Actor, Model, Singer, songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents


Having worked with brands such as Gibson Guitars, Topman, BooHooMan and stared in popular movies such as ‘SPUD’, alongside Casper Lee and Troye Sivan, as well as Netflix’s ‘The Kissing Booth’, multiinstrumentalist Byron Langley returns with debut EP, ‘Light On EP’. 

Byron’s silky melodies and imaginative imagery is painted across an indieelectronic canvas that eases like a breeze into the ears.

Originally from South Africa, Byron began uploading to YouTube back in 2018 and quickly accumulated a huge online following which stands at over 400,000 followers across YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. His close friendship with Strictly Come Dancing Star Joe Sugg and mega YouTuber Casper Lee skyrocketed the young singer-songwriter’s music career, with over 1 million streams on Spotify, multiple Spotify Official playlists including New Music Friday and brand collaborations with Apple Music.

Bryon Releases his Debut EP, ‘Light On’, Today 3rd December and we had a chat about the EP among other things. 

 

Singer Songwriter


Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents

Tracey: Hello Byron, nice to cyber meet you! Since you’re an all-rounder, (not a square at – all) Actor, Model and Singer/Songwriter/Musician. What came first and do you recall your first job?

Byron: Hey Tracey, nice too cyber meet you too, how very 2019 of us. Acting came first and then modelling followed shortly after. My first ever job was selling chocolate brownies at school. It turned in to a little empire that was eventually shut down due to the alarming amount of chocolate fingerprints everywhere, at least that’s why I think they shut me down.

 

MT/Tracey: Who introduced you to the world of modelling and acting?

Byron: My grade 10 drama teacher put our class forward to audition for a film in 2010, after a few call backs, much to my surprise, I got the job. I worked as a bartender after that and a local creative director scouted me at the bar to do some modelling for a local South African fashion brand, everything kinda picked up after that.

 

MT/Tracey: What is it you enjoy the most? (I’m talking about what’s in the circle of roundness btw)

Byron: I enjoy writing songs the most, I sometimes really dislike it but I think that means you care, right? Indie Artist

 

MT/Tracey: For those who don’t know who you are, (where have they been??) what is it that you think you are well known for the most, to date?

Byron: I am probably most known for featuring in ThatcherJoe Vlogs on YouTube. I lived with Joe for 18 months when I first moved to London and was exposed to his giant audience then.

 

MT/Tracey: How would you describe yourself, what kind of person are you? I.e. Kooky, Weird, Funny, Normal (whatever that is).

Byron: I’d say I’m pretty normal, maybe a little nerdy and a little goofy.

 

MT: So, you’re meeting your girlfriends’ parents very soon. Are you nervous? What do you think you’ll talk about?

Byron: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. We’ll probably spend a lot of time talking about Emily ha-ha. Other than that, I’m excited to get to know them in general, they seem like legends.

 

MT: Do you have or recall any favourite scenes while you were in the filming of SPUD?

Byron: My favourite scene was during Spud 1 when “Fatty” got stuck in the window of the chapel. It was the first time I had ever seen special cranes on a set before and the scene was hilarious to watch.

 

MT/Tracey: You’re a very busy boy, and about to release your debut EP, before we get into the recording of the EP, what do you like to do outside of modelling, filming and music?

Byron: I love surfing, living in London makes that very difficult but I try to travel for at least 3 weeks of the year to Indonesia/Philippines/Taiwan and get as much surfing in as possible.

 

Actor, Model, Indie Artist

MT/Tracey: So, your debut EP is almost here; That being said, how are you feeling to the lead up? Excited, eager with this being your first EP?

Byron: I’m super excited to be able to release songs and get a response from the public in general so this EP release is no different. Most of the songs have already been released as singles so I have already gauged what the response is but otherwise I’m just a fan of the process.

 

MT/Tracey: Can you tell us how many songs you wrote on ‘Light On’ and what the EP is about?

Byron: In total I probably wrote between 10-15 songs. Some I will still release they just need some TLC; others won’t ever see the light of day. The EP is about my struggles with addiction a couple of years back and dealing with the consequences of that and ultimately finding the solution.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you collaborate song writing with anyone else and specifically for the EP?

Byron: Unfortunately, I didn’t have any collabs on this EP, it is something that I’m definitely keen to get into moving forward. The producer of the tracks, Christo (aka MusiCli), had a lot of input on the final product.

 

MT/Tracey: What’s the message you would like people to hear from ‘Light On’?

Byron: I’d love for people who are also struggling to have something to help get them back on track, even if it is in the smallest way.

 

MT/Tracey: I have to say, and I’m not just saying this, ‘Light On’ is a pretty amazing EP. It’s not boring, thank goodness! ‘Light On’ tracks are very different from each other; from electronic to rocky to slower folky style pop. Do you have a personal favourite and why?

Byron: Thank you very much, that’s very kind. The genres of the songs do vary quite a bit, I think that has a lot to do with finding a sound I like the most. My favourite track on the EP is Westside, it’s nice and big I can always feel like I’m in a movie when listening to it ha-ha.

 

Indie Artist, Model, Actor

MT/Tracey: Where was ‘Light On’ recorded and who produced it?

Byron: The whole EP was recorded in my living room or else Christo’s bedroom / studio in East London. Christo Patricios (aka MusiCli) is the producer. The only track that wasn’t recorded in London was  Westside which was recorded in Cape Town.

 

MT: Will there be music videos for ‘Light On’? 

Byron: We tried to shoot one in Croatia earlier in November, but the weather was not great at all, we were quite unlucky. Other than that, I’ve tried to accompany each release with a music lyric video.

 

MT: Any plans to tour with your music?

Byron: Yes, I’m looking at hitting the road in spring next year.

 

MT: And now, nothing to do with music, acting or modelling; Do you have any pets, if so, what are their names?

Byron: Haha, no pets I’m afraid, I’d absolutely love to get a dog though.

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Byron: I have another EP coming out around springtime next year too. Otherwise thanks very much for the interview and all the best! 

 

 

Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents

Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents

Links To BYRON LANGLEY

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back


Melbourne singer-songwriter, Daisy Spratt undoubtedly has talent to burn. Her energy, songwriting and singing skills are to be admired with her intentions and goals to match. 

Having just released her third single, ‘Think Again Boy’, proving she isn’t just a pretty lady, but a lady with fierce motivation, goals and dreams that are certain to become a reality for Ms Spratt. 

We had the pleasure to interview Daisy. Spratt is down to earth with a certain kind of perkiness about her which reflects in ‘Think Again Boy’. 

Hope you enjoy the interview, and continue to keep an eye on this talented young woman. 

 

Australian Singer


Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Tracey: Hello Daisy, nice to cyber meet you! Can you tell us where you are from and how long you’ve been singing for?

Daisy: Thank you Tracey for having me! I’m sort of a hybrid. I was born in Southport, Queensland. However, I moved to the United States when I was 1. I moved back to Melbourne when I was about 10, and have been here ever since. I like to think of myself as being from Melbourne. It’s my home here, but a piece of me will always be with the USA, because that was where I first started listening to music, and learning what I liked and didn’t like. I didn’t start getting singing lessons until I was 13, and started performing around 15, so I was a late bloomer in my craft.

 

MT/Tracey: How did you become involved in music and singing?

Daisy:  It was by chance when I was about 12 or 13, back in the MSN days, I would do voice recordings for fun and send them to my friends. I sang some Linkin Park songs one day. My friends were serious and said I should pursue lessons because I apparently sang well. The singing side of things started from there, in terms of actually pursuing that. Guitar was my first musical love though. I came back to Australia, and lived in a small regional town called Moe, in Victoria, initially. It was there I decided to give guitar lessons a go, and I never stopped playing from then on. I regularly did little performances playing guitar, and also would play guitar with my dad who taught me a lot of basic chords.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you write your own music and collaborate? If so, who have you recently worked with?

Daisy: I do. I love writing. Even if the initial ideas are terrible, I like to get my heart and feelings down, to release those emotions at the time. I love collaborating, and actually prefer it when I’m releasing music. You get so many more ideas, and can work as a team to make the song the best it can be. With all the songs I have released so far, I wrote the majority of the song on my own, and then would bring it to the studio and collaborate to make it better before recording. The most recent collaboration would be “Think Again Boy”. It was co-written with Brandon Hood in Nashville, and then I had the honour of having it produced by John Capek, who has worked with artists like Rod Stewart and Diana Ross in the past.

Australian Singer

MT/Tracey: How important do you feel music is, in people’s lives?

Daisy: I don’t think I have ever met someone who doesn’t listen to music. Sure, not everyone has a passion for it, or is involved in it per se, but everyone listens to it. It is very important, because it has the power to shift the atmosphere, in a positive or negative way. It can also speak to people in low moments, or give them a “pick me up” for the day. That’s why I love doing it, not just because I’m good at it, or enjoy it, but also because I get to speak to people that I’ll likely never meet.

 

MT: Do you recall the first song you sang, and at what age were you?

Daisy: The first song I ever sang for an actual audience I was around 15, and sang “Scar” by Missy Higgins. It was the first time my mum saw me sing live on stage. My family jokes about it, because I apparently I sang so pitchy and flat back then!

 

MT: I’ve noticed you have sung your own version of few covers and your previous releases being more pop.  What was the reason for the style change to more of an Americana Pop feel for ‘Think Again Boy’?

Daisy: I like singing anything and everything. When you grow up listening to a broad range of music, it can be difficult to find your “box” or genre. My song “Love Like That” was more country, my self-titled EP was more pop and rock. So, it’s been a journey of self-discovery and finding what style I can express myself the best through. “Think Again Boy” is the launch of a new era and a new style for me, where I feel I am able to give people an insight into me as a person, through music. Maybe down the track I might venture into something different like blues, but Americana pop is where I am at right now, and I’m cool with it.

 

MT/Tracey: You have a great voice! Who did you listen to growing up?

Daisy: Thank you! That means a lot. I listened to so many genres and artists growing up. When I was really little it was Kenney Chesney, Shania Twain and Keith Urban. I was also surrounded by a lot of gospel and Christian music. Then I discovered Green Day at 10 years old, and got hooked on rock, American punk music throughout my teens.

 

MT/Tracey: Are you performing live anywhere at the moment?

Daisy: I’m doing a lot of open mic gigs at the moment through the CBD of Melbourne, and on the Peninsula, to keep myself fresh and try new songs on audiences. I also have some internationally live streamed gigs coming up during the Christmas period as well.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you have any great moments that stand out to you, perhaps a show or a session that made an impact and you will never forget?

Daisy: Probably when I did the launch party in November 2018, for my EP release. I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback from the people that came, and having my first experience of doing a full show of my own original music. I remember thinking “this is what it feels like to do your own shows, and have people there that connect with your music”.

Australian Singer

 

MT/Tracey: What hobbies do you have that you like to do other than music?

Daisy: I love working out with my husband, it’s something we make time to do together amongst our busy lives. We’re on a bit of a health kick at the moment. Anything creative, like scrapbooking. I’m currently trying to finish our wedding album. I also really enjoy baking and cooking at home, if I have the time to just bake a cake.

MT/Tracey: Is there an album coming? What’s next in line for Daisy Spratt?

Daisy: Yes, for sure! Next year we have some singles and music videos in the pipeline, and festival shows. An album will definitely be happening, but most likely will be looking at releasing in 2021.

 

MT/Tracey: Where do you see yourself with your singing and music? What is your biggest dream?

Daisy: My biggest dream is doing headline tours, and essentially running a whole business through the Daisy Spratt brand. I’d love to include merchandise, and Daisy Spratt clothing in the brand, and also introduce some form of a charity side to the business, so that I can continue helping people and giving back to the community somehow. Essentially, I want to be able to make a living doing something I love, and being able to help people at the same time.

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Daisy: Just thank you for having me. It’s been a wild journey since releasing my first studio recording in 2016, and I’m humbled that I’m even at the point that people care to ask about my music and songs, so thank you, and there is more to come!

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Thanks for your time Daisy have a great day!

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Links To DAISY SPRATT

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Livietta Debut EP, Simple, Gracious, shrouded in darkness and sadness


Indie Artist

Livietta

“Eponymous ep”

Quite often I hear music coming in that has similar sounds and production, yet the strength of the song and vocals may be what takes it over the line. It’s when I receive music from artists who are not afraid to experiment with all of the above, my ears prick up with excitement.

 

Sure, perhaps nothing is completely original, but after hearing experimental singer-songwriter, Livietta Eponymous debut EP, she clearly isn’t concerned about perfection; but perhaps that’s what makes her music resonates deep within us; because in reality, we are all not perfect.

 

Liviettas vocals are deep and relaxed as they resonate beautifully in her lower register focusing on the narrative of each song allowing the lyrics to gleam as she prises the story of each track to become noticed and heard. Each and every track on Eponymous has its own personality and character, from the first track, ‘Amateur’ with the distorted sounds and vocal throughout, while the second track, ‘Ode ao Tempo’, sung in Portuguese accompanied by horns and trumpets, piano and strings taking the stage, incorporated with some interesting sound effects.

 

The third track, ‘Paper and Scissors’ enters with a simple and flowing peaceful piano line followed by Liviettas gorgeous vocals subtly showing what she is capable of as the track ignites from piano and cello into some very interesting beats imploding into another level.

 

There are 5 tracks on the Eponymous EP with space, simplicity and grace all within darkness and sadness, creating a beautiful EP.

If you’re a fan of the likes of Nick Cave, Radiohead and Bjork, then you will love Eponymous.

It’s hard to choose a personal favourite, but I would have to say ‘Paper and Scissors’ is right up there.

A must listen if you want to expand your horizons.

Check in our our New Music releases on Music Talks on the 27th to hear.

Livetta’s Eponymous EP is OUT on 26th November on all major streaming platforms.

Livietta Debut EP, Simple, Gracious, Shrouded in Darkness and Sadness

Tracey gives 4 out of 5 stars.

4 Star Rating

Livietta Debut EP, Simple, Gracious, Shrouded in Darkness and Sadness

Feel At Home with Leaving Lennox New Single “Weren’t Looking For”

Single Cover

Leaving Lennox

“Weren’t Looking For“

Leaving Lennox has recently released their new single, ‘Weren’t Looking For’.

As soon as the play button was hit, it immediately made me feel at home, easy and free.

‘Weren’t Looking For’ is an easy-going mid tempo country pop/rock song that makes you feel like smiling with vocal harmonies blending beautifully from the Leaving Lennox Duo, Mick and Lauren.

Lauren’s lead vocal is simple and very well sung, just as it should be.

If there’s one thing that now turns me off with a vocal, it’s the apparent need many vocalists feel, to over sing. Lauren knows just how to place the right amount of expression and vibrato, blending some really lovely tones to her vocal, performing the song in the way it was intended.

The strumming of guitars and lead electric swarms through and around the track before it moves into its own solo with no need for screaming or showing off.

This is the true art of allowing the song to sing for itself with clever musicianship and production.

The only downer for me, was that it ended too quickly. A really nice song with sweetest cherries on top.

Verdict: 4/5 Hearts

Music Review 4 Hearts

Feel At Home with Leaving Lennox New Single “Weren’t Looking For”

STREAMING HERE:  

https://www.leavinglennox.com/wlf

Together For Christmas Video Interview with Rachael Leahcar


Embracing the positivity of the festive season, songstress Rachael Leahcar’s fifth album release – Together For Christmas – is a beautiful journey through her favourite yuletide tunes, effortlessly delivered in six different languages and with a swag of special guests. Featuring duets with Darren Mullan, Ben Whittington, Grace Bawden (Australia’s Got Talent) and Lara Nakhle (The Voice), the 14-track long-player includes rousing renditions of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock, to breathtakingly gorgeous versions of Ave Maria, O Holy Night, Silent Night and White Christmas, to name a few. The album is sprinkled with the magic of the festive season from the opening track, until the closing bars, and embodies that inherent bubble of excitement that surrounds the final month of the year.

It’s clear that there is no stopping this lovely lady despite being handed the short straw with a degenerative eye condition, leaving her 90% blind.

Rachael has recorded ‘Together for Christmas’ in six different languages and was recorded in such a way to incorporate diversity. 

Australian Blind Singer

For Rachael, the Together For Christmas album isn’t just about the celebration of Christmas. The core theme of the release is about bringing people together, regardless of their beliefs, and sharing quality time catching up.

“We’ve become so busy in our lives that we often let too much time go by but this way we’re forced to do it – share stories, give a gift, have a laugh and be merry,” she says. “Christmas is about people coming together with love, something everyone can benefit from. What better way to do this than through music? Christmas is also a time to celebrate our differences, because life would be so boring if we were all the same. I have learned so much from people – their stories, beliefs and opinions. We can only move forward as a human race if we are open, respectful and accepting of each other. I’m hoping that by sharing the songs of old and new, with diverse languages and voices, it will help this message be shared.”

I had the privilege of interviewing Rachael on music, ‘Together For Christmas’ and a few other things. Enjoy the video interview with Rachael Leahcar 💜

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Make sure you get your copy of ‘Together For Christmas’ to play this Christmas!

BANDCAMP | DEEZER | GOOGLE PLAY

ALSO AVAILABLE AT

SANITY RECORDS | JB-HI

Together For Christmas Video Interview with Rachael Leahcar

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Links To RACHAEL LEAHCAR

WEBSITE:  http://www.rachaelleahcar.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachaeleahcar

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachaeleahcar/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachaeleahcar

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/au/album/shadows/1208409043?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 

Together For Christmas Video Interview with Rachael Leahcar

Give It All Up For the Funky Soulful Groovy Danny Toeman


Give It All Up For the Funky Soulful Groovy Danny Toeman

RnB Artist

Danny Toeman

“Give It All Up” (Mr Showtime)

Quickly, someone turn up the volume!! What a surprise blast this track is.  A funky groove that couldn’t get me to stay still in my chair; how could you not move with such a funky soulful track. Admittedly, this funky soul groove is where my heart lies, and with those vocals by Danny Toeman clearly shows he is a true professional. 

If you like funky soul bands such as Kool & The Gang or The Average White band, then you’re going to fall in love with the cool groove high energy soulful style of  ‘Give It All Up’ (Mr Showtime)

Danny Toeman is obviously a seasoned performer and artist with his own seven piece band that is as tight as……well let just say it’s pretty damn tight. Danny’s vocals ooze rugged emotion that sours with ease throughout, from the sexy spoken lower end of his range,  flying into a high falsetto as smooth as a well aged whisky. (not saying he is old)

The backing vocals can’t go without being unnoticed. The simple and remarkable BV’s are tight and clear while the production most certainly has a vintage and funky contemporary style. 

Give It All Up has a feel good vibe that is so unforgettable, you’ll be singing it for hours after as the chorus spins around between your ears! 

 Danny has an album and live shows on the horizon, and if he came to Australia, I’d be there in a flash. 

Seriously great music. Now go get those dancing shoes on.

I’m giving it all up for Danny with 5 stars!

Verdict: 5/5 Hearts

Music Review 5 Hearts

 

 

 

LINKS TO DANNY TOEMAN

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | SPOTIFY

Give It All Up For the Funky Soulful Groovy Danny Toeman

Såtilå The Indie Pop Artist You Need To Hear

Sätilä The Indie Pop Artist You Need To Hear


SätiläThe Indie Pop Artist You Need To Hear

Indie Electronic Artist

Sätilä

“Like You Do”

There’s good reason why some artists create so much buzz and attention and Sätilä is definately one of them. The Finnish born, London Based artist has so far garnered over a million streams with previous releases and I’m predicting a similar result with “Like You Do”. 

Sätilä’s vocals are smooth as silk and uncomplicated as “Like You Do” builds into a dimension that takes you from one world to another. What begins with a new age electronic feel with synth sounds  are overtaken by his flawless vocal. The transition from verse to chorus is effortless, smooth and somewhat metamorphosing; and that’s just the start. 

The drive from the bass and synth lines keeps the track moving and explodes when the second verse kicks in, creating a groove that pulsates you into the simple and catchy chorus the spells H.I.T. to me. 

What I like about the style of “Like You Do”, is it’s fusion of electronic pop synths and beats combined with Sätilä‘s velvet vocals and a chorus that sticks. 

Just when you think you know where the song is going, the threshold rises into a bridge that pulls back without over reacting whilst still using the build of beats cleverly back in the mix before it’s completion of the last exploding chorus with the ear worms well and truly apparent.

If you haven’t guessed already, I really like like this and given “Like You Do” a well deserved 5 hearts! 

Verdict: 5/5 Hearts

Music Review 5 Hearts

 

 

Såtilå The Indie Pop Artist You Need To Hear

Links to Sätilä and “LIKE YOU DO” 

SPOTIFY | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM |  FACEBOOK 

Sätilä The Indie Pop Artist You Need To Hear

Såtilå The Indie Pop Artist You Need To Hear

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir


With over 100,000 streams on Spotify, combined video views of over 2 million, music shared by Coldplay and supporting the legend Dodie……Belfast born, Owen Denvir at only 29 has asserted himself as one of the finest singer songwriters around and is now announcing his biggest project to date. 3 EP’s released over a year that form his debut album.

It was some time ago that the talent of Owen Denvir captured my attention with a need to find out more about who this incredible talented artist is.

We interviewed Owen to find out more. 

Enjoy the interview!

Indie Artist Owen Denvir
Photo Credit: Liz Wade Blur

 

MT/Tracey: Hi there Owen – how are you going and great to cyber meet you. I’ve personally become a fan of yours and so impressed with your music and vocals. How long have you been singing for?

Owen: Hello & great to cyber meet you too! I’d sung in school choirs since primary school and I learnt a lot there. Secretly I wanted to be some combination of Damien Rice and Matt Bellamy from Muse when I grew up, so I used to sing along with my CDs when I was home alone. Performing in front of people only happened through forceful and (hopefully) well-meaning friends after I’d put a few demos online.

 

MT: I believe you began as a violin player. What or who made you discover your voice?

Owen: I’d gotten really into music for want of having a personality as a teenager. My school had a pretty strict policy of classical-music-or-no-music-at-all, but my older brothers were into Radiohead and The Strokes so I decided I was too. I switched to viola around 15, which was a serious demotion because viola players get the most boring parts to play in the orchestra. So guitar and singing had to be my release for musical tension/social acceptance.

 

MT: Was there a definitive moment when you realized that you ultimately wanted to be a singer?

Owen: My Dad had a Fleetwood Mac live DVD he used to play a lot. Seeing Lindsay Buckingham play Big Love when I was about 12 hit me pretty hard. I was never particularly good at anything other than music so I’d made my mind up pretty early!

 

 

MT: Does music run in your family?

Indie Artist Owen DenvirOwen: My Dad pointed out recently how it was strange that all of his children have quite creative-focused careers even though he and my Mum had quite traditional jobs. It’s hard to know which side we inherited music from because while my Dad’s Mum can’t stop talking about music, my Dad can barely string a few notes together! One of my brothers runs an annual Christmas piano karaoke night in Dublin and he’s scored entire orchestral arrangements for Sigur Ros and Radiohead tribute concerts while he was at Trinity University. Then I’ve a cousin who plays in virtually every band in Dublin to have ever featured a trombone. I think between the lot of us we could get a pretty solid show on the road together.

 

MT: You are about to release the first trilogy of EP Releases with ‘Sticks’ being the first, with ‘Stones’ and ‘Bones’ to follow. Can you tell us a little bit about the trilogy that will eventually form your debut album?

Owen: Yes! So the idea for the first EP came from general release-fatigue, where I felt as though in order to be compatible with “the industry” you have to do the same thing as every other artist. Recently the trend is to continually release a catchy 3:30 radio-friendly single every couple of months, in the hope that one of them will catch the attention of an industry gatekeeper (radio/streaming/blogs/press), rather than aiming directly for an audience with a full body of material. I never got into an artist or band after hearing just one single. Growing up I loved albums, and most of the tracks I’m drawn to when browsing Spotify are more lowkey or more complex than something built just solely for radio. I’ve made a lot of music over the last couple of years that I’d always felt was too personal or mellow to be released, or too much of a departure from the sound of my other singles up to now. When it came to deciding what would make the cut for an EP, I released there was a lot more material I loved than I had remembered. So the idea snowballed into releasing a whole trilogy of EPs, with the songs linked thematically through each.

 

MT: How did you feel when you found your music shared by the likes of Coldplay and Dodie?

Owen: It’s a real rollercoaster of emotions when something like that happens. Getting tweeted by Coldplay first of all just drew so much attention all at once – I was getting messages from people all over the world who didn’t know I existed 10 minutes beforehand. A few TV and radio opportunities opened up through that as well so it was a good opportunity to try to smuggle fans onboard while I was flavour of the week.

Supporting Dodie again came completely out of the blue and was easily one of my favourite shows I’ve ever played. She’s got such a loyal and passionate fanbase which extended to her support act thankfully, so I had a lot of fun at that show and lots of them have stuck around and been really supportive since.

 

Indie Pop Artist
Photo by Fiona Kerr

MT: I believe you write all your songs; do you also collaborate with other writers?

Owen: I don’t co-write very often. Sometimes I’ll borrow a friend’s ear if I’m stuck on an initial idea. But a lot of my writing happens quite spontaneously, especially if I’ve a character in my head from a movie or something, and I find the more ideas that come all at once usually fit best to make the song flow together as a whole.

 

MT: Why the fascination of Sigmund Freud and how did you go about placing these idea’s into your songs?

Owen: This was actually a bit of coincidence. I’d been incubating the idea of an EP trilogy when a friend had told me about a Youtube binge they’d been on resulting in videos and Freud. They told me about his theory of personality, that it consisted of 3 individual parts that amount to 1 whole. The more I looked into it, the more it seemed to fit how I was planning my EPs. While the first 2, “Sticks” and “Stones”, are a collection of misinterpretations of love and relationships, “Sticks” is delusional in a sense of trying to make relationships work that never will. “Stones” is more brash and self-assured with misplaced confidence and “Bones”, the final EP, is a healthier balance between the two. Freud’s theory is the same but in a different order, where in a single personality the “id” acts impulsively to do whatever it wants, the “ego” is terrified of the consequences and the “superego” is the balance between the two.

 

MT: You are also involved in a charity called, ‘Live Music Now’. What is this about? 

Owen: A musical friend recommended I get involved with this charity and I’m very grateful they did. Live Music Now aims to put live music into places where you wouldn’t usually find it but where it’s sorely needed. For the most part I’ve performed in care homes around Belfast, mostly to old folks with dementia. This led to my “Music & Memories” project with Peter J. McCauley, where we recorded an album of the residents’ party pieces from their youth, then afterwards adapted them into modern experimental works, a bit like Gavin Bryars’ “Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet”. I’ve also been really lucky to have been involved in lots of music workshops in special needs schools. It’s been really rewarding interacting with kids who have little to no social awareness, but will respond really significantly to the sound of a viola or with musical games.

 

 

MT: Your first single of your ‘Sticks’ EP, ‘Stay’ will also be released very soon, what was the inspiration behind this song?

Owen: It’s about a relationship I had that broke up over distance. It took a while for me to decide to make this song public.

 

MT: Do you perform or will you be doing any performance to co-inside with your trilogy of releases?

Owen: I have an Irish tour in the works for 2020, but the soonest date in the diary is the Belfast Sticks EP launch in The American Bar on Guy Fawke’s Night, Tues 5th November.

 

MT: What else do you get up to when you’re not singing or in the studio?

Owen: I’m a spectacularly unskilled 5 a side football player, a devoted watcher of Parks & Rec, and a super fun uncle to the cutest niece in the world.

 

MT: If music was taken away and no longer in your life, what do you think your second calling would be?

Owen: Professional chocolate taster

 

MT: This is our famous question….do you have any pets? (I know, nothing to do with music)

Owen: NO and it’s an absolute travesty, I’m aiming to get a dog as soon as humanly possible

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Owen: If you stream my music, I can’t guarantee your life will be flooded with success and happiness, but there’s a chance it might so you totally should.

Thanks for your time Owen, have a great day!

Owen: Thanks! You too!

Owen Denvir
releases new single ‘Stay’
and 1st of trilogy of EP’s ‘Sticks’
Nov 1st

SPOTIFY | ITUNES | GOOGLE PLAY | AMAZON

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Links To OWEN DENVIR

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OwenDenvir

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owendenvir/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/owendenvir

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/owendenvirmusic

WEBSITE: http://www.owendenvir.com/

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Meryn Ruppert is making waves as an indie artist


If you haven’t heard of Meryn Ruppert, it’s only a matter of time before you see this Los Angeles Singer Songwriter and actress pops up on all major social media feeds. 

Meryn Ruppert sparked interest after jumping onto the scene only a few months ago and is making waves with her new dance single, ‘The Night’. 

We interviewed Meryn to find out who this young talented songstress is and what her plans are. 

Enjoy the interview!

 

Indie Artist Singer Songwriter


 

Tracey: Hi Meryn, nice to cyber meet you! How long have you been singing for?

Meryn: Hello and thank you for having me Tracey ! I have been singing since I
have been 3 years old and always loved every second of it.

 

MT: Do you write your own music?

Meryn: Yes I write my own music and I really like different lyrics that write for different songs.

 

MT: Who have been your biggest influences?

Meryn: I like classic rock from 70’s to different rock music from 90’s all the way up to some of the rock music like The Foo fighters from today.

Singer Songwriter Meryn Ruppert

 

MT: Do you play any instruments?

Meryn: I play the piano and electric organ also guitar because I like the different sounds you can get on all of them.

MT: Do you perform live? If not, are there any plans to play live in venues?

Meryn: Everywhere, anywhere and worldwide if I can. lol

 

MT: What other hobbies do you have besides music?

Meryn: I enjoy dancing singing and putting together all my music videos.

 

MT: At what age did you realize that your ultimate dream was to sing?

Meryn: When I was 13 I was singing and performing in front of audiences and I really enjoyed it and I knew I really wanted to be singer from then on.

 

MT: Do you have any pets? (we’re big animal lovers here)

Meryn: I love animals but I don’t have any pets.

 

MT: If there was one place you would love to visit and perform, where would that be?

Meryn: I would like to sing in a Hollywood bowl in CA where The Beatles played

 

MT: Can you describe what your latest single ‘The Night’ is about?

Meryn: It’s about anticipation and excitement of the love that you’re going to discover like almost in a fairy tale and you just cant wait see & feel how it all works out.

 

Singer Songwriter Meryn Ruppert

MT: Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

Meryn: I would like to be a recording artist with a record label also to be performing live all around the world.

MT: Are there any plans for an album or EP? When can we expect your next release?

Meryn: I would love to do an album but I am working on a new songs hopefully to be done by early 2020.

 

MT: The indie music scene is so large, as an independent artist, what kind of team surrounds you and how important is it to have a small team? (if applies)

Meryn: There are so many artists and bands out there and I am trying to share my music on social media the best that I can It is a lot of work with that I am also meeting wonderful people from all around the world and that is so great.

 

Thanks for your time Meryn and looking forward to your future music releases.

Meryn: Thank you very much Tracey I really enjoyed the interview. 

Meryn Ruppert Is Making Waves as an Indie Artist

 

Meryn Ruppert Is Making Waves as an Indie Artist

Links To MERYN RUPPERT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MerynRuppert/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MerynRuppertMusic/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/merynruppert/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MerynRuppert

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQjPAcZBKpUMklEaMhKoAog

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merynruppert/

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians

A Beautiful Song From Indie Artist Peta Mai, and One To Watch


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every now and again there’s an artist who’s music and voice

Indie Music Artists

grabs and demands attention. Peta Mai is a classical example of what made me want to begin Music Talks. 

Peta hails from Sydney, Australia and has performed with the likes of Keith Urban with country flavoured music.

Now Peta is about to release her beautiful song with a her great voice to match this Friday 4th October and available for pre-order now. 

 

This is one indie artist who’s music speaks for itself. 


Read the interview with Peta Mai.

 

Tracey: Hey Peta, so nice to cyber meet you, although we are in the same city! Do Perform gigs around Sydney?

Peta: Yes I do! In fact, I’ll be doing a single launch for Hell or High Water at Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville on Monday, 7th of October. You should come!

 

MT: Peta, your voice and singing style blows me away, who are you and where the hell have you been? How long have you been singing for?

Peta: Thank you so much! I’ve been floating around in a few different genre worlds – I used to be in a Pop-Country trio which informed my songwriting for a long time. ‘Hell or High Water’ is the first track I’m releasing that moves more into the realms of Pop/Soul.

 

MT: Did you study voice?

Peta: I’ve been getting vocal coaching since I was 7 – I still see a teacher now. I try to treat it like any other muscle in my body – it needs to be stretched and worked regularly!

 

MT: Do you play any other instruments?

Peta: I play guitar and dabble in a bit of piano.

 

MT:  Do you write all you own material? And do you collaborate with others?

Peta: I’m a firm believer that teamwork makes the dream work, but as of late, I’ve stripped the production line way back. I currently write most of my songs alone, (including HOHW) to give myself the best chance of honing in on what I want to say as a solo artist.

 

MT: Do you have a musical family?

Peta: Not at all! My mother is in the medical field, my dad in finance, and my brother is a chef!

 

Australian Singer

MT: Which artist/singer did you listen to while growing up?

Peta: I had several different CD’s growing up – I remember listening to The Corrs, Carole King, Dixie Chicks, Little River Band. As an adolescent I listened to John Mayer & Paramore.

 

MT: I’ve noticed you have shared the stage with one of Australia’s sons, Keith Urban, what is your connection with Country Music?

Peta: I wouldn’t consider myself a born & bred country gal, but the story-teller nature of Country music has always really moved me. I’ve considered myself to be a bit genre-ambiguous in the past, so I found myself in country music almost accidentally.

 

MT: Your new single, ‘Hell or High Water’ is just incredible. What inspired you to write this beautiful song?

Peta: I was going through a hard time when I wrote Hell or High Water – kind of strange seeing it comes across as an uplifting tune. I knew how to love someone else, but I’d forgotten how to show myself the same love. The take home message of Hell or High Water is that we are all flawed, but we are all worthy of being loved. I’m thankful I was able to tap into that sentiment with this tune.

 

MT: How did you go about writing ‘Hell or High Water’….Was it something that poured out?

Peta: It was one of those rare moments where lyrics and melodies seemed to roll off the tongue. I think it was buried inside me for a while waiting to come out. I started with piano, and then the lyrics and melody.

 

MT: Who produced ‘Hell or High Water’? Where was it recorded?

Peta: I took the song to a trusted friend and producer, Ryan Miller, who I’ve worked with before. I’m a big champion of Ryan. It’s like he doesn’t know how great he is!? He was so integral in taking the song to the next level and bringing the vision to life. It was all recorded in house with Ryan at Hercules Studios.

 

MT: When the song was nearing the completion stage, did you feel it had a certain quality or should I say, spark about it? And do you feel this song is different to others you have written?

Peta: Ryan & I are both very critical, so when we stopped having words to say about the song, we knew it was ready! I think it comes from a more mature space than my previous releases. Even though I realise it’s a life-long process, this song has made me feel closer to finding myself and my voice than anything else I’ve done.

 

MT: This could be the wedding song of the year! What are the plans from here, EP or Album perhaps?

Peta: At the moment I am taking it song by song – so I’ll likely release singles for a while. BUT, I am a big fan of an album as a body of work. I hope I’ll be working towards releasing an album soon!

 

MT: Will there be a music video for ‘Hell or High Water’?

Peta: Not at this stage, but there will be a lyric video, and a live performance!

 

MT: Will you be touring at all in Australia or any upcoming gigs we can catch you at?

Peta: Lazybones Marrickville on the 7th of October. Be there!

 

MT: Anything else you would like to mention?

Peta: Just a huge thanks for your kind words about Hell or High Water – I can’t wait for everybody to hear it!

Thank you so much Peta, and really looking forward to an album!

PRE-ORDER ‘Hell or High Water’

https://www.petamaimusic.com/

A Beautiful Song From Indie Artist Peta Mai, and One To Watch

Read last weeks review on Simon SaysHERE

 

 

 

Links To PETA MAI

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/51jhfyjq1B3X7mSGaSj5aO 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petamaimusic 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/petamai/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqxkI_0pGKaduxIY2P788tQ

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians

Eileen Shapiro; Queen Rockstar Celebrity Journalist

 

 

Celebrity Journalist

Eileen Shapiro; Queen Rockstar Celebrity Journalist

When you’ve been in the entertainment industry for more than half your life, you would be excused for thinking that the majority of people who do so, would be, and should be, very well known. 

That’s no exception when it comes to Eileen Shapiro, except for the fact, that when the majority of those who are the readers and fans of the likes of Dianna Ross, Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper and so many other big name singers and actors, may not realize that the articles and interviews they are reading, are written by the very well respected journalist and celebrity herself, Eileen Shapiro. 

Eileen writes for over 40 international magazines and online blog sites reviewing albums, live shows, and interviewing major celebrities such as Emma Stone, Kesha, Dianne Warwick, Boy George, Toni Braxton, Adam Ant, Brooke Shields, Rick Springfield, Jennifer Hudson and hundreds more. 

In addition to the reviews and interviews, Eileen is an author, publicist, pr manager, social media manager, event management and partner of ‘World Star PR’

So many of the ‘Stars’ around the world have become great friends with Eileen, not only because she has been doing it since her teenage years, but because she is a genuine down to earth soul, who see’s the good in every person creating trust and honesty both with celebrities and the fans. And it doesn’t stop there. 

 

Celebrity JournalistThroughout my endeavours associated with Music Talks, I’ve come into contact with Eileen several times building a lovely relationship through social media and the promotion and collaboration of wonderful artists and celebrities.

It was through my mix up of times and dates between the USA and Australia that we decided to record our spontaneous chat, creating a podcast for all to hear.

As girls do, we talked and talked and captured great conversation about how Eileen began writing for the ‘Star Trek Giant Poster Book’ and the ‘Star Trek Medical Reference Manual’ which then lead to writing books, and interviewing some of the most well known singers and actors in the world. 

 

Enjoy the podcast and see further links to Eileen Below

Eileen’s Website: https://eileenshapiro.rocks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eileen.shapiro.52

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eileenshapiro3

 

 

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians


Aly Cook is a New Zealand based Multi award-winning recording artist with a deep passion for all things musical. She is a consummate songwriter and performer, who has taken her music to the world, delighting audiences wherever she roams and carving a career as a respected live performer. She has used her vast entrepreneurial experience to crowd fund all of her recordings to date and also dedicated much of her life to furthering the careers of other independent artists. She has twice been a finalist for NEXT New Zealand Woman of the Year in 2011 & 2016 for her contribution to the Arts.

 

Country Singer

Although based in New Zealand Aly has had one foot either side of the Tasman for many years, touring the length and breadth of Australia as she has in her homeland.
While touring the East Kimberley region, her passion for ancient lands led her to write ‘Kimberley’ which was used in a TV promotion for the region and many songs of the country and its people have fallen from her pen. ‘Kimberley’ was a single from her sophomore album ‘Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel’ and was produced in New Zealand by Alan Jansson. The album entered the Top 40 Official New Zealand album charts and also enjoyed 6 number one hits on Australian independent airplay based charts.


The interview about the journey of Aly Cook’s album, ‘Caught In The Middle’.

 

Tracey: Hey Aly, great to have you back on Music Talks. Wow, the new album is almost here! Can you tell us what the first single off the album is about, ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’

 Aly: Over the Years I have travelled up and down and around Australia, across the Nullarbor in the 80’s, up to the Kimberley, out to Alice, and up to the far north of QLD.  I love the Red Dirt! We don’t really get it in NZ, those long Aussie road trips singing to songs on the radio. On my way to Mildura Country Music Festival and back I heard the song idea in my head, and then took the idea to Asquith, did that Bidstrup Cook Bidstrup writing thing and we had the song completely written in a couple of hours.  We have filmed a cool music video for this song out in Alice Springs.

 

MT: You do very well in your crowdfunding campaigns to help your funding for your music. Your upcoming album, ‘Caught in The Middle’; when is the due date for its release?

 Aly: The Album comes out in 3 stages with the pre-sale starting Friday 6th of September. ‘Steal Your Love’ becomes available on digital stores and then the iTunes pre-sale of the album begins. If you pre order the album you get ‘Steal Your Love’ as your instant gratification track. The Song ‘Steal Your Love’ is one of 3 covers on the album, which also has 9 originals. The song is by Lucinda Williams from her ‘Essence’ album.  Friday Sept 20th comes the first single ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’, and it’s video, then a week later ‘Caught in the Middle’s official release date is Friday 27th of September. My Birthday! It’s also the first day of Mildura Country Music Festival where I am performing for 10 days straight.

 

MT: If you couldn’t raise funds through crowdfunding to record, how else would you do so, and how important is it for an artist to have the support from their current fans? 

 Aly: Well I don’t know really.   I’ve only been able to record because of crowdfunding and pre-sales, and my crowdies, as I like to call them, mean heaps to me. They are more than people who buy my album. To me, they are true friends, as they support my being able to do my art, and we are a team. That is how I look at my crowdies x

 

MT: Do you feel extra pressure to do something extra special when so many people have contributed to the costs of making an album through crowdfunding?

Aly:  It’s a symbiotic relationship. I provide them with music and they enable me to make it… I hope everyone that listens to the tracks on ‘Caught in the Middle’ love them, and especially my crowdies, as they are part of this journey.  I now hope that more people come on board, buy the album and love what I do .

 

Album cover

MT: I’ve noticed there’s been a lot of attention around this particular album with some very well-known and respected musicians and producers involved. Can you tell us who has been involved in the making of ‘Caught in the Middle’?

Aly: Well it all starts with the song and the Bidstrup Cook Bidstrup writing team started 4 years ago, when I got the opportunity to go out to Mutitjulu near Uluru with Uncle Jimmy Thumbs up team. We were doing music with the Aboriginal Kids out there with Buzz Bidstrup. Most will know Buzz as a founding member of The Angels, he co-wrote one of their greatest hits with Doc Neeson, ‘No Secrets. Out in Uluru we wrote a song called Kulini and this started our writing together. Each trip to Australia I would stop in to Buzz and Kay Bidstrup’s house. (they are both founding members of Australian band GANGgajang ) and so began the journey of writing the album. There is also a co-write with friend Gold Guitar winner Allan Caswell on the album.  Buzz produced the album and recorded and mixed it with the very talented David Nicholas. David is amazing and his list of credits on many hit albums is huge including ‘Winner ARIA Producer & Engineer Of The Year’. He’s produced and or mixed some of the greatest Australian albums like INXS & Midnight Oil, also international tracks like Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting #1 US Hit ‘All for One’ which he co-produced, engineered and mixed. Both Buzz and Dave have really given the love to my album and it’s been a complete honour to work with them. The musicians are just outstanding people and it has been a real privilege to have them play on this album. These include ..Members of the Tracking Crew,  Rick Melick on Keyboards, James Gillard on Bass Guitar, The Late Glen Hannah on Guitar, who tragically passed away during the making of the album, and Buzz Bidstrup who, apart from co-writing, played Drums, Percussion and Guitarlele also Clive Harrison on Bass, John Kaldor on Pedal Steel, George Washing machine on violin and Dean Ray on Acoustic Guitar. Also some vocals from Buzz and Kay, along with Jon Abo and a special guest appearance on two tracks from Sharon O’Neill.

 

MT: What keeps you going in music and who have been your biggest influences?

Aly: I love music, & musicians. I love people and nothing beats delivering the songs live,  knowing you are moving people and have them with you. That comes through honest delivery, something I strive for. I guess one of my biggest early influences was Neil Young. I had every Neil Young album, Fleetwood Mac, then Bonnie Raitt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucinda Williams etc.

 

MT: You travel and perform a lot between New Zealand and Australia, where has your favourite place to perform been to date that you remember well?

Aly: I think my fav gig would have to have been opening for Melissa Etheridge, REO Speedwagon and Huey Lewis & The News in Taupo NZ, performing in front of thousands of people is amazing, and the other would be with Buzz performing to raise funds for Uncle Jimmy thumbs up in 2015 at the Sydney Opera House.  My favourite venue is a little place in Golden Bay NZ called ‘The Mussel Inn’ where you can hear a pin drop when you play and its deemed to be cool to do your own material. Musicians get to stay in the owner’s log house at the back and Jane and Andrew’s craft beers and food is amazing.

 

MT: If there was one place you would love to visit and perform, where would that be?

Aly: That is a hard one … Dream Big …The Royal Albert Hall … with a whopping great Orchestra.  Apart from that I am grateful for every show I get to do anywhere. Especially festivals.

 

Single CoverMT: Getting back to your upcoming album; Do you have a favourite song, and why is this your favourite?

Aly: They change all the time. But I love ‘Hold Up Half the Sky’ because it’s a woman empowerment song. Another is  ‘Cold Wind’ that closes the album, written by Kay, as her inspiration after the death of Glen Hannah. It was very cathartic. Personally, delivering that song gave me closure over Glen’s death and allowed me to look at finishing the album. Celebrating his beautiful magical guitar work, that he left on these recordings, enabled me to focus in a positive way. Music is such a healing thing.

 

MT: What does this album mean to you?

Aly:  A deeply emotional journey. A lot has happened for me, on a personal level, during the writing and recording of this album. It’s all a reminder. While I was in Mildura about to take the stage, I was told that my son had been involved in a serious car accident back home in NZ. He’s left today with a paralysed lower leg from it. When I left Mildura, and drove to Buzz and Kay’s house, my son was in surgery and was for that entire 1000 Km drive. ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’ was partially written on that trip back.

Then Glen Hannah tragically dying, just a couple of weeks after the initial recording sessions for the album, really took the wind out of all of our sails. We were all so devastated it made it painful to listen to the work and complete the project. As a mother and a wife, I felt so much for his family. His death rocked many people in the Australian music industry.

 

MT: You mentioned the collaborations associated with the making of this album, one being the great Buzz Bidstrup who is one of Australia’s great musicians, songwriters and producers and has been a member of some very big Australian bands, namely, The Angels, The Party Boys and GANGgajang, as well as managing the likes of Jimmy Little and Nathan Cavaleri.

How do you know Buzz and what was it like working with him?

Aly: I kind of answered that one above but I am so honoured to be working with Buzz and this great team and to be on the SBD Label.

 

MT: How long did it take to record ‘Caught in The Middle’?

Aly: We wrote over a 3 year period and the recording was done in a week of sessions and then I returned for another week of minimal overdubs and recorded ‘Cold Wind.’

 

MT: How does it make you feel when you are hearing your songs nearing completion in the studio?

Aly: I am very proud of this body of work and feel pretty elated by the calibre of people I have had the privilege to work with and how they have laid their own beautiful magic on the tracks.

 

MT: How does this album differ to others you’ve recorded and released?

 Aly:  Well, quite different. I’ve been much more involved in the process on this one and the big difference is the recording with a live band. With my previous albums I laid down the vocal and guitar guide track and the tracks were built up while I was not there.  With ‘Caught in the Middle’ I recorded with excellent musicians live in isolated rooms, so we were laying down at the same time, no click track involved just to set the rhythm at the beginning of the song, and this really allows the music to breathe and be dynamic. We then chose which take had the best vibe and built on that track. What I wanted more than anything on this project, was for people to listen to my album, then see me perform live and feel that the recording was every bit the same as seeing me live. So it’s like I’m really in your lounge when you listen.  I think we achieved that and there is some lovely instrumental work. With that level of talent in the room you really want those people to shine and share their gift on your music.

 

MT: The indie music scene is so large, as an independent artist, what kind of team surrounds you and how important is it to have a small team?

Aly: This time, for the very first time, I am no longer on my own or just working with Therese.  The album is released on SBD Music which is a partnership between Buzz Bidstrup, Dave Nicholas, and Sebastian Chase, who is the owner of MGM Distribution, plus the team at MGM. I also have Therese McKee at Key 2 Artist promotions and Amy at Light Tree Media. For the first time I have someone really working on the branding, graphics and imagery. and my crowdies of course who help to get the word out about the album. I love my team x

 

MT: Will you be releasing any video clips from some of the tracks off the album?

Aly: Yes I think there are a good 3 to 4 singles at least off this album. ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’ being the first to launch on the 20th of September.

 

Single Cover

MT: Aside from the first single off the album, ‘Red Dirt 

Road Trip’, I believe you will be having a pre-release of an album track on the 6th September. What is this track and what is it all about?

Aly: Yes that is the 6th this Friday we release the pre-release track. This is an album track called ‘Steal Your Love’ which is one of the 3 covers on the album, this one being written by Lucinda Williams. It’s what you call an instant gratification track.

So this Friday 6th of September is the beginning of the ITunes pre sale for the album ‘Caught in the Middle’ and whoever pre-orders gets ‘Steal Your Love’ as their instant gratification track or the track off the album that they get straight way .

 

 

MT:  Is there anything else we should know about?

Aly: People can still order from my from my pre-sale crowd funder and get a signed CD from me here http://www.alycook.com.au/the-new-cd and hope you will love what you hear and add to spotify playlist and apple music etc.

‘Steal Your Love’ Available On These Platforms

Spotify | Apple Music | iTunes | Deezer | Amazon | Tidal | YouTube

 

 

 

Links To Aly Cook

Website: http://www.alycook.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alycookmusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alycooknz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kiwialy

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/166AJiXkYyMbBFzv4SMg1E

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd0d13gJfF_04EjqrvY5XBA

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians

Aussie Rockers Grinspoon Are Back With Epic Tour: INTERVIEW


Australian Rock Band

 

Legendary Aussie rockers Grinspoon have today announced their epic Chemical Hearts national tour, set to make its way around the country in October and November, supported by The Hard Aches, Gooch Palms and Bugs.  In celebration of the tour, the band will be releasing a Chemical Hearts vinyl record on the day the tour kicks off (October 11) with a tracklist that will offer fans a nostalgic taste of what’s to come at the shows.

 

In 1997, the youthful Grinspoon uploaded the track Sickfest to triple j Unearthed, not knowing the life-changing success that was to come.  With Sickfest, Grinspoon won Unearthed’s national band comp in its first year – and for the next two months the track was the stations’ most request song.  What followed was an illustrious career, with seven albums, Top Ten ARIA chart spots, ARIA Awards, 13 ARIA nominations, more than 1,000 gigs, tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles, 7 appearances at the Big Day Out as well as slots at Homebake, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, an NRL Grand Final and a Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Melbourne.  Despite these massive achievements, Grinspoon don’t have plans to wrap things up any time soon.

The Chemical Hearts tour will be packed with hits and audience faves from the band’s festival performances over the years, but will also pay homage to their discography after the record that thrust them into the spotlight, Guide To Better Living.  It will kick off in Fremantle on October 11 at Metropolis, then move through Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle, Sydney, Gold Coast, and wrap up in Brisbane on November 8 at The Fortitude Music Hall. 

The accompanying vinyl record, Chemical Hearts, will contain some of the band’s favourite singles and a taste of the setlist from the tour.

It is with great delight that we announce a cute little sojourn around the country with Grinspoon visiting (hopefully) all of you!  We are going to be doing a little thing called Chemical Hearts.  The tour comes with the crazy new vinyl record which features (arguably) some of our favourites on wax,” says lead vocalist Phil Jamieson. “Joining us are absolute legends of the game The Hard Aches, Gooch Palms and Bugs.  These concerts will have a very exciting atmos  due to the individual scintillating performances by these amazing acts.  We’re super excited to be doing this tour.  We don’t get out much anymore and our last one focused primarily on our first record and this one will take a more broad approach to the little nuggets of songs that came between 1995 and 2013.  Sooooooo…. long story short.  TOUR – CHEMICAL HEARTS – OCTOBER / NOVEMBER ~ ripper time.  Ripper bands.  Great times.  Classic hits.”

 

INTERVIEW –

 

MT/Tracey: Hey hey hey guys, nice to cyber meet you! A band from a time I remember well; How long has it been since you’ve been on the road? 

GrinSpoon: Nice to meet you too!

We were last on the road doing the ‘Grooving the Moo’ tour in 2018.

 

MT/Tracey: For those who don’t know, you have been an iconic Aussie super band way back from the 90’s, with many successful albums, 25 top selling singles and numerous awards. How does it feel from being a band who saw major success from the day’s before streaming and social media to a whole new world of music in relation to how artists and bands now promote and market themselves through and on the internet? 

GrinSpoon: We were caught in the transition period from selling music on CD to streaming… not too much has changed in the way we deliver our music, however the income streams for bands went from record sales to mainly live performance and merchandising these days. A good song is still a good song and nothing will ever change that!

 

MT/Tracey: Most people would think that when they hear of a band coming from a small country town such as Lismore, that they would assume you all met at school, but this wasn’t the case. Can you tell us where you met and do you remember what the conversion was at that time after a few schooners, (I’m guessing)? 

GrinSpoon: The story went a little like this from memory…

Phil & I we’re playing in a band in Port Macquarie NSW called ‘CrabApple’. We decided to move the band up to Lismore (Lismore had a good music university & thriving music scene at the time). My dad was the Drum lecture at the Uni and also played in a band called ‘Goodfoot’ with Pat & Joe. The short version is we broke up the 2 bands to form Grinspoon.

 

MT/Tracey: Did you ever dream that Grinspoon would become as big as it is? 

GrinSpoon: It would be a lie to say we didn’t have big dreams for the band as all young bands should, but I think I can speak for all of us to say that there’s no way we thought that we’d be still doing GrinSpooN 20 plus years down the track.

 

MT/Tracey: As a band, is there one person who is the leader, (so to speak) or do you work and write together tossing ideas around? How do you stay focused as a band and to avoid common band disagreements in all facets, including writing, recording and making the decisions?  

GrinSpoon: Yeh there is.. Joe is the main leader but we all contribute to the writing and recording processes. We usually take a mediator/life guru (Yogi Donnan) on the road with us and have weekly counseling sessions to avoid any conflict and resolve any contentious decisions.

 

MT/Tracey: After you announced you were going in hiatus in 2013, what did you all get up to in your individual lives during this period?  

GrinSpoon: Phil continued touring solo. Joe went into the production side of music festivals. Pat opened a shop and a recording studio & I had a few mostly legal side hustles.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you collectively have a favourite album? If so, can you tell us why it’s your favourite?

GrinSpoon: For me it’s ‘Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills’…  it was great recording that one and was a really fun period for the band. We recorded it in LA and had some very memorable times 

 

MT/Tracey: I love where the name ‘Grinspoon’ came from. Can you tell our fans where you found the name?  

We got the name from Dr GrinSpooN from UCLA (he’s now Professor GrinSpooN). He wrote ‘Marijuana Reconsidered’ amongst a lot other things… We sent him a few of our albums and had some funny correspondence with him… his niece attended one of our shows in LA a while back.

 

MT/Tracey: For upcoming bands, can you tell us what the secret is of keeping a band together for so long? 

GrinSpoon: The secret to keeping a band together for this long is to treat it like a polygamist marriage… you need to spread the love equally and respect your multiple partners😎

 

MT/Tracey: There have been recent talk of rock and metal music dying, what are your thoughts on this?

GrinSpoon: Rock music is one of the best legal outlets there is…. Rock will always survive!

MT/Tracey: What else do you get up to when you’re not writing, singing and performing or hanging out at pubs? (pubs are half a joke btw)

GrinSpoon: We all have families these days so that keeps us all pretty busy outside of the band.

 

MT/Tracey: You have worked with other well-known musicians such as Chris Cheney from The Living End, Tim Rodgers and Josh Pyke. How does this work in terms of  including others in a well-recognized and formed band; what was the decision behind including special guests to record on an album with Grinspoon? 

GrinSpoon: It’s pretty cool to have people drop by when we’re recording and if there’s a song that suits it’s great to have a guest on it.

 

MT/Tracey: Any plans on new music? When can we expect a new album or EP?

GrinSpoon: We’re currently demoing some songs so fingers crossed we’ll put something out in the near future 

MT/Tracey: Since you announced your upcoming ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour, we’ve noticed it’s been sold out and more shows announced. When you initially put together a tour, is there an any kind of expectation of how they will go in terms of how the tour will sell? 

GrinSpoon: It’s always a great feeling to play to a packed room and we always hope to sell out shows.. massive thanks to our loyal fans for the continued love and support for the band… 

 

MT/Tracey: You are about to embark on your next big Australian ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour, what can fans expect? 

GrinSpoon: We’ll be playing all the songs we put together for the Chemical Hearts vinyl we’re releasing for the tour. We have some fun live tricks for the show and are taking some cool new bands – Bugs, The Gooch Palms & The Hard Aches – with us.

 

Pre-Order Vinyl: https://www.officialstores.com.au/au_en/chemical-hearts-vinyl.html

The Chemical Hearts vinyl record will be available October 11.

Grinspoon is Phil Jamieson on vocals, Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass and Kristian Hopes on drums.

 

Pre-order Chemical Hearts                     Buy tickets              Buy ticket + vinyl bundlesTour Poster

GRINSPOON ‘CHEMICAL HEARTS’ NATIONAL TOUR

 

FRI 11 OCT | METROPOLIS, FREMANTLE WA | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

SAT 12 OCT | METRO CITY, PERTH WA | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

WED 16 OCT | THE FORUM, MELBOURNE VIC  | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

FRI 18 OCT | UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA ACT | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

WED 23 OCT | ODEON THEATRE, HOBART TAS | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

SAT 26 OCT | ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA | AA

Tickets available from  http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

THURS 31 OCT | WAVES, WOLLONGONG NSW | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

FRI 1 NOV | ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, NEWCASTLE NSW | AA

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

SAT 2 NOV | HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY NSW | AA

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

THURS 7 NOV | THE STAR BROADBEACH, GOLD COAST QLD | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

FRI 8 NOV | THE FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE QLD | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

 

 

How to Choose A Website/builder and Host For Indie Artists


 

 How to Choose A Website/builder and Host For Indie Artists

 

Website

When it comes to choosing a website for your music it can be quite complexing at the beginning. From choosing a trustworthy host, a theme or even domain all come into play.

 

From my experience, there has been quite a few hosts and trials which I’ve tried and tested and it wasn’t until Music Talks grew to an extent, I tried to implement idea’s and found it was very difficult to do so, resulting in the move to a different host and re-building the entire site again.

Now, many would say, “why couldn’t you just upload the FTP file across”.  Simply because it was not at all possible.

Why You Need A Website

But let’s get back to the easier solutions for an indie artist. An artist should have at least a basic website as their base. This should be their space, their place, their own little piece of the net in which they own to send fans and business personnel.

Your website should feature your latest music, all your social media links which are easy to see, a newsletter subscription, contact details, pictures of you, and video if you have any.

These are the basics and should be kept up to date!

You can even have a private portal for PR purposes only so you can include your latest music and PR release for download to radio, management or other business industry professionals.

 

WIX/WEEBLY

The easiest and cheapest solution without having your own domain name as a stand-alone domain name, is either Wix or Weebly. (you can have your name in the URL, but it will be set up as a sub-domain) This means that your name will be at the beginning of the URL and end with either Wix or Weebly. (See Example here: https://traceyarbon.wixsite.com/musictalks-xyz-old/home)

 

Wix or Weebly providers require little to no coding experience and provide a drag and drop builder. Once you learn and know where everything is, it is quite easy and very fast to just get in there and do what you need; well at least that’s the aim of it, and should be that way.

I did find by using Wix, that it took quite a long time to upload pictures and quite often during my experience in the editor, the site editor would freeze. (however, this could be due to the fact that the site just became too big and I was on it every day.)  

Wix only offers the plugins they have on offer and nothing outside, unless you have coding skills. And I did find that by using Wix, the SEO was affected. I believe this is also the case with Weebly.

However, it is very good for a simple site for artists at very little cost.

If you do like to purchase your own domain name, I would suggest not to purchase from Wix itself. Wix is locked in with  Network Solutions, which means, should you wish to re-locate your domain with a different host, you are unable to transfer your domain immediately. If you do wish to transfer your domain, it takes 60 days, which will mean your site will be offline for that period of time. You can point your domain to your new host if you do not wish to take 2 months off the web. 

The other disadvantage is with Wix, is that you cannot download your FTP, which consists of all of your content. This means your blogs, pictures etc. can not be downloaded all at once in one file. You have to copy and paste every single article into your new site or onto a word document and be super organized.

You can download your pictures one at a time.

So, if you plan on building your site into a huge blog site or E-commerce site, I would not suggest Wix.

However, I do stress that it is perfect for the simple few pages of an artist for their music, gig dates, have a base place for fans or business personnel and to sell your music directly from Wix. You will need a Paypal account set up for this as well.

If you do want to purchase your domain, I would recommend Namecheap, Bluehost or Go Daddy. There are quite a few to choose from.

Namecheap and Go Daddy also have website builders available for free as well, with hosting at very good rates and support is average.

 

To Upgrade to one of the premium packages for Wix, which allows your own domain, begin at $10usd a month but does not give much bandwidth or any e-commerce features, nor your own email.  Email accounts need to be purchased separately and can be done through Wix, but is a G-Suite email account.

You can see what they have on offer here. https://www.wix.com/upgrade/website

A domain name alone will cost you around $15USD a year from a separate host if you choose to purchase this outside of Wix.

laptop

 

WORDPRESS

The other options are WordPress. So many options will have your head spinning,

However, to build a simple site for an artist, you can set this up with a simple WordPress theme for free.

You will need hosting and purchase your own domain name. Using WordPress has so many options available and it is nice and fast.

The down side of WordPress, is if you are always needing to add content on a daily basis it can take a bit longer, and you need to be on top of understanding more about certain aspects of how a site works. But hey, with so many using it around the world, it can’t be too hard.

If you are using WordPress for a large site, you need to keep an eye on your plugins and their updates, as they can break your site. Word press hosts also usually have unlimited email accounts and sub-domains included in their plans. Shared hosting is the normal option and is absolutely fine to use for sites that are not huge businesses. 

 

SQUARESPACE

Other options are Squarespace,  which looks amazing, but I think are quite expensive after looking into it, but super easy to use, fast, have great themes and looks to be able to do it all. However, you will need to pay for all the bells and whistles.

 

For a simple artist website, you would be looking at paying approx. $23USD a month if paid annually on the Basic Commerce package, which includes a checkout page should you wish to sell merchandise. Squarespace does not include emails either and needs to be purchased in addition to paying for hosting.

 

BANDZOOGLE

Bandzoogle looks like a fantastic option for artists and if you are looking at paying a little bit and get a lot, then this looks to be perfect. Prices here: https://bandzoogle.com/pricing

Bandzoogle don’t require coding skills. Email account is not included and to be paid annually in addition to hosting fees.

I could keep going, but it really does depend on how much you can afford to pay, and what you need on your site.

My recommendations from my own personal experience with website builders – in order from Free to paid purely for independent artists are:

 

  1. Wix/Weebly – https://www.wix.com (free version)
  2. Bandzooglehttps://bandzoogle.com
  3. Squarespace – https://www.squarespace.com
  4. Namecheap – https://www.namecheap.com 

 

Two other platforms/hosts with domain and easy building platform which I have not used, but also look good are:

 https://www.jimdo.com

https://www.site123.com/

 

Other Recommendations

When looking at hosts check/ask what their uptime/speed is.

If you wish to become familiar with WordPress, expect to learn and take the time to work it out.

Recommended hosts for use with WordPress are:

 

  1. Namecheap – https://www.namecheap.com
  2. Hostgator – https://www.hostgator.com
  3. Hostpapa – https://www.hostpapa.com  (very good support)

 

Again, it does depend how much control you want over your site. As you will see, many sites with builders do not include your own emails and have to be purchased separately, so the cost can add up.

When using word press, as mentioned above, you will only need to pay for the hosting, any paid plugins (but there are many for free), and if the host does not offer a SSL certificate (which is recommended), you will need to pay for that. Check the hosting packages and what it includes. Word Press can end up being the cheapest option, but requires a bit more work.

If you want to save money and have your own domain with emails and subdomains, I would highly recommend using WordPress. You can also update and change themes. You are in full control.

Hope I haven’t confused you.

Ella Fence’s Vocals are Intense And Outstanding with ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’ 

Ella Fence’s Vocals are Intense And Outstanding with ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’

SINGER

Ella Fence

“Don’t Feed The Monster”

If you haven’t heard of Ella Fence then you’ve been missing out.

Ella’s earlier recordings consisted of strong beats and dark moody emotions which I loved.  

I’ve seen Ella progress with her new music since those early days and have to admit, I was a little concerned that the beautiful dark mood had evaporated.

After hearing this latest release of ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’, I’m pleased to say all my fears have been laid to rest.

Ella’s well-known distinctive style of dark moody and captivating melodies show in a rather different light in ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’.

Fence’s vocals are outstanding as it shows her vocal ability in a way where she doesn’t need to “show off”, moving from one octave to another using clear crisp falsetto bouncing from the lower register combined with her exceptional vibrato adding intensity in the verses making her performance enthralling.

‘Don’t Feed The Monster’ almost feels like a rock musical piece with synth arpeggio’s and sound effects floating around her vocal helping the track carry through while she feeds that monster.

The obvious component that can’t go unnoticed, is the simplicity and space and the clear message about feeding the monster, which I believe makes you want to set this track on repeat.    

One more thing….listen to the scream  after the bridge!

Love it! 

5 out of 5  Purple Hearts from Tracey

DON’T FEED THE MONSTER

https://ellafencemusic.lnk.to/DontFeedTheMonster

Ella Fence’s Vocals are Intense And Outstanding with ‘Don’t Feed The Monster’

Christine Anu on Indigenous Australia, Music and Aretha Franklin

 

 

Australian Female Singer

 

Australia’s iconic Indigenous entertainer, Christine Anu, is returning to stages nationwide to celebrate the life and legacy of legendary soul diva Aretha Franklin in her hugely successful show, REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook.

In this must-see show, Christine delivers a passionate and energetic performance to pay tribute to her idol, the Queen of Soul, who passed away on the 16th August 2018.

During the show, Christine will sing Aretha’s most memorable and powerful tunes, including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Angel, Today I Sing The Blues and many more unforgettable classics.

Christine will also sing songs from her own incredible back catalogue of hits, including the iconic My Island Home and Sunshine On A Rainy Day.

“I’m thrilled to be bringing my REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook show to venues in NSW, Canberra, Victoria and Western Australia in the second half of 2019,” Christine – who provides the big vocals, the glitz and the glamour of a true diva in one of her most captivating performances to- date – said.

“I grew up listening to Aretha. She is one of my greatest influences and an idol.

“I believe she is the greatest soul singer of our time and I’m truly grateful to have the opportunity to pay tribute to this wonderful woman in this way,” Christine added.

REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook was initially performed in 2012 to coincide with Aretha’s 70th birthday and the release of Christine’s album of the same title. The show has been brought back in 2019 after popular demand and a number of sold out performances.

To add to this, Christine has just wrapped-up her two and a half year tour of her In Conversation and Song show, which saw her perform to approximately 45,000 people in intimate settings at theatres, galleries, festivals and schools. Australian Singer

Christine’s illustrious career spans more than 20-years in theatre, dance, music and children’s entertainment.

During this time, she’s amassed multiple awards, including five ARIAs, eight Deadlys, a Green Room Award for Best Actress in a Musical and she’s won Song of the Year for her chart-topping hit, My Island Home.

She’s also had gold and platinum albums, and was recently the first recipient of the Australian Songwriters Associations inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Australian First Nations music.

Christine has appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, as well as in The Matrix Reloaded, Dating the Enemy and most recently, in the Australian film, UNSOUND.

She’s also had roles in a number of TV series including Wildside, The Alice, Playschool, Outland, Black Comedy, Kiki and Kitty and many more.

Currently, Christine is the host of the national radio show, Evenings across Australia, on Friday and Saturday nights on ABC Radio.

Show dates:

Saturday, 24th August – Riverside Theatre (Parramatta, NSW)

Saturday, 7th September – Freo. Social (Fremantle, WA)

Thursday, 12th September – Canberra Southern Cross Club (Canberra)

Thursday, 19th September – Brass Monkey (Cronulla, NSW)

Saturday, 19th October – Wyndham Cultural Centre (Weribee, Victoria)

Saturday 26th October – Montreal Community Theatre (Tumut, NSW)

Saturday 2nd November – Jetty Theatre (Coffs Harbour, NSW)

Saturday 9th November – The Vanguard (Newtown, NSW)

 

Christine Anu has been gracing Australian and overseas audiences for over 30 years, from her first big hit, ‘My Island Home’ with many more following. Christine has also performed and worked with the likes of Paul Kelly, Neil Murray, Archie Road, Renee Geyer to name a few and made several acting performances in TV and Film including ‘Dating The Enemy’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ as well as several stage musicals.

Christine is about to embark on her REWIND – The Aretha Franklin Songbook Show and I caught up with Christine just before she hits the road.

Listen to the podcast here, or via iTunes, YouTube or iHeart Radio.

 

LISTEN TO OUR Podcast With Christine Anu

 

 

 

Links to Christine Anu

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/anuchristine/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/anuchristine

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialChristineAnu/

ABC EVENINGS: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nationalevenings/evenings/11307198

 

 

  

THE LIFE IN A CULT, the music and inspiration with  KATEY BROOKS  


Katey Brooks is a clear-eyed rebel in an industry that demands consistency. A devastating songwriting talent that has drawn comparisons with Jeff Buckley (Supajam), Brooks has no shortage of famous admirers and yet she has resisted formula.

Over a career spanning four continents, she’s journeyed from intimate living rooms to opulent concert halls, from dive bars to decorated studios with some of music’s biggest names. The wandering troubadour defies easy classification, with a back-catalogue incorporating soul, folk, blues and country.

It was really nice to interview Katey on lots of different things. 

Singer Katey Brooks


MT/Tracey: Hello Katey so nice to cyber meet you! We’ve had your music on Music Talks a few times and we are a huge fan of you. Your music has been compared with the great Jeff Buckley; who are your inspirations; who did you and do you still listen to?  

Katey: HI!  Lovely to meet you too!  Ooh so many. Growing up I listened to John Lennon, Elvis, Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox and many more.  These days I still listen to them, with the addition of artists like The War on Drugs, The National, The Staves, Matt Corby, Foy Vance, Hozier, Florence and The Machine.  God the list would be endless!

MT: Ultimately who makes the decisions on which of your music is recorded and released? 

Katey: Me

MT: Do you consciously sit down to write a song or do you always have your guitar nearby for when the moment or feeling comes over you to just sit down and sing/write out of the blue? 

Katey: A bit of both really.  And if there’s no guitar I just record a vocal on my phone for a later date.

MT: Do you have a particular formula for how you write? 

Katey: No, but I have habits.  I tend to just pick up my guitar and see what comes out.  Other times I will hear a whole song clearly and write in all of 15 minutes. And if I’m with my pianist he’ll start playing something on the keys, and I’ll just start singing a melody and some lyrics, and when the first raw spurt of inspiration is done, I go off and put it together.  It’s different every time.

MT: Your personal life journey is certainly not one to be wished upon anyone. How did you find that it was the music which was your connection to finding your words and feelings? 

Katey: It just connected.  It’s hard to describe.  It just feels good/healing/moving when I listen to or write music, so I keep doing it.  I think my mind depends on it!

MT: Many artists who try their hand at writing music, often ask common questions such as, ‘how do you write your songs’. How much of an impact has your personal journey had on your music and writing? 

Katey:  Massively.  I can’t imagine writing what I do without it.  I think above all it’s added a lot of emotion to my voice and my words, or at least that’s what gets remarked upon the most.

MT: What would your advice be to young upcoming or less experienced artists or musicians  in regards to either writing or performing? 

Katey: Whatever you’re doing, do it with total authenticity.  Don’t try to be anyone else – it doesn’t work.  And work on your craft.  Always put that first. I didn’t do that for years and instead I coasted on my natural abilities.  It’s not the way to be, you can always be better. 

MT: There is an incredible sense of soul and hope when listening to you sing, when you are singing your songs live, how much do you lose yourself within the songs you are singing and comparing that to how much do you feel you are performing them to the audience?

 

Woman
Photo – John Morgan

Katey:  That’s a really great question – one I’ve not been asked before!  It all depends on the show, the audience, the sound, the song, and how I’m feeling that day.  I don’t think I ever ‘perform’ fully, it’s always me being me. When I’ve tried to do that in the past it’s always felt a little awkward and unreal, but I definitely make sure I’m holding my sh*t down.  To the same degree, I wouldn’t say I completely lose myself very often, because I’m always concerned about giving a good show. My mind can be full of questions and analysis as I’m playing – although that’s my mind off stage as well!  The time I most switch off is when I’m writing and recording to be honest, because I can be fearlessly creative without worrying about what anybody else is thinking. There are of course those magical moments on stage when you feel completely at one with the song, yourself, and everyone in the room.  That’s very special, and what keeps people like me coming back for more!

MT: Personally, I’m loving, ‘All Of Me’, like really loving it. What a song! Can you tell the readers a bit more about this song? 

Katey:  Thank you!! It was a process that spanned across a few years.  I started it when I was dating someone totally unpredictable.  One minute she’d be travelling across the country to see me play for half an hour, and telling me she’d fallen for me, and the next she’d disappear.  We had had one of those instant connections when we met, which had taken me aback so much that, in hindsight, I held on for longer than was self-respectful.  That feeling doesn’t come around around everyday, and I think I hoped it would just eventually come together. Then fast forward two years and I’m in the studio recording my new album Revolute, and I’m in a situation with a similar level of ambivalence. Different behaviour and situation though –  this was an ex who had always been completely doting and dedicated when we were together, but after a split, and then an attempt to rekindle (which came from her) her behaviour became unpredictable and incongruent. At that time I remembered the song I had started to write, and knew it was time to finish it. I felt I finally had the inspiration to do it justice. I love the way songs do that to you. They decide when and where they want to be written, whether it takes 15 minutes or 15 years. They are their own world.

MT: I saw the official video clip for ‘All Of Me’, and read a comment from you in regards to how much fun it was to make it. Are the storyboard or ideas of your music video’s your ideas? 

Katey: I always come with a vision and an idea of what I want, yes.  I can’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t! Because it’s so personal, and I’m also a bit of a control freak where my work is concerned *hides face*.  With All of Me I knew I needed to be dancing with someone, and it felt like it needed to be a waltz because the song is in ¾ time, so it has a swing to it.  And I felt it needed to be pretty raw and intimate between myself and the person playing my love interest, but done in a tasteful and beautiful way. I also felt it needed to be super natural and authentic, so instead of asking an actress I asked a friend who fit the physical description in my mind, but also happened to be someone I knew I could relax and have fun with.  However none of these feelings and ideas would go anywhere without Michael Sides (Director and Editor) He was and is amazing (he also made In Your Arms, and Never Gonna Let Her Go) He has this wonderful way of listening to your ideas, coming back with a stack of his own, and then quickly going off and putting something awesome together, as if it’s all just very easy!  I love that. He makes the whole process extremely chilled, and then he produces a beautiful finished product.  

MT: Can you tell us what went on behind the scenes of shooting ‘All Of Me’?

Katey:  Well, I can tell you there was quite a lot of wine consumed… The estate we filmed on (King’s Weston House in Bristol) was really beautiful, and the sun was shining, so we’d sit outside and drink prosecco during breaks.  The dance scenes were pretty intense…so much so that we’d all have to take a breather between takes (!)  My love interest Fleur did a phenomenal job – she made it so easy to relax and be real. As neither of us are actresses, there was always a small concern in the back of my mind that we could get there and it would be awkward or ‘wooden’, but that didn’t happen, we just had fun and didn’t take ourselves too seriously.  

MT: Apart from writing from life experiences, have you tried writing about something completely the opposite to writing a song for the sake of having to try and write a song?  

Katey: I’ve written for many different reasons and in different ways yes.  My favourite is definitely the life experience one though. Probably because it’s most natural and there’s a wealth of inspiration!

MT: I understand that you grew up in a cult. I’m very curious to know, what kind of cult and what was that like? 

Katey: I don’t feel to go into too many specifics at this stage, but I can talk a little about what it was like.  It was chaotic, dramatic, and terrifying in moments, on a frequent basis.  But I thought that was completely normal because it was all I knew. There was a broad spectrum of people – from those who should be in prison, to those in need of treatment for severe mental ill health, and those like my mum – sweet, kind, a little naive, and just searching for a sense of belonging.  The kids were an add-on – an inconvenience to be silenced, or used in some way – never a precious and vulnerable little being. If you stepped out of line you tended to be punished with everybody’s favourite tool – shame. It wasn’t a fun experience that’s for sure.  However, it also brought some very special people into my life, back then, and as a result in present day, so if I had the option to change it, I don’t think I would. 

MT: Did you feel a part of the cult, or did you feel differently to others there? 

Katey: I don’t think I felt ‘a part’ of it, but I think I wanted to believe in it, so I very much ‘talked the talked’ for a while.  But like I said I was very young, so it was all I knew.  

MT: How did you get into the cult in the first place? 

Katey: My mum.  She had not long since split from my dad and she was looking for a sense of belonging and meaning. She just happened to find it in the wrong place.

MT: How easy was it to leave the cult and how did you manage to do this?  

Katey: I don’t really remember to be honest because my mum dealt with it.  One day we just moved to Bristol, and that was it. So I guess it was easy – for me anyway!

MT: A part from your music, what hobbies or past times do you enjoy? 

Katey: Well, I always find myself saying this in interviews (so I should probably do something about it hah!) but over the past few years finding time for hobbies has been challenging.  Or rather, making time for hobbies, as it is my choice.  But when I do make time I love film, surfing, snooker (yep haha), squash, dancing, climbing (or at least I’m desperate to get back into it) and most importantly, hanging out with good friends.

MT: What’s your typical day like? 

Katey: Work, work, work and more work haha.  That can be on my laptop answering a lovely interview like this, sending emails, social media, creating/editing promo videos, playing my guitar, writing, meetings…It’s hard to say specifically because the is just pretty endless! And I’m also a manager at a venue in London, so that takes up a large portion of time.  But I’m definitely not complaining, I absolutely love my work, I like interesting projects and I thrive on being busy I guess.   

MT: What’s next for you? Any touring coming up? 

Katey:  Yes.  There are sporadic dates and festivals throughout the UK this year, an Italian tour in November, a US trip in September, a Canadian tour in the works for later this year, and more structured tours being prepped for next year!

MT: Any chance of coming to Australia? 

Katey: Hell yeah.  Very very soon.  It’ll be my fourth tour and I can’t wait – I LOVE Aus.  Watch this space!

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

Katey: Just thank you for the questions and for supporting the music, and thank you to you the reader for reading.  I hope you all enjoy the new record!

Thank you so much for your time Katey, I really appreciate it, and all the very best with Revolute! 

 

 

ALAN’s Passion with ISR Radio

 

Alan

ISR Radio is one of those independent radio stations that plays it all. From live radio show’s to podcasts, various genre’s to cater for everyone, but most importantly, great indie music with a relaxed and fun atmosphere. 

I found myself laughing as I was listening to ISR’s Saturday night live show as the host and founder of ISR radio, Alan, was testing a few things out. 

Majority of internet radio is usually one, or perhaps two show’s a week; however ISR mixes it up with various shows from various other internet radio DJ’s and show’s combined in one place, giving ISR a rather appealing platform to go to. 

 

I had a great chat with Alan to find out a bit more about his radio station, ISR. 

 

 

MT/Tracey: Hello Alan, great to have this chat with you. I have so many questions. Firstly, when did ISR begin?

Alan: Tracey, it is my honor to speak with you about ISR Los Angeles, and I want to congratulate you on your recent ISSA Nomination!I’m up for presenter and station of the year, and can’t wait to go to the Awards Show August 4th! 

 Where it began, well,  it was September of 2017. I had just lost my mother and my grandmother in a 2 month span, and was feeling pretty low. At the time I was doing Spreaker shows, but I felt as though I wasn’t getting anywhere. Just when I was about to give up on broadcasting, I started receiving music from several artists looking for airplay on my channel. When I heard the quality of these songs, from Jennifer Mlott, Danielle Haskell, Madison Mueller and others, it motivated me to start The Indie Star Radio Network, which became Indie Star Radio, and Now ISR Los Angeles. 

 

MT: What is your role at the station that you find yourself doing day in and day out?  

Alan: Mostly promoting. Sharing the Live 365 station as much as I can as well as the vast number of Podcasts on our Podcast Network is almost a full time job in itself! But I’m blessed to be able to promote such great talent! Because that’s what we are. We are a platform to promote independent talent. 

 

MT: How many listeners do you have in your community? 

Alan: Honestly, it varies. Some days I can’t believe how many people are tuned in to ISR Los Angeles on Live365, or how many people are listening to the podcasts! I can tell you that we have thousands of listeners on Live365 and our podcasts have been listened to or downloaded nearly 23,000 times since the platform started. 

 

MT: What did you do before you decided to start up your own radio network?

Alan: I’ve been playing drums in several bands since 1995, most notably with the punk band The Dawgs from 02-04. After that, I kind of bounced around playing a show here or there. When I became a family man, I came to the realization late night gigs followed by early work hours were gonna kill me. But I needed something, so I enrolled in the RRFC in 2013 to study broadcasting. After graduation, I started my own podcasts and worked with several outfits including the Intellexual Network as well as a brief stint at Music Mafia Radio. After years of stops and starts and not really feeling like I was doing something I loved, I went full on into the network, where I could promote my vision and do what I love to do; find great new talent, and broadcast them Rick Dees style!  

 

MT: I’ve noticed that it’s built up quite nicely, incorporating other radio shows from other great indie stations and DJ’s. Can you explain a bit more about how this works?

Alan: Like most of this, quite by accident. I received an email one day from Ann Thatcher over at the Balcony Show asking if I wanted to play their show. I said sure. From there, I picked up several shows along the way including The Independent Music Show with Tom Lambert, JJ Kane’s New Music Show, The Chris Top Program, The Chuck Vans Show, Kickin’ Country w/ Rob and Jenn, The New Music Food Truck, and The Celebefex Show with James Walsh. I offered to use my platform to get their shows listed on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and about 15 other hosts that I’ve come to know over the years, as well as to carry some of the shows on Live365. As for how it works, its pretty easy: The DJ’s send me their programs, and I schedule them on our platform. Its another avenue for these Independent Show Producers to get their shows out there and heard to a larger audience, and I’m happy to do it because it diversifies the platform, making it enjoyable for everyone. 

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MT: Who else is involved with ISR and what are their roles? Who are all the DJ’s and shows you have?  

Alan: Wow..So many People. First and foremost Ash is my right hand. She does everything from promotions to posters to social media work, t-shirt design, hell, she even ran the station for a while recently! Her willingness to help in any way is shocking and flattering to me, and I can’t thank her enough. Justin, he’s the fearless talent booker for ISR Insider. Because of him, we’ve had former Voice contestants, American Idol Contestants, Contestants on The Four, and some of the best up and coming talent to interview. He also keeps it all straight for me as far as scheduling so all I have to do is talk, which is what I do best! I mentioned the DJ’s from the other shows earlier; I see them as partners. They allow me to run quality programming, I give them a place to showcase their programs. And of course, I cannot forget John Matthews, well known Photographer, who has helped me with all facets of web design. Tracey Noelle Smith, whose enthusiasm helps with more spiritual aspects of the platform, and of course, my diehards who never fail to show up for a live show! 

 

MT: Are you looking for other radio shows to collaborate with? If so, do you actively look to find shows that fit your brand/profile or can DJ’s of their own shows contact you?  

Alan: I’m always open to receiving new programming! As far as brand, it may sound kind of dumb in todays world, but I’m not really all that concerned with a brand. I feel that if you offer a wide variety of shows, good consistent content, that becomes your brand. 

 

MT: How do you operate and manage to cover the costs associated with running an independent radio station or network?

Alan: I work. LOL

Other than that, I have one sponsor who helps with the cost and had one Patron for a while. Mostly though, all the expenses come out of my paycheck. 

 

MT: You know, I’ve gone to listen to your show, but apparently, it’s not available in Australia via the 365 Network.  I understand it’s only available in US, Canada and England. How can those in other countries gain access to hear your station? (other than purchasing a VPN of course)

Alan: I’m glad you asked! All of the podcasts are available on demand, and even the live shows on Saturdays, which start at 3 PM pacific and go until 9PM Pacific with a break between 5 and 6 at  www.spreaker.com/indiestarradio, and many are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeart Radio. I’d love to see people from around the world come visit in the Spreaker chat room!  However, as for a live streaming option, thats still in the works due to licensing laws and what not.  

 

MT: Which shows are live? Do you do pre-recorded shows?  

Alan: ISR Saturday Night and Kickin’ Country with Rob and Jenn are recorded live on Spreaker and go off, like I mentioned on Saturdays. Most of the shows are prerecorded and run in podcast form. However, starting very soon, through the magic of Spacials own SAM Broadcaster software, one will be able to hear those live shows on the Live365 platform simulcast, which we are very excited about!

 

MT: How do you find the music you play?  

Alan: I’d say 95 percent of it has been through artists uploading their music to our website www.isrradiola.com, or by them sending it to my email isrradiola@gmail.com . Once in a great while, I’ll find someone and reach out to see if they want to be on the station, but mostly its by submission. I listen to every submission before they hit the airwaves. 

 

MT: Just wondering how many hours a week do you work in ISR, and do you also work another job to help you eat? 

Alan: I’d say I work between 20-25 hours a week on the station in various facets whether it be promoting, website management, talking with artists, doing interviews, the list goes on and on. On top of this, I have had a career in the Steel Industry for almost 20 years on the sales side. I’m lucky to have a career, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be eating that’s for sure. And probably not able to do all this. 

 

MT: Where would you like to see ISR radio in a few years time? 

Alan: As a place where greatness is discovered, and the best up and coming music is heard first. 

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

Alan: I’d like to thank you for this time, allowing me to chat about this passion of mine. I hope your readers enjoy it, and tune in to ISR Los Angeles! 

Thank you so much for your time Alan, I really appreciate it. 

LINKS TO ISR RADIO

Website: https://www.isrradiola.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISRRadioLA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/isrradiolosangeles/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isr_la/

Spreaker: https://www.spreaker.com/user/indiestarradio

iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/966-indie-star-insider-28735004/

 

The Life Of Amber Lawrence and “Spark”

 

 

Amber Lawrence

Four-time Golden Guitar winner, Australian singer-songwriter, Amber Lawrence is back with her 6th studio album, ‘Spark’.

Recently celebrating her wedding and the birth of her son, Spark and it’s 10 songs reflect these new milestones in Ambers life that she shares in her own style of songwriting – deeply personal, fun and energetic singalong songs alongside some heartfelt ballads.

 

It’s been almost 3 years since Amber’s last solo release – ‘Happy Ever After’. In that short time Amber has released two children’s albums (The Kids Gone Country and Aussie Aussie Christmas), released a collaboration with Travis Collins (Our Backyard), won three Golden Guitar Awards in 2018, performed her original work ‘100 Year Handshake’ in New York for the President of the United States, co-hosted the 2019 Golden Guitar Awards, began hosting her own radio show for iHeart Country Australia (receiving a nomination for Top 10 New Radio Talent to watch)… and met and married the love of her life and gave birth to a baby boy, Ike, in August 2018.

 

Produced by ARIA-nominated Stuart Stuart of Analog Heart Studio (Sheppard, The Veronicas), ‘Spark’ is a collection of deeply personal stories that speak directly to the listener with messages of resilience, individuality and finding true love, in the form of catchy pop-country songs that you just can’t seem to get out of your head. Songs such as first single Outrageous, with lyrics such as “I don’t have a Plan B just because I should’, ‘I Get It Now’ reflecting on the special relationship she shares with her mother, Lorraine and ‘Everlast’ & ‘Hell to Hallelujah’ which are both a declaration of love to new husband, Marty. The powerful album opener ‘Heart’ is a song about fight and survival which the album title ‘Spark’ is lifted from and the song lyrics will serve as the theme song for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Gold Telethon in June 2019.

 

Every song on the album was written or co-written by Amber between Australia and Nashville, which makes it so much more intimate to listen to, as Amber lets you into her personal life with sincere and beautiful dedications to those she cares most about. 

Listen to our awesome chat on our Guest Talks Podcast and make sure you take a listen to her album, Spark! 

‘Spark’ is out everywhere NOW! 

 

 

Amber will also be on tour from May 2019 – tour dates below.        

Sat 22 June – Sawtell RSL

Sun 23 June – Coutts Crossing Hall

Sat 27 July – Upper Hunter Farmers Benefit, Aberdeen

Sun 11 Aug – The Entrance Country Music Festival

Sat 12 Oct – Cruisin Country

Fri 25 Oct – Astor Hotel, Goulburn

Sat 26 Oct – Shoalhaven Bowls and Rec Club

Sun 27 Oct – The Oaks Hotel, Albion Park

Fri 1 & Sat 2 Nov – Murgon Muster ‘Your Town Your Tour’

Fri 15 Nov – Paterson School of Arts ‘Your Town Your Tour’

Sat 23 Nov – The Juniors South Sydney

Fri 6 Dec – Oberon Carols ‘Your Town Your Tour’

Sat 14 Dec – Matraville Carols

 

Podcast with Amber Lawrence

 

* At the beginning of this podcast there were some connection issues with Skype, however this only lasts for approx. 10 secs.

LINKS TO AMBER LAWRENCE

Website: www.amberlawrence.com.au

Facebook; facebook.com/amberlawrencemusic

Instagram: instagram.com/amberlawrencemusic

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/lozzafield

 

The Rise and Success Of Australia’s X-Factor Runner Up Jason Owen

It’s been an exciting run for Jason Owen since his successful performances on Australia’s X-Factor which lead him to runner up position in 2012.

Jason has since released four albums proving he is an artist here to stay. With chart-topping success with a #1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart and #5 on the Australian National Chart with his debut album, ‘Life Is A Highway’, followed by his original hits, from ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Proud’ Album which also celebrates his First Nations background, and features Australia’s most iconic female Indigenous entertainer, Christine Anu with the title track, Proud.

 

Australian Country Singer Jason Owen

His most recent album, ‘Jason Owen Sings John Denver: The 20th Anniversary’, is a labour of love which pays tribute to his Pop and the legendary American singer-songwriter, John Denver.

Jason has continued to grow into a genuine country artist following his success on X Factor.

He has entertained audiences around the country for album tours and at popular events, including the Tamworth Country Music Festival, CMC Rocks the Hunter, the ACE Awards and the Sony Foundation’s Wharf4Ward event, which raises funds for youth cancer care. 

He also has a Golden Guitar and three Country Music Channel (CMC) Award nominations to his name in categories including New Oz Artist of the Year and Male Artist of the Year.

More recently, Jason popped the question to long-time girlfriend and now fiancee, Becy Harvey, and is now back in the studio and working on new material.   

I had a chat with Jason to find out more about what he’s been up to since X-Factor and what’s a head for this talented young man. 


MT/Tracey: Hey Jason, great to meet you. Firstly, at what age did you begin your music career?

Jason: I’ve been singing pretty much all my life. I started singing professionally when I was lucky enough to get my break on X Factor. I had just turned 18 when I was on X Factor. 

MT: Since your TV appearance on Australia’s X-Factor, how much impact did the show have on working in the music industry?

Jason: It had a huge impact! It was a great experience to get mentally ready for an industry that throws a lot of challenges. As they say on the show – the whole experience was to teach us what it would be like working as a true music artist. It wasn’t so much about teaching us about the music industry, but it did mentally prepare me for performing live to an audience, how to manage nerves, and how to be quick off the mark and be ready for absolutely anything.

MT: Did your family listen to much music? Who did you listen to while growing up?

Jason: I grew up in a small town that is 140 kms west of Dubbo. It’s called Albert, and it comprises of 12 people. My family own the pub out there and as a result I grew up around a lot of jukebox music. John Denver was a huge inspiration for me as a kid because my Pop absolutely loves John Denver’s music. My latest album, Jason Owen Sings John Denver: The 20th Anniversary, actually pays homage to the legendary John Denver and my Pop. 

Australian Country Singer Jason Owen

I listen to a lot of different music – music from artists like Willie Nelson and John Denver, through to Celine Dion. I grew up around a huge variety of music – music far different to what people my age [when I was a teenager] were listening to at the time. Great music and music that is well and truly alive today. I’m blessed to be able to perform theses songs – the songs that people love.

MT: Coming from a small town and before performing on the X-Factor, did you perform for your home town audience at all? 

Jason: Yes, I did. My family are very musically oriented. I grew up surrounded by music in my family and many of them gigged at the local pub. My uncle actually played guitar for Brian Cadd many, many years ago. And my aunty Michelle, she is doing a lot pub gigs in Albert and surrounding areas. When I was 13-years-old, I would go and do shows with her. That’s how I really got my start in music and from those performances, it made me really think about pursuing a career in music.  

MT: Are you from a farming family? 

 

Jason: No, I’m not from a farming family. I am from a small town. My dad owns the local service station and the pub. I did however, grow up doing some work on the land and spending a lot of time with my friends on their properties. 

It’s heartbreaking at the moment to see how much they are struggling with the drought. To see your best friends and their families struggling through difficult times, it just breaks your heart completely.  Last year, I released a song in aid of the farmers and it was used to raise money for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners. It’s called These Are The Times. I worked it out with the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, that $1000 would get a truck of hay on the road. It’s just a matter of finding the feed.  I’m doing my best to raise between $10,000 – $15,000 so essential feed can be donated to those farmers who need it the most during this terrible drought. If your readers want to donate, the  Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have their own website. I’ve donated show profits and money raised from the single to them over the years. 

MT: I’ve noticed that you now have a HUGE following. How did you find interacting with a town from 12 people to then over 215K between Twitter, Facebook & Instagram? That’s a very big difference! 

Jason: It’s huge. I still haven’t comprehended it yet. I love what I do and I’m so honoured by all the support. Social media is definitely a different kettle of fish to growing up in a town of 12 people. There is so many people watching what I do. It’s very different, but I’m incredibly humbled by all the well wishes and support that I receive from my followers.  However, I do have days where I struggle and get a bit anxious about what I’ve posted because almost a quarter of million people are watching what I post. But on the other hand, I have the opportunity to share my experiences with others – something that would not normally happen if social media wasn’t around. 

Jason Owen AlbumMT: Since recording Your debut album, ‘Life Is A Highway’ which had huge success with it debuting at #1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart as well as # 5 on the Australian National Chart, how easy or difficult was it to follow through with your subsequent albums keeping the same standard or Improve on that? And was that at all in your mind? 

Jason: It’s never an easy thing to follow up on something like that! I came out from the show [X Factor] and recorded a strong album, with songs people loved. We wanted to keep the next album to that standard. But it’s never an easy task to maintain that success and we did our best to record an album that included people’s favourites once again. Lucky for me, it was an album people liked and it did place within the top 10 of the album charts. It was phenomenal and to do it two times in a row. It literally blew my mind!

MT: I’ve seen a recent video of your rendition of the great power ballad, ‘The Power Of Love’, (awesome btw) this is obviously not a country track, but you’ve made it into your own, as well as your most recent album paying tribute to the late great John Denver. Do have a personal preference to the style of music or genre? 

Jason: Every artist has a genre, but for me, the thing is that I’ve sort of gone in and out of genres throughout my career, including POP to country to country POP. It’s sort of been borderline the last few years. I don’t specifically sit in one genre. I think my music is always blended between a couple of genres each and every time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. If it’s music that people enjoy, that’s all I care about. I don’t care to be pigeonholed to one genre, as long as I am singing songs that people like.  

MT: Do you write your own music? Or co-write with other people? If so, have you also written a song for your fiancé yet? (Congratulations btw….   thank you Tracey)

Jason: I wrote a song for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners called These Are The Times and I also co-wrote the song Proud. I sang a duet with the beautiful Christine Anu on that song. 

I do write and I do co-write. I’m not the strongest writer. I don’t have enough experience in the field just yet, but I’m working on improving my songwriting abilities. And, I am also working on a song for my fiancée, but I’m not quite ready to release it to the world. I love to co-write. If I have someone to bounce off, then I can have a song written in just a few hours. When I’m on my own, I sometimes doubt my own song writing abilities and then things can just go pear-shaped from there.

MT: What’s it like touring this incredible country of ours and being able to connect with so many people while on the road?  

Jason: Great question! Everywhere I play, I have the opportunity to meet new people. It’s really an honour to be able to travel around this big beautiful country of ours and thank the people who have supported me in my career, as well as make new friends along the way. Some days I feel like I’m in a dream. I honestly can’t believe that this is my life! I’m literally living my dreams. 

Single by Jason Owen MT: Where do you currently spend most of your time when you’re not on the road?  

Jason: At the moment I’m spending a lot of time at home and working on new music. 

I’ve got a brand new team of people working around me and I’m excited to be working with them on new ideas and projects. Recently, I got engaged. So, wedding plans have also started to begin.  

MT: What do you like doing in any spare time you may have apart from touring and recording music? 

Jason: I love my golf and play a bit of golf – well I try to! I also shoot clay targets. I’ve been a clay target shooter since I was 12-years-old. And I enjoy going down to the beach when I can. But with my work, it’s a bit hard to do my hobbies because there is a lot of travelling involved. 

MT: Where do you call home now? 

Jason: I’m currently living on the Central Coast, but ‘home’ will always be the bush for me. Seven years now, I’ve been travelling backwards and forwards – travelling through cities and travelling overseas. I’ve been everywhere, but there is nothing better than going back to the country and getting some fresh air.   

MT: What’s the best piece of advice that’s been given to you? 

Jason: Great question! 

The one piece of advice that has remained with me is – ‘to be yourself and never change’. I think people respect you more as a person when you remain true to yourself. Another two pieces of advice that I follow is – ‘don’t back down’ and ‘be powerful and strong’. If you want to be your very best self, you have to put in the hard work to make it happen. 

MT: Do you do anything weird, crazy or otherwise before you go on stage; like a ritual?  

Jason: Actually, I don’t have a ritual. I’m usually cool as a cucumber right before I go out on stage, then I’m a mess. I’m not really a mess! I’m just super excited to get out there and perform. The boys and I might have some drinks before we head out on stage to calm the nerves, but I don’t have any weird rituals. Might need to get one! 

MT: Where’s the next big event or concert can people see you perform? 

Jason: Bluewater Country Music Festival is my next performance. I will be playing at Broughtons at the Bay on June 8. I’m really looking forward to being apart of the Festival, hearing new music and meeting people. But most of all, I’m looking forward to having a great time and I hope the people coming to my show enjoy themselves. 

Other than that, we are working on future shows, future music and getting ready to just rock’n’roll.

MT: Awesome Jason, you know, I might even get there, I need to get away and have some good chill time listening to good music. Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

Jason: All good! Thank you for your time. 

Thank you so much for your time Jason, I really appreciate it.

Take a break and grab yourself some tickets to see Jason Owen perform next Saturday June 8.

DETAILS: