Whatchamacallit Episode 4: Barkaa

An Aboriginal experience up close and personal is unlike anything you have experienced, but before you pack your bags to plant your feet in the desert sands or take the plunge in the clear blue waters of our coastline. Join the Welcome to Country community and take a front seat as we feature some of our most loved artists, change-makers and cultural connoisseurs. We find out what makes them tick and why they are so driven.

Name: Barkaa  |   Occupation: Musician, Composer, Performer, Writer |  Nation: Malyangapa & Barkindji |   Date: 16 December 2021  

When you look at the dry river beds of western NSW it’s hard to gauge, a generation ago the Barkindji swam here, kids laughed as they bombed off the bridge. A generation earlier, it was a hive of activity, where the paddle steamers would be loaded with bales and whistled their way to Adelaide ports. At the commencement of the colony, it was known as the Queen of the Desert.

The Barkindji people of the Darling, call their freshwater River the Barka, translated it is mother. Chloe Quayle uses the stage name Barkaa which relates to her matriarchal connections. Her debut single “For My Tittas” put her on the map and was a renewed reclamation of the language and the dance,  once so feared, it was outlawed. Now on a fast and steady incline as a critical contributor to Australia’s musical landscape, she was FBi’s 2020 SMAC Awards for the ‘Next Big Thing’ category and the 2020 PUMA Rookie of The Year Award for Acclaim Magazine and has been listed as one of the Top 5 female rappers in Australia by ABC’s Triple J, one of 15 Sydney rappers ruling 2020 by Redbull and featured in GQ Magazine.

She tells shares times of a former life. Through a teenage pregnancy, incarnation and fuelled by a haze of drugs, she was left empty like her Barka, but her life changed and her music flows with the stories for women.

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