A PAS­SION FOR MO­TOWN

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle - Sara Fitz­patrick

YOU hear it when din­ing in restau­rants, coast­ing su­per­mar­ket aisles and watch­ing TV com­mer­cials.

In­escapable, it fol­low us ev­ery­where, and most would not have it any other way.

It is the glo­ri­ous sound of Mo­town, shaped by leg­endary US artists in the ’60s like The Temp­ta­tions, The Supremes and Marvin Gaye, and re­mains one of the most pop­u­lar and in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cal styles of to­day.

In­dige­nous Aussie trio The Merindas – Carlisle’s Candice Lor­rae, Kristel Kick­ett and Rhi­an­non Ni­cholls– formed in 2012 with the ‘soul’ pur­pose of cel­e­brat­ing the era.

“As in­dige­nous artists liv­ing in Aus­tralia, it was so in­spi­ra­tional to see black mu­sic take over in such a dis­crim­i­na­tive and seg­re­gated time,” Lor­rae said.

“Our pas­sion draws from that and it’s a feel­ing that we feel when we per­form these songs. “It gives us a sense of pride.” Lor­rae was born in Dar­win and moved to Perth with her mother when she was seven.

“I grew up as an only child un­til I hit 10 and my sis­ter came along,” she said. “Be­fore then, my mum and I would dance and sing around in the lounge room to Video Hits.

“These are my most hap­pi­est and un­for­get­table mem­o­ries.”

The group, some­times mis­taken for Abo­rig­i­nal soul singers The Sap­phires, is rais­ing funds this month for a tour of Bei­jing later in the year.

Adorned in se­quined dresses made by Lor­rae, they will per­form beloved hits such as What’s Go­ing On, Ain’t No Moun­tain High Enough, I Want You Back and Stop In The Name of Love.

“We have trav­elled to Syd­ney and Mel­bourne but are re­ally look­ing for­ward to head­ing over­seas (for their first in­ter­na­tional show) to see what other mar­kets are out there for us,” Lor­rae said. “There is a great need for in­dige­nous and Western mu­sic in Bei­jing, so as in­dige­nous Aus­tralians per­form­ing some of the world’s most known hits, this will go down well.”

The fundraiser will also fea­ture Randa and the Soul King­dom, fol­lowed by a per­for­mance by Aussie in­dige­nous artist Phil Wal­leystack.

The Merindas.

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