Madi Colville-Walker – “When I was around sixteen years old, I asked my mum to show me a few guitar chords; since then, I haven’t stopped playing. This led me to a gig called Three Rivers Festival in my hometown. The headline act for this show was Uncle Archie Roach and all of my family was sitting front row. I can still remember how nervous I was before I stepped on the stage. In 2022, the Singing Our Futures Mob had the opportunity to perform at Port Fairy Folk Festival, and I had the privilege to be a part of Uncle’s Kitchen Table Yarns; a memory I will cherish forever. I remember we spoke about family and how music came so naturally to me, it must flow through my bloodstream. I am beyond excited to share my song Yinyarr Mulana Winyarr with the world. To have this opportunity to be a part of the inaugural Singing Our Futures Program, is an experience I will hold very close to my heart forever. I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Name: Madi Colville-Walker
In less than fifty words describe your music, your band (if applicable) and yourself.
Madi Colville Walker, is a proud Yorta Yorta Woman, an inspiring musician who has had many opportunities after her very first performance at the CMAA Junior Academy back in 2017. Madi holds a strong connection to her Community, Country, as well as all of the organisations and people she has connected with throughout her journey as an artist.
What was the first rock/pop concert you attended?
I can remember my first concert like it was yesterday! When I was twelve years old, I went to see One Direction perform at Rod Laver Arena in Naarm (Melbourne). I was completely obsessed with this band, as most young girls were at the time. I won’t lie, I had the BIGGEST crush on Harry Styles, and till this day, I’m convinced he saw me in the audience and waved at me haha.
Punk or Goth Music:
Definitely Punk music! I have always been a fan of this genre; I think my older brother has played a bit of an influence on my love for this music.
Who are you excited about, music wise, at the moment?
I have been vibing with this band called South Summit, I love their sound they have created! I am a big fan of reggae sounding chords/melodies.
The Best live artist/band you’ve seen:
I have been very fortunate to have seen many artists live, all of them are so amazing. One of the many artists that stood out to me was Janet Jackson. Her whole production, choreography, music, everything was captivating, I still am in awe of it all. I STILL cannot believe I got to watch her live!
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Uncle Jimmy Little’s A Yorta Yorta Man written by his daughter, Frances Peters-Little. This is Uncle’s story about his life, his connection to music and family, and becoming an artist. As I’m reading this book, I’m realising connections with family lines, and certain points in Uncle’s life that I feel I can relate to, such as starting his career at sixteen, I was also this age when I started my journey.
Your favourite Sunday morning chill out record?
I think it would have to be Didn’t Cha Know by Erykah Badu, this is just one of those tracks that is easy to listen to. I often will put this on when I’m meditating or even whilst I’m getting ready for a gig, just to get myself into a calm mindset.
Which song do you wish you had written?
There are so many songs I listen to and say “Oh I wish I wrote this” but if I have to pick just one, I would go with Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac. This song is so powerful to me, I love the lyrics in the chorus and the breakdown, I adore Stevie Nicks’ writing style, although it is heart wrenching it holds a magic to it.
Author Manuel Puig said “I’m not terribly happy about rock and roll. Rock music is uninspiring, numbing; it makes you feel like an idiot.” Discuss.
I think art regardless of what form it comes in has no limit, it’s a way to express so many emotions and stories in one’s life. Although it might not be your favourite type of work, it means a lot to many artists to listen to their stories.
Vinyl, Cassette, CD, mp3 or Streaming?
As I have gotten older, I started to fall in love with Vinyl, I think there’s something special about them. I have a few of my Grandparents old records, a lot of them being country vinyl’s, a couple of my favourites out of their collection are, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn and Jeannie C. Riley, which was one of my Mumma’s records from the 60’s.
If you could hang out with any music artist, in a bar one afternoon, who would it be?
I think Janis Joplin would be pretty groovy to hang out with. Janis is another artist I really admire. I once read a book about her upbringing told by people who knew her. They all described her as artsy, carefree and rebellious; she was a standout from all of the other girls in the small town she grew up in.
What is your worst habit?
I know I can be pretty stubborn when it comes to self-care sometimes, I absolutely love music with my heart and soul, it’s really a huge part of me. But sometimes I do forget I need to take a little break every now and again.
How often do you look at your mobile phone?
Way too often! For me it is a bit of a love-hate relationship with my phone. I have a pretty big family, when I’m away it’s not unusual for me to call or message someone, plus I love that I can see my little nieces and nephews’ achievements on social media with their sports, school etc. I think being in this generation, technology is evolving almost every minute, and for musicians it’s important for us to engage in this so we can connect with our audiences. It can be all a little overwhelming for me too at times, so I do like to take little breaks when I can.
Any good backstage stories?
I was about eighteen, I was still in the early stages of my music career and in my final years of high school. I was involved with a HipHop/R&B group at the time called Heard Instinct Collective, we landed a gig at the Land of Plenty Festival in Shepparton, we were all so excited! I remember I saw Ocean Alley backstage, I’m a big fan of those guys, I was definitely fan-girling and way too shy to go introduce myself!
An alien lands on Earth and wants to know what Rock and roll sounds like. What song do you play them?
I think I would introduce my new friend to Witchy Woman by the Eagles, it’s a classic song for me!
Favourite all time TV show:
Kath And Kim! My absolute favourite show ever since I was a little girl, they are just so iconic, I’m probably their biggest fan! I always joke with my mum, saying that we are literally the real-life version.
What is your specialty in the kitchen?
I love to cook when I’m home, it’s so comforting especially if I have been on the road for weeks. Anything spicy is just delicious, so I think that Mexican cuisine is my specialty, especially Chili Con Carne!
With whom would you like to record a song with?
I think it would be really deadly to work with Jem Cassar-Daley. I’m a big fan of her work, I love her sound and the tone of her vocals too! It would be such an honour if I ever get the chance to write with Jem.
You have tickets to see The Killers and Bruce Springsteen but they are on the same night. Which one do you attend?
I would have to choose The Killers. I do love Bruce Springsteen’s music, but The Killers are another band that was on repeat quite a bit when my brother and his friends were around at home. Even my dad still blasts Mr Brightside every now and again haha.
Where do you hope to be in twelve months?
At the moment I feel that I’m in a very special place with my music, I cannot explain how grateful I am for absolutely everything! In the next twelve months I would love to release more music and continue to travel and perform everywhere and anywhere!
Marking the third sublime single released in conjunction with the Singing Our Futures program, aka The Archie Roach Foundation’s mentoring experience, helping emerging First Nations artists on their songwriting and recording journeys, the glistening new track Yinyarr Mulana Winyarr from Yorta Yorta artist Madi Colville-Walker is a warm and calming ode to home and country, and it comes off the back of Colville-Walker picking up the coveted Archie Roach Foundation Award at the NIMAs, alongside a performance of the single at the awards, accompanied by Allara Briggs-Pattison on double bass.
Interview by Geoff Jenke
Yinyarr Mulana Winyarr is Out Now
The Singing Our Futures EP will be released later this year.