Photo by JACK HIBBERT
"Don't ever let anyone convince you that art isn't important. It makes people feel, and in this world in this time, it is the most important form of activism, to revive the lifeless through rehabilitating their ability to feel."
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative journey.
When I was a little girl, I used my imagination to escape the hurts of the world. It was more exciting and infinitely safer in my head than it was on Earth, in the physical realm. I always felt disconnected and a little bit on the outside and the way I dealt with that feeling was to become really good at things- being the most intelligent or the best performer or the most outrageous, and if I couldn't be the "most", I would get quite depressed.
I used to play music at my dad's Indonesian church and that's where I learned most of my music skills. Not necessarily the technical skill but more the subtleties of dynamics, communication, reading the crowd and that sort of thing. In my early twenties the traditional Christian dogma just didn't fit me anymore and I began to explore spirituality in my own ways and study various religious philosophies and find my own path.
Since then, and especially in the last few years, expression and transformation have been inextricably linked. Healing, raising consciousness and oneness have been driving my creativity as my core purpose.
Photo by CATALINA BRICENO
You’ve also created a record label called ‘God Queen’. What exactly is a God Queen, and how can women get in touch with this part of themselves?
My transmission through the God Queen philosophy is that we are all Gods, all creators of life and that beyond the illusory façade of reality, there is no hierarchy or governance over our lives. Therefore, being a Queen and honouring each person as royalty is a rejection of the highly-flawed system of monarchy and takes back our power to govern ourselves with truth, love, compassion, nobility and benevolence towards self and others.
I want to support women artists to make amazing music that raises consciousness in the world. It's so hard to do everything yourself and unnecessary too, so I made the label to release music I love and believe in!
Photo by BRAVO CHILD
Your sound and look are both stunning and culturally eclectic. What does it mean to you to be a woman of mixed race (Indonesian and European), and how does this influence your creative expression?
My relationship to culture and heritage has changed so much over the years. I used to feel like I didn't belong to any culture and I was fetishised as a Eurasian in the Indonesian community, but I felt dirty and not white enough to be accepted by white Australia. This really messed with my self-esteem and self-worth. I didn't really know how to identify.
Later in my teenage years, I forged a closer relationship to my Indonesian heritage and learned to speak Bahasa fluently. For a while, it became a huge part of who I told myself I was. I ostracised my mother in my early teenage years because she was white. I dated only Indonesian men and never dated a white man until I was in my late 20s. The older I got, the more I opened my eyes to the world around me and started to realise how much I was blocking out. I kinda pendulum swung and disconnected from my Indonesian heritage for a few years while I was trying to figure out who the hell I actually was!
I feel now that I've sort of transcended culture in a way. In my view, culture is story. Stories are always changing, as they are passed down, details get forgotten and new ones added until eventually, the stories have completely changed. Culture is no different. So now, when I channel my expression, I know that of course I carry with me my ancestry and the stories of my family, but I am also evolving and writing my own story.
Photo by LINDA ANGLEDAL
Who and what are your muses, and why?
My biggest muse and inspiration is very simply, me. My experience of life gives me everything I need to create art and express myself. I feel that when you can observe life with utter appreciation and reverence for all it offers, there is no such thing as writer's block.
The most simple statements of "what is" are usually the most profound and beautiful.
I've learned so much from the friends I surround myself with. I'm lucky to live among such a creative community of people, and I see them as my greatest teachers.
Photo by CATALINA BRICENO
What advice would you give to other souls who want to explore their own unique expression?
The things I wish I knew when I was younger:
There is no measure for art. It is totally subjective so just do what you feel and tell the truth. Don't censor yourself and don't edit too early. Let yourself get in a flow and run wild. Get all the ideas out, refine later.
Find safe people to share your expression with, those who can catch your communication and won't make you feel stupid or inadequate. Often these people are closest to us, and we want their approval so much we keep going back for it even when we constantly walk away feeling insecure about our creations. Find people who are going to support you, encourage you and give you honest, attentive feedback without trampling all over your art babies.
Lastly, do it 'cause it's really healthy to get it out. It's healing and nourishing. Don't ever let anyone convince you that art isn't important. It makes people feel, and in this world in this time, it is the most important form of activism, to revive the lifeless through rehabilitating their ability to feel.
Photo by CATALINA BRICENO
Gangsta healer, channeller of other-worldly wisdom, ALPHAMAMA is the full spectrum of a feminine deity. Rapid fire raps and soulful lamenting, her presence on stage is unmatched.
ALPHAMAMA is not your run-of-the-mill singer. She is a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial artist who is a phenomena to witness in action. Commanding her space with other- worldly presence, she engages her audience through her raw and evocative performances. An ALPHAMAMA live show is never the same, for her or for her audience; she instead creates a unique experience combining poetic storytelling, audience interaction, hard-hitting rap verses, booty-shaking and occasional oracle card readings.
A love of Jazz, Soul, Hip Hop and World music underlies Alpha’s unique sound and approach to songwriting; sharing intimate accounts of her interaction with people and life but also her wonderings about the state of the world, the cosmos and a woman’s place in it. Her style has never been easy to box, constantly pushing boundaries of creative expression as can be heard on her debut album “Truth, Trips and Revelations” released through Creative Vibes. Since then much soul-searching and collaborating has uncovered a deeper tone to her voice and message. As a woman of mixed race, she inherited the unique features of her Indonesian father and European/South African mother, both of whom instilled a deep love of culture. She fuses her live sets with traditional Indonesian singing and African-inspired beats when she’s not stripping it back accompanying herself on her keyboard.
ALPHAMAMA has performed on stages all around the world in Indonesia, South Korea, Germany, USA and South Africa. She has supported and shared stages with Dead Prez, Jean Grae, Macy Gray and Salt 'n' Pepa, Tuka, L-Fresh The Lion and toured as a backing vocalist for Australia's own Jessica Mauboy. As an artist who is passionate about community, she is a highly regarded collaborator seeing her create music with Kween G, P.R, Danny G Felix, True Vibenation and Set Mo. Her recent release with Sydney house duo Set Mo introduced her to the dance music scene internationally with the track ‘Chasing Forever’.
As a spiritually aware artist who is passionate about individual and collective expansion, she heads a record label, more like an art tribe of women artists called 'God Queen' whose purpose is to bring about positive social change through art and remind women of their innate power.
Check out ALPHAMAMA's work on her website, Spotify, YouTube, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
+ + THE MUSE SPOKE is a mini-interview series with inspiring humans that embody soulful creative self-expression. + +