Electric Fields: ‘There’re so many yummy hooks in One Milkali’

It’s not uncommon now for Australia’s national broadcaster SBS to send an artist from the talent pool leftover from our (defunct) national selection Eurovision – Australia Decides. And this year they’re repositioning incredibly popular Electric Fields (who readers might recall as runners-up to Kate Miller Heidke in 2019) to entertain the gods at the 68th Eurovision in Malmö, Sweden.

Electric Fields–duo Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross–have become household names since, having performed at Sydney Mardi Gras several times, penning We The People the official theme for Sydney WorldPride, and sharing their special blend of electronic pop to audiences at music and culture festivals around the nation and throughout the world. Cain Cooper celebrates their rightful ascension to Eurovision to perform their song One Milkali (One Blood).

Since 2019, we the community have been rooting for you to go to Eurovision for years.
Zaachariaha: [laughs] We get that every year.
Michael: Did you hear that Z, everyone’s rooting you! I am so proud of Kate–she did a fucking brilliant job, and since E-AD we’ve been doing our own thing. We’ve been commissioned by the Sydney Opera House, Sydney fireworks, Baz Luhrmann, ABC Kids, to do things in sport: the AFL Grand Final, the Australian Open, and all of this stuff for multiple symphony orchestras.
Z: And we’ve had our music transcribed, so beautifully orchestrated.

Why do audiences love playing in your electric fields?
Z: I think it’s because we sit with feeling and experience, and we’re very diligent about the way we write music. We compose it and have these beautiful harmonies that trigger a beautiful celebratory moment in people. We tap into the loneliness of people and the ‘I want to figure it out and I want to be on the journey of finding a solution to it.’ So we play with all of those elements and narrow it down in a three-minute track.

Tell us about this song One Milkali (One Blood), this dance banger, and why it’s going to Eurovision.
Z: This song is about the different generations, the different melanin, and it’s going to Eurovision because we’re all connected. There’re so many yummy hooks in it.
M: The lyrics are woven with a philosophy that is timeless, but sometimes forgotten. As we bumble our way to a more dangerous world of social dissonance and us/them-ing of otherwise coherent societies, it’s vital to remember that all life shares the same energy and all humans share the same blood.
Z: It is a competition and we’re representing Australia, but as songwriters and to sit in the art of music, we’re connecting to our brothers and sisters as a whole. Every contestant that’s going to Eurovision operates from the same consciousness and that has nothing to do with what country you represent.

That fits the Eurovision theme of ‘United by Music’ really well. People who come from different tongues will all sing your lyrics back to you… in your tongue.
Z: Amazing. With the Yankunytjatjara language we use the tongue a lot [laughs]. But the way other people use their language and what the choreography of their tongue is [pauses], it hits different to the top and the bottom, you know, and then some are very… versatile.

Zaachariaha, you’re quite the accomplished artist, are you works going to form some part of the staging?
Z: We’ve got to be smart because what we want foremost is to deliver the song, but we’re enjoying working with all the people in the background and giving room to the unknown.

Electric Fields – Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross (L-R) Credit: Morgan Sette


When you’re a duo at Eurovision people automatically assume romantic chemistry–is there any of that?
M: Zaachariaha’s beyond gender in a way, and we’ve got lots of trans family who are special to us. But the whole idea of siloing gender to the left and right is quite a Western modern idea. Z has taught me that she’s not bothered with English pronouns, and when you’re working in the English language as a third or fourth language, she/he just doesn’t matter so much. What will the world look like in 50-100 years? Zero families will have a gender reveal party; there’ll be no such thing as pink and blue in regards to lunchboxes; and there’ll be no such thing as a gender pay gap, because people just aren’t bothered whether your genitalia matches your spirit.

We’re really excited for the world to have the same epiphany.
Z: It’s also a challenge for one to be open with the arc of ‘relationship’. When you are giving something to somebody, you give it to them because you want them to have that and you don’t want anything else. There was already a model here on this continent that had its way of dealing with this gender thing or the relationship between people. In our culture, a baby automatically has a friendship with an older person. There’s an energy where a 70-year old needs to be childlike and that child has already become wise. Hmm, where was I going with it?

Why do queer people gravitate to Eurovision?
M: I reckon that the queer community are particularly creative and are fun-loving and whether that stems from being rejected from the ‘normal’ or not, and therefore we’re forced to find what is hidden between the cracks of the communities we’re born into, or whether or not God just loves us more and our minds and our spirit create new ideas more easily. Maybe it’s a survival mechanism that we’ve had to be creative, and we’re drawn to the unity of the bridges built at an event like Eurovision.
Z: We’re attracted to the freedom of ‘no limits’ and the possibility of what life looks like without any control. Queer people have a strong sixth sense, and we know where that territory is to experience.

What do you hope comes from Eurovision, and the people you meet there?
Z: One thing Electric Fields doesn’t really do is engage with people on camera: we only know how to cook and then feed the people on a live setting, so this is a whole different experience for us. I want to know their creativity process and how they do what they do. We’re going to come out of May really strong on how to engage with our new audience and we’re going to do it the way we want to do it because we have a certain way of being.

Electric Fields perform in semi-final 1 on Tuesday 7 May.

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