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Emily Wurramara: Clearly Festival, becoming an ambassador, and recording her second album

Phoebe Blogg – November 14, 2023 – National Indigenous Times

Emily Wurramara is one of Australia’s most celebrated First Nations singer-songwriters.

Wurramara’s mob are the Warnindilyakwa people from Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island, and she also has Yolngu and Yanyuwa connections.

Emily Wurramara behind the scenes at Clearly Festival in Kiama. (Image: Phoebe Blogg/ Style Up)

Recently taking to the stage at Kiama’s first Clearly Music, Wellness and Arts Festival, the Tasmanian-based singer played a mix of both her old and new alum.

“The festival got in touch with my agent and asked if I wanted to come play, and of course I said yes! I played a mix of my album Milyakburra and some songs off my new album,” she said.

Artist Emily Wurramara performing at Clearly Festival. (Image: Phoebe Blogg/Style Up)

Now living in Lutruwita/Trowunna (Tasmania), Wurramara enjoys the peace and quiet of her hometown.

“I love living down here (Tasmania), it’s so beautiful and peaceful,” she said.

When discussing her inspiration and initial passion for music Wurramara shares that music has always been a large part of her life, even from a young age.

Music has always been apart of my life, my first song I wrote when I was six about mermaids and dolphins, it was very cute. Then when I was seven I learnt the violin and it just kinda went from there. If I weren’t doing music, I would probably be a chemistry teacher,” she said.

On the topic of the advice she would share with aspiring musicans, Wurramara states that it is the energy and the individuals around you that can truly hinder or help your career.

“I think I would say look at your environment and who’s around, what energy is being reciprocated and does it make you feel good? Have no shame in asking those questions you think dumb because sometimes the answer isn’t the same, perspective is everything,” Wurramara told Style Up.

Artist Emily Wurramara. (Image: Olive Jarvis)

When she’s not singing or songwriting Wurramara also acts as an ambassador for Kennell and Co’s Artist Assist program – a development series designed to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women, transgender and non-binary creatives in the music industry, with targeted business development and mentoring.

“My role as an ambassador is to be there for the artists, to help nurture and share what knowledge I have picked up throughout the years. I will also be on a panel discussing many things alongside Kerry about being in the music industry and my experiences,” she said.

“Kerry Kennell is the amazing woman behind this incredible project. She has such an incredible team, she also manages my best friend Alice Skye so we have a great friendship. Over the years Kerry and I have had conversations around the lack of resources especially for mob, so many conversations in this industry is gatekept, we either learn the hard way or unlearn completely what we know.

“What we do as artists creatively is amazing but at the end of the day we are a business, sometimes there are things that happen throughout your career and you don’t know how to approach it or have certain conversations. This is what this Artist Assist program is for, to upskill, inform, educate, share space and have these conversations.”

With 2024 just around the corner, Wurramara has several projects in the works, including the launch of her second album.

“I have a single coming out early next year and have just finished recording my second album. I have also just been appointed a director of a Non-profit charity called Bush Music Fund,” she said.

“I have a few little side projects happening that I can’t wait to announce next year.”