Feature: National Indigenous Music Awards 2018 nominee Emily Wurramara on Groote Eylandt and Identity

Friday, August 10, 2018

To celebrate the 2018 National Indigenous Music Awards, which are set to take place this Saturday, 11th August, we had the opportunity to ask a few of the immensely talented nominees a few questions in the lead-up to the big day.

Groote Eylandt via Brisbane singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara has an incredible skill for poetically capturing her personal experiences in her music. This year, she's nominated for 'Best New Talent' and 'Album of the Year' (for her 2018 album Milyakburra) at the 2018 National Indigenous Music Awards. We had the opportunity to ask her about Groote Eylandt, home and identity

Congratulations on your nominations for ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best New Talent’ for the National Indigenous Music Awards! Where were you when you found out that you were Nominated?
I was at home with my daughter! I was very stoked!

How would you describe Groote Eylandt to anyone who hasn’t visited before?
Very chill, breezy and if it were a fruit it’d be mango.

How did your upbringing on Groote Eylandt inspire you creatively?
Definitely in a songwriter perspective! I’m inspired by nature as a singer-songwriter and reference the sea a lot.

Home and identity are closely connected, how does home inspire you?
Home is my identity, not just mine, my Mothers, my Grandmothers- it is a part of me that I feel I need to archive for my future grandchildren and so on, that to me is preserving history, especially in this generation. Home is my inspiration, it’s sea, salt, rivers, forests are inked in my legacy and my culture it’s a part of me.

Creating songs about personal experiences or of experiences of those close to you (such as ‘Hey Love’ and the experiences your mum went through during boarding school) may be challenging. Do you believe music can be an outlet to reflect?
It’s an outlet in all forms of expressions. It allows you to speak freely to speak truth, to speak lies to speak dreams. It reflects on a journey and your journey is sacred, allowing people to listen to that is important- sharing stories and knowledge is important, I’m constantly learning and making mistakes and people need to know that we’re only human.

What are you most looking forward to on the night of the National Indigenous Music Awards?
Seeing everyone!!! I can’t wait! It’s all love and it’s going to be a night full of laughs and happy tears and I know some beautiful memories are going to be made.

The National Indigenous Music Awards will take place this Saturday, 11th August at 7pm. If you're in Darwin, tickets are still available HERE. Stay tuned to all the action by following @NIMAWARDS on Twitter.

Written by Amy Smolcic