The Elements of Emily Wurramara

The Elements of Emily Wurramara

Motherhood, songwriting, & saving planet Earth.

As an environmental activist, Indigenous performer, and proud new mum, the earth has always been at the forefront of Emily Wurramara's (she/her) writing. 

What does “raise the femme voice” mean to you?

This hits me as a definition of queen, power, respect, pride, and strength. Talking about issues that we're confronting and the actions that follow. I believe actions speak louder than words. 

How does Indigenous culture influence your music?

I am very influenced by my culture. I’m a nature-inspired woman, so the elements are all involved in my songwriting. I write from a perspective that is ageless. I draw that from my culture and the sacred stories and memories that come with it. 

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You have songs both in English and your first language, Anindilyakwa. How do you choose what language to use when writing?

I always write in English first as there are words in Anindilyakwa that don’t translate but can totally mean something the same. I like to balance it out.

“Ngarrukwujenama” gives us warm, sunshiney feels, yet it translates to “I’m hurting.” How does a song about pain also bring us joy?

Not only is this a song about feeling the pain of the land, but also recognising the strength, beauty, and happiness the land and sea bring us. I tried to use the instrumentation to bring out those feelings.

I write from a perspective that is ageless.

What’s the wisest thing your mother ever told you?

You are your own destiny. 

What’s the wisest thing your daughter ever told you?

Well my daughter's 3 months old, but she’s definitely taught me how to be a stronger, more firm and honest woman.

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Where does your passion for environmental justice come from?

It comes from seeing the destruction that the mining on my island has caused. So much pain, sickness, and sadness. I’d hate for the sea and the land to be the same. What we do to our mother...she won’t stand for it any longer. We need to nurture her, love her, and care for her as she has done for us and our ancestors in the past. We forget—in a world where our generation is so technologically reliant—that it’s our Mother Earth who provides for us. We don’t thank her enough and we don’t love her enough.

Do you believe music is a force for education?

Most certainly! Education is so vital and I promote that very much. With my music, I educate others about my language and my culture. We are all constantly learning at everything we do, every day, and that’s also important to acknowledge.

We are all constantly learning at everything we do, every day...

Has being a new mother changed your music?

Yes, it’s made me write about deeper things. I have an understand and a love for someone that is so unconditional. You don’t know unless you’ve gone through this experience and it’s just beautiful. Seeing things now with my daughter and sharing those memories is so much different than when you’re by yourself. It’s all love.

Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?

Definitely Electric Fields. Zachariah and Michael are a power team! The way they use electronic music to preserve Zachariah’s language is so beautiful! Their live performances are out of this world. He has such a powerful voice and he is just such a beautiful person inside and out. I swear some old spirit just jumps into his soul when he performs. Such an ancient soul. 


Emily's Latest Release