Electric Mum: Artist Donna Rankin on the love for her kids e.g. Jack River

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NAME

Donna Rankin

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an artist, an art teacher and the Founder of HeART to HeART Australia

And It Stoned Me 🎨💕 Artist statement* Each human has a morning ritual, even if they don’t have one at all. The repetition of the rising of the sun drives us out of dreaming and into our patterns that often repeat and repeat and never change. Sometimes you cross paths with humans that travel a certain pattern in the universe that intrigues you enough to change your own. My daughter sent me this picture of her partner drinking tea in the morning, a ritual that she had re-found whilst falling in love with him. Each morning at his house in Mollymook, they religiously make a cup of tea and listen to Van Morrison’s ‘And It Stoned Me’ on the balcony. This ritual takes her back to her childhood; the morning ritual of the local radio, porridge simmering away and the eternal cups of morning tea that warmed childhoods constant change. This painting is about transitions and reformations of morning ritual, it marks a moment of observation - metaphorically and physically, of appreciation for slowness and the importance of these rituals. I chose hues of transition - purples, pinks and soft blues, colours that speak of turning and the newness of the morning, and matched them with the steadfastness of old furniture, echoing Hopper. The interior detail is vast, yet the outside world was intentionally left a blur. Brett’s body is bent softly, oblivious to the photo being taken - he is thinking, dreaming - lost in his ritual, and perhaps oblivious to the depth of observation of my daughter. #artist #australianartist #brettburcher #jackriver

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FAVOURITE BAND?

Abba

FAVOURITE SONG?

Dancing Queen

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FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Jack River, she is strong, intelligent, soulful, she is my daughter.

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

My hardest moment was losing our beautiful 11 year old daughter Shannon. Then the hardest moments to follow were moving forward, picking myself up, and trying to be strong and learn to embrace living again.

 Holly, Donna and Shannon

Holly, Donna and Shannon

I love the concept of 'Electric Lady'. I see Electric Ladies all around me, my young 9-year-old friend Ruby who has written a brilliant speech about being inspired by Malala Yousafzai, my sister Sharon who is dedicating her time to caring for her beautiful Mother In Law who is suffering with motor neurone disease, friends who are dedicated teachers, doctors, nurses, midwives.

Electric Ladies are Mothers who pour love and energy into their children, who give up their life for the souls in their care. An Electric Lady is a woman who is true to herself, who is passionate about life, who dares to stand out and step up.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

Sometimes life can challenge us in the most extreme ways. Personally it has been connecting with others, reaching out, helping others, that has helped me bounce back. Being the founder of Heart to Heart Australia, there have been many times when I have wondered whether I am on the right track, whether all my time, energy and devotion to the greater vision is the path I should be following. At these times when I feel like giving up the magical universe sends me a message.....it may be that I unexpectedly bump into a parent of a young girl who has been a participant of the Heart to Heart program, and with tears in their eyes, tell me what a profound impact Heart to Heart had on their daughters life. These encounters make me bounce back.

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

I look up to the following women: Holly Rankin (Jack River), my daughter, who follows her passion, is true to herself and is dedicated to her vision. Oprah Winfrey and Ellen, strong woman who use their power and position to make positive change in this world. Layne Beachley, 7 time world surfing champion, a strong Australian woman who dedicates herself to helping young Australian women follow their passion through her foundation The Layne Beachley Aim For The Stars. Catherine Hamlin, an Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist who founded the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the world's only medical centre dedicated exclusively to providing free obstetric fistula repair surgery to poor women suffering from childbirth injuries. And so many others...

Like HeART to HeART Australia on Facebook and follow Donna on Instagram here

May Lyn: 'if you don’t enjoy it, you’re doing it wrong'

 Photo: James Hornsby

Photo: James Hornsby

NAME

May Lyn

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I write songs, produce music, and sing. I’m also a graphic designer and visual artist outside of music.

FAVOURITE BAND?

Majid Jordan

FAVOURITE SONG?

After The Storm by Kali Uchis

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Erykah Badu cuz she boss!

I call this one the Daria Stank-Eye. Photo by @unclechronicbone

A post shared by May Lyn (@mayylyn) on

 

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

Breakups, depression, and anxiety.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

Japan

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

I follow my intuition.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

Very ethical. I care about people.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

Friday salt and bubble baths. Put on my fav tunes and treat myself!

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

By not seeing each as competition but as fam.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? 

It’s okay to love yourself.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Confidence, determination and kindness.

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU’RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

My parents don’t understand or appreciate my creative endeavours but it’s okay. I try to see things from their perspective as they grew up in a whole different culture and time.

 

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

I look up to Nina Simoneand Maya Angelou.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

The main thing is to do what you enjoy because if you don’t enjoy it, you’re doing it wrong.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER? WHAT MAJOR THINGS DID YOU COME TO REALISE AS YOU GREW UP?

I was quite shy and not confident, but then I realise I did not need anyone’s approval and I stopped caring about what other people think.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

The need for money.

May Lyn will teach Electronic Production and Songwriting on May 19 as part of MusicNSW's and FBi radio's Women in Electronic Music Masterclasses details here. Like her on Facebook or follow on Instagram. Listen to her music on Spotify or Apple Music.

Ayebatonye Abrakasa on knowing your worth

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NAME

Ayebatonye Abrakasa

WHAT DO YOU DO?

DJ, work full time in a Community Engagement role, produce events on a freelance basis through "House of Ayebatonye" and sometimes write/blog for various publications

FAVOURITE BAND?

African Head Charge

FAVOURITE SONG?

Cariñito - Los hijos del sol

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FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Nina Simone, she was unapologetic about who she was and she was an incredible activist who played a pivotal role within the civil rights movement and used her status as a musician to fight for her people. I could only dream of causing such a significant impact through my creative work.

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

I give myself a moment to breathe, re evaluate the situation and then try to find another way around whatever the obstacle is.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC.

I think I'm a hard worker, and I do have a strong work ethic most of the time. I believe in persevering which isn't always easy,  I've definitely had to deal with some situations that left me a little shattered but if I hadn't kept pushing on I wouldn't be where I am, and I definitely intend to keep growing in every sense of the word.

I also don't really believe in the idea of competing with other people. I am very much about competing against myself and constantly try to push myself to work harder so that I can reap the benefits of my own success, you gotta stan for yourself the hardest.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

One of my rituals for when I'm having an off day is watching my favourite subjects on YouTube. I have a penchant for watching chameleon videos on YouTube. It's a mix of nostalgia and hilarity for me , I used to have a beautiful chameleon named Ziggy and loved watching him walk. I would highly recommend watching "Chameleon Walking" video. I also enjoy watching Nigerian TV Shows like "Skinny girl in transit" because the mum on the show is soo funny!

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

If I could give any advice to my younger self it would be know your worth, and with this statement I am mainly referring to receiving fair pay as a freelancer/DJ (however it's statement that can be applied to everything).

When I was younger there were times I didn't ask for what I wanted or deserved because I was afraid of being told no. Nowadays I do ask for what I believe is fair (although I definitely still have moments when I'm afraid), I think a lot of people are afraid of rejection so they put up with more than they should. Honeys, please you can't pay your rent with exposure!

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO? 

Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Janet Mock, Gloria Wekker and Rihanna. 

Ayebatonye is teaching Mix It Up: Intermediate DJing on May 19 in Sydney as part of MusicNSW's and FBi radio's Women in Electronic Music Masterclasses details here. Like her on Facebook, follow on Instagram and follow her on Twitter.

 

Lupa J on rejecting sexist and limiting conventions

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NAME

Lupa J

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Produce and perform electronic pop songs!

FAVOURITE BAND?

Grimes (2012 era)

FAVOURITE SONG?

I hate this question because I never really have one song I love more than others! I have about 5 favourite songs a month, always changing. But if we're talking Grimes, then Genesis!

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Grimes again, because of her wild sense of creativity and how she is so self assured and confident of her abilities as an electronic music producer in a field dominated by men.

 

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

If being able to direct my own creative project and be the sole producer and creator behind every element of it is the dream, then yes!

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

1. Coming out of a two year period of having a disordered relationship with my body and food when I was 15 where I was unable to be creative or see myself as anything more than a body, then having to learn how to shift focus away from my appearance in order to begin expressing and exploring myself through music.

2. Trying to write and release music while doing my HSC at a highly competitive school where electronic music was neither understood or supported, whilst having to be in tiny intense classes (28 person year group!) with people that had made aspects of my school life very emotional and anxiety inducing.

3. Learning that it's easy as an artist in the music industry to start trying to pander to the tastes of those considered important or powerful, but that when you do that it feels dishonest and unsatisfying. It's much harder to stick by your creative vision and make sure everything you're putting out is work you're really passionate about.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Feature each other's voices and work at any and every opportunity! If you're hosting a show of your own, make sure the lineup you're putting together supports enough emerging women. I think another really important thing is to (kindly and supportively) pull up influential women on anything they're doing that is unintentionally supporting discrimination/racism/homophobia or negative/sexist portrayals of women. It's easy to unconciously participate in a culture that hurts ourselves, and as creatives who influence culture we need to make sure what we're doing is in no way contributing to it or ostracising the less privileged members of our community.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

A woman becomes electric when she learns to separate her idea of she wants for herself from what everyone else, or our culture, wants from her as a woman. When she begins to figure out who she is, what her desires are, and begins to chase those desires for the benefit of no one but herself. It's bloody hard, but so powerful when women do things for themselves, because we're taught from birth that we should desire what our patriarchal culture wants us to desire, and become the kind of 'ideal woman' our culture wants us to become.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

I was a pretty fierce and imaginative kid, after discovering Princess Mononoke when I was 6 I demanded that my mum help me make her wolf girl costume and then proceeded to wear that costume every day (even to bed!) for the next 4 years. I would get teased for being weird because I was like that, but it didn't really stop me. I guess something changed in high school and, as I mentioned earlier, I lost my imaginative and creative streak for a while as I tried to fit in with the current ideals of what a successful, attractive woman should be. However as I learned to start rejecting those sexist and limiting conventions, I feel like I returned to my princess mononoke roots, (I named myself Lupa because it translates to she-wolf!) and began to start exploring my powerful and creative side again through music.

Lupa J is teaching Plugged In: Using instruments in production and performance as part of MusicNSW's and FBi radio's Women in Electronic Music Masterclasses details here. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Instagram and listen on Spotify and Apple Music

Ninajirachi wants everyone to care more about the planet

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NAME

Ninajirachi

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Write music, produce music, DJ.

FAVOURITE BAND?

Alt-J

FAVOURITE SONG?

Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

SOPHIE because she is so beautiful and awesome. I love that she is completely herself and makes things that are so fantastic and unique <3

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

I want to go everywhere and do everything! But for now I want to release my debut EP and see where that takes me.

 

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Stop making silly comparisons that make us feel like we need to compete with one another. Being conscious of groupthink would also help because girls can get sooo bitchy in groups.

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

My Mum!! She has worked in so many different fields and is one of the most learned and awesome people I know.

 

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

I still feel like the same person, just less naive. I'm still interested in the same things, I just have a little more life experience now!

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would love for everybody to care more for the planet, especially for powerful institutions to be more conscious of how their work affects the natural environment.

Ninajirachi is teaching an Intro to Ableton Live with Ableton Liveschool in Sydney on May 12 as part of MusicNSW's and FBi radio's Women in Electronic Music Masterclasses details here. Like her on Facebook, follow on her on Instagram, listen on Spotify or Apple Music.

Michelle Barry is helping female musicians, engineers and producers get loud

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NAME

Michelle Barry

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Music Producer/Sound Engineer

FAVOURITE BAND?

Difficult, I always come back to Bowie

FAVOURITE SONG?

Even harder, but another one that I come back to is "If You Want Me To Stay" Sly and the Family Stone

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Bjork, she is really unique as an artist and not takes control of her career.

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IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

In a way.  I have thought what would teenage me of "grown-up" Michelle and we are pretty happy.

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

I usually weigh things up and then go with my first instinct :)

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC.

I have to work on things until I'm happy and sometimes that can feel like a battle but I know if I don't put the work in I'll only regret it later.  So, keep working through methodically and at some stage it all comes together.

 

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Acknowledge each other, share stories, help find each other work and give each other time.  It's a really great time at the moment. There feels like progress is being made. I have started a project called Noisy Girls for musicians and technicians.  Have a look and listen noisygirls.net

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

Laurie Anderson, Marian Wright Edelman, Rebecca Walker, Mary Beard

Michelle Barry is teaching The Art of Audio Engineering on May 12 in Sydney as part of MusicNSW's and FBi radio's Women in Electronic Music Masterclasses details here. Find out more about Michelle here and Noisy Girls here, including Facebook.

EL Letter: Eliza Hull on no longer hiding her disability

 Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder

Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder

 

Dear You Reading This, 

My name is Eliza Hull and I'm a musician. I write songs, sing and play piano. It has been my passion since I was a teenager and something that feels innate to me. I started singing at just five years of age.  I've always had a belief that everything happens for a reason; and at the age of five when I started to sing, I also developed a disorder known as Charcot Marie Tooth. Perfect timing perhaps. 

So what is Charcot Marie tooth disorder? It is a nerve disorder that stops messages from the nerves reaching my brain. How does it affect me? I walk with a limp, I need a rail to get up stairs, I can’t always open lids from jars (it seems to happen more when I'm hungry!). Some of the symptoms can be painful and annoying like last night when I was on a date night in Melbourne and couldn’t walk fast enough to catch the last tram. But actually what having Charcot Marie tooth has done for me is more than I'll be able to fit into this letter.

We all have decisions we must make about our lives and how we choose to live them. The way we perceive our lives, and what we create for ourselves, is reliant on our ability to see the good in what we have been given. Over the past year, I have arrived at the most beautiful place. A place of self love. I am thankful for having a disability. I am proud of having a disability. I am now comfortable talking about it and not hiding it. For me, it is about owning who I am. I believe that there needs to be a shift in the way we as a community view people with disabilities. For instance, today when I met someone and they saw me walking they apologised to me and said “oh you poor thing”. Whilst I understand that their intention was kindness, it says to me that they consider my life something that ought to be apologised for, which it is not.

The music industry is starting to change. It has been three years since I released any new music and I can feel a difference. Now, there is more talk about diversity; about showcasing all of us: disabled, transgender, all cultures, sexualities, about sharing our stories, varied as they are. People are listening. I remember when I used to meet with prospective agents or managers; I would sit at a cafe table and wait for them to arrive so that I didn't have to walk in front of them. I was afraid. I feared that if they saw me walk I would not get the opportunities I wanted. I was also worried it may go the other way, and I would only be offered the opportunity because of my disability being viewed as a potential marketing tool. I just wanted my music to speak for itself.

 

But there has been a shift recently. I have come to realise that my identity as a musician is as much about my disability as my curly hair, my love of strawberries and the colour purple. By denying any of it, I would be doing a disservice to myself and to others.

What would I love for the future? More of Dylan Alcott’s 'Ability' festivals and others like it, more accessible stages (I've literally been pushed up onstage by my band mates because there are no stairs) and more diverse line-ups at festivals with disabled musicians. But most of all, I would love if people had more conversations about disability, and it's starting to happen. I want us to be visible. I want disabled young people in high school to see disabled musicians up on stage shining brightly, and think 'I can'. 

Much love,

Eliza x

Eliza Hull's new song 'Hard Way' is out now, listen on Spotify and Apple Music. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. Read her EL profile here!

Eliza Hull on starting to own who she is

 Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder

Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder

NAME

Eliza Hull

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I write and sing songs

FAVOURITE BAND?

The Cranberries

FAVOURITE SONG?

Nothing Compares To You - Sinead O'Connor

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WAY?

Bjork - Her voice is incredible, she constantly pushes boundaries, speaks her mind, and has the ability to articulate things that I feel, in a way I wish I could.

 

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

When I first moved to Melbourne from my hometown Wodonga. I was seventeen, and I remember being so excited, I packed my car full and drove down the Hume Highway singing 'Everyday is A Winding Road' by Sheryl Crow on the top of my lungs! Freedom had arrived! But the reality was very different. I arrived not knowing many people, not knowing my way around the city, my apartment had hardly any furniture, my bed was hard, and I had no cooking skills (I put a plastic plate in the oven - disaster ha ha). I got pretty depressed at that point, and ended up in an bad relationship. I had enrolled into a Bachelor of Communication (Media) but wasn't ready to study so dropped out and started pursuing singing instead, which was in itself a very big learning curve! When my parents broke up was another hard moment, I was sixteen. Although now in retrospect it's been the best thing for both sides, it's hard to see your parents individually struggle with their own emotional journeys, and seeing them both lonely and hurting really upset me. Another hard thing I deal with is accepting myself, loving myself and believing in myself. It's not a particular moment but instead something that has continually followed me around - I feel as though I am now coming out the other end. I am starting to get comfortable with myself and owning who I am. When you're about to release music it can take a lot of courage, because you have to put yourself on the line time and time again for people to critique.

 Photo:&nbsp;Michelle Grace Hunder&nbsp;

Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder 

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Women are powerful and electric when they speak their minds, and are true to themselves.

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU'RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

I remember someone once saying to me 'when will you get this music idea out of your system?' I have also been told constantly throughout my life that it's too hard, and not a smart career choice. I've had my own internal resistance as well, sometimes I wonder why I'm still putting so much of my time into my musical career, but I manage it by listening to my heart, and I always ask the question 'What would it feel like without it?' and 'Would my heart be ok if it wasn't able to sing?'. The answer always brings me back to knowing that this is right for me, because I love it and it brings me joy.

Eliza Hull's new song 'Hard Way' is out today, listen on Spotify and Apple Music. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

Electric Lady x Festival 2018: Photo Diary

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Photos by Daniel Witchey @lostinmotion, Elizabeth Webster, Hannan Paul @shotbyhannan and Tiff Williams @tiff.williams

Lauren Parker goes for gold one year on from accident

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NAME

Lauren Parker

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Professional Para-Triathlete

FAVOURITE BAND?

Artist - Keith Urban

FAVOURITE SONG?

Habit of You

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Pink because she is original

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

Its always been my dream to represent my country.

 

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

1. My bike accident in 2017 2. Swimming for the first time after my accident 3. Completing the Ironman World Championships in Kona

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Through mentoring and support from my friends and family.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC.

Determined, dedicated and focused.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

I always buy a brand new pair of googles for a race.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

To encourage and uplift one another.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? OR THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

To make the most of everyday and not take anything for granted.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

An electric woman is independent, strong and powerful in whatever she does.

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU’RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

By keeping a strong positive mindset and never giving up.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

The struggle of everyday living in a chair. The support network that I have is what helps me bounce back.

 

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

Laura Siddall pro triathlete

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

Surround yourself with a good support network.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

Very active and sporty and nothing has changed.

 

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER? WHAT MAJOR THINGS DID YOU COME TO REALISE AS YOU GREW UP?

Focused and driven. I learnt not to take anything for granted and don't worry about the little things.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

If I could go back and change the day I had my bike accident which changed my life. I would also like to ensure every child has a chance to chase their dreams whether in sport or life in general.

 

Lauren Parker is competing in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Follow her on Instagram here and learn more about the Lauren Parker Foundation here

Taylor McKeown's letter on her other passion

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Dear Readers,

Do you ever watch your sporting idols or favourite team compete and wonder what they do outside of their sport and what their passions are? Everyone has one, but its rarely spoken about in typical interviews. Personally, I find that most journalists are digging for a lucrative story, or ask the questions which the majority of public want to know; usually when I started swimming and why, how I feel before a big race and other swimming related questions. 

However, I am now the journalist of my own interview, and I wish to speak about my passions outside of swimming, which are not about me at all. 

I am a huge fan of high profile celebrities who use their social status, platform and profile for a good cause, whether that be donating money to charities, raising awareness for a good cause or personally going out there and fighting for whats right. Some of my idols in this regard include; Leonardo DiCaprio, for his work preventing global warming and other environmental issues, Hayden Panettiere and Jack River for their commitment to fighting for dolphins who are cruelty treated in captivity and the mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Ellen DeGeneres, for fighting the illegal ivory trade and slaughter of elephants and Kevin Pietersen for his work with SORAI (Save Our Rhinos Africa India). 

Which brings me to talk about my passion outside of swimming.

I’ve been really fortunate in my travels, which has allowed me to swim with wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii, wild bottlenose dolphins in Queensland and humpback whales like these in Vava’u, Tonga, where the level of interaction is completely on their terms. 🐋 Often their natural curiosity and playfulness makes for an amazing encounter. My passion outside of swimming is about providing a voice for the voiceless and those who are suffering in silence. While there are millions of different species in need, I’m turning my attention to the whales and dolphins who are unfairly imprisoned in captivity for our entertainment who are suffering more than we have ever discovered. In the wild, dolphins rely heavily on echolocation to communicate, find prey and navigate without the need for eyesight. In captivity, their most valuable sense is taken away as they are driven into insanity when their echolocation bounces off the concrete walls all around them. They also lose their ability to hunt naturally like their wild counterparts. In the wild, they migrate and travel across oceans, meeting new pods and forever expanding their sense of the world. In captivity they are held in tiny chlorinated tanks until they are forced to perform in daily shows in front of loud music and a screaming crowd. It’s hard not to be captivated by the show, however the dolphin’s naturally fixed smile becomes its greatest downfall as it creates the illusion they are always happy. It has been scientifically proven that dolphins live significantly shorter lives in captivity, often dying from unnatural causes such as stress induced infections, suicide, collisions with the pool and other dolphins, swallowing foreign objects and viruses. Dolphins are so incredibly bored that they often find ways to entertain themselves. A common trend among all captive cetaceans is broken or blunt teeth, due to chewing on concrete parts of the tank. It’s not uncommon for dolphins to turn to other self harm activities to relive the stress of captivity such as jumping out of their pools, beaching themselves and attacking others. If you ever needed a reason to ditch the dolphin show, this is it! #captivityiscruel #backme

A post shared by Taylor Mckeown (@tay_mckeown) on

 

When I was little, I used to love swimming in my family pool and would often play games with my best friend pretending to be different aquatic animals. I was always a dolphin or a whale. I became so captivated by them. I would always hire out large scientific informative novels, filled with pictures and diagrams from my primary school library about marine mammals. I loved watching documentaries about animals and was always surrounded by them growing up. I have become so well educated about cetaceans (the scientific group of whales, dolphins and porpoises) because of my obsession in my younger years. Now I have extended that as far as studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at university, with hopes of finishing my degree and obtaining work with tourism, and taking people to see these magnificent animals in the wild.

In 2009 a documentary called "The Cove" was released. Being the crazy obsessive animal nerd I was, I knew about every dolphin documentary and have seen most of them, so when 'The Cove' was released, I watched it straight away. From that moment on, my entire life changed. I was disgusted, upset, confused and felt helpless. At this time, I wasn't anybody. I was a 14 year old girl who had barely qualified for an Australian Age Group Nationals. I was one person, who cared so much about this issue, but had no way of helping. I vowed from that moment on, that if I ever was in a position where I could made a difference I would. 

Now, before I tell you about what I did, I should probably tell you about what 'The Cove' is.

The Cove is a hidden beach in the town of Taiji, Japan. Every year from the 1st of September through to the 1st of March many different species including bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, striped dolphins, pacific white-sided dolphins, rissos dolphins, short finned pilot whales and false killer whales migrate past Taiji. Local fishermen have learnt that they can capture these dolphin pods and profit from their exploitation in many ways. 

Every morning, a fleet of 12 boats head out in search of dolphins. Once a pod is located, the fleet move in a formation and lower long metal poles into the water. The skipper will bang on this pole with a hammer, which creates a very disruptive wall of sound underwater. This disturbs the dolphin's sensitive sonar and hearing. They panic and try to flee from the traumatising foreign sound. They speed up and jump out of the water in a direction away from the fleet of boats, who push them towards the coast, and eventually into the cove. Once the dolphin pod is swimming inside the cove, smaller skiff boats lower nets to lock them in. They continue to push the dolphins closer to the shore by revving their motors and scaring them, tightening the nets as they move. Soon the dolphins are confined within a small space. The local trainers from the Taiji Whale Museum are then brought in on a skiff boat, to work with the hunters and select the prettiest and most suitable dolphins, destined for captivity. They will have their spirit broken, endure starvation training techniques so they will work for food, undergo vigorous training and finally, will be sold to aquariums around the world for sums up to $250,000 each. The demand for dolphins in captivity has never been higher, and this is where the hunters and trainers make their money.

In one season they had an order for 100 bottlenose dolphins!

So what happens to the remaining dolphins not chosen for a life in captivity performing circus tricks for a screaming audience in a tiny chlorinated pool? They are brutally slaughtered, under tarps which have been hung up to block the view of activists. If you have a weak stomach, skip reading the next sentence. The dolphins are pushed onto a beach, they have their tails tied so they cannot escape. One dolphin at a time, a long metal spike is shoved into their head by hand. Once the spike is removed, a wooden plug is shoved in the hole as an attempt to stop blood pouring into the water and turning it red, looking bad to the cove monitors and activists who are watching from the cliff at top of the cove. Once that group of dolphins have stopped struggling, they are dragged out of the cove, past their living family members who are yet to be killed. The whole process is barbaric, cruel, and unnecessary. The hunters receive little money for the dolphin's meat, and a lot ends up in pet food and fertilisers. 

After the Olympics in 2016, I used my time off to travel to Taiji and see it for myself. I represented Dolphin Project, and let their seasoned activists show me the ropes. Upon my first day, there was a pod of pilot whales in the cove, who had been held in there for 3 days to weaken them, making them easier to kill because they are so large. On day one, I sat at the top of the cove and looked down, filming everything. I saw babies swimming around frantically as their mothers were killed. I could see the beautiful blue water turn bright red as blood spilt into it. I heard the whales thrashing around under the tarps while screaming out to each other. I was absolutely mortified. No words can describe the horror, shock and stress I felt from day one though to day eight. I saw many captures and slaughters, all the while surrounded by police and other authorities who were waiting for me to do something wrong or illegal so they have a reason to deport me. All activists who visit Taiji are in the same situation. The moment I arrived in Taiji, I was chased down by police who made me fill out a sheet full of questions, from that moment they followed me everywhere, which is usual life for the activists in Taiji. 

I am committed to seeing this mistreatment of an animal (not so different to us) end in my lifetime. Dolphins are so incredibly smart, in ways humans do not measure intelligence. For example, they have a unique evolution of the entire limbic system, which is a combination of multiple structures in the brain that deal with emotions and the formation of memories, suggests that cetaceans have the ability to process more complex thoughts and emotions than humans.

 

So the important question is this; if humans are against slavery and racism, why aren't we against the imprisonment, mistreatment and slavery of the very species closest to us?

We have taken advantage of their intelligence and used it as a way to create profit. 

I am asking my readers to help end the demand for captive dolphins by saying NO TO THE DOLPHIN SHOW. If we end the demand, we end the wild captures, and the slaughter. Make the connection, be the difference.

Thank you,

Taylor McKeown. 

Taylor McKeown is competing in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Follow her on Instagram here and read her EL interview here

Nina Las Vegas on never underplaying your achievements

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NAME

Nina Las Vegas

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Make, play and release club music on my own label.

FAVOURITE BAND?

Jamiroquai

FAVOURITE SONG?

Jamiroquai - Cosmic Girl

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

M.I.A, 'cause she's always 10 steps ahead of you.

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

I think so? I just wanted to be happy and working in music.

 

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

Walking 100km for charity, releasing my own music and quitting triple j.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

Right now, I want to be in Europe for summer!

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Coffee and delegating.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC.

Dramatic.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

I run listening to murder podcasts.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Go to each other's shows!

LADY LADY LADY LADY POWERS AT @FOMOAUS 📷 @tiff.williams

A post shared by Nina Las Vegas (@ninalasvegas) on

 

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?/THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

Release music earlier and never underplay your achievements.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Her persistence and determination.

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU’RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

I play the game and know when to call shit out.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

Not reaching my own goals gets me right down, but I just try again.

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

Tina Fey, Bjork, Madonna, Julia Gillard and my Mum, Grandma n Sis.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

Passion is still work, be okay with that.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

Bossy, so not really!

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER? WHAT MAJOR THINGS DID YOU COME TO REALISE AS YOU GREW UP?

I didn't love my surroundings and didn't totally feel myself. I only released when I reached my 20s and felt 100% me. I wasn't unhappy, but definitely realised something was missing.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

BREXIT

Nina Las Vegas is playing the Electric Lady night at Festival 2018. The event is free! Let us know you are going here. Like her on Facebook here, follow her on Instagram and listen on Spotify or Apple Music

Gymnast Danielle Prince on giving 100%

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NAME

Danielle Prince

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Rhythmic Gymnastics

FAVOURITE BAND?

Coldplay

FAVOURITE SONG?

I was here - Beyonce

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

1. Missing qualification for the London Olympics by 0.08 of a mark
2. Losing my National Title to a younger senior athlete in 2017 after being National Champion for 4 consecutive years
3. Deciding to move states and change coaches after competing at the Olympics

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FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

A lot of lists! I like to write down my thoughts and feelings when it comes to make big decisions. I always do some research about possible outcomes of both options and rely on the trusty pro's and con's list.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

My work ethic is 100% or nothing at all. If I set myself a goal, I will put everything on the line to give myself the best possible chance of achieving that goal.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

Before I walk onto the competition floor I visualise my whole routine, seeing myself execute the routine perfectly. I also always get my nails done before a major competition, it gives me some time for a little self care and gives me a little boost.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

Initially failure makes me want to give up. Nobody likes to fail and it definitely has the ability to knock your confidence around. But as I begin to process the failure, its ends up fuelling me to bounce back and try again. I hate unfinished business!

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DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

My secret to following my passion is to live it everyday and surround myself in it. Whether it's watching the latest European Championships or seeking advice from other elite athlete on the latest recovery techniques, I am immersed in Gymnastics and elite sport which is what helps drive my passion. When you surround yourself with like minded people its hard not to be motivated!!

Danielle Prince is competing at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

MEG MAC feels most like herself on tour

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NAME

Meg Mac

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I write songs and then take them out on tour with me.

FAVOURITE BAND?

Always changing but at the moment it’s Nina Simone and King Krule.

FAVOURITE SONG?

Sam Cooke's powerful civil rights anthem  'A change is gonna come'.

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Nina Simone. She was one of the most powerful, uncompromising and outspoken female artists. She is a huge influence on my music and way of thinking and her songs continue to shed light on issues that are as relevant today as they were in the sixties.

 

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

I feel I am most myself on tour. Everything I do is to get to the point where I am playing live with my band. So I want to travel, play more shows in places I’ve never been.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

By listening to each other. We all have so much to say and don’t always say it. We should speak out and stand up as one.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

To believe in yourself. When I was young I used to ask everyone’s opinions about everything. What should I do, is this song good, do you think this is ok? It is annoying to think of the time I wasted on people's opinions that did not matter. Stand up, speak out and be strong.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Strength, attitude, empathy and compassion; women who stand up for themselves and others, have something to say and speak out.

in the carpark at my show with @beck by @g.g.mcg

A post shared by MEG MAC (@megmacmusic) on

 

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU’RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

Of course. I don't think I always managed it the best, I’ve gotten very lost at times. I'm learning to stand up for myself. I can find my inner strength when I sit down at the piano and sing - not for anyone else but myself. Because that’s where it all started. Just me at the piano.

MEG MAC is playing the Electric Lady night at Festival 2018. The event is free! Let us know you are going here. Like her on Facebook here, follow her on Instagram and listen on Spotify or Apple Music

Be part of the Electric Lady video project

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Electric Lady wants to hear from YOU!

EL fans are the spark that keeps the fire burning. Your thoughts and dreams are important to us -so we want to know in your words via video what makes an Electric Lady and/or who is an Electric Lady in your life! Send us your video through Facebook message or email claire@electriclady.world. Long or short, we would love to see it and learn more about YOU.
 

Men, women and non-binary persons - we want to hear from all of you! Together our message will be combined together to make a killer video that will be played on the big screen at Festival 2018, the Commonwealth Games's Arts and Cultural Festival, at our set – where Meg Mac, Nina Las Vegas, Jack River, Wafia and Kardajala Kirridarra will be playing.


Be part of the movement, be apart of the turning point, a rising moon into a dark and old night - one which we must light in every corner and continue to use our love for media, music and technology to spread the world.

We cant wait - xxx

Terms and conditions: Please note that by sending us your video, you are allowing us to use it for future promotional activity such as the Festival 2018 event. This video may be posted on social media and played at Electric Lady events. Closing date March 23.

Weightlifter Pip Malone on putting an end to comparisons

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NAME

Philippa (Pip) Malone

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Weightlifter/business owner/coach/student

FAVOURITE BAND?

I can't choose between Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac and Crowded House.

FAVOURITE SONG?

Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Stevie Nicks. Because she's badass and timeless. But a more current fave is Banks. She's so rad. I love artists like her that are doing their own thing with their own vibe and sound. She just kills it.

 

 

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

It's what I have always envisioned and trained for from a very young age - to be competing at this level at a competition as prestigious as the Commonwealth Games. I have a great feeling of satisfaction knowing I am going to be there competing for my country on that stage.

YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

Losing some very close family members to cancer and suicide in the last few years

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

As a weightlifter you always want to keep improving, keep lifting more and more. It's addictive. At 28 years old now I like to keep my goals short sighted because I am getting older and more and more "life" things get in the way of sport. So after the comm games we will re-evaluate the sporting goals. I would like to say and hope that I will be able to keep going and make a run at Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Outside of that, I am going back to uni in July to finish off the last bit of my Criminology degree that I have been putting off for a couple of years for my sport. I am very excited to be finally moving into a career that is completely unrelated to sport. As an athlete it is a very scary but proud feeling and something that I have always wanted for myself.

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FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

I always listen to my gut because it has never been wrong. If something doesn't feel right then it's not right. I put off a career in criminology for sport, and I am glad I made that choice. A few years ago I wasn't ready to go into the kind of area I have studied to go into. Now I am because I made the right decision at the right time.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

Ruthless. I am like a dog at a bone. I never do anything half assed. My coach always says that with most of his athletes he has always had to tell them to work harder. With me his job is to tell me to stop. I have learnt to have a smart approach with a hard work ethic, but I always train with "earning" it in mind. Nothing in this world is free. You have to work for it. And I have earnt every one of my successes with hard work every single day.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS?

I love music. A ritual of mine most days is to put my headphones in about 30 mins before I'm going to train, put a solid playlist on and get in the zone and prepare to work with a positive attitude. Music is always good if you aren't feeling it or just in a mood that needs to be turned around.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

I feel like comparisons have a huge negative impact on women today. Especially because of social media. Women comparing themselves to other women and either making themselves feel bad about what they don't have and what someone else does have. A short coming is only what you make it. If you are happy in your life then you don't want what anyone else has because you are happy with what you have. Women could best support one and other by being accepting. Stop judging, hating, and comparing yourself to people on the internet and go and live your life. Everyone is different. If we were all the same life would be bloody boring.

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ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Advice to my younger self would be to not be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break and be happy with what you have and where you are heading. Because you are heading some pretty awesome places :) Don't listen to the irrelevant people who tell you that you aren't good enough, not smart enough, not skinny enough, too many muscles, too bulky.... Keep following your own path.

WHAT MAKES A WOMEN ELECTRIC?

Being unapologetically herself and being fearless.

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU'RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

Not resistance as such, but people always feel the need to give you their opinion on how you live your life. And it's mostly people who don't even really know you. It's my life, not yours :) I am a female with muscles that lift's heavy weights. Deal with it.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

When things that are completely out of your control knock you down or cause a bump in the road. It's easy to be like "what is the use in even trying?", but you just have to remember why you are doing it in the first place and that sometimes things happen that we cannot control. No use being down about things you can't do anything about.

 

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

Women who have overcome major setbacks in their life and have come out the other side and done something extraordinary. They prove that you do not have to be a victim of your circumstances. J.K Rowling comes to mind. I love her.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

When I was about 9 years old I got a stack of affirmation cards. One of them said "if it's meant to be, it's up to me". That has always stuck with me through life. Don't leave anything up to "fate". Because nothing will happen if you don't actually go after it yourself. There's no magic unicorn waiting with a pot of gold. You have to earn that pot of gold piece by piece.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID?

I was crazy. Full of energy, fearless, confident and into everything I could get my hands on or climb. Hence why I was put into sport at age 2.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER?

On the outside I always came across as a very "together" and level headed teen because of my sporting pedigree. I always had people telling me I was wise beyond my years and very mature. Now looking back I can see why people thought that, but I also can see that underneath I was hiding an extremely anxious, self conscience and fragile teenager. I learnt to put up a really strong game face because of my sport, but most of my teenage years I spent I hating myself and I never felt good enough. I have definitely become more and more mentally tough as I've gotten older and experienced things in my life. I have learnt from every mistake I have made and I have grown from them in one way or another. I have also learnt to not be so hard on myself.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would love a Jurassic Park scenario. Bring back the dinosaurs!!

Pip Malone is competing at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Follow her on Instagram here.

Angie McMahon on learning life lessons while making music

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NAME

Angie McMahon

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Singer/Songwriter

FAVOURITE BAND?

Big Thief

FAVOURITE SONG?

Tea, Milk & Honey - Oh Pep!

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Angel Olsen...I always realise new things while listening to her music.

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

Yes. It's much more real and scary than I dreamed it would be, it's hard. But I get to learn life lessons while making music, and that's wonderful.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

So many places...I want to go to different countries and play in lots of new spaces, sharing songs with people, and I also want to go to a quiet house in the middle of nowhere and make more songs on my own.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

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I often feel like I've gotta go fishing for my work ethic. Like there's a big body of water - expectations, anxieties, distractions, my imagination, sleepiness, etc - and I'm looking at it all the time. And then some days I can throw the line in, find my work ethic fish, and ignore whatever is in the water while I just get some stuff done.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

My favourite ritual is sitting on my own for a while when I'm stressed, it always helps me recharge. Some mornings I sit on my front porch for a long time, while the sun is shining on it. Before gigs there's usually lots of people around, so I sit in a bathroom cubicle by myself until I feel steady.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF/THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

Think gently and work harder.

Angie McMahon has released her latest single Missing Me. Like Angie on Facebook, follow her on Instagram and listen to her on Spotify or Apple Music

Kardajala Kirridarra's Kayla Jackson on finding and loving rap

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NAME

Mikaela Henderson aka Kayla Jackson

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a single, stay at home mum, and also the rapper in Kardajala Kirridarra.

FAVOURITE BAND?

TLC

FAVOURITE SONGS?

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls (TLC)

 

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Cardi B because she speaks her mind and she inspires me.

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

I didn’t really think I would ever end up rapping but now I love what I'm doing.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

Overseas!!!! I have never been before and I would love to go. Bali would be the first place.

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HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT EACH OTHER?

We need to encourage each other and not let each other down.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Never stop believing in yourself, because that’s who gonna get you on top when no one starts believing in you!

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

No music was always in my life. I grew up in a christian family, so gospel music.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER?

I became a mum at 16, so I was just doing mum duties and never really lived my teenage years just being a teenager. I became a mum while still tryna figure life out. 

Kardajala Kirridarra is playing the Electric Lady night at Festival 2018. The event is free! Let us know you are going here. Follow Kardajala Kirridarra on Instagram, like them on Facebook and listen to them on Spotify or Apple Music

Taylor McKeown's hardest moments, rituals and what's next

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NAME

Taylor McKeown

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Athlete

FAVOURITE BAND?

San Cisco

FAVOURITE SONG?

Don't Delete The Kisses - Wolf Alice

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Meg Mac. She is bold, sassy and owns the stage. She is herself when performing and I feel like her songs are very relatable.

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

Yes, Ive always wanted to compete at the top level of swimming.

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

Failing to swim to my expectations at the Olympics, saying goodbye to my grandad Joe and breaking up with my first true love of 4.5 years.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

Keep trying to improve myself from every aspect and see where my perseverance, skills and takes me in life.

 

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Inspect all outcomes, and decide on what will best benefit me, or others whom my decisions may affect.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

Creative, driven, enthusiastic and enjoyable

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? 

Before every race I go through the same (or similar routine) smile and wave to the crowd or camera, take my jacket off, adjust my block, splash myself and then push down on my race suit and goggles to make sure they are sealed tight.

 

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

By being loyal, considering how your actions will affect others and not doing thinks to bring someone else down.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? OR THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

Eat as much food as you can while you're young. Because when you're older, you suffer the consequences. Enjoy the time you have in swimming, it cant last forever.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Her attitude to life!

HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU'RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

Luckily I've never had a MAJOR resistance, but it can be difficult to get recognition as a female compared to an equal male counterpart.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP?

The long hard training sessions, cold winter mornings and disappointment of training for years and years to not even swim a personal best time.
 

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WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

Strong female musicians and artists. Strong female athletes and successful business women.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

If you love what you do, following your passion is easy.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID?

I was very socially orientated and would always put seeing my friends over going to swim training. Now I put swimming over my friends.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER? 

As a teen I was still very socially orientated, this was the phase where I became good at swimming and started to shift my focus to that, rather than parties, social events and school.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD - WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would love to liberate, free and bring peace to every single animal that man has ever enslaved, harmed and treated unfairly.

Taylor McKeown is competing in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Follow her on Instagram here

Georgia Nott's 'Vol. 1' of The Venus Project has been released to the world

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Photo: Catie Laffoon

 

NAME

Georgia Nott

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm a songwriter/singer/artist

FAVOURITE BAND?

Bon Iver

FAVOURITE SONG?

Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Bat For Lashes. This woman has been a huge inspiration to me as an artist. The fearless and poetic way she writes, to the way she holds herself as an honest artist. I think she has something no one else on earth has.

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

I've wanted to be an artist since I can remember. I have always felt a huge pull to music and to creating something for not just myself, but anyone else who needs it. I most definitely feel that I'm doing what I was born to do.

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

My hardest moments tend to go on for a lot longer than just a moment. The worst days of my life were the days surrounding the death of my friend in high school. He was 17 when he committed suicide and since that day I have given myself a responsibility to understand and challenge the stigmas of mental illness. The second low point was when I began to tour the first Broods record. At the end of each day, without fail, I would close the door of my hotel room and have an anxiety attack. I learnt a lot about my own relationship with mental illness that year and found a way to permit myself to feel what I needed to feel. The third would be right now, as I count down to releasing the most personal and emotional project of my life so far. It's easy to admit to struggles when you are on the other side but I know I can't pretend that I'm not struggling as it's happening to me. I'm using the tools I have acquired in the past six years and staying honest. It's still hard but if I'm going to preach about honesty and self expression I have to bloody live it myself!!  

 

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Things always seem huge when you stare at them from an inch away. I have to work really hard to stay back and see things with perspective. There has to be a lot of mindfulness and self reflection, but also an openness with the people who support you and a trust in the universe. I often do an exercise that helps keep me calm in times like this; I imagine the best case scenario of each potential road. I imagine myself happy in all outcomes and make silent promises to myself to never reject or run from the challenges I face. 

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Women are absolutely magical creatures! We can make humans inside us for goodness sake! If that doesn't make us magic I don't know what does. Our instincts are incredible, especially when we follow them with grace and understanding. We have so much love and power and beauty to give. We are all goddesses and geniuses with super powers beyond comprehension. When a woman is free to be who she truly is as an individual, it may possibly be the most beautiful sight one can behold. 

 

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

There have been so many times I have questioned why I'm doing this. It's hard and stressful and I constantly feel pressure to please people or prove myself. I get stuck in my own head and I don't see things with perspective. I always bounce back, however. Sometimes I just wake up one morning with motivation again. I put it down to the people I surround myself with. I am constantly having open conversations with my loved ones about these times of feeling that all hope is lost. The more we talk about these times, the more we all realise that its a part of life. When I get low I talk a lot to myself too. I talk things through as if my soul were sitting across from me drawing the answers out of me. I'm a true believer that I'm never alone even when I'm lonely. 

...OTHER ELECTRIC LADIES?

Ashley Lukashevsky is an incredible visual artist who just so happened to create the artwork around The Venus Project. She's a powerful witch and her work is always a voice for those who are in need of support and equality. Her instagram is @ashlukadraws

Today Georgia Nott released album 'Vol. 1' as The Venus Project. Like The Venus Project on Facebook and follow on Instagram. Listen on Spotify and Apple music

ABOUT THE VENUS PROJECT

As one half of New Zealand’s favourite brother-sister duo BroodsGeorgia Nott has spent most of her time in recent years either in a studio or on the road touring – a dream situation for many musicians.

But there was one slightly uncomfortable fact that continually cropped up for her: she was often the only woman in the room. So when Georgia began contemplating a solo side project, she also found herself highly motivated to work with other women.

The Venus Project was born and includes Camila Mora, who tours with Broods as their keyboard player, but is also a highly skilled producer; visual artist and illustrator Ashley Lukashevsky; project manager Sherry Elbe; mix engineer Adrianne ‘AG’ Gonzalez; mastering engineer Emily Lazar, photographer Catie Laffoon; and producer Ceci Gomez, who worked with Georgia on the first single Won’t Hurt. With the list still expanding.