Her father was a fisherman, and her grandfather was a shark catcher. She’s one of Australia’s best MCs.
MC Lady Lash, aka Crystal Clyne, spent her childhood playing by the sea, weaving fishing nets and making music with her family around a campfire. “I always knew I wanted to be a singer,” she says. “It’s my purpose here on earth, it’s my bliss. Even when I was a little girl I would stand out the front of my house and sing for passing cars, I’d sing for the caterpillars, I know that everything that is breathing, everything that is alive needs music.”
She attended boarding school in Adelaide, and when she was 17 went on a year-long tour with The Coloured Stones as a back-up singer. She travelled around Australia and had two children before moving to Melbourne in 2004 where her career took off. She learnt how to produce music using software “that some random on the internet sent to me for free”, and promoted her work across social media.
Lash’s advice to young musicians is to perform at open mic events as often as possible: “Introduce yourself to as many people as you possibly can, all types of people from all different walks of life. And you’ve got to keep a positive mindset because it can be a long journey.”
Opportunities in the music world need to be chased, she adds: “You have to put yourself out there, it’s not going to come to you. You should go to workshops to learn new techniques, but the most valuable learning is on the spot while you’re performing.”
She also talks about the dangers of depression for musicians: “Young people have a lot of darkness in their lives and music is often their outlet, but let music be your light. You have to surround yourself with people who put positivity into their music. It’s good to listen to criticism here and there, but you’ve got to be listening to your heart. The music you make has to come direct from your heart and that’s something nobody can tell you how to do.”
MC Lady Lash has recently crowdfunded a documentary, which she describes as her spiritual journey back to culture and country. “Identity is so important,” she says. “I’ve learnt so much more about Dreamtime and the spiritual nature of being a woman. This is information I have to share with the next generation so that it’s never forgotten.”
She says learning about the Indigenous connection to country is vital for every Australian. “Right now, there are miners drilling into the Great Australian Bight. We’ve all got to protect our country.”
Here’s a teaser for her doco:
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