Feature: Tilly Tjala Thomas – Ngana Nyunyi

Hailing from the Fleurieu Peninsula, emerging songwriter Tilly Tjala Thomas has been writing and performing her own songs around Adelaide since the age of 11. This year has seen Tilly complete her final year of high school, electing to undertake a creative mentorship with Memphis LK as her major school project. As premiered last night on triple j’s Good NightsTilly Tjala Thomas releases her new single ‘Ngana Nyunyi’. 

The music video for single ‘Ngana Nyunyi’ directed by Larrakia artist and producer Jimblah, was filmed on Nukunu country in the Southern Flinders and tells the storyline of the song. Tilly states “It started as a game that my dad would use to help my little sister and I learn Nukunu language.” She continues “On long drives Dad would ask, ‘Ngana Nyunyi (what’s that?)’ and we’d reply ‘Nyunyi kulpi/yirta/thartu (that’s a cloud/bird/hill)’.

Tilly’s father would use the exercise as a way to connect his daughters to their culture whilst also instilling a sense of pride and appreciation for her Nukunu heritage that is ever-present throughout her work.

Ngana Nyuni is out now through Part Time Records.

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