Emily Wurramara, born and raised on Groote Eylandt, is an esteemed singer/songwriter, whose music tells the story of her childhood and indigenous culture. Emily’s debut EP ‘Black Smoke’, released in 2016 made waves in the Australian music industry. Since then, not only has Emily been a featured Triple J unearthed artist, she has also toured both nationally and internationally. With big-name festivals such as Woodford Folk Festival, BluesFest and Island Vibe (just to name a few), under her belt, it’s safe to say Emily Wurramara is no amateur on stage. Her performances are nothing less than captivating and share with the audience an insight into her life and the life of the first Australians through song, stories, and language.
Emily’s recently released single “Ngarrukwujenama”, perfectly represents the soothing tones Emily is so well-known for. Sung in her native language of ‘Anindilyakwa’, the track is full of cultural meaning.
Even with the birth of her daughter on Boxing Day 2017, Emily is not slowing down! Emily Wurramara is set for a big year in 2018, with the upcoming release of her first full-length album “Milyakburra”. It’s fair to say that juggling motherhood and music must make for a very busy schedule, so Music Industry Inside Out sat down to get an idea of what a Week in the Life Of Emily Wurramara is like…
A job description in your own words
I work as a full-time singer/songwriter and a full-time mummy. My people are the Warnindilyakwa people from Groote Eylandt. I utilise music and songwriting as a way to share my language, stories and culture; but also to empower women to follow their dreams. I’m an advocate for suicide awareness and for preserving and protecting the land and sea.
Challenges and accomplishments in your week
My accomplishments would be releasing a single from my debut album and charting #2 on the AMRAP charts! I’m also back into gigging and planning for the rest of year in regards to music and touring which I’m super excited about!
My challenges would be sleeping! And also getting myself back into a routine.
Highlights of the week
The highlights of my week; being able to perform on stage, I’ve missed it so much and there’s a feeling you get when you step out onstage; it’s like being at Groote, it’s home to me.
Lowlights of the week
I wished the days stretched longer! There’s so much I want to do, but I’ve learned to be patient; things take time.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field
I would say to be patient because things happen over time; and to have no shame, be proud of who you are and where you come from. I’ve been working hard and have made many sacrifices to be where I am now and I know I still have a long way to go but if you really LOVE what you do, never give up.
A brief daily journal
I was in Adelaide for a gig at the arts festival which was amazing, so many talented artists out there! It was so good to catch up with Electric Fields, I love their music and their live performances are always mind-blowing. I flew back into Brisbane around lunchtime and just chilled for the rest of the day with bub.
Tuesday was such a busy day for me. Ajak kwai and I collaborated on a song, which we wrote in 40 minutes at Chris Neehause’s studio. Ajak is collaborating with artists for her theatre production which I’m super stoked about and so blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of. It was so great to see the melding of cultures and the way people think about music. Then went back to the hotel to discuss the message of the song in more depth and had a deadly Thai dinner! It was a great day!
Ajak and I spent the day chilling with my mum, brother, and daughter just relaxing and having a swim in my manager’s pool then we went back to the studio to finish off the verses. Ajak had to leave and head back to Melbourne to collaborate with another artist. I chilled with Chris Neehause and had a mad as jam on the veranda, something that hopefully I’ll record one day. Wednesday was such a long day!
Thursday was my rest day, except for the interviews, every day there are at least two interviews. I talk with radio stations, online blogs, magazines and newspapers about my music, today’s interviews were about the first single release off my upcoming album. I am always so grateful for the support and so happy to be singing and releasing music again!
Friday was my birthday (Feb 2), I was 22 on 2/2!!!! I spent the morning at ABC Brisbane in the tardis room chatting with ABC Gold Coast. After the interview, my family and I hit the beach and sat there all afternoon just jamming and chilling. Was a beautiful day! Tomorrow I fly to Melbourne for a gig in St Kilda! Super stoked to see Baker Boy perform!
I woke up super early to catch a flight to Melbourne for Yalukut Weelam Ngargee Music Festival in St. Kilda. We had a great gig! I sang some songs from the album. We had such an awesome time! My highlight was Baker Boy! (Of course) He had a whole dance crew up on stage with him and absolutely slayed the stage. It was a quick fly-in-fly-out gig but I had such a great time! Now heading home to my “surprise” birthday party.
Check out Emily Wurramara’s latest track ‘Ngarrukwujenama’ below and check out her website here for all upcoming news and announcements!