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Musician's Spotlight - Emma Donovan

Emma Donovan
Courtesy Emma Donovan
Emma Donovan

"Emma Donovan can front a well-oiled soul band in her sleep” – Rolling Stone. Renowned Indigenous Australian singer and songwriter Emma Donovan joins host John Floridis for a conversation about her unique career path.

Emma started as a young girl in her family band The Donovans, a group whose roots were more deep in country music. With her debut solo album "Changes" her musical journey took her into more soul and funk flavored styles and led her to her collaboration with The Putbacks with whom she has now recorded and toured with since 2014.

Emma was also deeply involved in the Black Arm Project. The traveling group performed a stage musical called Murundak/Alive – The Black Arm Band, which reproduced iconic songs of the Aboriginal resistance movement.

On her mother’s side, Emma is part of the famed Donovan family of singers of the Gumbaynggirr people, of what is now known as Northern New South Wales. On her father’s side, Emma is of the Yamatji people, of what is now known as Western Australia. Emma regularly performs songs in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar traditional languages, and shares stories to provide her audiences with an understanding of country and community.

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.
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