Project Description

July 2014 – Tagai Buwai “Two Worlds”

This production was written, recorded and filmed over 5 days as a collaboration with Desert Pea Media and young people from Thursday Island in the Torres Straits.

Part of an ongoing mentoring program – a partnership between Desert Pea Media, Smugglers of Light Foundation, UN Ltd, Tagai State College and APRA. ‘Two Worlds’ is long – awaited second production from Tagai Buway, who also featured on DPM’s debut album ‘Song Nation Volume 1’.

This song was written collaboratively with staff from Tagai State College on Thursday Island, local young people and elders, Toby Finlayson, Aunty Gail Mabo and Joel ‘Roc West’ Westlake from Desert Pea Media.

The story was developed around the concept of living in two worlds – traditional and contemporary. The participants identified the importance of pride, spirit and strength that comes from traditional islander culture, and the vitality of life on the islands. It is only through knowledge and understanding that young TSI people can survive in this rapidly changing contemporary culture.

And survive they will. As sure as the sun will rise.


Tagai State College leadership team,
Tagai State College Yangu Pawaw Ngurpay Mudh (Language and Culture Centre),
Cultural Advisor and dance instructor Betty Tekahika

Local Young People – Co-Directors/ Co-Writers
Toby Finlayson – Project Producer/Director/Co-Writer/DOP/Editor
Joel Westlake – Music Producer/Music Director/Co-Writer
Gail Mabo – Cultural Support/ Mentor
Jeffa Waia – Cultural Support/ Performer/ Writer
Roy Weiland – Colour Grading/Motion Graphics
David Nicholas – Audio Mixing & Mastering


Sound the Bu-Shell bala, yep my warriors prepare
For a battle of balance I got a yarn to share
Never scared, igililmay ngurpay, flow like my bloodline
Tagai Buway back and it’s crunchtime HOO

Welcome to the frontline/ Land of the four winds
Life in the sunshine/ New day dawning
Hit em with a punchline/bu-shell calling
Hit em with a warning / dark cloud forming

Habits getting bad, looking for swag
Where ya dhari bala? Nah swap him for a doo rag
Doin ya tag – gotta nicko in ya schoolbag
Never forget the true colours of ya flag

Ya totem and ya clan – come bai gen young bala
Listen to the wishes of your ama – learn from your aka
Ya grandmother – truth, minna pawa
Yumi inner power every minute every hour –

In these two worlds we will survive
As sure as the sun will rise
Four winds, blue sea and starry sky
Following my tagai

not from NY but I rep the Eastside
Westside of the Torres Strait – where I reside
Look to the left, yep – warriors at my side
Better steady my weaponry getting ready to fight

Fly like the goeynaw we always soaring
Gotta learn my culture through song and story
Cut back/ just like that/ bit of boom bap
Culture locked down like island rap

Dressed to impress – yes – all day long
Reppin Zenath Kes – check – we two way strong
I know where I come from – stand at the border
– balancing two ways with the new world order

It’s a tricky track lookin back gotta stay true
Got an outboard motor on my dugout canoe
The Tagai Buway crew bringin something brand new
With a can-do kinda attitude.

In these two worlds we will survive
As sure as the sun will rise
Four winds, blue sea and starry sky
Following my tagai