Get To Know Indie Riff Rock Rebel Wiri Donna
Introducing Wiri Donna, also known as Bianca Bailey, a Pōneke based indie riff-rock rebel who has made a glorious mark in the music industry and is poised for even greater heights.
Bianca’s passion for expressing herself through music began early on. She flourished while attending Kaipara College High School, which emphasized the importance of creating music, songwriting, and storytelling. The school’s artistic approach prioritized creativity over technical perfection, allowing Bianca to find her flow and direction in her craft. Starting on the drums and recently transitioning to the guitar to hone her songwriting skills, Bianca has developed a well-rounded approach to creating music.
Like many aspiring artists, Bianca worked in unfulfilling jobs before making her mark in music. However, this time was not wasted for her, with days spent deep in contemplation while potting and repotting Manuka at Plant Barn birthed a seed of inspiration for Bianca.
Wiri Donna is named after a red Manuka plant, and things started to flourish from there.
Bianca’s early musical influences included the playful and honest style of artists like Courtney Barnett and Julia Jacklin. She particularly credits Barnett’s song‘ Avant Gardner’ for transporting her outside of herself and inspiring her creatively. Starting out as an indie artist foal, Bianca released a double single, ‘Manuka Money’, and‘ Wandering Willies’, before touring and supporting impressive acts such as Mild Orange, Soaked Oats, and The Beth’s. Since then, Bianca has been committed to exploring the depths of her sound and evolving as an artist.
After two years, the‘ Being Alone EP’ finally arrived. The EP strikes a delicate balance between eternal optimism and pure devastation, evoking a sentiment many people can relate to or sympathize with. Throughout the EP, Bianca delivers a clear message centered around body autonomy, personal power, and independence while conveying a sense of grief over a version of oneself before the pain. With a larger rock sound and powerful vocals, Bianca fearlessly delivers her message and leaves a lasting impact on listeners; she makes you think–seriously, think!
To curate the EP, Bianca teamed up with legendary producer James Goldsmith. Working with James was a natural evolution for Bianca and an insightful and calming experience. Bianca credits James for his ability to guide the recording process, provide feedback, and help ensure that the final product aligned with Bianca’s vision.
The lyrics “He told me what to do with my body, I should have told him it was my fucking body!” resonate with many. For Bianca, these words represent the guild of not standing up for oneself. The track captures the grieving process of being put down and the immense pressure one can place on themselves while fighting through low moments. Bianca acknowledges that taking back one’s power is not a straightforward journey and can take longer than expected, stating, “I think something that I’m still learning is that you can’t just make a plan to decide how you’re gonna grieve and get to the end of that and feel better.” ‘Being Alone EP’ features two singles, including‘ No Follow Through’, a track inspired throughout the COVID era. During this time, productivity was at an all-time low, and Bianca felt frustrated that she had set unattainable goals for herself. The track reflects the realization that it’s ok to let go of expectations and allow things to be.
The idea of playfulness is fundamental to Bianca, and she focuses on getting herself to a place of enjoyment and fun to concoct something new. While testing and trialing new sounds, cords, and melodies, Bianca outlines the unpredictability of the process; at moments, songs will arrive in their entirety, and other times, she will be fleshing out a riff for weeks.
Upon hearing the mastered tracks of her EP, Bianca experienced a moment of returning to herself. She felt she had finally created something that captured all the emotions she had gone through in the last few years and had emerged on the other side. With her sights set on a potential Australian tour and the launch of her project, Bianca is eager to share how she has grown as a person and an artist. A 2023 goal for Bianca is practicing taking her time with her process, and we can’t wait for her next release to bless us as soon as possible. Wiri Donna is a genuine talent whose records impress and awaken all listeners. With an undeniable talent and work ethic to match, Wiri Donna is an artist whose future shines brightly.