Based in Victoria, Wantok Musik is a not-for-profit music label that fosters cultural exchanges between Australia and our Melanesian neighbours through music. The label represents Aboriginal and Melanesian artists, working to promote their profile both locally and internationally.
Current artists represented by Wantok Musik include Indigenous songwriter Frank Yamma and young Groote Eylandt singer Emily Wurramurra, who released her debut EP “Black Smoke” in 2016, singing in both Anindilyakwa and English.
Wantok Musik aims to empower musicians to sing in their own language, and to share those languages with Australians of all backgrounds. In the words of Wantok Musik founder and producer, David Bridie, “it is the Foundation’s role as conduit to promote and share this music and stem the tide of language being lost.”
Public interest partner Peter Seidel is a founding member of Wantok Musik and continues to serve on the Foundation’s board. Arnold Bloch Leibler provides the Foundation with advice on artists’ agreements which allow the artists to retain 100% creative ownership – an arrangement that is unique within the industry. The firm also provides ongoing governance advice.
“Arnold Bloch Leibler’s Peter Seidel has been Wantok’s legal advisor from day one and has facilitated a collaborative arrangement between ABL and Wantok which I would like to think has added great value to both organisations.
“Peter and everyone at ABL have a strong social justice perspective and a keen understanding of many of the important nuances required to work with First Nations people, whether it be related to intellectual and cultural property, copyright law, traditional ownership of certain songs and dances, as well as the important common sense approach of using non legal jargon so that our clients can understand what it is they are entering into and feel entirely comfortable in that knowledge”.
Founder of Wantok Musik Foundation
“Peter Seidel has been Wantok’s legal advisor from day one and has facilitated a collaborative arrangement between ABL and Wantok which I would like to think has added great value to both organisations.”