5 Musical Inspirations Shared By Andrea Kirwin

Andrea Kirwin and her band The Yama-Nui Social Club play Sunshine Sounds Festival. Andrea Kirwin and her band The Yama-Nui Social Club play Sunshine Sounds Festival. Image © Jack Tindall

An Australian/ Fijian singer-songwriter based on the Sunshine Coast, Andrea Kirwin is the founder of independent record label Peace Run Records (based in Nambour) as well as a community builder and mentor.

Last year, Andrea released her most recent album 'Bloom' that features her 13-piece band, The Yama-Nui Social Club.

Two songs from 'Bloom' were finalists in the Folk and World categories respectively at the 2022 Queensland Music Awards.

'Bloom' was inspired by and dedicated to Andrea's love of her fiancée and partner of 13 years Claire. Born out of a time when the live music scene had all but died, the concept behind the record was a call to resilience.

Andrea and Yama-Nui Social Club will grace the stage when Sunshine Coast festival Sunshine Sounds (founded and co-ordinated by Katie Noonan) returns for its second year in late July.



Katie and her brother Tyrone will perform a special 20th anniversary concert of george's iconic debut album 'Polyserena'. Other acts on the bill include Clare Bowditch, Tim Rogers, Asha Jefferies, Hat Fitz And Cara, Band Of Frequencies and a stack more.

Here, Andrea lists five musical inspirations.

1: Tracy Chapman

Tracy's music changed my life. As a singer-songwriter, it's wonderful to know that a woman with a guitar and some incredible songs can have such a lasting legacy through her music.


2: Rodriguez

Once again, I love Rodriguez because his music reached so many through word of mouth across the world. If you haven't seen the documentary 'Searching For Sugar Man' I highly recommend it.



3: Buena Vista Social Club

These musicians are my inspiration behind my big band project the Yama-Nui Social Club. It's such a wonderful thing to make music with friends, and you can hear it in the music. I love Buena Vista Social Club's community feel, and of course their music.


4: Katie Noonan

Not many people can say they have released over 20 albums, toured the world performing, programmed music for national events, festivals such as Queensland Music Festival, National Folk Festival, organised national tours, written countless grants, put on their own festival and raised a beautiful family.

We are so lucky to have Katie creating a platform for Sunshine Coast artists and also women in music. She is fierce, compassionate and the hardest working artist I know. And she's a world-class performer. A true inspiration for myself and many others I'm sure.



5: Emily Wurramara

I've watched Emily's career over the past few years go from strength to strength, she's only small in stature but her soul is powerful. She is real, authentic and such a joy to be around. She inspires me in her grounded way of being and her music always makes me feel good.



Sunshine Sounds Festival takes place at Eumundi Showgrounds (Sunshine Coast) 29-30 July.

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