Artist info

Genre

Dance, Electronic, Hip Hop, Indie, Pop, Roots


band members

Tornina 'Matalja' Torres


Website

Bio

West Australian singer songwriter and producer Tornina 'Matalja' Torres is an emerging artist, creating contemporary Indigenous fusion music influenced by blues, roots, soul, jazz, Rnb, hiphop, world music, pop, reggae and indigenous languages. She identifies with the Dampier Peninsular tribes of Djugan, Yawuru, Karajarri, Jabirr-Jabirr, Nyul Nyul and Barrd, on her matrilineal side. Also Nyoongar and Bindjareb from southern WA on her patrilineal side.
She has a passion for culture, language, singing, creative writing, audio production and acting.
She functions under the alias 'Matalja', which is an ancestral name from her Jabirr-Jabirr people, given to her at birth by her mother.
Tornina 'Matalja' writes from inspiration, dreaming, cultural knowledge and life experiences and hopes that the use of her tribal languages in her music may serve to educate, inspire, bring the people together and awaken some of the more dormant languages.
Matalja grew up surrounded by song. Her lullabies were sung in the Kimberley languages of Djugan, Yawuru and Jabirr-Jabirr. Later music influences came from her mother and siblings in the forms of Motown, soul, jazz and hip-hop tracks. Matalja started writing through diary entries and poetry, taking what resonated with her from those influences and started writing lyrics to melodies. After studying Aboriginal Theatre at the West Australian Academy for Performing Arts (WAAPA) and playing part in theatre and film productions, Matalja strayed towards a Diploma in Audio production. It is there she found the insight to feed her appetite, to create instrumental melodies for her songs. Matalja was selected from 95 artists to record a track as part of WAM’s Sounds of The Kimberley compilation album. Her debut single ‘Malu Mabu Liyan’, speaks of the personal contemplations within our inner struggles and the powerlessness of not being able to appreciate life’s smaller joys. The track title and chorus are from the Djugan and Yawuru languages that were so prominent in her musical beginnings and remain strongly current to her cultural identity. This track was released as a single by WAM, ahead of the April 2020 album release of the compilation. Matalja has featured in numerous stage productions such as the musical 'Conversations with the Dead' by Richard Franklin with Perth based Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, she has performed at Perth's Fringe Festival ('Metal Head' by Tiffany Barton) and Broome based theatre and TV/film productions including the feature film Bran Nue Dae, Mystery Road 2, The Circuit (TV series) and 2014’s ‘Shooting the Rehearsal short thriller. She has also performed in Goolarri Media’s iconic ‘A taste of Broome’ event, a multi-arts performance, cuisine and culture-based event focused on the unique Indigenous multiculturalism within the community of Broome.

Review

Review by Declan Byrne Declan Byrne

12 Jun 2020

Triple J
40

kudos to wam and to you for crafting this special combo that weaves a gorgeous spell over whoever is listening.

kudos to wam and to you for crafting this special combo that weaves a gorgeous spell over whoever is listening.

Review

Review by Claire Mooney Claire Mooney

09 Jun 2020

Triple J
40

Have really loved how this sounds on air! You've got this alluring way of locking in our attention. So special hearing language too.

Have really loved how this sounds on air! You've got this alluring way of locking in our attention. So special hearing language too.

Review

Review by Dave Ruby Howe Dave Ruby Howe

26 May 2020

Triple J
40

Matalja's circling vocal and shapeshifting production make for a really evocative piece here. It's a bit chilling in moment, even.

Matalja's circling vocal and shapeshifting production make for a really evocative piece here. It's a bit chilling in moment, even.