It was the powerful debut track of the Singing Our Futures program, The Archie Roach Foundation’s mentoring experience that helps emerging First Nations artists on their songwriting and recording journeys.
Under the pair’s spell, “Take No More” became a First Nations anthem of power, truth, and resistance. The track originally started with a phrase penned by Donovan while Kee’ahn played their guitar, the pair imagining people chanting their words.
“We started writing “Take No More” around Invasion Day Jan 26th,” Kee’ahn recalls. “Both of us were feeling a lot of emotions that come with the date and feeling inspired by grassroots mob who organise to educate and liberate our peoples.
“We spoke about how our leaders across generations stand strong and staunch against ongoing challenges, the act of carrying the torch forward passed down from your elders so our future generations can do the same or ideally won’t have to at all.
“We spoke about solidarity and how liberation is a joint fight with many hands needed. It also feels like this song has grown over the year, during which time beautiful Black leaders and changemakers have passed on into dreaming – this song feels dedicated to them. To Uncle Archie Roach and Aunty Ruby Hunter and to Uncle Jack Charles. They inspire me/us to sing our truth for our past, present and futures.”
As NAIDOC Week reaches the halfway mark, Rolling Stone AU/NZ is proud to premiere the accompanying music video for “Take No More”, which you can watch for the first time below.
It finds Donovan and Kee’ahn performing their single in an intimate setting, backed by a band, the emotion of the moment evinced by their exchanged glances.
“Take No More” is the first taste of the upcoming Singing Our Futures EP, which will officially release later this year. In the meantime, fans can listen to the track played live at the Singing Our Futures showcase event on Thursday, July 13th at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel. All ticket sales are going to The Archie Roach Foundation.
Kee’ahn and Emma Donovan’s “Take No More” is out now. Singing Our Futures EP is out later this year via Cooking Vinyl Australia.