Independent Artist of the Week: DRMNGNOW

March 27th 2019

Photo by Luke Lowell Simm

Brimming with intent and messages equally as potent as the music they’re woven with, DRMNGNOW’s heartfelt hip hop will have you listening over and over.

The first thing that strikes you when you hit play on DRMNGNOW’s (aka Neil Morris) music is its heady beats. From there, the hits keep coming – although they’re delivered so smoothly by the poet, if you’re caught up in the production, you’ll be doing double takes. Notably, the serene and complementary production on DRMNGNOW’s tracks ‘Indigenous Land’ and ‘Ancestors’ is courtesy of River Boy, aka Narayana Johnson, formerly of Willow Beats.

But besides impressive beats, the Kulin land-based Yorta Yorta man has a clear purpose for his music – shining a light on the connection of Indigenous peoples to their land, to their ancestors and their love for country while continuing to bring attention to the ongoing effects of colonial sovereignty on their land. Although it certainly isn’t limited to just that.

DRMNGNOW’s latest, ‘Ancestors’ ft Kee’ahn, washes over you with an overwhelming sense of calm and reflection and acts as an “offering of medicine in a time of social and political disharmony,” as he puts it.

“It is a call to the public at large within modern Australia to take heed to the reverence that Indigenous peoples have and have always had in the past 60,000+ years,” he continues.

“To take notice of that example in these particularly fraught political times we are in, where a sense of cohesion and leadership seem to be lacking in broader society. It is a reminder that Indigenous peoples are driven by a responsibility that dates back into time immemorial. A responsibility that can lead to so much healing for this land and society living upon it.”

Check out the video for ‘Ancestors’ below, and listen in to DRMNGNOW’s chat with Twitey on Arvos from NAIDOC Week 2018.


Tune into Up For It every Monday morning to meet your new independent artist of the week!


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