Do you think there are enough opportunities and support for up and coming Indigenous artists throughout Australia?
There are more opportunities and more support than there was at the start of my own career, but there could always be more. If there’s a high demand , this creates more work as more artists from across the board are being sought after. In an ideal world, it would be nice to have a booking agent whose sole purpose would be to source work for artists from bands to didj players, from singers to comedians, from dancers to speakers/storytellers, and the list goes on. More people would get work and there would be more work opportunities created. Ideally, there would be a large talent management representing the artists, as well…
You’re latest single Beat of Your Heart has been released as a fundraising initiative for Heart Research Australia. Why is this important organisation so close to your heart?
I thought the idea was fantastic! To be able to use my profile, rehash an old song and in turn raise much needed funds and awareness for heart health and heart research, was a stroke of genius! I’ve been touched by the story of my very good friend and colleague when her mother passed away at the age of 45 from a heart attack while we were touring a play in Victoria. A young woman/mother of three in the prime of her life, one minute she’s going about her week doing all the things she normal does and suddenly without warning, she’s gone! It was difficult consoling my friend who had just lost the most precious person in her life, but the message about taking care of my own health became more clearer than ever. So this project was important for me to honour my friend’s mother, and to help people have a better understanding about heart health.
This one is for all the ladies out there. How do you maintain those gorgeous curls?
Products! I’m the product queen but I’m not as diligent with my hair as I should be. Not everyone should use my routine, not unless you have my specific hair type- the condition is always coarse and dry. My hair has gone through changes throughout my life affected by hormones, stress, chemicals, heat, etc. The same thing has not always worked twice, hence the endless supply of products. But recently, I went back to my roots, so to speak, and started using coconut oil again. Morrocan or Argan oils are also terrific but expensive and I’d rather spend on the other hair products that come into play. I shampoo once a fortnight, but condition (salon quality) my hair frequently leaving it in for 3-5mins. I comb out my hair using a wide tooth comb. Then apply oil right after the conditioner and a salon quality hair gel for curls, right after the oil. I then wrap hair for an hour after which I let it dry naturally.
You’ll be visiting the Gold Coast for an encore performance of Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook. What is it about this lady of soul’s music that captivates you?
Aretha’s voice is what has always captivated me! Her gospel style singing and her range are what has mesmerised me about her songs and her performance. Her storytelling, her musicality and her life’s story have always captivated me- she’s a living legend!!! No one does it like Aretha!
You’ve been keeping busy but it has been quite a few years since your last release. What’s next on the horizon?
I’m currently in the processes of putting together a Christmas Album, which is exciting! I have gigs booked all year, so there’ll be a lot to keep me busy…
– – – – –
Christine Anu plays RSL Southport, 21 August.