Emily Wurramara shares her secret to supporting others

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NAME

Emily Wurramara

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Singer/songwriter

FAVOURITE BAND?

Hiatus Kaiyote

 

FAVOURITE SONG?

Building a ladder

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Nai Palm because she is so powerful so strong and an incredible performer.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

By going to each others shows, giving their music a share and exposing other sisters to their own fanbase. Empowering and leaving kind words - I have my little group of sisters that range from DJs to singers and actresses and I am so grateful for their support and motivation I know they’ve always got my back and I’ve always got theirs.

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

When I was young I was very shy and quiet and now I’m very outspoken and free spirited I’ve changed so much.

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

I was very wild as a teenager haha, my focus was school but I knew how to have fun doing it. I was a very bubbly person in high school. I was scared of not being liked but now I only have a handful of super close friends and have realised that if I’m not everyone’s cup of tea that’s totally fine everyone has a right to their own opinions. I also realised that it’s okay to be wrong sometimes and you just learn from that, I was such a perfectionist. 

Emily Wurramara is currently in PNG inspiring others with local musician Mereani Masani read more about it hereEmily's new album Milyakburra, which includes new single Ngarrikwujeyinama, is out now. Like her on Facebook and follow on Instagram. Listen to her on Spotify and Apple Music

Photographer Michelle Grace Hunder is living her dream

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NAME

Michelle Grace Hunder

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Music Photographer

 

FAVOURITE BAND?

Kendrick Lamar (*not a band lol)

FAVOURITE SONG?

m.A.A.d city

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Ecca Vandal, my absolute favourite AUS artist to see live!

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

I feel like I’m constantly pinching myself because I absolutely love my life and what I do. I get to take photos of all my favourite artists, go on tour, and be inspired by people that I really connect with! Definitely living the dream.

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FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Forks in the road for me have always been the most exciting time for real change and progress. Even when I’ve been made redundant or something in past careers, it's always turned out for the best, and lead me on the road that eventually meant I picked up a camera. It's hard to see it at the time, but those moments have always been really positive in the end.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

Relentlessly self driven.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO YOUR PASSION?

There's no other secret other than bloody hard work, every person that I know that has been successful works around the clock!

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

Deeply insecure, incredibly self absorbed with how I looked being important and it consuming me because I wasn’t the ‘pretty girl’. I was a tomboy and hung out with boys a lot, felt very comfortable around men on this level, could easily become one of the boys and was quite proud of it. As I got older I realised I turned a blind eye to a lot of stuff and really forced myself to unpack the reasons why I never felt comfortable around women. In my older age this has really changed and I have the most amazing friendship group of incredible women who inspire and challenge me daily.

Michelle is the co-creator of Her Sound, Her Story which screens in Sydney on July 11 and Melbourne July 12 - get tickets here. Read the EL Letter here and follow Her Sound, Her Story on Instagram. Follow Michelle on Instagram and Facebook here.

Creative force Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore dances to her own beat

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NAME

Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I make films. I dance. I paint. I love cooking.

FAVOURITE BAND?

I’m really enjoying with working with emerging songstress Kaiit at the moment.

FAVOURITE SONG?

I can’t have favourite songs. But I tell you whenever I hear Emma Donavon open her mouth to sing, that tone of her voice - it completely sits me on my ass.

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Ecca Vandal. She is the definition of BOSS. Clear intentional artistic force with every move she makes.

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IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

Papa is a painter and mama is a dancer. I was born into the most artistic of environments, surrounded by poets, writers, filmmakers, painters, performers - all from birth. So the destiny was inevitable, I just kept following the path that has been unfolding for me since I was young. Nowadays I dream about living a simpler life, having more time to spend with my family, sleeping in on Sundays and watching the tele.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

I’m a workaholic, totally obsessed with creativity. That's a lot of sleepless nights, no weekends and a lot of superhero moves. The art come first.

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DO YOU HAVE RITUALS?

Dancing keeps me alive, it’s my greatest lifeline out of my moments of despair, it's my greatest joy. I tend to my garden often, growing my own veggies, if i'm lucky I try and speak to the neighbours. I've traveled the world a lot and met people from many different countries. I often close my eyes and imagine them, they're at the exact same time as me existing somewhere else in the world. I imagine what the light is like, what their day is like, how they might feel, what troubles their mind. Puts my place in the world into a bigger perspective.

BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

I chatted with Shellie Morris recently, I was beaming at her with a million and one inspired thoughts, so much that I couldn’t really get it out in words. She just smiled at my softly and said, "just sit, it will come". She talked to me about the days she had sound out on country with her aunties, just lying in their laps, not talking. Just being. Sitting in silence together. That's stuck with me.

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

I was loud, with a husky voice, big eyebrows and always bossing everyone around. Not a lot has changed. My mum always recalls the times she would take me to theatre shows and age five I would come out after the curtains went down giving a run down critique on the production. The lighting design, the performers, the cues. I was highly creative and had a critical artist's eye. Always curating the world around me. I was on stage from a young age, so drawn to the prospect of creation and artistic process. I would be in many life modelling drawing sessions with my mum as the model and I remember a women coming over to me and asking me if when I grow up I wanted to be an artist. I looked up at her with very stern sentiment replied “I already am one".

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

I was the kid in school that never really showed up to class, but still got top marks in all the arts subjects. The kid that all the teachers said had "so much potential if only she applied herself". I was once made to sit an IQ test just to make sure I didn't have a learning disability. I grew up fast, and was born old. I started working when I was 16, teaching dance, making films, taking photos. So life as I know it now seems like life as it's always been. Having not studied at uni or been that interested in high school, life experiences raised me. I look back now and in some ways wish I had an education. It would have made it easier to value my own worth and skill set from a much younger age. I grew up thinking it was a very normal thing to be multi-talented and make a living from what you love. As I've grown older I encountered so many people wishing they had followed their dreams. Trying to release themselves from the 9-5 life. It's always been a natural point of mine to now really encourage and support people to do what brings them joy. I learnt to tell people what I loved and admired about them as soon as I saw it. I learnt that I mustn't take my freedom for granted.

Claudia is the co-creator of Her Sound Her Story which screens in Sydney on July 11 and Melbourne July - get tickets here. Read the EL Letter here and follow Her Sound Her Story on Instagram. Follow Claudia on Instagram here.

EL Letter: Her Sound, Her Story inspired by women, propelled by friendship

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Dear readers, 

Who knew when Michelle and I met 6 years ago this monumental project is what we were going to create together.  The original concept for Her Sound, Her Story was Michelle’s, she wanted to create a small photographic series focused on shining a light on women in the Australian music industry.  She began taking portraits and soon realised the subjects needed much more documentation than just imagery. That’s when she ask me to come on board, to go with her to all the photoshoots and interview the women. 

We didn’t have any thoughts of what we might find. Instead just really determined to ask and listen to each woman’s individual experience. Off we went travelling around the country with our cameras in hand, some simple sound gear, sometimes a set of lights. In the first round we documented close to 50 women. Since then I have done another dozen interviews and Michelle is now up to her 80th portrait in the series. It’s a beautiful body of work. 

The last 4 years have been a journey for both of us. We often talk about the many 'pinch-ourselves' moments when we realised how fortunate we were to have these women share such intimate personal stories with us. It’s changed who we are as women. Knowing that if hearing their stories could change our lives, perhaps making the documentary would offer refuge to others, for me as the filmmaker that’s where it all stemmed from. 

So it’s the women themselves that inspired me, offering me strength to see the film through. I reflect on the day it dawned on me that all these stories were a reflection of my own. I found solace in all the women standing together in their collective, unspoken pain. As an editor I realised the responsibility bestowed upon me to share their stories in the most authentic way possible. I feel it’s a bold time to be alive as a women, the stakes are high, more than ever it’s crucial that women's voices be heard. 

There were many moments of tears, wanting to give up, it felt so hard to taking on such a big feat like making this film. Dealing with over 48 hours of rushes and countless files of b-roll, music, emails to artist mangers…the list went on and on. Many times wanting to give up. Michelle very patiently stood by my side, telling me to keep going. Reminding me that what we were doing was bigger that just her and I. As a fully independent venture I often say this film was funded on our friendship, and it really was. 

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She’s taught me how to really love a women, how to push and pull and always turn back to each other. Maintaining a friendship and working relationship is a testiment as to just how much we were both willing to grow in the process. Always leaning on each other, if one wasn’t able to carry the load the other would step in.

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The process was often confronting and heartbreaking, constantly revealing my own inability to celebrate the parts of myself that were innately feminine. Realising I had never invested the time to form strong bonds with women, I became obsessed to listen to the wisdom being shared. I wanted to break my own preconceived ideas of what is to be a woman. I’d spent years seeking validation and approval from men because I had thought their opinions of me carried more weight than that of anyone else. How wrong I was. My strongest allies have become the women around me. My biggest lesson was in loving and valuing myself above anyone else. 

The challenge to do something bigger than ourselves was never something for Michelle and I to shy away from. Instead we took a giant keep of faith held on to each other's hands tightly and kept heading in the same direction. Together. These women that we met over the past 4 yeas have become our community, and each others musical family. For us the greatest reward is seeing the ripple effect of connectivity, the love and adoration amongst all the artists involved. Just the other day Jen Cloher said to me her and Mojo Juju were at a gig together talking about how Her Sound, Her Story connected them to each other, reminding them are not alone. With that sentiment comes a time of healing, a great amount of feeling connected to one another, that’s all we could've asked for. 

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To all the women we have met along the way thanks for trusting us with your untold stories. We hope you feel reflected, we hope you feel heard and more than anything we hope you feel celebrated. 

To any one willing let Her Sound, Her Story be a chance to listen, please take it as a grand gesture in the direction of change. 

To every gorgeous women reading this we say; 

We see you. We hear you. Keep going.

xo

Claudia

Claudia is the co-creator of Her Sound, Her Story which screens in Sydney on July 11 and Melbourne July 12 - get tickets here. Read Michelle's and Claudia's EL profiles. Follow Her Sound, Her Story on Instagram.

Canaria CEO Alex Moss works with NASA and uses tech to save lives

 Photo: Alex Moss in Doc Martens A/W 18

Photo: Alex Moss in Doc Martens A/W 18

NAME

Alex Moss

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Founding CEO & Head Designer of Canaria Technologies: an elite AI & hardware tech startup which creates predictive biomonitoring equipment for the aerospace and resources industries. We originally designed our flagship predictive earpiece for NASA (winning their global award for Best Use of Hardware in 2016) and have been commercialising it ever since. My company’s first commercial product use-case is predicting cognitive fatigue in mining, oil and gas vehicle operators 10 minutes before a microsleep happens: a problem which causes 2/3rds all of industrial accidents and two mining deaths a month in Australia. In the long term, our equipment will be able to predict epileptic fits and sepsis.

 Alex Moss speaks with British astronaut Tim Peake

Alex Moss speaks with British astronaut Tim Peake

 

FAVOURITE BAND?

Brooke Candy

FAVOURITE SONG?

DJ PaulGehu’s Stranger Things remix of The Weekend’s Starboy (ft. Daft Punk)

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Artemisia Gentileschi. She is by far the best student of 17th century heavyweight Caravaggio. During her lifetime she was the most famous female artist in Europe and was considered on par with her male contemporaries, running her own studio. Unfortunately, she was forgotten for a few centuries, but over the last 30 years has been re-admitted into the art historical cannon. Her painting ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’, c. 1614-18 is one of my favourite paintings of all time.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

London drag scene warehouse rave energy channeled into aggressively meeting tight deadlines and generally overachieving.

BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

‘Entrepreneurs who start business to make money rarely become rich; entrepreneurs who start businesses because they want to run a great business are the ones who end up making the most money’ – best advice from a US venture capitalist.

 Running an in-house experiment

Running an in-house experiment

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

Frankly, the be-all-end-all for me is Madonna. She embodies a total bravery and relentlessness. I would agree with her definition of herself given in a 1999 interview with Letterman, that she’s ‘not a pop star: <she’s> a performance artist.’ She has the type of refinement in performance that only comes from the combination of innate talent and decades of discipline, and the type of killer business instinct that only comes from a pathology in childhood. Can you imagine what it must have been like to get on stage in the 1980s, in the midst of so much sexism, homophobia, and the AIDs crisis, with a troupe of gay backing dancers and simulate female masturbation on stage belting out ‘Like a Payer’, whilst there are hordes of protestors outside the venue giving you death threats? The police told her not to perform during her Blonde Ambition tour as the threat of someone assassinating her during a performance was so imminent. She’s made a lasting cultural and political legacy with her work in the late 20th century; that’s definitely not just something a ‘pop star’ would do. Her sexuality has always been, and remains, very much her own; that she was always self-directed in her sexualised performances rather than being told to do so by a record label. That is scary to a lot of people. It still is today: look at Brooke Candy still not having broken into the mainstream. Why? She’s too in charge of her own sexuality and its expression: record labels have told her to ‘tone it down’ rather than ‘take another layer off, luv’.  Categories of my inspiring women who are not Madonna: Writers: Germaine Greer, Camille Paglia, Angela Carter Psychoanalysts and psychologists: Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Temple Grandin

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

 Art direction: Philip Treacy Photo: Kurtiss Lloyd

Art direction: Philip Treacy Photo: Kurtiss Lloyd

My teenage years are best described as ‘totally feral’. I spent most of my time with drag queens in East London founding a fashion magazine that I ran alongside being at school, later going into the music industry. At one point when I was 16 my school thought I was a drug dealer because I was missing so many lessons, but I was attending business meetings with advertising sponsors for my magazine at uptown restaurants. When I showed my school the actual print magazine, they dropped the whole drug dealing thing and convinced me to turn up to more lessons regularly. They were very cool about it. They didn’t really care what their students did as long as they got straight As. I found that I got on a lot better with drag queens than my peers; they really embraced my weirdness and extroversion and ‘got me’ in a way that West London teenagers didn’t. I would turn up to school in latex, fox fur, capes, and the same white hair I still have now, so my peers thought I was crazy until the last year or so of school; hence my gravitation towards the fashion/drag scene from a young age. I spent quite a lot of time pursuing a career in music with a French electronica band from the ages of 17 to 20: so I was either at school, working on my magazine, or spending all of my holidays in France recording in the studio and performing. At the time I would get mistaken for Lady Gaga so much (Nicola Formichetti- era Gaga when she was doing Born This Way and Alejandro) that at one point I just signed autographs on her behalf when tourists came up to me on the street as it was faster than explaining through a language barrier that I was someone else. It was hugely frustrating as I was trying to define my voice as an artist but kept finding myself in this other, much larger, artist’s shadow. The biggest realisation I had was that luck is a huge factor for achieving your goals: that you can work incredibly hard, and do everything ‘right’, and still not get the thing you were working towards. This stemmed from the fact that my school was an Oxbridge feeder school (counting MAs and PhDs, about 50-70% of the girls would end up there); and I saw some of the most intelligent, hardworking people I had ever met not gain acceptance into Oxbridge, even though they clearly should have been given a place, and literally their entire education had been leading up to attending one of these two universities… it feeds into my current view that university is over-rated. And most importantly, that you have a much greater chance of success if you lead your own projects, rather than relying upon pre-existing infrastructures that you have no control over.

 

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

I would ban all political advertising on social media, including bots (especially bots). In addition to this, I would make the propagation of false facts in political elections illegal, giving heavy fines and jail time to any members of a campaign who were found guilty of pushing forward falsified information. Politics and lawmaking are complex subjects that demand the full attention and critical thought of alert citizens, requiring hours of research and exposure to intelligent, calm, thoughtful debates on crucial subjects. They are in direct conflict with the instant gratification, short-form medium of social media and the internet. ‘The message is the medium’; and this medium is not appropriate for political discourse. Instead, the emphasis should be placed on accessible manifestos and long-form televised debates. I would encourage all Electric Lady readers to pick up a copy of The People Vs Tech: how the internet is killing democracy (and how we save it) by Jamie Bartlett.

Follow Alex on Instagram here. Find out more about Canaria on its website, Facebook and Twitter.

 

The Double Movement's Calli on surrounding yourself with the right people

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NAME

Calli

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Lawyer, NRL Podcaster, South Sydney Rabbitohs tragic, football (soccer) fanatic and adventure enthusiast. 

FAVOURITE BAND?

Too many to choose from!  Current favourites are Gang of Youths, DMAs, Angus & Julia Stone, Sticky Fingers. All time favourites, Fleetwood Mac, The Temper Trap, The Cure and INXS.

FAVOURITE SONG?

I’ve had ‘The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows’ by Gang of Youths on rotation since the first time I heard it, so it definitely deserves a mention. As for my all time favourite, it has to be ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ by Simple Minds *fists pumps à la John Bender*.

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

*cheese alert* My talented little sister, Marie Kiara. She taught herself how to play about 5 instruments by ear, has an incredible voice and works on her music so diligently. I cannot wait to see her efforts come to fruition and hope that I can inspire her like she inspires me everyday! 

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

I think one of my best qualities is that I always strive to challenge myself and make the most of every opportunity that comes my way. One of my favourite quotes goes straight to this question: ‘Don’t settle for nice, for pleasant, for familiar. Keep moving until you find something that really moves you, that resonates with your soul.’

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I am extremely fortunate to be in a place in my life where I am surrounded by opportunities to grow every day. Professionally, the most important next step for me is to continue learning, so that I can confidently take on more responsibility when the time comes. Personally, I am very much looking forward to making some incredible memories when I visit my sister in Scandinavia later this year. I am also thrilled to see where the Double Movement podcast journey leads. So much to look forward to!

FORKS IN THE ROAD HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Forks in the road can be draining – mentally, emotionally and physically.

Firstly, the most valuable asset in my life is my incredible family and friends. When making decisions, big or small, I know I can always lean on them for support and advice. The best part is that they will always give me the advice I need to hear, rather than feed me what I want to hear.

Secondly, I need to constantly remind myself that not all decisions need to be made abruptly. By allowing myself to take a step back and consider all the options at hand, I am able to see things with greater clarity.

Finally, I have faith in my instincts. Logic doesn’t always prevail when making tough decisions and I think it’s important to recognise that emotions do (and should) play a part in your decision-making. Sometimes you need to go with your gut!

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WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

A woman is electric when she exudes confidence and genuine happiness. When she is not afraid to show her true colours, is truly comfortable in her own skin and is proud to stand up for what she believes in, no matter the price or the challenge.

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

I am very lucky that most of the obstacles I have faced have come from pressure that I put on myself. I am a ‘yes woman’ and I try to open myself to as many opportunities as I can, to get as much out of every 24 hours as possible.

Often, this means is that I hardly have any downtime. I spread myself too thin and end up both physically and mentally exhausted. Tiredness is not a productive persons friend. At times, this can be so overwhelming and draining that I want to throw in the towel and just stay in bed.

When I am drained, I need to listen to my body and have a night off, sleep in or have a sneaky chocolate binge – whatever it takes to rejuvenate my body. However, when I am mentally drained, it’s not so simple. It’s important in these situations to take a step back and refresh my mindset. What I have learnt is the value of downtime to clear my mind, to put things into perspective and, ultimately, to remind myself that I am very privileged to have so many enriching opportunities at my doorstep.

I think my amazing family and friends deserve another shout out here. Their unwavering support and encouragement gives me the strength to bounce back during tough times.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SCRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

Getting the most out of life is my passion and surrounding myself with the right people is my (not-so-secret) method to achieving this! I am very blessed to have a wonderful close circle who have always supported my passions, whatever they are, or have been over the years. When I have doubted my abilities, and lacked belief in myself, those around me have always picked me back up and reminded me of what I am capable of – an electric spark, if you will ;)

So, keep yourself surrounded by those who will encourage you, who will push you when you need it and who will support you through all the highs and lows. No one will be able to dull your sparkle when you surround yourself with people who truly want to see you shine.

Calli is one half of The Double Movement podcast. Read their EL letter here. Download and listen to The Double Movement on iTunes and follow them onTwitter and Instagram

 

The Double Movement's Nikki on doing the unexpected

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NAME

Nikki

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a Lawyer + Podcaster + Sports Nut + a bit of a Yogi   

FAVOURITE BAND?

I would have to say the Beatles – timeless music for my ears.

FAVOURITE SONG?

Change, by Taylor Swift

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Taylor Swift – I’ve loved her since “Our Song” first came on the radio. I can relate to essentially every song she has ever released.  She’s all about the work and her fans. Haters are gonna hate but I love her so much that my nickname at work is “Swiftie”. No joke.

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

I never thought I would be a lawyer and considering podcasts have only been around for the last few years, I definitely never thought I would have a sports podcast with one of my best friends.

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When I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a screenwriter. I just loved the idea of telling stories! Then while completing my undergraduate degree, this little investigator came out in me which lead me to pursue a (first) career in journalism. After working as a journalist for a couple of years, I decided to get a law degree (why not?). I think a lot of people thought I was going through a quarter life crisis at the time.

Anyway, now I’m a lawyer but I still work in the entertainment space ;)

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

  • Breaking up with my ex-boyfriend of 6 years.

He was American. He signed up to the US Marine Corps without telling me. He knew I didn’t want to have that life but he thought that if he put me in a position where I had “no choice”, then I would follow.

I didn’t follow.

Instead, I applied to law school the week after we broke up. He’s now a US Marine traveling a fair bit and I’m now a lawyer pretty much stationed in Sydney. We just grew to be very different people wanting very different lives.

  • Making the decision to leave the United States and move back to Sydney

I was in my early twenties when I made the gamble to move back to Sydney. I had lived in California for 11 years. It was my home.  

It was very hard to leave a place that I considered home, especially knowing that due to insane visa restrictions, I probably would not be able to call it home again.

I am insanely happy with my life right now but it did take a good 18 months for that gamble to emotionally pay-off.

  • Being cross-examined in court in regards to a series of gang rapes

The last story I worked on as a journalist was about a series of gang rapes, which lead the publisher to be sued for defamation. In my first year of law school, I had to fly from Sydney back to San Francisco and be cross examined over my conversations with the victims (heavy stuff I know). Repeating the graphic details of what happened to those victims in front of the guy who orchestrated everything (with his parents sitting behind him) was not pleasant. Don’t worry – he didn’t win!

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HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Women need to stop seeing each other as threats. It’s sad but women seem to be each others worst enemies in the workforce. They either hold each other to higher standards, or worse, severely hope (or set-up) their female colleagues or successors to fail.

Not all women are going to get along with each other. But it would be nice if more women looked for ways that they could complement each other!  

WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF BE?

There’s a lot of pressure growing up to belong to a certain “group”. A good group of friends can be awesome. Just don’t forget to make room for new people to enter your life!


DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

This may sound a bit odd but what drives me to succeed is thinking about all the people in my life who have hurt me or have tried to hold me back. When I need motivation, I think about the former colleagues who made some unpleasant remarks. I think about the little bullies, and yes I think about those guys who carelessly broke my heart. It is these people who help drive me to be the best version of myself - along with my supportive friends and family of course! Sometimes though, there’s nothing more rewarding than rising above the “put down” and turning that negative experience into a positive outcome.  

Nikki is one half of The Double Movement podcast. Read their EL letter here. Download and listen to The Double Movement on iTunes and follow them onTwitter and Instagram

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EL Letter: The Double Movement gives a voice to forgotten female footy fans

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Dear Electric Ladies, readers, web surfers and whomever else this may concern,

We are two young entertainment lawyers from Sydney who absolutely love our rugby league. Nikki passionately supports the boys from Bondi, the Sydney Roosters, and Calli bleeds red and green for her beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs. Being lawyers and fanatical fans of rival teams, we are never short of something to say about this game we love. In fact, we love talking about footy so much that we decided to start our very own rugby league podcast – The Double Movement.

For those of you who are new to the rugby league lexicon, our title The Double Movement is a quip. First and foremost, the term originates from the occasionally controversial and always penalisable play in rugby league where a player’s momentum does not allow them to score a try and they instead reach out to score via a secondary movement. To that degree, the name also recognises our implicit campaign to increase female engagement in rugby league and sports in general – our own ‘double movement’ to shift momentum back towards the passionate young female fans.  

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So, why did we decide to start a footy podcast? Why not just do what most fans do? Scream in the stands, engage in the usual footy chat at the photocopiers, or watch the game down at the local pub?

When we were kids, the National Rugby League (NRL) did a fair bit to welcome us into the fold. We would venture out to our local grounds and take part in all the ‘family friendly’ activities. And of course, we both loved waiting in the stands after each match, throwing up our hands in anticipation of a player coming over and giving us a high five, or even better, signing our merchandise. Great days!

But as we both grew up, we somehow became the forgotten fans, the forgotten voices in the stands. What was worse, people stopped taking us seriously as fans. We are not the starry-eyed 10 year olds in the grandstand anymore. We understand that, in many ways, rugby league is a sport that inherently appeals to men and is largely marketed to appeal to men. The advertisements, the sponsors, and sometimes even the selection of merchandise; it all speaks for itself.

It has been, and still is, quite disheartening to go from being the adorably passionate kiddie fans, to the ‘bandwagon’ fans who apparently only attend games to swoon over the players. We have both grown quite tired of having to prove our passions.  

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The NRL as a governing body has made some excellent ground towards recognizing the impact of women in the game. In 2017, the Australian Jillaroos won the World Cup, female participation in rugby league increased by 37 per cent and we saw the birth of the official women’s NRL competition. We have also seen the ‘Women in League’ round grow into a season long affair, celebrating athletes, journalists, mothers, wives, girlfriends and young daughters within the rugby league community.

However, despite these incredible efforts, there is still something missing. A significant lack of attention is being given to our own demographic. What about the twenty-something year old female fans? Too often, we fall outside the scope of official recognition for our contribution to the game. It’s as if the NRL spent the 90’s and 00’s grooming a whole generation of young fans – but then forgot about 50 percent of them when they grew up. We are two people within that 50 percent. We are the untapped market.

So, instead of uselessly complaining about being lost in the mix, we decided to be the change we want to see in the game. We created The Double Movement podcast – our own space to passionately talk about footy, to analyse the game we love and hopefully ignite the same passion in other young female fan and fanatics alike to get involved. To help these isolated sports enthusiasts feel included in the game once more.

We are Calli and Nikki. We are The Double Movement. We are not journalists. We are not athletes. We are simply fans. Fans who love chatting about our favourite teams in our favourite sporting competition.

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We hope that with our own unique spin, we can show the rugby league community the fun-loving value of the young female fan. It would mean the world if you could join us on this journey. Subscribe to us on iTunes, follow us on Instagram and get on board this (double) movement!

Lots of love and kindest regards,

Calli & Nikki xxx

Download and listen to The Double Movement on iTunes and follow them on Twitter and Instagram

 

MANE on changing lanes and sticking to your sound

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NAME

MANE  (Paige)

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Musician/Singer/Songwriter/Performer

FAVOURITE BAND?

Gang Of Youths and Middle Kids are what I'm constantly slamming in my music library at the moment but it's always changing. I love too many!

FAVOURITE SONG?

Ridiculously Calypso by Spiderbait, it reminds me of my childhood.

 

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

This is a tough one, there are so many great ladies to choose from, at the moment I want to say St Vincent, I LOVED her MASSEDUCTION album.

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

I will usually eat pasta before any show, I love it so much, almost too much.

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

The best advice I've been given as an artist is to never have certain expectations with what you're creating, I think when you start to create with certain outcomes in mind it's so easy to get disheartened, particularly in the creative industry. It's easy to begin creating things based on what you think people want to hear rather than what you actually want to create. It's super important to just stick to your thing and believe in it i reckon!

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

I think women who build each other up and who persevere in the face of all kinds of challenges, women who make noise, women who are passionate, women who create and women who do their thing on their own terms. I'm so fortunate to know so many electric ladies and can only continue to strive to be more like them!

 

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

I tend to overthink and over analyse a lot of what i face within the industry and it can be very debilitating at times, it's like a worm hole of self doubt. Aside from a phone call with mum, I find talking to other fellow creatives helps me in those moments. They know exactly how your feeling and sometimes it's just comforting to confide in those who understand what is running through your mind. You just got to ride it out and let those moods wash over you.

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

I was a swimmer growing up, I did it from when I was 5 to almost 17. I was so sure I wanted to go the Olympics and I was so focused and dedicated to it but eventually just decided it wasn't really what I wanted to be doing anymore. Power to anyone who reaches that elite level, it takes up all of your time and the training schedules are insane! So I guess in that sense going from a swimming career to a musician is a pretty drastic change but I think the discipline from the sport has kept me really driven and passionate about anything I do.

Mane's new single Chasing Butterflies is out now. Like her on Facebook and follow on Instagram. Listen on Spotify and Apple Music

Comedian Urzila Carlson works hard and naps harder

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NAME


Urzila


WHAT DO YOU DO?


Comedian in entertainment


FAVOURITE BAND?


Credence Clearwater revival

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FAVOURITE SONG?

 

These are the days - Van Morrison

 


FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?


Joan Armatrading because she has an amazing voice and because she’s Joan Armatrading


IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?


Yes! I’m living the best life I can imagine. I have the perfect job and my family is amazing and my dog likes me.


THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?


1. Leaving South Africa
2. Losing my grandmother.
3. Losing a baby.
(Not in that order)

 

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?


I ask myself; what will I regret if I don’t do it? Then I do that one or I will plough a road through the middle, I won’t let the fact that a road is not paved hold me back.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC.


I work hard and I nap harder. I respect other people’s abilities and I expect the same.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?


Believing in herself and in other women around her, never cutting another sister down but instead holding a hand so we can walk the path together. Queens don’t destroy other queens they fix their crowns and march together.

Urzila Carson is on tour in Australia, find out where her next shows are here. Like her on Facebook, follow on Instagram and follow on Twitter

CXLOE puts her energy in the right direction - music

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NAME

CXLOE

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Singer Songwriter

FAVOURITE BAND?

1975

FAVOURITE SONG?

Every breath you take

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Banks. She's so intelligent and such a talented songwriter. She's a great role model for up and coming female artists and females in general. Her music pushes so many boundaries and for me this is so inspiring. 

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

Yes and no :) I've always dreamed of being a performer and writing my own music. Being a successful musician and making a career out of it. I never dreamed of having to leave my family and boyfriend at home. I never dreamed of being put in confronting situations with men whilst trying to be creative and build my career. But I guess that's life - it comes with the good and the bad!

 

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

Approach them with ease. I try not to avoid them but tackle them in a healthy way. I try and stay out of my head as much as possible as this often leads to a downward spiral into my anxiety.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC

Work SMART not hard (but obviously work hard haha). There's no point putting all your energy in the wrong directions. I find it's better to save your energy and creativity and only apply it in the right direction.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such passionate and supportive women. Within and outside of the music industry. I think the best way is to always encourage and support that persons dream. To be a good listener. To not see another woman as competition and celebrate their strengths. A few women who have been prime examples for me are Sarah Donelly (manager), Kota Banks and Nina Las Vegas. All of these women are so empowering and I feel so supported and cared for. And of course my mother - don't even start me with her!

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

To enjoy the ride. So often I find myself stressing in times I should be celebrating and embracing whatever success I've had. These are the moments we live for so it's crazy to not celebrate these, otherwise whats the point? It's easier said than done... :/

Like CXLOE on Facebook and follow on Instagram. Listen on Spotify and Apple Music

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

A post shared by Mummajack (@mummajack3664) on

 

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.

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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