Emily Wurramara is a rising star on the Australian music scene, with a style so unique and personal that it could only ever be hers.
Having just released her first EP Black Smoke, Emily Wurramara is ready to gig across the country. She will grace Adelaide’s ears this July with a show at Nexus Arts, as part of the Nexus Live series. Hailing from Groote Eylandt, a large island in the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia’s north, Wurramara was raised in a world of music, fishing and family. Her people, the Anindilyakwa people speak the indigenous language of the same name, and this is Emily’s mother tongue. “I’m really proud that my people still have a tongue, you know, and for me to pass on this culture and knowledge is really important,” says Wurramara. Her stories are taken from her own life and that of her people. They at once have a contemporary appeal with a broad audience, but an ageless resonance that speaks to Anindilyakwa traditions. Inspired by the Anindilyakwa’s musical culture, Wurramara was a self taught piano player at age 10, and quickly added other musical instruments to her repertoire. Now, at 20 years old, she is a young, yet seasoned professional, having collaborated with the likes of Bernard Fanning on her debut single, Ngerraberrakernama, and toured around the world. She has played abroad, with festival sets in Sweden and France, and at home at events like Island Vibes and Woodford Folk Festival. Wurramara recounts a story of her experience taking part in a large musical and cultural exchange in Europe in 2012. With hundreds of young musicians from all over the world playing together, each found they could breach cultural and lingual barriers through song. “It was really interesting having all these cultures together bonding over music.“ Listen to Black Smoke, the lead single from Wurramara’s new EP of the same name. Emily Wurramara with Corey Theatre and Vonda Last Nexus Arts, Corner of North Terrace & Morphett Street Saturday, July 2, 8pm nexusarts.org.au