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|26 Aug|5 mins

Life In Lockdown With Ziggy Ramo

How he's making the most of it, what he's listening to, and what he's wearing (spoiler: not much!).

Wik singer, songwriter and activist Ziggy Ramo is fast becoming one of Australia's most influential and respected artists. His debut album, 2020's Black Thoughts, addressed issues like colonial dispossession and systemic racism, and received widespread critical acclaim, while his update of Paul Kelly's 'Little Things' is the history lesson we all needed (watch their performance on ABC's The Set and prepare thyself to be moved to tears). We caught up with Ziggy post-shoot and talked about how he's making the most of lockdown, what he's listening to, and what he's wearing (spoiler: not much!).

How are you going in lockdown?
"I don't mind being in lockdown! It's not too bad. I don't mind being inside. I can be creative. What can you do? If you focus on it being terrible, it's terrible, so I'm trying to focus on it being a much-needed break and some creative time! We splurged on a Vitamix so we've been making lots of green smoothies. It's hell good!"

What have you been doing in lockdown — working, working out, self-caring...
"I've been super creative as well — working on an album and a book. My partner is also a writer so we've been working on the book together, and she's a photographer so we did this shoot together. It's actually been so lovely. I needed a bit of stillness. I like to create in stillness, because I need to throw myself completely into something. I was about to sink my teeth into this book and this album, but I was going to be travelling everywhere, so I've kind of been forced to do it. So, it's kind of been good for me. Or that's what I'm telling myself to keep myself sane! I could focus on all the money or opportunities I'm losing, but that's going to make me feel shit, so if I think about it as time to get creative I'm going to feel way better about it."

All photos by Vanessa Swedérus

So, you're writing a book?
"I obviously have spent most of my time outwardly in the world doing music, but I've always just loved to create. I've never thought of myself as a musician... I'm just a person that likes to explore my ideas in different mediums. It helps me to make sense of them, and it's also a mechanism to share those ideas with other people."

What role do you feel artists have as educators?
"Yeah, I think it's on a case by case basis... Some artists might not have the capacity to do it. I'm very lucky in that I've literally had parents who are educators. I've walked the path and had circumstances that have built my capacity to be able to share my understanding, and whether or not that allows for education to take place, I'm just trying to be authentic with the stories I have access to, and then I try to share in the most real way... But for other artists, they've just got to be themselves. I think our biggest responsibility as artists is to be ourselves. That's when there's a chance of education, because when you're genuinely authentic and genuinely yourself, it allows for connection."

What have you been listening to lately?
"I'm listening to a lot of my own music, because I'm trying to finish it! I've been going back to music I listened to around the house that my parents were playing and appreciating it from a different lens. Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Tracy Chapman, Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones... She wrote the original 'Horses' that Daryl Braithwaite covered!"

How does the styling in your shoot for THE ICONIC reflect your personal style?
"I've always thought of myself as a bit of a chameleon. I don't really feel confined to one type of style or one kind of look. I'm not even a brand dude. I like to wear clothes and not let them wear me, and if I connect to something, well, I connect to it. I like to be able to explore — just being able to throw on anything and see if it's me. For me, it's not so much 'this style reflects me because it checks these boxes'. It's more 'how do I find and express myself in anything'. It's kind of like characters and finding different aspects of myself. I just like to be able to play and explore and be completely free."

All photos by Vanessa Swedérus

Are there any pieces in your wardrobe that you especially love?
"Not really, hey! It's funny because me and my partner who's an amazing photographer are really on the outer rim of the fashion world, but I think what we love about it is we get to be creative together. I don't really have pieces that I love... I mean, I love track pants because they're comfortable. I like to be super comfortable. I love really baggy stuff. But sometimes I like something tighter."

Boxers or briefs?
"Briefs for sure. If you're wearing boxers, why are you even wearing anything! Which I'm not opposed to. If I'm in my house, I'm naked. I'm not super big on wearing clothes!"

Zac Bayly
Writer
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