City Hub

Newtown’s Marcus Corowa opens NAIDOC Week

Marcus Corowa

31-year old singer­/songwriter Marcus Corowa opened the City of Sydney’s NAIDOC in the City event in Hyde Park on Monday, July 7, which marked the beginning of the City’s NAIDOC week celebrations.

Marcus grew up in Bowen, North Queensland, but in 2011 decided to move to Sydney with his girlfriend to pursue his musical career.

“I always loved music growing up but I never really took it seriously,” Mr Corowa said.

“Then one day I decided it was time to think about playing music professionally, so I moved to Sydney to follow my musical dreams.”

“I knew no-one here in Sydney and I had no networks of any kind, so the transition was hard. Life in Sydney is much more fast-paced than I’m used to.”

Mr Corowa moved to St Peters and began volunteering at community events in Redfern such as Family Day at The Block, a family event designed to celebrate Aboriginal culture and the Redfern community.

Redfern based recording label Gadigal Music awarded Mr Corowa one of its four grants for emerging Indigenous Sydney artists in 2011, which allowed him to create his first professional recording.

Mr Corowa’s music is inspired by Aboriginal culture, but he questions the validity of being constantly categorised as a musician based on his Aboriginality.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from my cultural background, of course this is a big part of my music.”

“When I was growing up, music was a big part of our culture. Everyone in my family played an instrument and we sang together all the time. This definitely had an impact on my decision to become a musician. My dad started teaching me guitar when I was six,” Mr Corowa said.

“I am always categorised as an Indigenous musician, which is nice in a way but it can also pigeonhole my music. I am an Indigenous musician, but I am also a professional musician and sometimes it’s hard when the community categorises me based on my heritage alone. I am incredibly proud of my culture but I don’t want everyone to think they can describe my music just by describing my culture,” he said.

“It is very hard to overcome this as an Indigenous musician living in Sydney.”

Mr Corowa said he wants his next album, which he begins recording next week, to allow him to access a mainstream audience. He will be touring the album in September, with a Sydney show to be announced in coming weeks.

Now living on King Street in Newtown, Mr Corowa feels a strong sense of community and feels supported in his musical endeavours.

“There is so much support for music and the arts in Newtown, it all feels so easy here.”

Related Posts