This year’s Perth Festival is set to kick off tomorrow night with a number of events, including the opening of the Chevron Gardens. Headlining the event will be elder statesman Archie Roach, who will be accompanied by Noongar dance troupe Gya Ngoop (One Blood Dancers).
But what’s got us excited about the music venue’s opening bill is one young Emily Wurramara – a Groote Eylandt local who has been attracting attention for her music, which she performs in both English and the indigenous language of Anindilyakwa.
FQ: You’ll be joining Archie Roach and other special guests to open this year’s Chevron Gardens. What will you be performing?
EW: I’ll be performing all my original songs, some old songs off my Black Smoke EP and some new ones form my album Milyakburra.
FQ: You write and perform music both in English and in Anindilyakwa.
EW: It’s important as a young indigenous woman to preserve and archive my language for our future generations. Music is a universal language that everyone speaks, making it the perfect tool to educate non-indigenous peoples as well.
FQ: How has your heritage influenced your music?
EW: I’m a very naturistic songwriter and I reflect and use things like trees and stars and oceans in reference to feelings, to stories and actions. I think my home has definitely influenced the way I songwrite also on a personal level. I’m an advocate for protecting and preserving this earth.
FQ: What made you decide that you wanted to be a musician?
EW: Because it made me happy. I was always told by my parents to do what makes me happy. Music gives me peace as a human being; to be able to have something I can express my emotions, my thought and opinions on is very special, and it’s kind of scary sometimes because you’re opening yourself up a bit to an audience. But for me that’s the most amazing part. It’s gutsy and I like that.
FQ: What things are coming up for you in the not too distant future?
EW: Well more recording, more gigging, more memories! I’m going to Canada for Folk Alliance straight after Perth, so that will be freezingly fun! Otherwise, I’m doing a bit of touring, and focusing more on songwriting and collaborations for my next album.
Tags: Perth Festival; Chevron Gardens; Emily Wurramara