We asked The Merindas a few quick-fire questions about how they're forging successful careers and their vision for the future of Australian pop music.
The Merindas are the collective force of Ballardong Whadjuk and Nyoongar woman Kristel Kickett (from Tammin, WA) and Candice Lorrae of Jawoyn and Thursday Island heritage (born in Darwin, NT). Now based in Melbourne/Naarm, these soul sisters are trail-blazing with their innovative style of Indigenous music.
They describe their unique sound as “electronic pop with a dance-hall feel, alongside hip-hop and R&B influences.” Think TLC, Destiny’s Child, Salt n Pepa and all-around good times. The pair are forging a distinct place – and their own journey – in the Australian pop landscape, so it’s no surprise that they have clear opinions on the change they want to see.
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“We envision that Australian pop will become more inclusive and diverse,” the duo said. “Not only for people but in the way we produce sound with electronic technologies. We see pop music growing and taking different shapes with cross-collaborations.” In the same way that Merindas tracks subvert and expand upon traditional pop mechanisms, they celebrate that in other artists.
“It’s becoming a lot more experimental which is really exciting for the next generation. We also see a circle with genres from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that keep coming around.
That said, The Merindas also signal issues replicated across the industry. Namely, wider Australia needs to further their support for First Nations artists, a pool of talent that grows larger with every passing day.
“We need more love and support for First Nations artists,” they add. “Not only from our own Aboriginal and Islander community and allies, but the wider Australian community.
“On a larger scale, we want more support for all Australian artists and hope that people here would support more of our local pop artists as they do International artists. In terms of the live scene, we would love to see bigger and better productions for our Australian pop artists.”
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They also spoke to how Australian artists can stand out in such a globalised market, a struggle they’re currently doing without the sort of mainstream, commercial success many emerging pop artists see as the only visible path.
“Be original and true to yourself,” they add. “We believe in building a solid live show. Even though our music is not on the charts or commercial radio, we make a living from our live show. We believe there’s a market for everyone. Also with a strong story, message and quality sound, anyone can stand out in a globalised market.
ONSTAGE: THE SERIES will see both fans and artists, on the iconic Palais Theatre stage together for a limited run of shows backdropped by the expansive, beautiful art deco auditorium. On Thursday, 5 Jan, The Merindas will strut onto the stage with their soaring vocals and infectious energy.