When Indigenous singer songwriter Thelma Plum was a small girl growing up in the New South Wales country town Delungra, her musical tastes were being molded listening to Paul McCartney and Paul Kelly. On her new album ‘Better In Blak’, she has co-written a song with her two idols.
‘Made for You’, the closing track on Thelma’s new album, has the songwriting credit – David Kahne, Paul Kelly, Paul McCartney, Thelma Plum. The Paul Kelly part came first. “It was very overwhelming,” Thelma Plum tells Noise11.com. “Paul Kelly was my favourite singer songwriter growing up. He was the first white man I ever heard singing about Aboriginal people. He does it in such a respectful way. I loved his storytelling. Being able to write with him was a dream come true”.
Thelma chose David Kahne (McCartney, Stevie Nicks, New Order) to produce ‘Better In Blak’ and was in the USA making the album. “I was in New York working with David Kahne, my producer and he works with Paul McCartney quite a lot,” Thelma says. “Paul McCartney came into the studio just to pick something up. I’d left for the day. David was playing the song in the studio and Paul McCartney came in and asked who this was. David Kahne told him it was this Aboriginal woman Thelma from Australia and she wrote this song with Paul Kelly. He knew who Paul Kelly was (that doesn’t surprise me whatsoever). He wrote a part, a guitar part, the main guitar part for the song and plays it on the record”.
Thelma says Paul Kelly was also pretty happy to share a songwriting credit with Sir Paul McCartney. “He was pretty excited about it. I can’t speak for Paul Kelly but I would imagine that Paul McCartney was definitely one of his idols. The two of those men were such an influential part of me growing up and how I listen to music”.
‘Better In Blak’ is Thelma Plum’s debut album although she has been recording since 2013. ‘Better In Black’ is out now through Warner Music. Get the album home delivered from Songland Records