The good people of Melbourne were recently treated to the unveiling of new musical talent that is the Red Bull Music Festival. Among the lineup of fresh artists this year was Mwanje—a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter that you need to wrap your ears around if you’re into the likes of Solange and FKA Twigs (a.k.a everyone).
In between slaying her own set and jumping onstage with Sampa the Great to perform her feature on ‘Mwana’, we asked the bright young thang to document her backstage experiences. The result? Some very pleasing pictorial evidence of the fun times that were had, replete with accompanying captions. We also took the opportunity to chat with her about everything from music to life in Melbourne, which you can read in 3,2,1…
Can you give us the Mwanjé elevator pitch?
I'm a Melbourne based singer/ songwriter, originally from Zambia but born and raised in Botswana. I express myself through music, art and dance and all my lyrics are lyrics based on real-life experiences.
What is your first memory of wanting to make music?
I remember first wanting to make music when my older sister, an older cousin and I would sing and dance in my grandmother's backyard. We would have a full-on choreographed 'music video' enactment going on in the background. That's where my passion for singing, dancing and acting was born.
When are you happiest?
I am happiest surrounded by my sisters and friends, listening to good music and eating good food.
What was your highlight from The Red Bull Music Festival?
My highlight from the Red Bull show was 100% the moment I got to jump onto the stage with Sampa the Great as I performed my feature on 'Mwana'. I love the whole band and it's always beautiful performing with them.
What’s the best thing about living in Melbourne?
The best thing about living in Melbourne has to be the fact that it's a melting pot of cultures. I've gotten to meet people from the opposite side of the world and still found common ground, which is beautiful to me.
Where would you take someone visiting for the first time?
I would explore the nightlife in Melbourne. Section 8 was the first venue/bar I went to when I moved to Melbourne—I have so many fond memories there. Good drinks, good people and great music.
If Melbourne were an emoji:
If Melbourne were a colour:
If Melbourne were a song:
‘Violet’ — Daniel Caesar
Feature: Madeleine Woon