Meadowhip is the artist name of me, Cara Walkam! I’m a singer-songwriter and poet from Wollongong, NSW. meadowhip is my solo musical project, and Territories is my band.
Words and melodies dominate my life. There is barely a moment in any of my days when I’m not writing them, listening to them, singing them, reading them, imagining them. I sometimes dream entire songs and I frequently improvise songs about my dogs, for my dogs. (Experts might call this “vocal stimming”; I call it “art”.)
Music has been the main focus of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents had me studying music as a small child - there was a french horn involved for a period, but I moved towards singing and songwriting pretty rapidly. For well over a decade it was: choirs, showcases, rehearsals, auditions, writing songs about candles, and some very serious, very intense Christina Aguilera covers.
And the bands, my goodness, the bands. Being in bands had me develop my love for collaboration and gave me the opportunity to expand my songwriting skills. Do you know how much dopamine you can get from writing a song with a bandmate? Approximately infinite. This is what got me dreaming about being a full-time, professional songwriter.
There were, of course, a few years of my life where the shock of being an adult out in the world kind of overtook everything else. I was absolutely in survival mode. I was still making music, performing, recording and releasing it, but there was definitely a blurred edge around my focus.
Then, in April 2019 during a holiday to hike through Yosemite, a nasty little aneurysm ruptured in my brain, gifting me what the neurosurgeons labelled a “major haemorrhagic stroke” and a lifetime of people telling me how lucky I was to survive.
Not the most fun, but certainly a unique opportunity to reassess my life and come back to myself. I remember one special moment when my band mate visited in the earlier days of my recovery - he was quietly working on a song while I was curled up in an armchair deep in existential suffering. And before long my instinct to sing a melody over his track bubbled to the surface, and no one has been able to shut me up since.
Since then, I’ve thrown myself back into songwriting with such extreme force that it seemed appropriate to start my solo project - meadowhip - in 2020 to showcase more of my work, and really hone my skills. The ultimate goal to write professionally with and for other artists is refreshed and as alive as I am. I have this dreamy little vision of myself in a writers room with someone like Kevin Parker and that alone is enough to inspire me to keep putting in the work!
Tips/Advice to aspiring musicians: You could literally drop dead at any moment, so honestly, just go for it.