“A teacher and encourager, not just of her people but her whole audience, young and old, of all cultural backgrounds… Emily Wurramara has a humble, genuine style as she tells important stories of her people and her family” – Glen Tozer, BlankGC
Emily Wurramara’s childhood was one of water and music. Growing up on Groote Eylandt, days were filled with travel, fishing and extended family, a mother telling stories of dreams and dolphins that would one day become the seeds of Emily’s music. In almost the blink of an eye the young fresh faced artist who debuted her breakout EP ‘Black Smoke’ in 2016, has matured into a now seasoned award winning Indigenous performer and a proud new mum with her own stories to pass down to her daughter, K’iigari, born Boxing Day (2017).
As an empowered new mum Emily says “Having a baby girl reminds me of the strength of a woman and how beautiful and priviledged we are to be able to experience that”.
2018 saw Emily’s long awaited mid-year release of her first full length debut album, Milyakburra. A dedication to both her daughter and her home. Emily has teamed up again with award winning producer, David Bridie to complete the album, Emily explains the title: “Bickerton Island or Milyakburra, is where I spent most of my childhood going back and forth from Groote on a little dinghy boat with my grandparents. Milyakburra is where my ancestors established home, the Wurramara tribe. My great great grandfather, Joe Wurramara established a community there on the island. There’s only a school and one shop, right across the road from my grandmother’s house.
Milyakburra is a very sacred and mystical island. Living in the busy city I wanted to create something that is a reminder to me of my home, and I hope that this album reaches out to the listeners and reminds them of their “home”.
Emily’s debut EP, Black Smoke ended up on annual top 100 lists across Australia, including Triple J Unearthed, It’s My Kind Of Scene and hhhappy, with Emily crowned as a Faster Louder act set to dominate and an Aussie act to watch from The Music. With national airplay on ABC local and Triple J, Emily has performed across the country in venues and major festivals including Gaarma, Woodford Folk Festival, Island Vibes, Bellingen Turtle Fest, Blues Fest, etc; with three Queensland Music Award nominations and a win, Triple J Unearthed showcase at Big Sound and showcases at Folk Alliance International in the United States, Emily commands the stage, whether solo, trio or with the full 5 piece band; mesmerising audiences with her deeply personal insight to her life, culture and language.