The Budjerah experience
For 18-year-old artist Budjerah Slabb, making music was an inevitability. Raised in a home filled with instruments, by a family whose time was split between playing in family bands and leading worship services in the local church, Budjerah has crafted a sound that melds the formative elements of gospel and soul with contemporary pop and R’n’B references.
How did your family inform your love of music?
Pretty much everyone in my family plays instruments and sings so it was always a thing that was there for me to do growing up. Everyone also has very different taste in music, so I got to experience everything from country to R’n’B, reggae to rock. It was very eclectic.
What is it about gospel do you think that is so uplifting?
I think gospel music is so uplifting for me because it’s about hope, strength and overcoming difficulties. It’s a place I can go to feel comforted when I’m feeling down.
I love Fingal – it’s such a special place – does where you are make a difference to what you write?
Yeah, where I am definitely makes a difference. When I write, I take a look at what’s going on around me, I draw a lot of inspiration from it. It’s really crazy what you can come up with when you notice the little things.
What’s your favourite way to work up a song?
Most of the time I like to start with music, I pick up my guitar and find some cool chords. Once the music feels good, everything that’s happened in my week comes out in the lyrics and singing.
Tell me about working with Matt Corby? What has he brought to your music?
Working with Matt Corby was incredible. He’s so talented, and it was insane just to sit watching him play. I got to learn so much from him and he really pushed me to give my best when I was singing and playing.
In your track Missing You – you sing about a sense of isolation. It’s a very sophisticated song for someone who is only 18 – how does music help you experience more complex emotions?
I think the music helps me to express my emotions, not just through the lyrics, but if I’m really feeling something, the music helps me to emphasise these things.
What should we expect for your show in Lismore?
I’m really excited to share songs from my up-and-coming EP, and for people to get to know ‘Budjerah’. I hope that people can relate to my music and come away feeling uplifted and excited.
Budjerah plays Lismore City Hall on Saturday 14 November, supported by local hip hop legends Teddy Lewis King.
For Budjerah’s gig on this Saturday there is a NAIDOC special offer of $10 off. People just need to mention NAIDOC when they book on the phone or put NAIDOC in as promo code when they book online.