Woven Words – Meet MC Trey
Posted by Team APATA | Dec 7, 2020
Meet pioneering Pasifika female hip hop artist MC Trey.
Of Fijian and Samoan heritage, Trey grew up in Fiji moving to Sydney’s Western Suburbs at thirteen. Introduced to hip hop music and culture through movies like Beatstreet and Breakdance in her island home, it was at parties in Sydney that she experienced rap in a more personal way. The more she listened, the more Trey realised that rap was an outlet, a way of sharing stories and being able to stand up as Pasifika person and represent. This article Hey Ladies shares the journey of Trey and her peers in Oz hip hop.
A fan of Lauryn Hill and KRS One, Trey aligned with these artist’s positive and thought provoking approach to music. Stating ways to rise above your situation, visualising where you want to be and setting goals on how to get there resonated with MC Trey’s album Daily Affirmations and the continual message throughout her work. Travelling the world and meeting these idols were experiences that affirmed her path in music and defined her impassioned trajectory into social work and the community sector.
A hip hop play performance at a juvenile detention centre lit the fire for a future working with kids, teaching them how to write and express themselves. Studying social work has enabled her to move into advocacy and working with government agencies while running programs that connect youth with their individual cultures while navigating Australian society.
First Nations Youth globally connect with hip hop and its elements. The parallels are often noted where Graffiti is akin to the traditional art, MCs – Tribal orators, DJ’s are the drummers or rhythm keepers, Breaking is traditional dance – the urban cultural experience.
Trey understands that making connections with the youth she works with means keeping up with the times and meeting them in their world as a way of drawing them out of themselves. Hip-hop offers different pathways through art, dance, writing and music enabling kids to talk about their experiences. Not only have we had COVID but the Black Lives Matter movement has meant Trey has been called upon quite a lot this year as a speaker as we dissect, reflect and forge our way forward in the arts as an anti-racist industry.
For teachers MC Trey believes it is important to find out young people’s stories and empower and encourage them to share and add to the Australian landscape. Allowing kids to be part of the process she adds, “They have a lot of the answers to the problems of today.”