What’s the creative process like for you?
It varies! I’m a big believer of the idea that a song knows where it wants to go, and will reveal itself in due course. If I wake up wanting to write a song, I likely won’t write a song that day, or at least a half-decent one. I do have some methods I use to help eke a song out, like being in a room with a writer far more talented than me, or sitting behind my piano alone and crying about something that happened yesterday.
Your single Pretty Young has a pretty cool music video with the story of your life playing out in a cinema. Can you tell us how this idea came about and what it represents?
The song itself has the ability to be seen as a young person reminiscing about being young, which it is in a way. But for the music video, I really wanted to capture my childhood as much as possible, to show the viewer/listener how much I have changed since I was a kid. How joyous and uninhibited I was. My mum has always had a harddrive of old photos on it, but it wasn’t until I went through it that I found all these videos of me as a kid that I’d never seen before. Seeing yourself as a child, knowing it’s you, but not remembering ever doing what you’re seeing on screen, is such a trippy experience.
Can you tell me a bit about your inspiration for ‘Pretty Young’?
As I said, this whole EP was brought together by songs I either wrote with someone more talented than me, or wrote sat behind a piano, crying. Pretty Young came from the latter. You never know where a song is going to go when you start writing, obviously, so I started penning this really nostalgic look back on when I was a kid, but got to the end of that first stanza and realised how silly I thought it was to be nostalgic for something that was so recent. That’s how the song turned into me comparing just how different and similar I am now, compared to when my age was still single-digits.
You have a new EP coming out on August 13 titled Pretty Young, what can we expect from it, and what’s currently your favourite track?
I love writing about personal experiences. I believe a song hits twice as hard if you know it’s about something the artist had to get through and learn from. The whole EP is filled with those songs. Little diary entries of my life so far. It’s so hard to pick a favourite song, but if I go by the song that means the most to me, it’s Pretty Young. It’s the only track on the EP that I wrote fully myself from start to finish, so it holds a special place in my heart. The unreleased single too, Everything to Lose, is such a groovy, funky song it’s ridiculous. Completely out of my comfort zone and such a tune.
I heard that you recently moved back to LA for a new role, and contracted the Delta Strain of COVID-19, can you tell us more about that experience?
Yes, and yes. I was living in the States for two and a half years and eventually moved back to Australia for a few months in April of this year, to expand my fanbase there and see family and friends again. I came back to LA mid-July, and a week and a half later I tested positive for COVID. It just sucked so much, timing-wise and the physical sickness part, obviously. Three days of the worst flu I’ve ever had times 10. At the peak, I couldn’t lift my head off my pillow without feeling faint. I’ve seen some people calling me out for complaining about my symptoms, which is entirely not the point I’m trying to make. I’ve got a platform, specifically targeted towards young people, and I want to use it to tell people to get vaccinated. I was lucky to have gotten vaccinated when I came back to the States, and it still hit me off my feet. Who knows how bad it would’ve been if I was unvaxxed.
So we know you can act, we know you can sing, what do you do in your spare time? DO you have any spare time??
I’m lucky to have two simultaneous careers that stemmed from hobbies! I love music and movies, and I get to make both of them, insanely lucky. I like playing sports and video games too, mainly as social activities. I like being with people whose company I enjoy, no matter what we’re doing. Alcohol is encouraged.
What does the next 5 years look like for you?
Who knowwwwwws! I used to be one of those people who planned year by year schedules, knowing what I wanted to do in 2025 before 2020 even started. The pandemic changed my whole mindset there, I’m much more of a daily person now. I focus on what I can do today to make tomorrow better for me and the people around me. Sticking to that has done me well so far.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
I’m in the fortunate position of being able to think about both actors and musicians I’d like to work with in the future. I’ve always wanted to work with Tom Hanks. I just love how he works and his humility and kindness on set. He’s definitely someone I try to mirror when I’m on set. Him, Taika Waititi and Florence Pugh are actors I’d love to work with in the screen industries. Music-wise, being onstage with Lewis Capaldi, Aloe Blacc or Billie Eilish is my absolute dream.
What bands have influenced your sound?
I feel like, sound-wise, I’ve been told which artists I’ve been influenced by by other people more than realising my sound influences myself. Artists like George Ezra and James Bay have been thrown at me, both of which are massive compliments. I’ve always felt like I was influenced more by the artists I listened to while I was growing up. Less in a sonic way, moreso in how my love of music was formed from a young age. I would go on road trips and short drives with my family and listen to their favourite artists, like my dad’s The Eagles and America, my mum’s Kenny Rogers and Poison and my brother’s Triple J tastes. Those drives are where I believe my passion for music started growing.