24.7 C
Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Mullum dropout makes it in USA

Latest News

Tweed Council rejects Casuarina disability viewing platform

Issues of queue jumping, the allocation of Tweed Shire Council’s resources in both time and money, and responding to...

Other News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: There is no place like home… actually there are no places

Local low income residents in Byron Bay are the human koalas of our Shire. They too have lost much of their habitat. We need affordable housing now, not in three years, or five years, or ten. Now.

Constitutional referendum/poll for LG elections for Byron Shire?

Is the wards fight back again? Byron Shire Council staff have advised, in the upcoming agenda, that ‘Council may conduct a Constitutional referendum or poll in conjunction with the Local Government Election, to be held in September 2021’.

Super swim challenge accepted

A group of mates from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Head, recently formed a swim team known as the Anti Budgie Boardriders for the purpose of taking part in the Starlight Foundations Super Swim Challenge.  

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Final stage of Lismore Base Hospital gets underway

The redevelopment works commenced in late 2016 and the final stage is now getting underway to complete the Lismore Base Hospital refurbishment.

Suffolk pump track

Dr Ray Moynihan, Suffolk Park Thanks to The Echo for ongoing coverage of the debate about the proposed pump track...

Mandy Nolan

Adolescents are told that staying in school is the only way they’ll achieve their goals. But that’s not necessarily true, in fact there are many stories that contradict rigid educational compliance as the only recipe for success, and perhaps it’s the aberrant thinker, the person who sits firmly outside the square, who has what it takes to do something extraordinary.

Let’s take for example 15-year-old Amethyst Kelly, a Mullumbimby girl who dropped out of high school because she felt ‘discouraged to stay’.

Seven years on she’s known by her stage name Iggy Azalea, a model (signed as the new face of Levi jeans) and a hip hop artist signed to Island Def Jam and Mercury Records.

In her Youtube video Work – which has over 12 million hits btw – Iggy tells her gutsy story.

‘No money, no family, sixteen in the middle of Miami.’

A very young and idealistic girl saved money cleaning hotel rooms to go to the US on a holiday with friends, and then once in the US she rings her parents to let them know she’s not coming back.

That’s not just crazy. That’s terrifying. A lot of young people at this age can’t even change a toilet roll.

This was the beginning of making what would have appeared to any school guidance counsellor as a ludicrous dream a reality.

For Iggy, hip hop was a passion that went to the core. ‘I’m not sure exactly what it was,’ she says. ‘I think some things, especially the ones you have passion for, are not always easily explained or even logical.

‘Rap music just called my name louder than other styles.’

Iggy discovered her passion for rap around 14. ‘I would take the bus to Lismore or fly to Sydney to meet other kids who were into rap music too.

‘I didn’t finish school. But I got my GED in America two years ago.’

A young woman hellbent on pushing the boundaries and redefining old ideals it’s radical to see her front and centre in a genre that prefers men. Usually black men. Black American Men. Somehow a little (well not so little she’s almost six foot) white girl from Mullumbimby has smashed her way into the arena.

Iggy is philosophical about how she went from being broke and illegal, to spearheading an impressive career.

‘I’m addicted to my passion’

‘It’s having something that people are interested in hearing that is the difficult thing and why many people go unnoticed. I don’t think race is a hindrance when it comes to being heard. Picking the right words is the hard part.’

So does she identify herself as a feminist? Usually ‘hot’ girls like her with great booties are in the background doing the back-up vocals.

‘I suppose some may argue I am a feminist. For some reason the word feminist makes stupid people think I have hairy underarms and hate men so in an attempt to remain likeable to them, I just describe myself as someone sick of stereotypes and gender roles in the media.

‘I feel lack of variety in the characters we are force-fed results in more small-minded thinking.’

She credits the internet and her passion as being the two forces that have been the most influential in her meteoric rise to the lady rapper hall of fame.

‘I’m addicted to my passion,’ she says, ‘I couldn’t help but keep going. It’s all that makes me happy.’

A powerful role model for other kids who don’t fit easily in the system, Iggy credits her father as influencing her mindset.

‘My edge is a result of being influenced by my father’s love of great creative thinkers. I was someone who always felt very alone. I had to make my way front and centre so I could find like-minded people and have companionship. In my search for these things, I realised how many other young people feel the way I felt – and so my drive has changed and I’m now motivated by them. I’m trying to inspire them and make them feel comfortable to be themselves.’

Wow. Now that’s a girl who’s got herself sorted. She’s a role model for all those other girls feeling disconnected and looked over to find their passion, get a dream, and like Iggy, start working on your shit.

Previous articleDrift
Next articleYou’re wrong Mr Vaughan

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is also most definitely a lesson for educators of our region.
    I’ve had kids in the Shire schools since ’97 and I have watched and dismayed at the culture change over that time.
    We were once hippy environmentalists who nurtured creativity and tolerance and diversity who produced scores of creative school graduates.
    Times have changed and picking up papers in the school grounds is now a punishment and no longer caring for the environment; barriers of an ‘us and them’ nature have been wedged between students and teachers and respect for individuality has been stomped on by the Naplan / MySchool generation of governments.
    Supportive parents and creative kids don’t always go together… Lucky for Iggy. Go Girl!!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bringing down the heat in our ‘hood

How well we survive the future depends on our vision for our towns and suburbs – and on how we bring that vision about.

Resilience through biodiversity and awareness

The Byron Shire Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow will be in Brunswick Heads this Saturday, as part of a series of events across the region tackling the question: ‘How do we create more resilient communities in 2021?’

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Final stage of Lismore Base Hospital gets underway

The redevelopment works commenced in late 2016 and the final stage is now getting underway to complete the Lismore Base Hospital refurbishment.