Apakatjah (pronounced uppa–cut-ja) is a duo consisting of Dion Forrester & Jonathan Lindsay-Tjapaltjarri Hermawan who weave together a reflection of their blended cultures and wide musical influences such as Aboriginal desert reggae like Tjupi Band, old school metal like Iron Maiden and guitar master, Tommy Emmanuel.
Through its two band members Apakatjah combines the cultures of Aboriginal Australia (Pintupi-Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, Pertame Central Arrernte, Alywarre, Kaytitj and Islander), as well as heritage from European, Indonesian, Irish, Welsh and Dutch migrants. The word ‘apakatjah’ is a Luritja kriol word for a person of mixed race heritage, which the duo have reclaimed to demonstrate the pride they have in their identity and to draw strength from their culture.
Jonathan and Dion strive to be role models in their community - teaching music and language to kids, advocating healthy lifestyles as well as in their professional capacity as youth workers. They challenge young people to dream big and hope to empower them to achieve their goals.
Recent performances this year have included Wide Open Space Festival (Alice Springs), Tjungu Festival (Uluru), the NT Song of the Year Awards (Darwin) and the BIGSOUND music industry conference (Brisbane). Previously they have supported Neil Murray, Archie Roach and The Basics.
Their debut single 'Waru' was a finalist in the rock category of the NT Song of the Year awards 2016. Their debut album 'In Between' was recorded at the CAAMA Music studios in Alice Springs and produced by Dave Crowe.
*Extracted from triple j Unearthed