Marliya is a group of young Indigenous singers based in Cairns whose music goes straight to the heart. Led by Lyn Williams, Marliya have performed Spinifex Gum all across Australia, from the outback in Roebourne to the Sydney Opera House. Composed and arranged by Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill, the music is part political and part aspirational, exploring a mix of hard-hitting issues, with choreography by Deborah Brown.
Marliya was first formed from members of the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, based in Cairns, to perform Spinifex Gum by Felix Riebl. Marliya has appeared at the Adelaide and Sydney Festivals, at Dreamtime at the G, and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games. In 2019 Spinifex Gum was nominated for Best New Australian Work in the Helpmann Awards and toured in August and September with performances at the Garma Festival and in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Recent performances of Spinifex Gum include Live the Bowl in Melbourne in 2021 and BluesFest Byron Bay in 2022.
Marliya has recorded two albums – Spinifex Gum (2017) and Sisters (2019).
“This performance was so much more than a “gig”. It was young, Aboriginal women stepping front of stage and standing up. They told their stories with strength, and even with raised fists they left with a feeling of grace. This act is a must see musically, culturally, politically and spiritually. It is the best live act I’ve ever seen.” Xpress Magazine]
“As the crowd claps their hands raw, it’s hard to think of a more important, or compelling act, at this festival or any of the others around the city right now” Adelaide Review]