imbi the girl & Azura interview each other about pre-show rituals & more
One of the most exciting names in Australian music right now is IMBI THE GIRL. Armed with their totally self-aware, unapologetic brand of poetic hip-hop infused RnB and soul, they’ve spent the better part of the last 12 months slaying it on the release front and playing to crowds all around town, including Sydney’s Laneway Festival and recently wrapping up as the main support for Odette‘s national headline tour.
They’ve more recently put out a stellar new single with Perth group, SUPEREGO, titled ‘i used to’. Their poetic flow is strengthened by the authentic nature of the track, one where imbi draws from life experience to find solace through their creative process.
“”i used to’ is about a period in life where I and those around me were overwhelmed with energy and intense feelings to the point of complete confusion,” says imbi. “It’s an ode to that state of being, an acceptance of how it feels, it’s importance in our life processes and also a declaration of my dedication to clarity and receptivity. When writing it, the lyrics and melody came very naturally to me, so every time I listen to it I gain further insight into its meaning.”
To celebrate the single, they’re about to embark on their debut headline tour, with shows in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Melbourne’s Azura is along for the tour too, lending her sound to the tour’s support slot.
With the tour about to kick off, we got both artists to interview each other to see where their heads are at. Take a read below.
Azura‘s questions for imbi the girl
What are you most looking forward to about your first headline tour?
I’m really excited to have curated the line up and the energy of the space. I have a couple special surprises in store that I know will help create some really beautiful, tangible, magick moments. I am most excited to share that feeling with people.
What are your pre-show rituals?
I set up a little crystal layout at the front of the stage and write out my intentions for the performance on the back of a set list. It really helps me feel ready to authentically present myself on stage and share what needs to be shared when I have a foundational understanding of my purpose that night. And also, right before we go on I play a special track and myself and Teleah (my bandmate) have a boogie side of stage and sort of signet to ourselves/each other,, it’s super cute and wholesome. Other than that though, mostly banter with whoever around backstage ~ hahaha
How do you want the audience to feel during your show?
I want them to feel connection. I want them to know that that feeling is real and I want them to walk away knowing they shared a divine experience with the other folx in the room. I want them to feel whatever comes to them through the music/poetry of the evening and to find a new respect for being open to that feelings/that magick.
How did the lyrics to ‘i used to’ come about?
I was sitting in Perth in a session with SUPEREGO and it all came about super quickly and organically. I think I heard the melody and immediately felt triggered to start writing. After I finished the lyrics and started laying down vocals, I realised how substantial they were and only really then took a second to appreciate what these lyrics meant for me. It’s a really special song for me because it talks about walking away from toxic behavioural patterns that leave you feeling lost and entering into your power more and more each time you do. But yeah, I only actually came to fully appreciate the lyrics after the writing process was over hahahahaha.
Who is your favourite performer and why?
I have a couple very different favourite performers for very different reasons. I love Sampa The Great because she brings an unapologetic magick with her wherever she goes. She does a magnificent job at curating and creating the energy of a space to be something truly special. I also loved seeing Cardi B at Field Day. Totally different vibe but also unapologetically herself and super authentic. She just has so much fun on stage and you can really see that. And then, for my last oneeeee I’d have to say DOBBY. He is just SUCH an amazing performer. SO much energy, SO much passion, SO much talent. You have to see him live to understand… you should definitely see him live if you get the chance.
imbi the girl‘s questions for Azura
How are you feeling?
Currently, I’m pretty peaceful, quite chill. About tour, wildly excited.
What’s your favourite song to perform and why?
I have a lot of fun with ‘Colour Dream’ because I get to dance around and then play a big glittery synth part at the end. It’s also super nice to sing because the lyrics are still just as relevant as when I wrote it.
Why do you make music?
I make music to understand what I’m feeling and turn it into something beautiful. I also write because I love humans and it’s nice to contribute to soundtracking the lives of friends and future-friends.
What’s your favourite season & why?
Spring – the season for all the flowers blooming and baby animals, what’s not to love.
Who do you dream about collaborating with?
I would really love to write with Chelsea Jade. She released an album last year that is so perfect. I’d love to learn all her songwriting secrets. Bradley Hale from Now, Now would also be a dream – I have a pretty long list.
imbi the girl ‘i used to’ tour
with special guest Azura
Thursday 20 June
The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
Saturday 22 June
The Workers Club, Melbourne
Friday 28 June
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Tickets on sale now imbithegirl.com
Photo of Imbi The Girl by Rene Vaile
Photo of Azura: SUPPLIED
Intro by CAITLIN MEDCALF