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Lady Lash: 'Being Greek means that we are strong with big hearts'

A rising star in Melbourne's hip-hop scene, 'storyteller' Lady Lash talks about her combined Greek and indigenous background

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15 June 2017

The media release is brief and precise: "Lady Lash is a storyteller from Kokatha country on the west coast of South Australia who combines refreshing jazz melodies with soulful hip-hop beats". She's also part Greek; for Lady Lash is also known as Crystal Clyne Mastrosavas. A bold, outspoken artist, she got the attention of the Greek community when she appeared at the Lonsdale Street Festival and now she's about to do it again, participating at the 'Alternative Hip-Hop Party', a 3CR Radiothon Fundraiser event hosted by the Greek Resistance Bulletin, a bilingual weekly radio show (Tuesday at 10.00 pm at 855AM), featuring news and commentary on the social - antifascist and antiracist - movements of Greece. And if that wasn't reason enough to want to know more about her and her art, there's more, as this month she's also featured at the upcoming Emerging Writers' Festival - not to mention that she's about to release her fourth album Therapy Tapes.

Why did you decide to take part in 3CR's Alternative Hip-Hop Party?
Supporting community radio stations is very important because without the alternate stations we'd be only left with mainstream product and people would miss out on amazing music that's created by independent artists. I'm very thankful for these stations to play our music and reaching an eclectic audience is a thrilling experience.

You're also part of the Emerging Writer's Festival, featuring in the 'Songs and Stories from Home' project; what are you going to present at this event?
I will present one solid performance and will talk about what made me choose my song Memory Chambers. The song is hip-hop poetry about me growing up in my home town of Ceduna.

What does 'home' mean to you?
A place of safety, love, warmth, privacy, and freedom.

How would you describe your music to someone not familiar with it?
It's the sounds of a soul having a human experience. Music is universal and even though we don't all have the same tastes in sound, I try to express feelings and vibes that anybody can relate too. My music is a journey of life.

What is your main source of inspiration?
My deep visionary mind, nature, and books. Inspiration comes in many forms and being influenced by incredible musicians and literature doesn't come very often. I seek and search constantly for ideas, but only seem to find that creative zone when my subconscious allows.

How did you find your voice as an artist?
Understanding and coming to peace with who I am. Singing in the shower is a precursor for confidence, maybe because you're in your birthday suit exposed, and getting on stage in front of people takes guts.

What is the single most important thing you want to address with your songs?
The single most important thing is being free to express my visions.

You were nominated as 'Best Aboriginal Act' at The Age Music Victoria Awards; what does that mean to you?
To be acknowledged for my work whilst making a positive impact on the Australian music industry is a dream come true. It means our hard effort plus love for music hasn't fallen astray and is being heard.

How connected are you to your Greek roots?
Spiritually I have always been connected; being Greek means that we are family and we are strong with big hearts. My cultures are very important to me and being proud of whom you are and where you're from is inner strength that's priceless.

What is your perception of your 'mixed' background?
I think it's beautiful and rich. Love is love and that has no conditions, so my heart does not compare, compete, or constrict itself with cultural differences.

What is your take on Australia today? Do you think that it is becoming more tolerant, or that it is going backwards?
Tolerance is a matter of opinion. Racism is still being passed down through all nationalities and generations and is not some natural occurrence. Fortunately ignorance isn't hereditary and the negative cycle can and is being broken down everyday.

With cultural awareness growing stronger and the true history of earth is being schooled to the youth, there is more promise and hope out there than ever before.

* The Alternative Hip-Hop Party - 3CR fundraiser event will take place on Saturday 17 June at 7.30 pm at Bar 303 (303 High St, Northcote).
* 'Songs and Stories from Home' will be presented on Wednesday 21 June at 7.00 pm at the Workers Club (51 Brunswick St, Fitzroy). Get tickets here
* To listen to the 'Greek Resistance' bulletin go to 3cr.org.au/greekresistancebulletin
* For news on Lady Lash, go to her website

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