READY: Teddy Lewis King on their amazing year leading up to the announcement they will be playing at The Falls Festival in Byron this year.
READY: Teddy Lewis King on their amazing year leading up to the announcement they will be playing at The Falls Festival in Byron this year. Sophie Moeller

Teddy Lewis King claim their heartland in call up to Falls Festival

IT doesn't matter who you are or where you are from, you have to work hard for your success say hip hop artists Teddy Lewis King (TLK).

And it is for this reason they were so "stoked" to get the call up as this year's local artists at The Falls Festival in Byron Bay.

"People expect you should be given everything but it doesn't work like that," says rapper, Teddy Rhodes. "We have worked so hard for our recognition and that is behind the scenes too. It's a lot of work being able to get to (perform) at Falls, or even Deniliquin."

Mitch King has already had a long career teaching performance and dance. His workshops mentoring young people to find their passions, and his long association with NORPA as an associate producer, mean he is well versed on how hard work has enabled the band to embrace its heritage and make a connection with young people of all cultures. Especially, as he has been asked to take part in the company's ground-breaking indigenous work, Djurra, next year.

"Black Australians can be just as successful and just as passionate as anyone else,' he says. "There has been too much stigma, too much negativity around indigenous people, we want to get away from that."

And it is for this reason the trio are proud to hail from Lismore. They frown upon the bands who say they are from Bryon Bay instead of claiming their home town.

"This is our heartland," says Teddy. "The more of us who claim who we are the more we can build it. We are proud of being from Lismore just as we are proud of being from The Bundjalung Nation."

First and foremost though says Brendon Lewis Waters, aka DJ Mud: "it is about the music".

"Music and art have always been a massive part of the indigenous culture but that doesn't mean you have to stereotype who we are. Lismore is where we grew up and it is about connecting with the young people of the region and finding new ways to tell our stories in the new digital age we are living in; at the same time upholding the values of our elders."

The three artists first met in 2013 at The Back Alley gallery and "just hit it off." TLK went onto win a Dolphin Award in 2015 and have been honing their repertoire ever since with a heavy schedule around the country.

They say "they had so much fun at their first Falls experience and are excited to be doing it again."

"It is great to be able to play at one of the biggest festivals in the country, we thrive off that," they say in unison.

The Falls Festival runs from Dec 31- Jan 2 2017.



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