A PASSION FOR MOTOWN
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.