Eleanor Dixon // Desert Diva // Musician

You have just been a huge part of the Desert Divas II release – which recognises talent from remote territories of Australia – the NT. Can you tell us what the experience of recording the album was like? Who did you meet as a part of the process? 

Oh lord the experience was overwhelmingly beautifully amazing. One i will continue to keep close because I have gained a lot musically and personally as a young woman. It was growth and beyond inspirational. Made me realise that music should never be an obstacle. Its pure freedom and having the guts to get out of my community the first time to do desert divas workshop was worth it. I am truly grateful to have been given this opportunity because also i have had the privilege to be mentored by a few beautiful female musicians like Dallas Fresca, Ursula Yovich and of course the amazing Anna Laverty. They have shown me a new way of giving life to my own music and story. So I am grateful for them.

You were a mentor for the Desert Divas, how was that experience?
 

The experience was exactly what I needed to take the leap into being a leader. It has opened up a lot of doors for me. Made me grow confidently.

“I mean I love kids. Teaching them music and seeing these beautiful little girls faces light up when they get the chord progressions right or they hear their voice for the first time is one of the most magical feelings I will have ever experienced in being a mentor.”

What drew you into music? Were you singing from a young age?

I have been singing since I was 4 years old in a church and since then I never stopped. Wrote my first song when I was 16 years old. I fell in love with poetry because of language. Speaking both my fathers and mothers language is like poetry so I found love in that. It also helped me to express my inner thoughts and feelings so now I can share this love and experience with all.

What advice would you give someone wanting to become a musician?

Honestly, my advice would be just to dream and believe in yourself because at the end of every single day you only have yourself and only you know what makes you feel good. Trust music and it’ll guide you. So its up to you.

Have you received any advice that really resonated with you?

The one thing I remember was when my aunty, who passed now. Bless her soul. She once told me that if you want to remember… You have to make memories and through your every senses trust your feelings. Sing yourself into whatever you want and thats exactly what I did. I became a storyteller. A dreamer. A voice.

If given the chance, what would you change about the current Australian music industry to improve things or make it fairer?

I just want equality and recognition for women especially indigenous women. We need to be heard because of the power and knowledge that is of this ancient culture we come from. Lets show the world the beauty of this country and why not through the true mothers of it.

Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so how did you approach them?

The first time I stood on a big stage at the Bush Bands Bash in 2014 after doing my first divas workshop. That was one of the biggest challenges for me. Culturally it was a male orientated situation that showcased just men and their stories. I had to stand in front of these men to break down this invisible wall that separated this. I always looked up to men but I just wondered what would it feel like to look up to a woman for once especially the ones who were as good as a singer, song writer, guitarist etc just like all those blokes. Then I committed myself to doing just that.

Are there any skills that you’ve needed to develop as a musician that you didn’t realise you’d need?

Well yeah actually a lot like even the smallest word in a song. I have been blessed though because of the beautiful musicians I have had the previlege to work alongside with which has helped me to develop and shape my sound into a form. I learned more about how to get my music out and that it takes bloody hard work to do so.

What is your favourite/most special gig that you’ve ever played and why?

Well my favourite one would be at Nannup Music Festival last year with my dad for Rayella and this year with the Kardajarla Kirridarra (The Sandhill Women) two of the bands that I am in. I am in love with that place but its not just that. It was there that I had felt empowered by women. Praised in all circumstances through my music. What a blessing. So thank you Nannup Music Festival for a beautiful opportunity.

Rayella

What is the song you wish you’d written? (but didn’t)

I do not have any songs that I didn’t write because either its still being written or its just waiting. I have a lot of songs that are gonna be written. Theres no didn’t for me..

Who would you consider to be your role models or people you look up to and why?

“I have always looked up to the women that are at home in my community like my mum, my grandmothers. I mean all women that aren’t successful in having a career because they choose to be successful in love and life.”

These godly women, these people are my inspiration. They are the ones that need to be written about. They work 24/7 just to make sure that everyone in the community is well fed and healthy. So I give my time to make sure that their stories are being heard as well because that right there makes me the woman I am.

Top 3 artists to watch/listen to right now?

Oh my god. Ibeyi. Just because I love them and I listen to them like all the time. – Emily Wurramara. She’s inspirational. Casii Williams. She’s my song sister and I believe she’s destined for amazing things.

Ibeyi
Emily Wurramara
Cassii Williams

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
 

Well I am currently on a national tour in Australia with my dad as Rayella right now. We are supporting the Violent Femmes. So you know there’s probably more to come from here.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Adele – Someone Like you. LOL