Deline Briscoe launches debut album, Wawu.

Yalanji woman of song, Deline Briscoe has launched her stunning debut album, Wawu.
Wawu—a Yalanji word encompassing the concepts of spirit, heart, love and connections between people & land.


Deline hails from Gugu Yalanji country in the Daintree rainforest.  Her career started at the age of 17 with the Briscoe Sisters in Cairns. She soon established herself as one of Australia’s finest indigenous female singers. For the past 10 years she has been touring the world as a principal artist with the Black Arm Band and performing with Archie Roach, Emma Donovan, Tiddas and Mission Songs Project and Bart Willoughby.

Wawu is the realisation of Deline’s creative vision and experience over the past 20 years. Sung in both Yalanji language and English, the songs extend a gentle call to people struggling in life; an acknowledgement of their pain, and a tender reassurance that can only come from women who have risen, triumphant, from the darkest of times. The songs reveals a strong Yalanji matrilineal line spanning four generations from Deline’s grand mother, her mother, herself, and her daughter. While the songs speak of the older women’s journeys through the trauma of separation from their families and of her own experiences with personal relationships, the mood of the album is compassionate and redemptive. In both subject and style, the album’s acoustic soul/jazz fusions draw parallels with Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Deline’s extraordinary jazz-infused vocals are enriched by all-acoustic instruments brilliantly played by  Jamaican pianist Stephen Maxwell (piano), Airileke Ingram on drums, at times bringing a Papuan flavour, and Melbourne’s own Robbie Finch on double bass, Paul Coyle on trumpet, and Phil Bywater on clarinet and saxophone as the core band.

Special guests include ARIA award-winning jazz pianist/composer Andrea Keller, with whom Deline co-wrote the exquisite Sonrise. Ignorance Is Bliss, written by Tiddas (Lou Bennett, Amy Saunders and Sally Dastey), is given a contemporary re-working and features the reunited Tiddas on harmony vocals. Deline’s 12-year-old daughter, Jade’Amali Leuga, lends her assured spoken-word vocals to In The Night. Sister songstresses from the Mission Songs Project, Jessie Lloyd, Jess Hitchcock and Emma Donovan, harmonise throughout.
In Ngadijina, a spoken-word piece, Deline recites her Nanna’s memories of being witness to her family taken by the police in the era of the first stolen generation. (quoted verbatim from her Nanna’s interview for the Bringing Them Home report), while the ethereal Tree (co-written by Deline and Bart Willoughby, based on a poem and lyrics by Kevin Gilbert), is a hymn to creation and nature.

Deline Briscoe is an internationally acclaimed singer songwriter hailing from the Gugu Yalanji of North Australia. Her soulful, intimate sound has defined her as one of Australia's finest voices.
A principal artist in one of Australia’s leading performing arts company Black Arm Band, Deline has performed to over a million people worldwide, alongside artists such as Tiddas, Archie Roach, Bart Willoughby, Dr G Yunupingu, Emma Donovan and Mission Songs Project.

Wawu was successfully launched in Deline’s two musical home towns, Melbourne Recital Centre on Thursday 5 July and Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) on Saturday 14 July. The launch concerts captured the imaginations, hearts and ears of audiences—her album and show is a spiritual experience as much as a musical journey.

The Wawu launch in Melbourne opened the Yinga-bul 2018 season at the Melbourne Recital Centre. 




Publicity | Diana Wolfe | VIC |