Album Of The Week: This 'Has To Be A Contender For 2020's Australian Music Prize'

29 May 2020 | 10:47 am | The Music Team

There's a tonne of new music released every Friday and wading through it to find your next favourite album is an almost impossible task. 'The Music' team get it and we're here to help, bringing you our Album Of The Week each Friday. Here's why Miiesha's album 'Nyaaringu' gets our pick.

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When we heard Miiesha's Twisting Words earlier this year, we were blown away and couldn't wait for more from the Woorabinda, Queensland artist.

Today sees the release of her debut album, Nyaaringu.

"I hadn’t quite found my sound yet and I didn’t know what was me and what I wanted to sound like," Miiesha told The Music of putting together Nyaaringu.

"I guess that is something I’ll keep discovering. But I knew who I was as a person and where I came from, and so that’s what got me to write and sing about these things that led to Nyaaringu. Throughout the time I spent creating this piece with Steve [Miiesha's brother & manager] I really started piecing things together about who I am as an artist.

"We listened to a lot of music, R&B, alternative and pop music. We were listening a lot to Nao at the time so she had a pretty strong influence over some of the songs. I think just where my voice naturally goes also had a big influence."

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What we're saying...

Review by Cyclone. Read more here...

"The Australian music scene has been riveted by a fresh wave of neo-soul artists like Kaiit, Milan Ring and imbi the girl. Now Miiesha Young – a Pitjantjatjara and Torres Strait Islander woman from Woorabinda, Central Queensland – is expressing her own travels, truths and stories.

"Presented as 'a collection of songs' over an album, Nyaaringu (meaning 'what happened' in Pitjantjatjara language) is movingly woven together with the spoken word of the singer-songwriter's late grandmother, Elizabeth Young.

"As such, Young's revelatory singles – including 2019's jazzy breakout Black Privilege and Drowning (on which she pointedly samples former Prime Minister Tony Abbott solely to refute him) – assume a compelling new context in chronicling First Nations identity and experience. Nyaaringu is thematically, and communally, powerful..."

"Poetic and profound, Nyaaringu has to be a contender for 2020's Australian Music Prize."

What they're saying... 

Get to know Miiesha a little better with this Q&A, and check out her stunning acoustic version of Twisting Words, shared exclusively with The Music

Who is Miiesha?
My name is Miiesha and I’m 21 years old from a small Aboriginal community in central Queensland called Woorabinda, which means ‘kangaroo sit down’. I have recently moved to Melbourne so that I can be near everything I need to do my music.

What first got you into music?
What really got me into music is all of the people, you know friends and family, that had always encouraged me to pursue music and to do something with what I had, and so that really encouraged me to take that step.

Who inspired you to make music?
I have a lot of different inspiration as to who inspired me to make music, but my biggest was my grandmother. She would always talk to me about in her early days she really never listened to music, and to see her react to music and how much she connected to it, made me really want to make music to have that impact on people.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I'd say I just create music that people can connect with, I tell stories and talk about things that are important to me, things that created me.

What is your creative process like?
I write and create with Stephen who is my manager/brother, and I guess we like to have lyrics first. We then go in with a beat or whatever we want then we will start making melodies to it, stay with a melody we are vibing with, add the lyrics, then send off to a producer to take it to the next level.

Which musicians do you admire?
I really admire a woman called Silja, she’s a singer from my church I grew up in. I remember watching her sing and she was singing with this passion that was so beautiful, and still is, and always will be no doubt. But people that sing wholeheartedly, like her, I admire.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Baker Boy. I love how energetic he is and of course how he raps in language, it just hits different.

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
I’m gonna say Jacquees so just I can watch him afterwards, I’m a massive fan AHA.

What is one message you would give to your fans?
Just be patient with yourselves because it's a journey.

What is the most useless talent you have?
I can do this weird tongue trick, where it makes a weird shape, that’s probably it!

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Who doesn’t sing in the shower? I sing a lot of Jhene Aiko lately with her new album and all, but lately I’ve also been blasting Tink, Mariah Carey, Summer Walker and some Ty Dolla $ign. 

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
I would be back home working at the aged care facility, and most probably because of my nan I would have gone to uni to get a degree in nursing. She was a nurse/midwife for over 40yrs.

What are your favourite venues?
I have now been to every state in Australia which is deadly, playing festivals and supporting Thelma Plum, Baker Boy, Briggs, Dallas Woods and others. I still think to this day, when I was opening up for Thelma we played a show at Sooki Lounge in Belgrave, it was a small venue but the energy and the love was huge and I really felt that, so that stands out for me.

What is your favourite song to perform?
My favourite song to perform would be Twisting Words, especially with my deadly band. I think they would say the same thing, we just vibe out and that song is so much fun to perform!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I remember a lot of Elders in community said ‘You can do whatever you put your my mind to. You’re a bright and smart girl Miiesha and you have it all there! You just gotta use it!’ And I’d be like 'Yeah, yeah! You're right!' 

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I can’t really say I know what I’d change, because I’m so new to things, but time will tell I guess.

What can we expect next from Miiesha?
After the release of Nyaaringu I guess we will have to wait and see! But more music hopefully!