Releasing her newest single ‘Runaways’, featuring Greeley, Tasmanian Aboriginal indie-pop, hip-hop fusion artist DENNI not only has incredible tunes, but boasts being an advocate for social change.
Proudly pakana, DENNI, born Denni Louise Proctor, is a musical force to be reckoned with, and today, she’s bringing a new tune to the mix: ‘Runaways’ featuring Tasmanian hip-hop artist Greeley.
Switching things up a bit, she jumps out of her indie-fold signature style, and has dipped into the Australian hip-hop scene, bringing a dreamy, surreal sound with Greeley’s rapping featuring solidly alongside an ever-vibing music video, serving as the first taste of DENNI’s upcoming EP.
With music being one of DENNI’s “deepest expressions of love” and a part of self-healing, she also remarks that as being a part of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, has really driven her to the person she is today, as an advocate for social change.
“It really shaped who I am as a woman and the issues and themes that I write about in my music.”
Diving into the music video, DENNI remarks that she wanted the visuals to really “reflect” the different journeys both her and Greeley have taken as artists: “crossing paths but who never actually meet while on the move.”
With her focus on music as a form of self-love and healing for both herself and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, plus her advocacy for social change, we’re diving deep into the world of DENNI.
Check out ‘Runaways (feat. Greeley)’ by DENNI:
Describing herself as “pakana woman and storyteller of the trawlwoolway nation lutruwita Tasmania,” her music isn’t just for listening, but also advocates for a better future, focusing on “the importance of truth telling in this country about our true history.”
Foraging forward under her musical moniker DENNI for the past decade, Denni Proctor has served as a hub of energy in the Aussie music scene, collaborating with various artists such as the new tune with Greeley, Brisbane’s Nerve, and Adelaide’s Lariken, as well as playing numerous festivals across the country, from Falls Festival, Party In The Paddock, and DarkMofo.
Sporting as the 2015 NAIDOC Week, triple j Unearthed feature artist, DENNI has not only proven that she’s an artist to keep an eye on, but has grown her talents from indie-folk roots, to taking a leap into the world of hip-hop, and ever-skilfully so.
Not only does she stick to the indie-pop structure, but she dives deep into ripping beats, lush synths, and has mastered pop hooks while dishing out driving lyrics, full of captivating stories involving her “hunger for change.”
With her 2019 EP Wise Ones reaching number nine on the iTunes Electronic music charts, and her release of ‘Runaways’ today, her upcoming EP is likely to keep a spot in your Aussie artists playlist.
Check out DENNI’s ‘Wise Ones’:
Being a part of the trawlwoolway nation lutruwita Tasmania, DENNI tries to be very active in her community alongside her family, citing: “We are a proud people.”
Noting that it’s a “constant struggle” to keep their story on the surface and to keep “the fires burning [that] our ancestors lit,” DENNI explains that “the history of lutruwita Tasmania is not something you can really Google.”
Growing up in a dual community, both in NSW and Tasmania, she draws inspiration from “the music from the islands” and what she was introduced in her adolescence: “Stories of longing for home, love, loss, emancipation. Stories that will never leave me.”
Going onto her adult years, she details that art has taken “an important part” of her life, with even her newest single ‘Runaways’ touching on ‘topics like parallel worlds, factions not communicating, loneliness, unity, empathy and following your passion.”
“It’s always interesting as an Aboriginal artist to not show political themes and to disconnect from your own lens of culture and world views,” she details. “Even in this release where the premise of the songs in its entirety is an artist struggling to find love while following their passion.”
For the film-clip for ‘Runaways’, DENNI remarks that she brings her Aboriginal culture into the video by carrying her first guitar, “Bruce” around: “this symbolises me carrying cultural responsibility and the story of my people wherever I go in my personal and professional life.”
“Sharing my story through art and culture has opened so many doors and the only way that I know how to show my gratitude is to keep at it, to keep growing and expressing my passion for social movement through the music that I write.”
Check out ‘Life’ by DENNI:
As for being a social advocate for change, on top of being an active storyteller for her community, DENNI has spent dime in Adelaide studying as CASM during the forced community closures and funding cuts that led the country into mass protests: “On the steps of Adelaide parliament house was where I first read a protest poem; this moment would shape a big part of my adult life.”
In addition to the protests, DENNI recalls going to ‘putalina festival’ in Oyster Cove in Tasmania with her family, which led her to eventually support the great Australian legend Archie Roach, which got her thinking of how she “really loves history and putting pieces together,” and how “music fulfils a really big part of that for me.”
Continuing on with being an advocate for social change, DENNI was granted the role of being the Cultural Liaison for Party In The Paddock, which she reckons “contributed to big waves of change nationally,” as at the festival they were able to “influence youth culture, introducing social change and sharing Indigenous culture to a generation I feel otherwise might have missed out.”
“We were the first mainstream ‘music festival’ in the state to showcase Aboriginal culture in the form of ‘Welcome To Country’ and other cultural showcases. We had a lot to celebrate at Party In The Paddock and it was such an important part of my journey as an artist and somebody who has a career within the music industry.”
With all the change going on in the world, DENNI notes that the past few years have been a great, forward move for Australia, from the country granting equal marriage rights in 2017, to triple j iconically moving the Hottest 100 date from January 26th in 2018,.
“In the last 12 months we have seen the biggest movements and protests on climate change in our history. Music reflects the time and brings people together, it always has.”