After a Trans-Tasman search for Australia and New Zealand’s most exciting emerging musicians, Emily Wurramara has been chosen by Isol-Aid Festival and 99designs by Vistaprint as the recipient of a $10,000 grant to invest in her music.
The announcement marks the end of Isol-Aid Homegrown – a 16-week program conceived to provide creative and financial support to emerging bands and musicians.
Out of almost 1,000 nominations from music fans across Australia and New Zealand, 25 emerging acts were chosen to receive $2,000 worth of design work from professional freelance artists from the 99designs community to help promote their music.
17 acts also performed as part of Isol-Aid’s fortnightly Festival bill, streamed live on TikTok, with upwards of 25,000 fans tuning in each week to watch acts such as Charm of Finches, Cry Club, Bakers Eddy and more perform right from their homes.
Emily Wurramara was selected from this crop of 25 acts by a panel of judges to receive the grant to grow her creative career. Originally from Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory, Emily is an AIR award-winning and ARIA-nominated First Nations singer-songwriter, singing in both English and Anindilyakwa languages.
Like most musicians, the last 18 months took its toll on Emily Wurramara’s creativity, mental health and career prospects.
“When everything came to a stop I lost myself and wondered if it was worth it anymore. I almost gave up music, but I’m grateful to have found myself again and reignited my passion and appreciation for music,” said Emily.
The grant comes at an opportune time. After separating from her management of 14 years, Emily is on the cusp of releasing her next album.
“This album will be the beginning of a new me – a true representation of me as an artist and person. Thank you to the Isol-Aid and 99designs teams, this grant will help provide the resources necessary to bring my voice to the forefront at home and abroad,” added Emily.
“We are so thrilled to announce Emily Wurramara as the recipient of this grant. She is the true representation of homegrown Australian talent, and is incredibly deserving of this opportunity,” said Emily Ulman, founder of Isol-Aid Festival.
“We received 975 nominations for the Isol-Aid Homegrown initiative and were blown away by Aussies and Kiwis turning out to nominate their favourite local artists.”
“And while this terrible time has been particularly tough for emerging and grassroots talent, the calibre of these nominations makes me feel optimistic that the future of the Oz and Kiwi music scenes will be so very bright.”
“We are profoundly grateful to 99designs by Vistaprint for enabling us to provide this opportunity for Emily and for all artists who have been part of Homegrown,” said Ulman.
As part of the grant, Emily Wurramara will also receive a dedicated mentoring session with Ella Hooper, who is an industry ambassador for Isol-Aid Homegrown and was part of the grant selection panel. “It was truly inspiring hearing how these 25 artists navigated the challenges of the last year,” she said.
“It was a difficult decision to choose just one recipient for the grant, as each was so deserving in their own right but we’re so proud to bring this opportunity to Emily and her music. I’m looking forward to sitting down with her as she embarks on this exciting next phase of her creative career,” said Ella Hooper.
The final Isol-Aid Festival of the program will be streamed live on TikTok on Wednesday 20 October, featuring Isol-Aid Homegrown acts Cry Club, Vetta Borne and The Buoys. For more information, visit: www.isolaidfestival.com for details.
Image: Emily Wurramara (supplied)