Meet: RONA. - Closure EP
Meet one of Australia’s most exciting emerging electronic producers as she celebrates the release of her debut EP
Rona Glynn-McDonald, AKA RONA., is a Kaytetye (pronounced kay-ditch) woman who over the years has become an in-demand DJ, sharing the booth with names like Bradley Zero, Chaos in the CBD, Tornado Wallace and more.
Now stepping into the production world, RONA. has readied her debut EP Closure, packed with deep and uplifting sounds, showing a knowledge and respect for crafting underground dancefloor sounds with a First Nations twist.
RONA. says of the EP: “Throughout the past few years, I have been constantly pushing to create more and do more - this EP was written in a moment where I was beginning to recognise that stillness and connection is more important. It articulates these moments through a melodic and euphoric journey of place and memory.”
With Closure now out to the world, we caught up with RONA. to find out all about the EP, her creative process, what she’s been listening to lately and more!
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Rona Glynn-McDonald, I’m a Kaytetye woman from the Central Desert. I’m 25, and based between Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and Naarm (Melbourne). I love exploring the interplay between synthesis and atmos and how music can be a vehicle for storytelling that’s connected to place. Outside of music I'm the CEO at Common Ground, a First Nations led not-for-profit working with First Nations people across this continent to shape a society that centres First Nations people by amplifying knowledge, cultures and stories.
When and why did you start writing/producing music?
I started producing in 2016, after I purchased my first synth. It was an exciting moment to move from instruments like violin and guitar to patching in cables and working with waveforms. I’d moved from my home in Mparntwe to Naarm to go to university and was inspired by the music scene there and all the different cultures that are centered across the city. I come from a family that were connected to the bush bands movements of the 80s and 90s, and have always seen music as a form of cultural expression that First Nations people have been practicing for thousands of years. Since time immemorial it's been a foundation for connecting and creating space for us to share knowledge. Through music, I'm sharing parts of myself and my journey in life, embedding storylines and moments that connect us to people and place.
Tell us about your creative process?
My work is often narrative based and the way I approach writing and producing is constantly evolving. I often start with a storyline. These storylines are often connected to place, so I’ll record snippets out on Country where the story is connected. This could include the rustle of the wind, trees or animals that are connected there. These layers form the grounding of my tracks. I’ll spend time tinkering with hardware synths and VSTS and quickly lay down some melodies. My process is different every time but I often start with bass, or a vocal hook where I find a melody and a way of expressing a story that feels right. A lot of my process is driven by intuition and the energy I’m feeling in the moment.
Tell us about your new EP?
My debut EP ‘Closure’ explores finding balance and connection in the chaos of life. Throughout the past few years, I have been constantly pushing to create more and do more - this EP was written in a moment where I was beginning to recognise that stillness and connection is more important. The EP takes you on a very personal journey where I wanted to share feelings of connection to place and community. The first track Closure, brought together vocals from Eastern Arrernte knowledge custodian Helena Buzzacott. She speaks in her mother’s language about the importance of being grounded in Country.
How can fans best support your music?
Buy it, stream it, share it, cherish it. Come to the shows I’m playing and connect with me online to learn more about what sits behind the music.
What's coming up for the rest of the year?
I'm so excited to be supporting Rufus Du Sol on their tour later this year, as well as playing Falls Festival. I’m looking forward to seeing how audiences respond and connect to the songs in this EP. I’m furiously writing my next body of work and can’t wait to share that soon.
What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to a lot of local artists: Sam Alfred, dj pgz, Reflex Blue, Dameeeela, and Guy Contact
RONA. TOUR DATES
May 28 - Bourke Street Courtyard, Naarm (Melbourne) // supporting John Talabot
June 4 - LUCID, Colour Club, Naarm (Melbourne) // Closure EP Launch - Tickets on sale HERE
November 26 - Tandanya (Adelaide), Guarna Country // supporting RÜFÜS DU SOL
December 10 – Meanjin (Brisbane), Turrbal & Jagera Country // supporting RÜFÜS DU SOL
Follow RONA.: Instagram