She is WA’s First Lady of World Music, and with a new album all about the beauty of women, Grace Barbé is feeling powerfully inspired.
Margaret River and Dunsborough have managed to score a show from the nine-time WAM winner before she opens for hit makers The Cat Empire on their national tour.
Barbé will be joined for her South West shows by long-time guitarist and collaborator Jamie Searle and Mauritian drummer Hardy Perrine.
With roots in the Seychelles, Barbé’s sound stays true to the Afro-Kreol rhythms she is known for.
Her third album, FANM:WOMAN, was six years in the making, and the songstress said it boasted a new musical maturity for the group.
“A lot of growth taken place,” she said.
“Fanm is woman in the Creole language and the album is a dedication to all the strong women worldwide who have contributed to society, and community, and are still doing so.
“I like to focus on the positivity, strength and beauty of women, there are so many opinions about where women are in regards to representation in the world but this is about what being a women means to me, and how I see such beauty, nurturing abilities, and people who are the pillars that hold community together.”
Barbé is not only proud to be a woman, but proud of her heritage in the Indian Ocean Islands.
It is for this reason she continues to advocate for Afro-Kreol and world music on the international satge.
“When I was getting in to I thought ‘no one has really done this with this style of music in at this level’,” she said.
“I hadn’t heard Afro Kreol style being played anywhere. I thought rather than be an R&B artist or soul artist and compete with international artists, I had a unique opportunity to have my own style and do it well because it is who I am and it is in my blood.”
Barbé recently signed a global publishing deal with Perfect Pitch.
She said fans would not have to wait another six years for her next release, in which she wanted to challenge herself and record in English.
“I write a lot of songs in English, and I am getting to a point where in next album I want to explore releasing music in English while staying true to my sound and style,” she said.
“If you are true to what you do and being honest, the audience can feel that. You can’t fool the audience so if what you are putting out is genuine, it doesn’t matter what language you are singing in, they can feel the music.”
Grace Barbé will play Settlers Tavern tonight from 9.30pm and at Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough on Sunday from 5pm.