Please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
I started singing in church when I was a young girl and loved using my voice in service to others.
Why did you want to get into the music industry?
It was the only thing I was ever good at.
Do you feel that higher education is a necessary step to enter the music industry?
Not necessarily, the advantage is learning certain lessons in theory but nothing compares to networking and learning while working in it. Hospitality is a great alternative as it is adjacent to the music industry so it’s a great way to network and create pathways into music.
Let’s talk about the highs vs the lows of your career. What is your greatest achievement?
Every time I share songs I’ve written with a wanting audience is always a true highlight. Knowing people are willing to spend their time with me.
And are there any moments you would like to share that you learnt greatly from?
Working alongside Tina Arena, she taught me to never compromise on my artistry to make others more comfortable.
Who has been your biggest champion in your career?
My friends! Danielle Rizk in particular is such a force and has opened a lot of doors for me and has mentored me from the day I met her.
What is the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Party after the set, not before. You want to do your best work and then celebrate afterwards.
What would you tell your younger self if you could tell them anything?
Sleep on that information and respond the next day.
What is your big picture career goal?
To live abroad and collaborate with artists from around the world.
Who are your role models in the industry be they local or international?
I love Ngaiire, she’s my day one. She’s constantly pushing the boundaries and challenges public perception of the music she’s making. We can clearly hear she’s not an R’n’B artist yet continues to be pigeonholed as such. But she is always working to correct that. I love her art and how she considers the visual to compliment her music.
Do you think the Australian Music Industry is where it needs to be in regards to diversity? What would you like to see change??
It is getting better, we continue to create spaces for more diverse artists and that encourages them to take up space because they’re seeing themselves represented.
What does true allyship look like to you?
Offering a platform if you have one. Sharing an opportunity during a show of your own, pulling an artist up on stage and exposing your audience to them is amazing opportunity for them and for your fans.
Music & activism have always gone hand in hand, when together it is powerful & influential. Why do you think that is so?
Because music is a universal language and brings everyone together. Music has soundtracked so many moments that have shaped the world we live in.
How can allies in the music industry best support BI&POC artists and avoid performative activism?
Performative activism is a counterproductive practice that leads to disingenuous alignment to a cause. It can manifest as posting information with a lack of research and no real connection to the cause, and not taking further action to foster real change.
What does a BI&POC safe space look like to you?
Leaders, tastemakers and gatekeepers need to represent the diverse landscape that is the front facing music industry. Only then can safe spaces truly exist, as there are considerations that are made around accessibility and cultural sensitivity.
How does Australia compare to international markets when it comes to BI&POC representation in mainstream media?
Australia is very far behind the rest of the world as far as social dynamics. Even something as baseline as treaty with our Indigenous peoples, and the country being divided with the Voice to parliament… the world witnessed our collective reluctance to level out the playing field with First Nations people and if that is not indicative of how behind we are, I don’t know what is. Until we have more diversity at the top, there is little use in continuing these conversations if they don’t translate to changes at the top.
As an artist what is important for you as an artist to see at your shows when it comes to audience engagement, what message would you love for them to take away?
Own who you are and love yourself.
What advice do you have for BI&POC folk who are coming up in the industry, particularly in your line of work?
Don’t compromise yourself for the sake of an opportunity. If it’s for you, it will happen while you’re in your authenticity.
What was it like growing up & experiencing the industry outside looking in? Now that you’re in it, what has your experience been like?
I wasn’t able to lean into my identity as a Black woman until later in life but I’m glad I found the courage when I did because I had a lot of lessons to learn in order to embrace my blackness authentically instead of faking my way through it.
Most people don’t see the mountain of work that goes into your art till you’re towards the peak, what was the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist?
I’m still in the obstacle, it’s balancing my career and motherhood. I want to be there 100% for my child but that pulls me away from opportunities in music and vice versa. I have to be very selective with how I spend my time so I can give the best of me to my child and still nurture my career.
Self identity & imposter syndrome are issues women in the industry struggle with. Have you faced this issue? What tips can you give to encourage others to stand in their truth?
I battle this every time I’m on stage. Know that any opportunity you have is yours because you’ve EARNED IT. It’s yours. Take it and do your best with it. And listen to I’m That Girl by Beyoncé, you’ll be right.
As an artist, is there a message you would like to give to others in the industry that don’t work in your line of work?
Please centre the artist in the decisions you make. They set the tone for your events, and they bring the money you’re going to make. Their art and comfort in your spaces is paramount to a successful working relationship.
What are your goals to round up 2023? 2024 New Year & new resolutions. What do we look forward to seeing from you in 2024?
I’ll be playing the role of Joanne in the 2024 Australian tour of RENT, and my album Lessons in Love will FINALLY be out so I’m looking forward to curating experiences to showcase the record.
What is your go-to Karaoke song?
Super bass by Nicki Minaj