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Watch Ziggy Ramo perform his 'Black Thoughts' album in full at the Sydney Opera House

1 September 2020 | 12:57 pm | Emma Jones

If there is one thing you watch today, it should be Ziggy Ramo's powerful, commanding Sydney Opera House performance.

If there is one thing you watch today, it should be Ziggy Ramo's Sydney Opera House performance. Off the back of the release of his album, Black Thoughts, in June, Ramo took to the iconic venue to perform the record in full backed by a ten-piece band and audio visuals from Kambarni (2018 WA Young Person of the Year). Originally livestreamed on Saturday night, the performance has now been shared online to watch on demand and shows Ramo powerfully performing in front of an eerily empty Opera House as part of the venue's From Our House To Yours series.

Ziggy said of his latest release, "When I wrote this album I didn’t think I’d be alive to see it released. It’s surreal to think that I’ll now get to put this message on such an iconic stage. I’m humbled to be allowed to share my story on Gadigal Country. I hope this performance can create further conversations that Australia needs to have. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land."

The album came ahead of global rallies and protests supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement back in June in the wake of multiple murders of unarmed Black people by the police — particularly that of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The record is an expansion of Ramo's 2016 EP of the same name, and was released on June 6th, the day of nationwide rallies here in Australia calling for an end to the systemic racism and police brutality faced every day here and abroad.

On the day of the release, Ziggy wrote to fans on social media, saying, “I wanted to document my thoughts so that our stories could be heard after I was gone. With the love and support of family and friends I was able to rediscover hope. The album was very healing for me, but I never put it out because I knew as a country we weren’t ready to listen.

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“I wish it was dated. I wish there was no need for it. But unfortunately, it’s more relevant than ever and I refuse to wait any longer.”

We said at the time, "Black Thoughts is necessary listening for white Australians. It’s rightly uncomfortable, confronting and not meant to be a gentle listen, but it is also powerful, educational and profound. With Black ThoughtsRamo shares a deeply personal record that elevates him to a formidable artist and storyteller. We might only be in June, but Black Thoughts is already one of this year’s best albums."

Watch the powerful performance below:

Ziggy Ramo's album, Black Thoughts, is out now.

Words by Emma Jones

Image by Daniel Boud