Where are you currently based?
How did you first start playing music?
Mum said I would not shut up singing around the house.
Your new EP Normality will be released in September, what has influenced the sound and songwriting?
Busking on the streets. I didn’t want to take all my gear out, so I just decided to use my voice for everything instead, this project was created in Bourke St, Melbourne. I wanted to share the message that voices are powerful when they come together. And in these difficult times, I feel that our collective voices will be what sees us through. I named the EP Normality because it’s everything opposite to normal and I was also questioning my life a lot at the time such as:
What is a normal life?
Why are certain things normalised and other things aren’t?
What’s the normal way of going through depression or how do I act normal, what does that look like to society?
How did you go about writing the music?
I wrote this EP in 3 days using just my voice. This process was based on trust. Trust in myself to express whatever needed to come out through my voice. The songs are exactly how I first wrote them, I never changed anything. By producing an EP created only by vocals, I wanted to challenge the pre-conceived notion of what makes ‘normal’ music. I tried to make my voice do all the parts instruments would.
Where and when did you record?
I recorded this EP with Jimmy Alexander (Death Youth Records, Awaken I am) in his Gisborne studio. He is honestly the greatest human I have ever met. I’ve never felt so comfortable with someone in a studio before. He knew what my voice was capable of, so he would always push me to get the best takes. So young but one of the kindest, talented professionals I have ever worked with. I can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me and understanding my weird ideas for this EP.
I actually wrote this back in January 2018 but I didn’t have the confidence or funds to complete/ release it. I was also in fear, I thought it would be too weird and different but that was the whole point of the EP; what is normal? I was in a bit of fear and I was having the worst year I’ve ever had with my mental health, so I waited. Then all the film clip ideas came to me and the City of Melbourne COVID 19 Grant got me over the line and gave me the encouragement I needed to finish, release and believe that my concept was good.
How did you approach the recording process?
Ha! Jimmy was a legend and a great listener. It’s pretty weird for someone to walk into a session and go, “okay so here’s the bass, I’m gonna sing it.” We broke down all the sections and started one bit at a time. Usually it was me beatboxing drums first and singing bass sounds, then I’d start layering the harmonies which would make up the chords like a guitar or piano followed by extra parts, lead vocals and harmonies. The hardest song was My Hymn; it’s got a triplet feel so the melody’s rhythm isn’t so easy to sing over it.
What programs did you use to record/produce?
We swapped programmes; bit of logic, bit of pro tools, bit of reaper. I use a Roland RC 505, Voice Live 3 and a SE electronics mic when I’m live but we used a whole bunch of other instruments in the studio.
What do you have planned for the Normality EP?
4 film clips supported by the City of Melbourne COVID 19 Arts Grant, Behind the Scenes and a live Isolation gig online July 25th, maybe some mini 20 ppl gigs depending on Covid.
June 29th Vocal introduction + film clip
July 14th My Hymn single + film clip
August 5th Normality single + film clip
Full EP will be available online with a bonus track in September.
‘Normality’ is the lead single coming out in August along with a film clip, how did the concept for that video happen?
I put a post out to my followers on Instagram and said, “Hey if you want to be in a film clip, rock up at this cafe called Onyx at this time in the most unusual outfit you can but still be yourself!” I was so anxious no one was going to come. I left it up to the universe. All my friends slowly kept bailing, so I literally had no idea who was coming. Then BAM all these amazing people who have been following my music arrived to hang out and be part of an amazing night. I was so grateful I just wanted to include everyone as an open invite, make it community based. We had kids, adults, teenagers and even twins from all walks of life come. Basically, the music video starts with me bored in a normal cafe job and then I jump over the counter into the ideal world which is much more fun, much different and what we considered normal. I can’t wait for this one to come out!
What was the most challenging part?
I wanted to pour milk all over myself because one of my lyrics is “Off milk you drunk it twice”, that was my first idea, a dream became a reality that day! We only had one chance to get it right, so I didn’t have room for error and the milk was HEAVY to hold!
Your new music video ‘Writing Machine’ is out now, how did the concept for the video come about?
I wanted the clip to emulate how humanity is becoming so addicted to technology. It is so hard to get someone’s attention in real life and it is crazy how much we judge someone we don’t know or believe whatever’s written on a screen. We forget there is a living human being with feelings and a beating heart on the other side of what we are looking at.
Where did you film and who with?
I worked with Good Gravy Media (Dylan and Liam) for all the Normality EP film clips, locations included in Coburg, Brunswick, Melbourne and Cheltenham.
I had Tim Knowles, Ellen Burbidge, Yash Fernando, Tayla Muir and Zandria play the characters in Writing Machine. They all come from an acting or singing background and they absolutely smashed it. Let’s not forget Clarissa Williams (Clarissa Williams Make Up) who did my make up for all clips, plus she was beautifully pregnant on set. Then Dimitri Cherkassski and Tara also jumped on board to help! They were the BEST crew and I was so honoured that they even wanted to work with me! Couldn’t have done it without them, I was very lucky!
What did you find most challenging and rewarding throughout the process?
The funniest part of filming Writing Machine was taking their technology away, I directed; “I want you to remember that feeling you get when you think you’ve either lost your phone or someone stole it and that manic chaos or anxiety that takes over.” They were SO good, I had to refrain myself from laughing because it was so real. Tay and Alex were attacking each other, Tim ripped the couch apart, Yash was tearing off his jacket and Ellen was throwing items around until they eventually had permission to turn on me! It was bloody amazing, if you ask me. I still start laugh thinking about it!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to everything. Erykah Badu, one of my favs. Drake, Beyonce, Ariana Grande (love). From our Melbourne scene I love Mojo Juju (Mo’Ju), P Unique who are legend humans too, my girl Sully just bought out some music and G Flip, she and I played in a band together for years in high school. I am proud of her.
What do you like to do away from music?
A lot of music away from music haha like busking and studio time. I love 20 minute runs, exercise! I make my own clothes from recycled materials which you see me wearing at festivals and photoshoots. I love Op-shops. I am also a teacher, a food lover and I hang a lot with my 83 year old best friend who is my Grandmother.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020?
Normality for the rest of the year and I’ve written AN ALBUM for my band! I’m recording it with my best friend in the entire world Michael Cooper so I’ve already started planning that. It will be ready in 2021 and I’ve never been so excited. Brace yourself for it people!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I go to Onyx Cafe on Reserve Rd, Cheltenham A LOT to eat which is actually where the Normality film clip was filmed! Best food and service! But, Japanese cuisine is my favourite food with a glass of Pinot Noir! You will also find me at Shujinku eating Ramen in the city!