Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m based in Melbourne, Australia. I love the music scene here, there are so many creative people which makes it easy to arrange sessions and collaborate with other artists/musicians/producers. That being said though, I write & work with people all over the place thanks to the World Wide Web.
How did you first start singing?
I was very influenced by my Mum and my Aunty; they’re both great singers and very creative people. I started singing lessons when I was about 8 with Connie Lemke, the same singing teacher my mum went to, and from there it was kinda game on! I started gigging when I was 13 or 14, and that taught me a lot about how to work with a band. From there I became pretty self-sufficient, got my own gear and started doing my own gigs/writing/recording.
What’s been happening recently?
My life’s been pretty hectic lately, I’m towards the end of my law degree so I’m studying a lot, and I’m also working in a law firm one day a week. I’ve just moved house and have a sick music room set up, so I’ve been feeling pretty inspired to make new music, been dabbling on the keyboard whenever I have a spare moment.
You’ve just released your new single and video ‘Scarlet Skies’ what influenced the sound and song writing for this track?
I wrote Scarlet Skies when I’d just got home from a big tour, I was pretty exhausted but the lyrics and melodies came together pretty quickly. In a literal sense, the sky at the time inspired the song. I was on my balcony in Fitzroy and had a beat Allan McConnell made for me on loop. The sky was so vibrant, it was really beautiful. Thoughts and ideas just started flowing naturally and that’s how it all came about. I think there’s some subliminal influences in my sound from artists like Jazmine Sullivan, Nai palm and even Solange.
How do you go about writing music?
Generally I’ll give my producer a reference or direction as to what feel or vibe I’m wanting to create.. Once we come up with something we both like, I’ll then start humming different melodies over the chords or beat. Once I come up with melodies I like, then I start playing around with different vowels that suit the rise and fall of those melodies.. I then structure words around those vowels… usually the words then lead me to a concept, which ties everything together.
Where and when did you record/produce and who with?
It all happened throughout last year. Allan McConnell from Close Counters produced Scarlet Skies, he did such an incredible job. I’d love to post the original idea he sent me for the song so people can hear how well Allan developed those initial ideas. I laid down my vocals with Hamley who is another producer I like to work with, and he then produced my vocals. I think Hamley also added a lot to this track because so much focus is in the ambience and treatment of the vocal. Liam Quinn from Sydney then mixed and mastered and he did a killer job as always. Quinn is my go to guy! He has such a good ear and is quite the perfectionist in the studio, which I love.
How did you approach the recording process?
With patience, persistence, stretches, and chamomile tea! I gotta get relaxed, comfortable and in the zone before I record.. Recording is such an intimate and vulnerable thing, the tiniest imperfections are picked up and amplified which can be good and bad. I’m pretty brutal with myself, I guess the vocal coach part of me switches on and I nit-pick everything. Hamley and Quinn will be able to testify to that I’m sure.. haha
How did the concept for the video clip come about?
I had a meeting with Georgia and Jenny (the creative directors) and we had a massive brainstorming session. I should actually find that pile of paper we were brainstorming on; I remember it looking pretty frantic, we were overflowing with ideas. It was always my intent for the video to be something aesthetically nice to look at- beautiful colours, abstract, patterns, but not necessarily anything with narrative. From there, we worked with our producer Darren Collinson to refine the ideas and think about how everything would work in practice.. It was a really fun process, can’t wait to do another video.
What did you find most rewarding and challenging with the creation of the video clip?
The most challenging thing was definitely getting the shots of me out in the ocean.. The water was ridiculously cold and I was out there for about an hour. Georgia’s mum Andrea was genuinely concerned for my life haha, I had a warm shower afterwards and still couldn’t feel my toes for a solid 2 hours. But, 100% worth it, because those shots came out so sick. 11/10 challenge, 10/10 reward.
You’ve been touring as a backup singer with Ruel for the last 5 years, how was this experience?
Amazing! Some of the best times of my life, for real. I’ve learnt so much about music and the industry and had some really crazy opportunities that I’m so thankful for. I’m really grateful for being a part of Ruel’s story; he’s super talented and such a lovely person.
What did you most enjoy about being on the road and performing?
I mean the shows themselves are always the highlight for me, the travel can get tedious, but once you’re on stage and feel that energy, it all becomes well worth it. Also, with touring you stumble across so many places that you wouldn’t necessarily go to if it weren’t for the shows, but once you’re there it ‘s like wowza this place is incredible! A big one for me was Stockholm, absolutely loved it, like probably in my top 5 places in the world.. But because it’s so far away and I guess not overly marketed towards Australians for holiday, I probably wouldn’t have gone otherwise. Stockholm also has the best meatballs ever, I’d go back all that way just to have them again.
What have you taken away from the experience?
When I’m touring, I miss home, and when I’m home, I miss touring.. It’s a catch 22, but I think because everything’s so fast paced on tour, it’s easy to get caught up and forget how lucky you are to have such wild opportunities like that. So I guess it’s taught me to be appreciative and grateful for every opportunity I get to perform. Like, what a job. Can’t complain about that.
What do you like to do away from music?
I mean, the law side of my life takes up a lot of my time too, but outside of that I’m actually really into painting at the moment. Been replacing my Netflix time with painting, which has been really soothing and cathartic. I love hanging out with my nieces Lotus and Evie too, they’re the best!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Right this moment, listening to Jordan Rakei, so smooth. More generally though, I’m on a bit of a ‘No Doubt’ bender at the moment, very down with old school Gwen Stefani.
What’s planned for 2020?
Lots of writing! I wanna write with a bunch of different song-writers and producers. And, hopefully I will finish my law degree, that’d be nice.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Well, it depends how you interpret ‘food’. If you interpret it as a cuisine, I’d say Italian because it involves lots of cheese and pizza and pasta are just the best. But, if you define ‘food’ as a singular thing, I’d probably say hot chips. I’m a pretty harsh chip critic though, has to have the right amount of crunch and salt. Fav place to hangout is probably just at my house with my friends. We can wear our PJs all day, be as loud as we want and no one can kick us out- now that’s a good time.