Wobble parties have a justifiably awesome reputation. They represent the real deal when it comes to flowing music and great times. They are about a no-nonsense attitude with proper sound systems that perfectly encapsulate the bass-heavy dub genre the way it should be. And Vida Sunshyne is right now one of its finest local exponents. Blazing the trail of more and more commercial success, 2012 is shaping up to be her year – especially given the excitement surrounding her forthcoming gig alongside with Wobble crew. And when it comes to music, Vida admits that it seems like she didn’t have much of a choice.
“My dad was the first reggae musician in Melbourne and my mum was his manager! So when I was 15, I started professionally performing. I was always into the soundsystem styles: hip hop and dancehall and all of these kinds of things. That’s changed up a little as well, so now I’m into dubstep. I just love the bass – it was straight up bass and that’s what attracted me to the music! I actually quite liked grime for a while too; it was pretty much that the music was everything I’d looked for, but I found myself asking producers to make sure it was driven by simple melodies and that was the appeal of dub.”
Not just an experienced emcee either, Vida’s pinboard highlights a whole lot of accolades, including perhaps her finest moment: getting her debut album out. “I’m aiming to get the album out by April this year – I’m trying to bring everything I’ve learnt from a lot of different areas of music into the one album. Rather than chop and change from one to another style I want to keep it reasonably focused – the biggest lesson came when I was in Jamaica and I was recording and re-recording until I sort of got the vibe of the album up there with the energy of a live show! So when people play the album it will have as much hype as a good show, I hope.”
But the fun won’t stop there. “Once the album is recorded, we’re aiming to tour it as much as we can, right through Asia and Australia with a band and all that, the whole thing. At the moment I’m looking for a good DJ and trying to build a band with a few new members; I want the show to be different to what people are thinking or expecting. That’s why the gig at Wobble will be a lot of fun. Bonnita has a similar approach to me and we work well together, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Indeed, her soft spot for the album is evident. She comes back to it over and over again, reminding me that it is the culmination of years and years of hard work and commitment that is now serving up its just desserts. “I did a couple of shows last year and they were really good; this year I’ve come back from doing Glastonbury and Eden. My life now is like a come down! Jumping up and down with emcees and things like that was amazing. We’ve got some exciting plans and things coming up; Bonnita is down and ready and we’ve got others with us so it’s all looking pretty good for the show.
“To get to somewhere like Glastonbury was incredible; it’s really one of the world’s great festivals. It has this amazing reputation – well deserved. So to perform with friends was like a dream come true! It all happened and came together at the World Music Expo where they get scouts and performers and things from around the world together and they choose who they want playing at different festivals. I got to go to Europe and I would basically say the whole thing was off its head!”
As far as the stage goes, she is not only ready but rather hyped, too. “Definitely. I still believe that anything goes as far as the stage goes – as long as it’s in good taste, bring it on. Doing what I do is my little way of representing for the ladies. I feel like I’m doing that a lot more, without even trying! It’s kind of what I’ve always done behind the scenes in the music game, but with the scene I’ve been a part of more recently, I’m representing the sisters a lot more and this night is an all-ladies lineup, which is great! I’ll be performing with DJ Bonnita and MC Murkey. The whole show will be really full of hype and I’m hoping it’s going to be this non-stop, have-to-dance kind of vibe. Bonnita loves to play dubstep and she mixes beautifully so it should be a lot of fun!”
A whole bunch of chicks on the mic and the wheels of steel, ripping the bass and funk through a set of speaker stacks – I could think of worse places to be, honestly.
Vida Sunshyne [AUS] plays the Wobble at the Night Owl on Saturday March 17.