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3% Show Their Rawest Selves On Poignant New Single ‘Coming Home’

15 May 2024 | 11:20 am | Ellie Robinson

Angus Field hopes the track will “hit you where it hurts and give you hope to rise up”.


3% (Credit: Savitri Wendt)

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3% – the fast-rising First Nations collective made up of Nooky, Dallas Woods and Angus Field – have returned with their third single for 2024, Coming Home.

It’s a poignant ode to the band’s connection to their country, their families and their mental health, all of which are crucial to them both as artists and people. It’s built around a sample from Royal Telephone – the 1963 hit from Nowra legend Jimmy Little, and the first song by an Indigenous artist to reach the mainstream (and top radio charts) – and also features a showstopping guest spot from Nooky’s daughter, Calula Webster.

In a press release, Field said writing the song gave him an opportunity to mine from “a place in my soul that I've rarely been able to explore and talk about”. He explained that Coming Home is “about mental health, missing your loved ones and wanting to get home”, with the track as a whole being “simple enough to let the message shine loudly through the soundscapes” to “hit you where it hurts and give you hope to rise up”.

Nooky said more of its origin story: “As a kid, Nan would play Jimmy Little’s Royal Telephone religiously in her car and I always told myself that one day I’d do something with it... I used to spin out when Nan would say Jimmy Little was from Nowra. I was thinking to myself, ‘What if I did have a line to the big fulla upstairs?’ I’d be asking about family and if I could talk to my uncle who had recently passed away.

“I started to think about the phone being like a helpline for me to confess troubles I was having – again losing my uncle and feeling weird talking about it with my brothers, I wanted to acknowledge this because I haven’t ever heard it spoken about in a song, especially a Blak man doing it.

“Around this time I was having real bad depression, anxiety and having a low sense of self-worth. I kinda found an old lifestyle I’d turned my back on creeping back into my thoughts. I’d be having flickering moments of wanting to self-sabotage all the good things I’ve got going on, mainly my family, which would make me feel even worse about myself... so I was having a lot of internal conflict because I’d go home and my family would love to see me and it’s all smiles as soon as I walk through the door. But in my head, half an hour ago, the darkness was calling me not to come home to them. It was a real moment of battle for me.”

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Nooky went on to say candidly that he felt like Coming Home marked “the first song where I began to show my vulnerable side”, particularly since it’s also “the first time I’ve mentioned my family on a song”. He added of Calula’s feature: “While [making the song], I was walking around the house singing the original a lot. One day my daughters said we should make a Royal Telephone song. So I asked if they wanted to sing it for me, and Calula said she would... now she’s on the song which is something I’m super proud of and hold very dear to my chest.

Furthermore, he said, Coming Home is “the song that brought 3% together”. So the story goes, “Angus came down to Sydney to do his final vocals for this track while me and Dallas were working on the other songs. 3% was formed in that moment. I think someone did call back on that royal telephone and gave us the words and way forward we need, to not only show ourselves but the generations to come.”

3% fans in Sydney (Gadigal) will be able to hear Coming Home live next month, with the group’s performing a free show at Tumbalong Park – as part of this year’s VIVID festival – on Tuesday June 11. They’ll perform their upcoming debut album (which is yet to be properly announced) in its entirety, with guest appearances from Jessica Mauboy, Tia Gostelow, Marlon Motlop, Say True God? and DENNI on the cards.

Coming Home comes as our third preview of the LP, following the release of Sleezy Steezy Cool (featuring Gostelow) in February and Land Back (with Say True God? and DENNI) last month.