Independent Artist of the Week: Kootsie Don
May 11th 2023
Kootsie Don’s unique brand of hip hop is edgy, honest and head bopping. Walking the line between commanding and vulnerable, Kootsie delivers a passionate anthem to her experiences both in Sydney and Darwin – where she’s originally from. She joined Lill Scott on Up For It! to chat origin stories, her new release ‘Lemme Know’ and her time in the theatre.
Kootsie began her music career in Darwin, filming music videos with her friends as they cruised the streets of the city. It wasn’t until she turned 18 that she started to take music seriously, focusing on expressing her feelings into hypnotic, heartfelt tracks.
“It was based around the environment we grew up in. About how personally, I wanted better. That’s what my lyrics were about wanting better for myself and not being trapped in this environment and breaking out.”
Kootsie’s first release ‘Kicking Down the Doors’ is a release of her frustrations during the pandemic. A deeply relatable and uncompromising hip hop song, it was hit that led to her Artist Of The Year nomination at the National Indigenous Music Awards last year.
On her newest track, ‘Lemme Know’, there’s a softer tone to her sound; pulling from a more vulnerable places.
“‘Lemme know’ it’s so different from my previous tracks. I’ve released all the anger. I’ve healed, I’ve yelled on the mic… I’m becoming more vulnerable, and willing to share that with others.”
Kootsie puts everything into the art of performance. Her creativity also takes shape in her work with the Australian Theatre for Young People – a national organisation connecting young people with professional performing arts. Kootise is currently touring Australia with ATYP.
“I’m doing a theatre production with the ATYP. I just finished a production with dead mob just a couple months ago. So, I’m on a new one with them now, and we will be touring around Australia.”
Kootsie is making moves across different mediums to connect people from all walks of life. For more, listen back to her interview up the top, or stream ‘Lemme Know’ below.