A Yarn with Flewnt: Noongar Wongi hip-hop artist and activist

Flewnt performed at MAALI festival, State Theatre Centre of WA, July 24, 2021. Courtesy of Flewnt’s Facebook, 2021.

Recently, we spotlighted the Noongar Wongi hip-hop artist and activist Flewnt, sharing his recent projects, achievements and performances. Now, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Flewnt in an exclusive interview. In this two-part interview series, we discuss with Flewnt his heritage, music career and social justice advocacy. 

Tell us a bit about your heritage and where you grew up. 

“My name’s Joshua Eggington and I perform under the artist name of Flewnt. I’m a Noongar Wongi man. I come from the south west of Western Australia, Perth/Boorloo, and I make music about my people and my culture.”

What got you into music?

“ I come from a very political family, and I always knew that I wanted to, in some sort of way, project the voice of Aboriginal people out into the world. And, I didn’t know if that was gonna be through, I guess, just going out and speaking at rallies and working in community. But, once I found out that I was good at music, I guess, I realised that that was my way to be able to get out there and put my voice into the world, and talk about the issues that I want to speak about.”

What artists influenced you growing up and what kind of messages spoke to you the most? 

“I guess in the early stages, lyricism-wise, was like Nas, and of course everybody listened to a lot of Eminem as well when it comes to learning patterns and all that sort of stuff. But, as I’ve gotten older...a major part of my art...in the way that I think about making music now is coming from J.Cole. He’s massive to me, I think he’s an incredible artist in the way he’s still able to use the rap-form as a way to talk and make change and speak about important issues, while still creating really good music - that's a big thing that I look up to.”

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

“It starts off with a beat...I work really closely with Optamus from Downsyde - my big brother - who sort of got me into making real professional sort of music. So, we go through a great process where he sends me music, or I’ll send him a reference and then he’ll create a beat. Then, I’ll think about a topic and then we’ll go into the studio and build on that more. I feel like it’s real organic that way...instead of just taking a beat, writing a rap and recording it. You know, just going through those extra steps just seems to create a piece of art that you feel connected with.”

Tell us about one of your favourite performances.

“At the Perth BLM I got to perform in front of like 30,000 people. I remember just looking out, and I saw that there were so many people, you couldn’t even see where the crowd ended. It was an incredible feeling. And, I got to sing Kya Kyana, which is a song about strength and unity and culture. Everyone was there to support BLM, and of course the BLM movement here in Australia is about Aboriginal people, and about Aboriginal deaths in custody, particularly. So, just being able to be there, and to stand on such a big platform and be able to project my vision out into the world with Elders on stage with me; with my Uncle Robert next to me, and all the other mob; all the Noongar Elders with me...It was a very powerful moment, and I’m so grateful.”

Keep an eye out for Yarn's Instagram stories this evening for our Q&A with Flewnt. Also, stay tuned for Part 2 to read more about Flewnt and his incredible work!

At Yarn, we are passionate about sharing stories of First Nations artists, their creative journeys and how they give back to their communities. Honestly, we need more musicians like Flewnt in the world who are dedicated to their community; who advocate for social justice, and who continue to make waves of change amongst society as a whole. 

You can check out Flewnt’s socials here: