Photo: Nick Wilson

Interview: Electric Fields on Eurovision, Connectedness and Celebrating Anangu Culture with ‘One Milkali (One Blood)’

Electric Fields made up of voice of Zaachariaha Fielding and the brilliance of producer and keyboardist Michael Ross represent Australia at the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. The duo have been long-standing favourites in the Eurovision community after taking part in national selection Australia Decides in 2019 where they came a narrow second to Kate Miller-Heidke. Now after an internal selection by Australian broadcaster SBS Zaachariaha and Michael will be taking to the Eurovision stage with their empowering anthem One Milkali (One Blood), a track which is Electric Fields through and through, fusing tight electronic pop production with traditional culture and Yankunytjatjara; an Aboriginal language of the Anangu peoples. We caught up with Michael to discuss preparations for Eurovision and some of the deeper meanings and messages behind the song.

Despite over eight years of performing together, Michael shares that Eurovision is more full on than any other project the duo have undertaken, but notes that they truly believe in the song and performance they will be delivering. The pair have a strong creative partnership, with Michael noting “When we first decided to move forward as a duo we basically became siblings,” adding that in Anangu culture they now have a familial connection: “It’s a family thing. We just trust each other deeply with music – in the writing and creating the track and the performance. It’s a creative love affair.”

Given this, One Milkali (One Blood) feels like a truly fitting number for Electric Fields, Michael shares: “It’s always a good time to be reminded of human connection” referring to the idea of a global family, adding “human truth is probably the garden bed that all art grows out of.” The musician elaborates: “What we would like to maybe blow people’s minds with is feeling at peace with how insignificant you are in the face of the vast universe… If you look deeper and see these reoccurring patterns in the universe ie. the 0.618, the golden ratio, the shape of sunflower seeds is connected with the shape of galaxies then surely my brother or sister that I haven’t met from Portugal or Poland is family.”

Discussion naturally turns to the idea of Eurovision as a means of connecting communities and cultures. Michael shares: “Division is almost like a dramatic addiction. It’s almost intoxicating – the human drama of division. The Eurovision community is one of the audiences in the world that least need to be reminded of this – it’s all about celebrating your cultures and your languages. The Eurovision community probably has more answers than other communities.” This theme of connectedness is set to feature in the live presentation of One Milkali (One Blood) on the Eurovision stage, with rumours of Zaachariaha’s impressive artworks featuring in the on-stage performance. Michael shares: “We want to connect with the people in the room and the television audience. It’s tricky to do that where you’re performing for souls in the room and souls for the camera.”

Electric Fields do not take the representing Anangu – or Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara – culture (often abbreviated to APY Lands) lightly. Michael feels the response has been welcome from the community, “The Anangu people are very proud of their language and their culture… Some are super excited and some are amazed that we have this giant opportunity to share the language.” Electric Fields are no strangers to spreading the language and the culture of the APY Lands on grand stages, celebrating it with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and composing a lullaby for ABC children’s television featuring Yankunytjatjara language.

Just as Electric Fields celebrate the culture and languages of the APY Lands, conversation turns to their collaboration with KEiiNO, the Norwegian Eurovision favourites known for championing the sounds of the Sami people through electronic pop. Both forces collaborated on Would I Lie back in 2020. When asked about any dream collaborations with Eurovision icons, Michael shares: “Aminata from Latvia. Her song Love Injected was just so powerful…one of the most beautiful songs and performances. Aminata, we bow down and our phone is available for your call.”

You can enjoy Electric Fields’ performance of One Milkali (One Blood) in semi final one of the Eurovision Song Contest on the 7th May 2024 at 21:00 CET. Connect with Electric Fields below.

– Instagram
– Facebook
– X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *