10 quick questions with Ambassador Emily Wurramara

Thursday, 02 Aug 2018

In the last few years, we have gotten to know the music and stories of Groote Eylandt-via-Brisbane songwriter/performer Emily Wurramara, thanks to her debut EP Black Smoke, which featured songs in both English and her traditional language Anindilyakwa.

2018 is already a landmark year for Emily. She released debut album Milyakburra, featuring the AMRAP #1 single Ngarrikwujeyinama, for which she garnered her 2nd Queensland Music Award, and is staying busy promoting and touring her music. She just completed a memorable national tour with Alice Skye, and, now, we announce her as an APRA AMCOS Ambassador and ask her 10 quick questions.

Three words that describe you:

Cracked, Bubbly, Chill

What does singing in Anindilyakwa language mean to your community?

It’s an inspiration for them to see someone preserving language in a different form also being a woman.

As a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, do you have a general approach to starting a song?

For me songwriting changes every time, I could be sitting on a train and start humming something or I could be just jamming on my guitar and sing random words that somehow make a song but one things for sure I ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a voice recorder on me so that when these moments happen I can go back later when I’m alone and have a listen.

The Noisey Q & A you did with Alice Skye was inspiring. Is 2018 a year of inspiration for you?

Oh most definitely, I’ve been honoured and grateful to surround myself with such positive and inspiring human beings not just in the music industry but all across the arts and media. It’s important because they empower me and inspire me to make change and make loud noise. A lot of big things have happened for me this year.

What advice do you have for other young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female artists who are just getting started in the music industry?

The best advice I would give to another sister is to be strong. To learn about the other sisters who have made history in this industry and allow yourself to be inspired and to make mistakes as long as you're willing to bounce back from that. EDUCATE yourself about this industry and of course to Take Care of YOU.

The best lyric I've written is: “And the stars and the moons agree with me too that the light shines on me like it shines on you”

A song that changed my life is:

I am an APRA AMCOS Ambassador because…

I support what APRA AMCOS does for artists like me. The team are amazing and are extremely supportive. The workshops that are held through APRA have benefited my career in many ways allowing me to explore different avenues and make connections and contacts in the industry that have led to many exciting opportunities. Being an APRA AMCOS ambassador will allow my voice and my message to be heard on many different platforms, as well as supporting the amazing artists I share this industry with and help in whatever way I can.

We need to talk about copyright because…

Its so crucial to be educated in all forms of music business copyright especially because our music can be played on different forms of media without our knowledge and these laws allow us to have more control of where our music is being played -- if our music is done as a cover for example APRA AMCOS makes us aware of this and we get paid for it. It’s a form of security.

The future of songwriting is exciting because…

People are changing, stories are never the same, what we do today people will sing about it and that’s important, times are changing and so is music. The future for songwriting is REAL and is FIERCE. 

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