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Ziggy Ramo’s New Single Urges Australia to Confront Its Shame

Wiki and Solomon Islander artist shares another powerful track from his forthcoming album, ‘Human?’

Ziggy Ramo


Ziggy Ramo has proven again why he’s one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists on his heartfelt new single, “Shame”.

Ziggy holds nothing back on his new track, which is tenderly but powerfully performed, the Wiki and Solomon Islander artist navigating the complexity of his emotions with sincerity. (Vonn lends beautifully dovetailing vocals throughout the tender track.)

“Shame” finds Ziggy contending with his troubled relationship with Australia in order to represent the constant dehumanisation his people are forced to endure in their home country.

“Every day I wake up and I want to escape, yet this is my home, and my people are suffering,” he says. “I refuse to leave. yet the cycle of oppression, that has been in constant motion for the last 236 years, will remain unless our nation confronts its shame.”

“Shame” follows Ziggy’s previous single “Banamba”, which was just as pointed in its lyrics, honouring those who have fought tirelessly for change on a date, January 26th, they are so often forgotten.

Both tracks will feature on Ziggy’s forthcoming album Human?, which is the highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s Sugar Coated Lies, which was named as one of Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s 25 Best Australian Albums of 2023.

Human?, which will be released on July 12th, is part of a multi-medium project which has been in the works for many years. The project includes Ziggy’s debut non-fiction book of the same name, which came out on May 1st.

On Instagram, Ziggy shared a statement expanding on the meaning behind his new single.

“During the years 1842 to 1904, it is estimated that more than 62,000 people were abducted from 80 South Pacific Islands and enslaved in Australia,” it reads

“Once they arrived, they were bought at a marketplace by plantation owners. A strong male would go for somewhere between $5 and $19, while women would cost around $32. Many of these sugar plantations still exist in Queensland, and today the sugar industry in Australia’s annual exports are worth between $1.5 to $2.5 billion.

“All of this was built on the backs of those slaves,” the statement continues.

“On the back of my great-great-grandfather, Kwailiu. To deny the existence of slavery in this country’s history is to tell a lie. Yet, in 2020, our then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison went as far as to say that there was ‘No slavery in Australia.'”

As Ziggy goes on to note, “Original Peoples have been continually forced to feel shame for simply existing.”

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A post shared by Ziggy Ramo (@ziggyramo)

“You have deemed us an inferior race. You uphold myths that we were – and are – unintelligent and that we shared the same rights to land as animals: only occupancy, not ownership. Many of us feel a great sense of hopelessness and shame because of the constant dehumanisation we are forced to endure as our rights are removed.”

The statement concludes: “Don’t only feel shame for past transgressions. Understand and feel the same of allowing its legacy to continue. Think about the shame of standing by while another genocide happens.

“We are not the lucky country, we are the lying country. Shame, shame, shame.”

Ziggy Ramo’s “Shame” is out now. Human? is out July 12th (pre-save/pre-order here).