It is undoubtedly difficult being an artist or a performer in an isolated area.
Opportunities are limited, geographically you are out of the popular zones, and your target audience in smaller than average. But when you have that fire and passion burning within, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s more about what you put in.
Mau Power, from Torres Strait, knows more about this than most in the game, and he says that life is all about making, not taking, opportunities.
“When I first started my career there weren’t too many avenues of opportunity to put out music,” he said, “so to be able to find something you have a real passion for and turn it into a working industry has been an honour. What I guess also, is that my success gives drive to other generations to pursue music and their dreams and it shows that even if the opportunities aren’t readily available you can create them yourself. Just because you are from an isolated area doesn’t mean you can’t compete and succeed in whatever you want to do.”
Having just released his latest offering, ‘The Show Will Go On’, Power is bringing his music and culture to the Tanks this Saturday night. His music is a collaboration of all aspects of his life, blending tradition indigenous ways with the Hip Hop phenomena. It is this musical mixture and heritage that Power attributes to being the backbone of his existence.
“The culture of Hip Hop developed in the ’70’s,” he enthused. “It was an art form that gave a voice to the people that didn’t have it. It gave opportunity to the people who didn’t have opportunity and it gave freedom to the people who were oppressed. So basically it gave that outlet where people who were told ‘you can’t do it, you will never amount to anything”, it gave those people a choice and a confidence to say ‘yes I can. I am this person, I am Hip Hop, I can do this and you cannot keep me down’ – and this is what the culture embodies. Music is only one part of the culture. Understanding the culture and being exposed to that gives you that drive and empowerment.”
With the lead single off the album, ‘My Island Home’ already garnishing rave reviews, Power is hopeful that this album will catapult him into the national and international spotlight.
“‘The Show Will Go On’ is an honest depiction of stories in my life,” he explained, “written in a way where it is relatable to anybody so you can see elements of yourself in that story. It’s a conceptual, autobiographical album so the whole thing is based on my life, my culture, and also the culture of Hip Hop. There’s not a dull moment on the whole album.”
Mau Power performs a free concert at The Tanks on Saturday June 21