imbi the girl has started a movement of unapologetic truth, self-service, self-belief and self-love with their eclectic brand of "melodic rap". Following the release of their breakthrough single swell, this years’ revered follow-up i used to featuring SUPEREGO and recently released acclaimed single peaches & scream featuring Genesis Owusu, imbi the girl has made their mark in music and queer communities alike with their vulnerable, authentic expression, and through their unique artistry provides listeners with a sense of connection, camaraderie and solidarity.
Sydney artist imbi the girl is this week's triple j Unearthed Feature Artist. 'Swell' is imbi the girls' brand new single and it's one wave of emotion, powerful songwriting and relatability.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
One thing I can definitely say about my music is that it will never stop developing! I use my music as a form of expression and what/how I feel like expressing myself boils down to what I’m experiencing at the time. I guess my sound could be summed up as a reaction to whatever I’m observing/going through at the time.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
This is going to sound corny but I really believe you can find inspiration in everything and anything. I think emotions (belonging to me or those around me) are always a reliable, accessible, and powerful source of inspiration for me but I don’t think I could even call that my “greatest” source of inspiration. There are just too many options!
What can punters expect from an imbi the girl live show?
Punters can expect a good groove, a lot of love, probably a reminder to stay hydrated at some point and some powerful, musical magic. If they’re willing to open their hearts, punters can expect to leave my set full of warmth and wholesome good vibes (or at least those are my intentions).
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
The best advice I’ve been given is to live through love and to remember that everything is temporary. Those wise words came less from a specific person and more from gathered experiences and a variety of different interactions. I guess you could say the universe gave me that advice.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
'OG Luv Kush pt.2’ by Kaiit. It’s not too cheerful/upbeat so they can keep crying and processing while they listen but it’s also so undeniably groovy I feel like they wouldn’t be able to hold back a cheeky boogie. Also just an empowering track, and there’s nothing like being reminded of your power and resilience in those teary moments.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
'Katie' by Missy Higgins. I don’t reckon I need to explain this one. Once you listen to it, you’ll get it.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
'Clap Clap’ by Miss Blanks. Bless this queen!!! She effortlessly slays every track but this one especially. It’s a timeless, dirty, d-floor banger and if you don’t know, you should.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
I saw Habits at their ‘Salty’ EP launch and holy HECK it was phenomenal. Could not recommend their tunes and their shows highly enough. These artists are so unapologetically themselves, they are so heckin’ unique and shameless. They push all the boundaries and it’s seriously inspiring.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
I find queer people and people of colour (POC) in Sydney's music community very inspiring. I mean, I’m inspired by them in every community and the music scene is definitely not an exception. It takes a lot of courage and drive to be visible as a POC and queer person with racism, homophobia and transphobia still making up the foundations of our society creating more challenges for individuals from marginalised groups especially in an industry like the music industry where artists rely on people liking their persona as much as their music. Trying to excel in a creative field where your success is dependent on engagement from an audience socialised to not value your identity or the messages you are trying to send is no easy task. Lucky for us, there are more proud and powerful POC/queers gaining recognition in the mainstream than ever before and even though we have a very long way to go, the times are most def changing.
What are your plans for 2018?
My plan is to keep on keeping’ on! I will continue to do my very best to spread love and wholesome vibes through banging’ creative endeavours and maybe also drop an EP later this year but you’ll have to wait and see.