Singular Voices: Kee'ahn with Babitha
Singular Voices announces two rising singers for Vivid Sydney in August.
Kee’ahn is a proud Gugu Yalanji, Jirrbal, Zenadh Kes songwoman who ventured from the tropics of Far North Queensland to pursue her dreams in Naarm (Melbourne). Kee’ahn embodies her name, which comes from the Wik people of Cape York (meaning “to dance, to sing, to play”) in her soulful music, weaving lush melodies and words of heartbreak and healing. Kee’ahn calls her music “dreamy soul food” and has made it her mission to heal and connect.
Kee’ahn’s songs resonate with authenticity and empowerment. In her debut year, Kee’ahn has released a succession of dazzling songs; from her soul-drenched debut, ‘Better Things’, to her stunning cover of Moses Sumney’s ‘Man On The Moon’ for RISING Melbourne’s Singles Club. Recent collaborations include the beautiful ‘Sunrise’, with Gamilaroi rapper Kobie Dee and River Boy from the Northern Rivers for, and most recently a collaboration with Dallas Woods’, ‘Stranger’, which premiered on triple j’s Like A Version.
Winner of the Archie Roach Foundation Award 2020, Kee’ahn already has an impressive number of performance credits, featuring at South By Southwest, Homelands, Golden Plains, Splendour, BIGSOUND, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Laneway Festival and Woodford Folk Festival. Kee’ahn will be playing songs from her upcoming debut album, In Full Bloom.
Kee'ahn will be joined on the bill by Babitha. From Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ to Beyoncé's ‘Becky with the good hair’, the archetype of the ‘other woman’ is writ large in songwriting history.
Babitha (think Tabitha with a B), the brainchild of Sydney singer-songwriter Imogen Grist, both embodies and transcends the ‘other woman’ stereotypes, kicking the swinging doors of country music wide open with her rapturously received debut, Through The Light.
Babitha’s alt-country ballads are both languid and loaded, bringing a whip smart turn of phrase and an emotional depth to her stories of longing, heartbreak and betrayal. Her instantly catchy and classic-sounding songs evoke the golden years of AM radio hits, with a bold lyrical stance that is undeniably of our time.
With her powerful voice and consummate stage presence, Babitha breathes new life into the feminine mythologies at the centre of her story, reshaping it into an empowering fragility which resonates with honesty and hard-won hope.
Presented by the City Recital Hall