31 REVIEW 32 MEAL PLANNER 35 MATT PRESTON
Austria meets Oz at a new café-bakery.
You grew up in a creative family, the daughter of artists and musicians. Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you’d been raised by an accountant and a doctor? When I was young I would wish we were normal and lived in a bungalow. But now I’m very conscious of the richness the world I grew up in has given me. I feel so blessed that my stepdad and mother, but also my father [were so committed] to their art and life. And I feel more and more that everything I am now goes back to those roots. Your 1989 song ‘Buffalo Stance’ was an international hit. What was instant fame like? It was amazing. There were huge billboards of [her debut album] Raw Like Sushi, and [I remember] hearing ‘Buffalo Stance’ pouring out of someone’s car. I was like, “Wow, this is crazy.” But I never chose to live for it. I was like, this is happening now but this is not why I do what I do. Getting this stuff is not what’s going to make the music good. Rumour has it you proposed to your husband Cameron Mcvey. I did. We were out somewhere, at this crazy club that we used to go to in London, just having a really good time. Then literally, I don’t know, I just looked at him and was like, “Oh my god, I think I need to marry you. Will you marry me?” It was after Raw Like Sushi and we had also lost two of our closest friends – it was a really hard time. So we were like, we need to celebrate life and what these people gave us and get together with all of our people – not at a funeral. So we had this massive great wedding, and it was one of the best days of my life. At 2019’s Sydney Festival, you’ll be performing songs from your new album Broken Politics. Why do you bring politics into your music? It would feel ridiculous not to. Of course, there’s been a lot of music made where people are singing about money and phones and cars and women’s bodies in a derogatory way… But when you hit an era where there is political stress and darkness, there’s always a shift in the sound of music. Maybe it becomes more edgy; for me, hip-hop has always been very political. It’s really important we’re responding in whatever way we can. So does making music about issues help you make your peace with them? So-called politics has nothing to do with survival or people or making the world a better place – which is why it’s breaking. Women are now taking up more space and [drawing] more attention to the fact that [things are] unfair and unbalanced. It’s enough to make you want to start a riot. I was raped when I was 15 and it’s affected my whole life. I’ve sometimes found myself talking about it in a completely detached way. But at that young age I didn’t want it to destroy me; I refused. I got up and got on with it. Which also meant I maybe didn’t deal with it properly. You’re 54 and have three daughters. What wisdom have you imparted to them? We influence each other; they teach me lots of stuff, too, so it’s a give and take. But mainly to be proud of who they are. It’s hard being a young woman, we all spend too much f*cking time hating on ourselves, and hating our bodies. So my thing is: don’t let them change you. You are beautiful and valid. Go and tell your story.