Meet: Miss Kaninna
Having just won the triple j unearthed Treaty Day Out Naarm competition to play the festival and released her latest single ‘Blak Britney’, we get to know one of the countries most exciting emerging artists in the hip hop/r&b worlds
Image credit: Tristan Stefan Edouard
Miss Kaninna has had a massive 12 months, wowing audiences around Australia while playing some of the country's biggest festivals including Dark Mofo, Pangaea, MONA FOMA, The Great Escape and more. These achievements are made all the more impressive when you consider that her first official single, the powerful and provocative poppy r&b influenced hip hop sounds of Blak Britney was only released in May 2023.
The proud Yorta Yorta, Kalkadoon and Yirendali woman who’s based in Naarm/Melbourne-via-lutruwita/Tasmania describes the single as and "anti-establishment anthem" as she explores the concept of a “Black Barbie” character, her respect for Blak women and “her overarching mission to bring new representation to the scene and to dismantle oppressive structures in the colony”.
Teaming up with producer Finn Rees (30/70, Clouse Counters), with addition production from Jack McLain (Summer, Holy Holy), Miss Kaninna says "'Blak Britney' is a fuck you to the government - a call of empowerment to Blak women. I’m so sick of not being represented in the music scene here in so-called “Australia”. Fuck the government and fuck the police."
Continuing her hot streak, Miss Kaninna was recently announced as the winner of triple j unearthed’s Treaty Day Out Naarm competition, meaning she will be joining the huge lineup of Yothu Yindi, Jessica Mauboy, Thelma Plum, Dan Sultan and many more on Saturday, June 3.
June 3 marks the end of Victoria’s Treaty Elections, with the Treaty Day Out concert being a “celebration of the journey towards Treaty in Victoria”, held at Burnley Circus Site in Naarm/Melbourne on the same day (full lineup below).
With all of this going on, we caught up with Miss Kaninna to chat her new single, Treaty Day Out, what she’s been listening to and more!
How did you first get into making & performing music?
I first started performing when I was very young, however I only started taking my music seriously back in 2019. I started back-up singing for friends and family and then started doing my own shows.
We’re huge fans of Close Counters and 30/70 - how did you first link up with producer Finn Rees?
I met Finn down in Tassie, through mutual friends and Finn was keen to make some music together. It was kinda difficult to begin with as Finn lives in Melbourne and I was in Hobart at the time. But as soon as I came up to Naarm we smashed it out in the studio.
Tell us about your latest single Blak Britney?
Blak Britney has been such a fun process, working with Finn and later Jack was great because we just tried to make the song the best it could be. The song at its core is really about Blak excellence but also talking about real issues that us Blak fullas have to face.
Congrats on winning the Treaty Day Out Naarm competition - how does it feel to join the lineup?
I’m so excited to be able to play alongside some of the greats. I am very blessed to be able to support treaty for Victoria.
What are you looking forward to on the Day?
I’m looking forward to the day in general, being around other Blak fullas listening to good music and supporting an important cause as well as being with my own family who will be coming to support.
Can you share anything about any upcoming releases or other news?
I have so much music lined up for you! And other excited things to be announced but right now I’m just enjoying this first release (Blak Britney).
How can people best support your art?
I guess the best way to support my art is to support the Blak community in general. Uplifting Aboriginal and Torres Strait’s island communities inherently supports me. Giving us the space to speak our truth. And of course stream my song and share with your friends.
What have you been listening to lately?
I have been listing to Ogi on god damn repeat. She is a black Nigerian - American musician which I just can’t get enough of, she has this one song called “envy” and the way her voice sits right in the pocket is unmatched rn. I am also listening to Little Simz & Summer Walker.
Miss Kaninna's new single Blak Britney is out now