Introducing the soothing sounds of Emily Wurramara and her new single, Ngarrukwujenama
She's playing a bunch of shows over the next month to help you get acquainted.
Growing up on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf Of Carpenteria, Emily Wurramara has always been bound by water and music, and since she's 2016 she's been trasnlating that into some wonderful releases, including breakout debut EP, Black Smoke. After inking a publishing deal with Mushroom Music last year, we're seeing the first taste of her debut album, Milyakburra, in the form of new single Ngarrukwujenama (pronounced: nar-deh-goo-jay-na-ma). We'll let her go into the meanings behind it in the Q&A below, where you'll also learn a little more about her upbringing, along with a bunch of shows she has coming up over the next few days, starting with Suvival Day Festival in Nimbin tomorrow.
Tell us about about yourself?
I’m a Warnindilyakwa woman from Groote Eylandt NT, I’m a full-time singer/songwriter. I play the guitar, the ukelele, the piano, the violin, saxophone and am currently learning drums. I’ve just become a new mum to a baby girl and I don’t plan on stopping my music anytime soon. I sing in Anindilyakwa - the language of my people and I believe that music is a beautiful way to archive it. In 2016 I released my EP Black Smoke and am so excited to share more music this year.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
Think Corrine Bailey Rae/India Arie meets The Tiddas.
I usually sit there press record and jam. After I finish recording I sit back have a listen go through lyrics and melodies and write the structure of the song and the chord progressions. Then from there I piece together the message of the song and the lyrics come next. It is a process because sometimes I may start with the lyric or the melody then go to guitar and lay it down to some chords. It’s different everytime.
Can you tell us about your latest single, Ngarrukwujenama?
Ngarrukwujenama means “I’m hurting” in my traditional language, it is an anthem for the sea and land protectors. I sing about how our earth is bleeding and how she is our home, that what we do to her - we are also doing to ourselves. The sea is sacred to my people because that’s where our sacred dreaming resides.
Any shows coming up?
Yes! Listed below:
Fri 26 Jan - Survival Day Festival @ Nimbin Bush Theatre, Nimbin
Sun 28 Jan - Tarnanthi Big Festival @ Sculpture Courtyard, North Terrance, Adelaide
Sat 3 Feb - Yalukut Weelam Ngargee Music Festival @ O'Donnell Garden, St Kilda
Sun 25 Feb - Sunset20'N @ Walumil Lawn 1 Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo
Sat 3 Mar - Songlines For A New World @ National Sawdust - Spring Revolution Festival, New York
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
This year I will be releasing an album dedicated to my home. I’ll be touring and playing at festivals like Garma and The Women Of The World Festival in Brisbane! I also have a lot of collaborative projects with some really amazing, talented, inspiring artists! Such an exciting year ahead.
Where can we hear more of your music?