Issue #5 Sneak Peek: Kira Puru (covergirl) interviewed by Triana Hernandez and photographed by Atong Atem

To get you all pumped and curious about the contents of Issue #5 we’ll be releasing some short teasers over the coming weeks. Like what you see? The rest is available for purchase in our online store right here. And don’t forget – buy any print publication plus a limited edition Caitlin She (Issue #5 Featured Artist) stubby cooler, and get $5 off at checkout! 

Take a Chance On Me

Words by Triana Hernandez, Photographs by Atong Atem

Kira Puru’s voice is strong, commanding, and eager—the kind of voice that brightens up rooms and moods. It’s a quality that most female pop stars have; a way of moving and speaking that demands our attention, as if a spotlight is always shining on them.

The Australian singer is no exception, speaking with learnt strength after years of hard work to get where she is now. Prior to her 2017 mainstream breakthrough with her single ‘Tension’, Kira had been performing for almost a decade, gaining a large fanbase and collaborating with artists like Paul Kelly. Despite sold out shows and brilliant reviews, no one in the industry wanted to put a bet on Kira. Australia’s music industry was not ready for the voice of an empowered, plus-sized, queer woman of colour singing about sex, parties, and relationships.

It’s a hot summer day in Melbourne and I sit at Kira’s house surrounded by the calmness of a living room that’s sunlit and plant-filled. Kira’s sentences are full of sentiment and sass and, as a warm breeze enters through the windows, Kira tells me how she’s finally the confident, centre-stage pop artist she’s always wanted to be.

Triana Hernandez: What has been your experience in the local music industry?

Kira Puru: Audiences are always good to me. I’ve had fans who’ve been following me for several years and I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative review. I feel like with each incarnation of Kira Puru I have taken risks, pushed hard, and people have reacted really positively. The industry, however, has never embraced me. When I go to events or conferences and I see managers and people in the top tiers I’ll introduce myself and they’ll say [coldly], “Yeah, I know who you are.” Everyone knows who I am—I’ve been around for a decade, but no one wants to take a risk on me or offer me a record deal because where do I fit in?

TH: Do you think the fact that you are a woman of colour but you are not doing something ‘obvious’ like political hip hop confuses them?

KP: My music is not political, but my existence, voice, and presence are. Being a fat, queer, brown, poor person that doesn’t make that the content or the punch line of their music—I think that’s political. I talk about my sex life as a fat person in my music and not even mention that I am fat in the lyrics—that’s political. I’m just enjoying myself. But to answer your question, yes, I think that’s why it’s hard. Sometimes I get booked for the ‘world music’ stage, you know? They just see a picture, read the name, and put me there. All this makes me feel like the industry is just not ready for me.

Writer Triana Hernandez
Photographer Atong Atem

If you liked this tasty tidbit, please believe us when we say the rest of Issue #5 is so, so good. Support the women who made it and get a copy right now! Free postage Australia-wide, and $9 shipping world-wide. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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