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Krista Pav

2019 Speaker

Krista Pav is a unique package. She has a raw, captivating, blues and soul voice, often compared to the likes of Janis Joplin. She is one of Australia’s most refreshing and important contemporary Indigenous songwriters, exploring her cultural roots through the reclamation of her Indigenous language, Wangaaypuwan. She is a powerful musical cocktail, which grabs the attention of listeners, offering a laid back and effortless stage presence, drawing audiences into a refreshing and personal journey through her infectious music, Krista takes her  audiences onto a journey of self-discovery and reclamation with them.


Resilience has always been a part of Krista Pav’s makeup. Growing up in Ceduna and Port Lincoln South Australia, at the young age of 17, she went on tour, busking her way around Australia. After increasing her repertoire, she began playing in many venues and festivals in South Australia, including the Eclipse, Fringe and Spirit Festivals.


Krista has also played in venues on the north coast of NSW and throughout Europe and the UK since 2013.


Krista was buzzing with anticipation and inspiration after a residency at Blacktown Arts Center after releasing her EP Free Spirit. This EP featured two songs which incorporate traditional language, including the title track Free Spirit and Amazing Grace, which funded a series of research and traditional language development workshops led by her Linguist Aunty, Lesley Woods, who mentored Krista in the translations of their Wangaaypuwan language. Wangaaypuwan is a dialect of Ngiyampaa whose traditional location is the dry riverless country in the far west of NSW.


Krista has always been interested in language especially indigenous Languages. As a young girl she picked up words and sentences from different dialects of the west coast of South Australia with her friends and their families. But it wasn’t until she heard recordings of her elders singing in their traditional language in 2006, Krista was also given permission to record her Great Grandfathers song that was recorded in the 1930’s around the camp fire. This song was then recorded in a contemporary form. The song is about a young boy that went missing from the camp.


As an artist and journey into language reclamation, in her contemporary song writing, truly began.


“After hearing my grandfather’s song recording I had to walk out of the room to recollect myself as it was so overwhelming. It instilled in me such a powerful sense of ownership of my identity, cultural strength and pride.”  


As a self-managed artist Krista is working very hard towards maintaining the momentum of her music and has successfully managed to release another EP Downtown in 2015 through the self-sustainability of her gig income. This EP went to number one in the ARIT charts in 2016 for a period of 3 weeks and crept in to the metropolitan charts at number four, that then gave her the proof she needed to see that it is possible to generate sustainability regardless of funding support.


Krista manages her own band (Krista Pav and the Social Fabric) that has employed many different musicians throughout the duration of her last two EPs consisting of rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, violin and vocals.


She is now focusing on the continuation of her many aspiring projects which include music releases, touring, campaigning, regional workshops and more. 

Listen to Free Spirit here.

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