Pushing Boundaries with Miss Kaninna: The Hottest New Act in Aussie Music

Proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Kalkadoon, and Yirendali artist,  Miss Kaninna, is hitting 2024 with a bang

Her latest single, “Push Up,” is a sultry dance anthem that’s shaking up the scene. This track not only showcases her powerful vocals but also teases her upcoming debut EP, which is set to drop later this year via Soul Has No Tempo.

As Miss Kaninna gears up to light up the Spin Off Festival in Adelaide on July 19th, sharing the stage with acts like Girl in Red and Rum Jungle, we caught up with her to discuss her move to Naarm and her advice for aspiring First Nations artists. “We’re creating a new system where we can tell our stories and be ourselves. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to change who you are to fit into the music industry,” she shares.

miss kaninna interview

With recent hits like “Blak Britney” capturing hearts and “Push Up” pushing boundaries, Miss Kaninna continues to blend fierce self-expression with First Nations pride. This rising star is definitely one to watch.

Happy: What are you up to today?

Miss Kaninna: To be honest, I’ve been at home chilling. I’ve been traveling a lot recently so it’s good just to wake up when I want and spend time at home.

Happy: Tell us a little bit about where you are from?

Miss Kaninna: Where I’m from in lutruwita/Tasmania is very green and very lush and lots of bush, we have the cleanest air and beaches. It’s like a little oasis.

Happy: Tell us about your creative community?

Miss Kaninna: Currently my creative community is pretty big, I mean I hangout and spend time with a lot of creative people that influence my own art. Being around other artists inspires me to be more creative and expressive. I’m always going to other gigs, dance performances, art exhibitions.

Happy: Congrats on Push Up is it inspired by your move to Naarm? How has this relocation impacted your overall sound and creative direction?

Miss Kaninna: Moving to Naarm has been great for access to new sounds and ways of creating music. It has opened up opportunities to me that aren’t available in Tassie.

My sound has definitely developed over time since moving here, when I was in Tassie I relied heavily on a band and live instruments to create my songs, whereas now I’m not limited to that.

Happy: Your lyrics talk about self-expression and fluidity. How important are these themes to your artistry in general?

Miss Kaninna: So important – I feel as though often artists get put in boxes which can be very limiting. Self expression shouldn’t be defined by one single thing. Self expression is whatever the artist deems it so.

Happy: Push Up is the first time many fans are hearing your singing voice. What can fans expect vocally from your upcoming EP?

Miss Kaninna: The EP will be a good introduction to what you can expect from me – a little bit of singing, a little bit of rap. I feel like the EP delivers both a soft and staunch vibe, which is kinda like me.

Happy: You’ve achieved incredible success with just two singles. How does it feel?

Miss Kaninna: It honestly is very surreal, I am very proud of the work and the effort it took but I’m also very grateful and surprised that people reacted the way they did.

Happy: You’re a proud First Nations woman. How do you incorporate your heritage and culture into your music?

Miss Kaninna: I mean I feel like it’s less incorporating and more of just an expression of who I am. My Indigeneity is not separate from me and neither is my music so naturally they go hand in hand.

Happy: The term Black Pop is a powerful statement. Can you elaborate on what it means to you?

Miss Kaninna: Yeah, Black pop is pop music that has the ability to dive into branch-off genres. I really like making different types of music so it helps encapsulate that.

I am also a Black woman that makes pop music…

Black Pop is a genre umbrella that describes Black excellence and creative diversity, it allows that freedom to explore without the pressure to define or explain the vast spectrum of music I enjoy creating.

Happy: What advice would you give to aspiring First Nations artists following in your footsteps?

Miss Kaninna: We are making a new system, a new way, where we can tell our stories and be ourselves. Don’t let anyone tell you you have to change and compromise who you are just to be in music.

Happy: You have a busy touring schedule ahead with Spin Off Festival, Listen Out, Queen City Ball x Heaps Gay, Wonder Mountain, Clancestry, and a support with Hiatus Kaiyote. What are you most excited about
when it comes to performing live?

Miss Kaninna: I love performing, it’s just so fun. I love going to different places and meeting people at gigs. I don’t really see it as work sometimes because it’s more like traveling and getting paid for it ahaha.

Nehh I really enjoy being around music and being on the road, music brings me a lot of joy & happiness.

Happy: Looking back at your rapid rise, whats been the most surprising or rewarding aspect of your journey so

Miss Kaninna: Going back home and having my community sing my songs back to be and being cheeky and shaking their mooms.

Happy: What makes you happy?

Miss Kaninna: Music, family and connection to country.