Possum identifies as gender-non-conforming, and this is also part of the reason why; she is fucking awesome.
She is just the kind of human we need more of in the public forum to engage an audience with her art while simultaneously opening the doors for our youth culture (and humanity at large) to work towards a deeper degree of acceptance of diversity in all forms.
I first started following Openside when they were still called ‘Maybe Rave!’ – a super young, 4-piece pop-punk band hailing from Auckland.
They caught my attention because of the similarities I could draw with my own band at the time; a girl at the helm, 3 boys faffing about in the background (jussssst kidding), and a clear appreciation for melody and merging that with rock music.
A couple years later and they, like my own band, have rebranded and chosen a more clear direction for their sound. In our case it was get rockier, and in their case it was get poppier.
My god can this girl write a pop tune.
In 2014, Possum won Auckland University’s Popular Music degree’s Songwriter of the YEAR while doing her Bachelor of Music. That was enough for me to start following her and her boss-ass budding career with extreme intent.
I then went on to learn more about Possum’s personal message, which resonates so strongly with me.
Possum’s writing is strongly focussed on relevant social commentary which both supports the youth generation and educates a slightly older demographic who may still fall in to the scope of their target audience.
In one of their latest songs, Worth It, she talks about themes of consumerism and corporate greed preying on our self-worth and need to fit in. I like that she talks about themes not prevalent in your regular pop music which more often than not; encourages consumerism and pushes lavish lifestyles.
“But wait, we’ll sell you what you need
Though it’s temporary..
We got our ways to make you feel good
Make your dream life take flight
Just follow the leader
We got the goods to make you feel strong
Make you see more of what you want
Cause you deserve it
Darling, you’re worth it”
She follows on from themes Lorde approached in her rise to fame, but Possum has an extra angle of straying from the norm when it comes to her personal identity, and I really look forward to seeing her develop this more in her lyrical themes.
The band has just signed to Warner, raising the opportunity for Possum to spread her culturally-relevant and socially-necessary messages far and wide.
Bring it on.