Tell us a little about your background and where you grew up!
I am a Pyemairrenner woman, Aboriginal to Trouwunna/Tasmania, but I grew up on beautiful Bundjalung country in northern New South Wales. I was lucky enough to spend the majority of my childhood close to country, swimming in the ocean and hanging out with animals.
Nature is such an incredible source of inspiration and it’s clear that it plays an important part in the development of your music. Where’s your favourite place to date that you have been inspired by to create sounds?
I recently moved to Narrm/Melbourne where I have less access to alone time in nature. I am still trying to navigate how creativity works for me in this new environment. My favourite place to sing is by bodies of water, whether it’s the slow rhythm of the ocean or the gentle giggling of a stream. The sound is so musical and makes me want to sing. Crickets remind me so much of home, and frog calls. I love singing with them too.
What’s the significance behind the name Willow Beats?
The word “Willow” is closely tied to early memories Narayana has of his father and my grandfather. The beats part got tacked on somewhere down the line and it stuck!
Do you have any sustainable practices that you implement into your day to day life?
We would love to hear them!
I carry a waterbottle, but at the end of the day ethical consumerism is still a big trick to keep us complacent when really the entire structure needs to change. Sustainable living is also really inaccessable to those from lower socio economic backgrounds. It’s expensive to shop ethically. I volunteer (when I am not touring) at an amazing organization called Seed Mob, it’s a climate coalition run by young Indigenous people. Indigenous people are the first to be affected by climate change, islands in the Pacific Ocean and the Torres Straights are already being affected by rising sea levels. Support First Nations people to protect country. Stay educated, stay woke, broaden your perspective.
Define “Less is more” in your own words
I didn’t know I needed all this stuff until you told me I did and it didn’t make me happier.
What is the next stop for Willow Beats?
I am still riding the high of our Debut Album release. We have our debut album tour coming on in March which is very exciting. Until then I will be writing music and spending some much needed rest time at home.
A quote that is significant to you?
“It’s not a lot but we do our best”. My mother would always say this when presenting people with the most luscious homegrown meals. Anything we needed she would build from scratch and it was always luxurious in its simplicity. Afternoons were spent picking herbs and soaking in a tub over a giant fire outside. She managed to create joy throughout my life with simple pleasures. She is my sustainable hero.