it with an energy that the essence of the theme could be heard and felt in the music. By the end of the track, I felt emotionally drained but uplifted with the performance.”
The acclaimed hip hop musician hopes Freedom resonates with people, making them think and feel empowered by the notion of self-change. “There is power in understanding that I control my own destiny and I can make a change for the better in my own kingdom,” he says. “We can all enjoy this. When I speak of freedom, it is acknowledging the struggles and the journeys of the past, but it is also speaking of the emancipation from mental slavery. I believe it can make a difference and change people’s perception in thinking, just as it did mine, and can provide a powerful affirmation of power of self-belief.”
Heralding from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, Mau Power [aka Patrick Mau] was drawn to two cultures – Indigenous and hip hop. As one of the first rappers to ever tour from the Northern region, has is rapidly earning acclaim from his impressive live shows and intimately honest songwriting. He recorded his first song when he was 17 in Brisbane while attending the University of Southern Queensland. Shortly after this time, he was incarcerated – it was this that turned his life around and made him focus 100 per cent on his music. The song leaked its way to the Islands while he was in prison and Mau Power’s music started to earn notoriety. Embracing his freedom when out of prison, this impressive musician knew the direction he wanted to take his life, and the new single Freedom from his new long player The Show Will Go On is a perfect representation of that.
“While incarcerated I had time to reflect and I put a microscope on my life and the journey to that point,” he says. “I saw that music was my escape, my inspiration and the drive that kept me going, in particular hip hop music. I didn’t want this [incarceration] to be my legacy. In communities where I come from, men and the status of toughness are often defined by these events. I was adamant that it wasn’t going to be my story. My story will be one of success after incarceration. I wanted my passion to be my career, so I made a conscious decision that I would commit my life to music and storytelling, no matter what it would take.”
Mau Power’s single Freedom featuring Archie Roach is released to radio on Friday 3rd October 2014. His album The Show Will Go On is out now.