Thursday, 28 Feb 2019


International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th every year, calling for a more gender balanced world, and celebration of women's rights. In New Zealand, 2018 marked 125 years of suffrage, and while we continue to lead the way for women's rights in many areas of life, our music industry - just like the rest of the world's - remains plagued by a deep and persistent gender imbalance.

We are unbelievably excited for the debut of the Milk and Honey festivala fresh new festival with majority female performers and crew. The festival will operate in 4 cities, across 6 venues, on International Women's Day, to shine a light on our talented women both on stage and behind the scenes. The team behind Milk and Honey festival are Lani Purkis and Teresa Patterson, both with rich histories in the music industry, inspired by improving female visibility. 

We chatted to Randa about what it means to be a part of an event that celebrates female, female identifying, trans and non-binary musicians in our diverse industry. 

Mainard Larkin is a rapper, performer and oddball based in Auckland, New Zealand. Whether rhyming about favourite home cooked dishes, Neopets or navigating life as a non-binary trans person, they’ve been winning over hearts ever since the drop of debut EP, ‘Summer Camp’. Opening for international artists such as Grimes and Le1f, Larkin’s live performance has proved to be an exciting and authentically captivating extension of an infectious online music persona.

Milk and Honey Festival is coming around fast! Congratulations on the slot! Which location are you playing and who are you playing alongside?

I am playing the Whammy Bar / Wine Cellar edition- alongside an amazing bunch of artists including Carb On Carb, Lexxa, Wax Chattels and more.

Are you planning to debut any new songs at the show?

For sure! I’m going to preview two unreleased songs which I’m really happy about.

YAY We are so excited to hear some new material from you! Have you done anything to mark the day in previous years? 

In previous years it’s something I’ve been very mindful of, like a day which emphasises the conversations and experiences in which you share most days of the year with your friends. As a non-binary individual who was raised in a society with so many expectations surrounding gender, what it means to ‘be a woman’… and I guess a lack of real dialogue surrounding trans identity…, it makes being a part of this festival feel really special. It’s an honour really.

Its so special to hear that this event has had such an impact on you, and I am sure on the night it will impact the audience in a similar way.


Why do you think it’s important to emphasize how diverse our music community is, particularly by increasing visibility of minorities on stage?

Well, women and trans folks are not only incredibly talented performers and creators of music,.. but I think we as people have a lot of strong messages to share, things to say. There’s so much fire that needs to be seen and heard. ‘Milk and Honey’ is a sign that actually, if we as a group of individuals feel under-represented… we can create spaces and platforms for ourselves succeed in.

That is such an important message- and really well put. Thank you!

Did you have any crucial musical heroes growing up that shaped your career?

When I was 16 / 17 years old I got really into Ladyhawke - watching her play live at Big Day Out 2010 was such a good time for me as a teen.

Discovering Coco Solid’s projects was also massive! I had never heard a sound quite like hers before, blew my brains.

What’s next for you after Milk and Honey? Any other shows or releases we should keep a keen eye out for?

I’m releasing two new songs very soon, ‘Buttercup’ and ‘Rock Bottom’ which were both produced by Shannon Fowler up at Okie Dokie Studio. I took a break from releasing music for a while, and I’m really proud of the new work Shannon and I are making, and the tracks which are about to come out.

Randa on Spotify


Give us your top 5 anthems to play LOUD this International Womens Day

1. Cardi B - Money

2. October - All She Does Is Stare

3. Alexa Casino - Fear

4. carb on carb - It's been a rough year

5. CupcakKe - Hot Pockets

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