What kind of Maker are you?

I am a playful and energetic music maker. I move a lot! I can hear melody and rhythm in everything: traffic lights, the click of the car indicator, water bubbling in a cooking pot… I love making music with people of all ages and playing with simple melody and rhythm and creating something new and exciting with them, I like to twist things around and try them in as many different ways as possible. I have a particular interest in world music.

How old were you when you first got involved in the Maker community?

I am not sure when I started but I remember always singing since childhood. I grew up in Madagascar where, wherever I went, there was music. Someone would be singing or tapping on something. My family loves singing and dancing and in fact, my dad can find songs to sing about any word you give him. So, I guess, I got immersed in it and started at a very young age. I used to gather all my friends and siblings and organise for us to sing a song or choreograph a dance for a church picnic, a school event, a celebration…whatever gathering I would find myself in.

When I moved to New Zealand, I met many people who were afraid of singing or they would think that it’s only for a select few who have studied it, can read music, have a beautiful voice, passed some tests or exams. I also noticed that making music together is not a big part of the culture. It made me sad so I asked myself what could I do? It took a few years for me to find the answer and how to approach it and after I moved to Wellington, I met Julian Raphael of Community Music Junction and worked with him for a number of years.

What inspires you when you are working on a project?

When I am working on a project, I think about how to connect and empower people through the music-making process. I remind myself of the pure joy and fun and satisfaction that people can have. I also get inspired by seeing people discovering their voice for the first time, the connections that people make through making music whether it is cross-cultural or inter-generational, breaking all boundaries.

What advice would you give to young people who want to get involved?

I would advise young people to go for it and be a maker. This is your time to experiment, try new things. There are so many good things out there, so many things to still be made, so be brave, you’ve got youth and strength on your side, take a leap of faith and go chase your dreams. The world is waiting for you and waiting to see what you are capable of making.

Tell us about a Maker that inspires you.

There are two makers that inspire me: one is American Jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin. He is a genius! I love the way he gets people involved and how strong he is musically. The second one is children’s entertainer and storyteller Bill Harley who writes wicked, mischievous and funny children’s songs and stories.