Their music is born from the sweet sounds of Motown, blended with some 90s R&B and woven together with language and dancing. The Merindas have hit the ground running in 2020, announcing a national tour for their soon-to-be-released debut album, We Sing Until Sunrise.
The Melbourne-based duo are Candice Lorrae, a Jawoyn and Thursday Island woman who was born in Darwin, and Nyoongar Ballardong Whadjuk woman, Kristel Kickett from Tammin, Western Australia.
The tour will kick off in March and the pair are nervous but excited.
“It’s our first tour … It feels like a milestone for us and it’s something that ticked the box for us, we’ve always wanted to do this as artists and to pull something like this off on your own is hard,” Lorrae said.
“We’ve been working on this music for so long and now that we’re extremely happy with it … we want to take it around the rest of Australia.”
“It flowed really, it feels as though it’s the perfect time to do the tour, at this point of time in our lives right now,” Kickett added.
After three years of perfecting their sound, the team will release We Sing Until Sunrise ahead of the tour.
“It’s been back and forth, it’s been such a rollercoaster figuring out where we are at with the album and the changes we had to make … wanting to perfect our sound, our product and that creativity,” Kickett said.
“We started three years ago in Perth in my little home studio, and we were writing songs, just Kristel and myself. I produce as well so we’d sit at my keyboard and make tracks and find melodies and lyrics,” Lorrae said.
“We moved to Melbourne in that time, and moving there started to push us in another direction, we were almost going to release the stuff we had … but it wasn’t sitting with us right.
“We got to Melbourne and we got re-inspired. We were part of SongHub … and the third day we got to work with this producer from Auckland … it hit the money. He had the sound we wanted, he was listening to us and he knew how to relate it across and communicate our spirit and meaning into sound,” Lorrae said.
2019 was a whirlwind of a year for the pair and 2020 is looking similar, having recently performed at both Yabun Festival After Party and Cooee Festival at Emu Plains on January 26.
The pair have grown incredibly in their individual confidence and partnership.
“We were really lucky to find one another in this business, we grew up with the same passions and loving the same girl groups in the 90s,” Lorrae said.
“We really had the same vision as who we were as artists and what we could bring to the stage.
“We do it all ourselves, we make our own costumes, we choreograph our own dance moves with the help of some dance friends … It builds with age too, the older we get the more confident and less critical we get.”
“You can’t be up there being role models and feeling down on yourself. That’s taken many years to overcome; just my confidence in me, body image, all of that,” Kickett said.
“It feels really good, it pushes me and us more, to do more.”
“When you see people doing something they love and they’re happy with it, people are inspired by that because everyone is searching for that – something they really love doing,” Lorrae added.
The Merindas national tour will bring an energetic and colourful performance backed by DJ Jake Steele and joined by Wala Connections – the fierce dance duo of Thara Brown and Natarsha Bamblett.
We Sing Until Sunrise Album Tour is supported by the Australian Council of the Arts and will hit venues in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Broome and Darwin.
For more information and tickets head to www.themerindas.com/shows.
By Rachael Knowles