Q&A: Singer-songwriter Ebony Lamb  

Ebony Lamb is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter from Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Co-founder of alt-country band Eb & Sparrow, Ebony is now stepping out on her own with an exciting new album.

Take My Hands At Night is the first single released from Ebony’s forthcoming album Successful Feelings. She worked alongside two of New Zealand’s most celebrated artists, Bic Runga and Kody Nielson, on the single’s production, instrumentation, and engineering.

When she’s not making music Ebony employs her other talent as one of the country’s most sort after photographers, specialising in portraits for musicians, artists, and writers (check out Ebony’s photography for Capital here).

We caught up with Ebony before she headed off on her nationwide tour.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

So many things, mostly a contemporary ballet dancer, a singer in a band, or an architect.

Where do you work and what do you like about it?

I love performing my music, especially with my new band, getting back into live shows is so incredibly exciting and rewarding!

There’s nothing quite like a live performance to really make you feel alive and connected to others. It’s a treasure and I have been so blessed with really supportive audiences in my time as a soloist and with my former band Eb & Sparrow.

Touring nationally has really given back to me so much more than all the work involved with pulling shows together, seeing our beautiful country is something I never take for granted.

Outside of this time I mostly work at home in Days Bay and have the joy of photographing some of New Zealand’s most talented writers.  

What are you watching, reading, or listening to at the moment?   

I’ve been listening to a lot of great music, The Weather Station, Adrienne Lenker, Fazerdaze, Portishead, Jess Cornelius, Tiny Ruins, UMO, Jazz, as well as RNZ concert  – one of the best stations ever.

What is “home” for you?

Being by the sea, and with my wonderful family, anywhere they are I’m home. 

What’s something you’ve always wanted to try? 

Building and designing my own house. I just think it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime goals that I would absolutely love to achieve. I get a bit obsessed with sustainable, long-lasting and passive architecture, with strong design aesthetics. I think it’s a base-level human motivation to have a secure home to live in.

If you could change one thing about Wellington/Wairarapa/Kāpiti, what would that be?

Fast-tracking the central library and Civic Square as a cultural centre. I really feel that we need a place that’s for everyone, regardless of age or socio-economic situation. Having a meeting place where nothing is asked of you but exists for connection, knowledge, support, and community. I have really missed having that as a central focus over the last few years.

What’s your biggest regret?

That I didn’t allow the artistic life to take over sooner and just fully commit to it. It has always been there, and it’s become a bit of a wrestling match at times. It’s the calling I’m supposed to answer, and one I don’t have the words for. Now I just do the mahi, that’s the way to healing. 

Read more Q&As here.


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