Kids put music spin on Noongar

Stephen Bevis Arts Editor

Meet the inventors of a new strain of music - Wheatbelt hip-hop.

A group of Narrogin teenagers have discovered the power of an almost-lost language to express themselves through pop music, media and fashion.

About 20 students at Narrogin Senior High School learnt Noongar to write and record songs and make video clips in their traditional indigenous language for a CD/DVD pack launched in Perth last week.

Leading Aboriginal artists - hip-hop performer Bryte MC, actor Kylie Farmer, filmmaker Curtis Taylor and singer-songwriter Della Rae Morrison - worked with the students on the Noongar Pop Culture program run by Community Arts Network WA.

"It is essentially hip-hop music, with a bit of pop and nu skool funk and they have certainly made it their own," Bryte MC said, adding the program was a great example of how languages could be taught in the education system.

"They were quite shy to start with but it was really easy to break the ice with a bit of beat-boxing and lyric writing and they really started to open up."

Narrogin high school deputy principal Maxine Clark said Noongar attendance rates increased 10 per cent to more than 90 per cent after the program.