KAIIT

“Not only was it the first song I’ve ever written and released, it was also very personal to me. I got a bit overwhelmed at some points, but people have been giving me so much love for it, which is awesome.”

For most people, moving back and forth between any two places is a mean feat. For 19-year-old singer-songwriter Kaiit, it was a key part of her childhood. Between Australia and Papua New Guinea up until her late primary school years, Kaiit’s family finally decided to settle in Melbourne. She credits her heritage; however, as a major artistic influence.

“I feel my [Papua New Guinean] heritage has helped me visually, more than musically,” Kaiit tells The Real Songwriters of Melbourne.

“The ability to represent youth and young people like me who aren’t usually on TV or in videos is really important to me.”kaiitphoto.jpg

 

Kaiit believes her parents are also hugely influential in her artistry and creativity, both being artists themselves.

“Whilst [we were] in Papua New Guinea, they were both teaching at a performing arts university, which I thought was pretty cool!” she says.

This may suggest why Kaiit describes herself as primarily artistic also, even more so than musical.

“I never really studied music, apart from as an elective in school. I left high school in year 10 and started going to TAFE, where I was doing beauty, fashion and hairdressing- just trying to find out what I did and didn’t like.”

Kaiit’s cultural background, as well personality, is deeply reflected in her music. Her debut single Natural Woman, is a prime example of this. The music video was released earlier this year, and already has nearly 130 000 views on Facebook.

“The thought of the video being seen by so many people, already, is just unreal. It was really hard at first and I was getting really anxious over it, because not only was it the first song I’ve ever written and released, it was also very personal to me. I got a bit overwhelmed at some points, but people have been giving me so much love for it, which is awesome.”

The creative aspect of the video is also noted, with Kaiit admitting that it was filmed in a particularly freestyle manner.


“It started off with me and the director, Claudia,” Kaiit tells RSOM. “We were going about it by looking at the style of the song and looking at all the lyrics as a whole. We then copped a vibe of the song and what it should represent. We got this fun and feel-good vibe from it, so it was all very freestyle- especially within the actual filming. We had ideas about how we wanted the shots to look set out, but everything was created as it came.”

Despite only recently releasing her first single, Kaiit has been writing songs for as long as she can remember. She confesses; however, that up until now she never really viewed it as ‘song writing,’ as opposed to a diary-style form.

“I was always doing random songs in primary school and high school. I had this little girl group in primary school, called Princess Unicorn, and we wrote things together. We’d write about things that happened or we were going through. It often rhymed. It was how we expressed ourselves.”

Kaiit has come a long way since her Princess Unicorn days, however.

“I used to rearrange beats and write songs off of that. It can be tricky when you haven’t even listened to a beat yet. I might make a melody in my head and roll with that otherwise. I usually get inspired by the wording of things. Even just when listening to a beat, I’ll write something down straight away.”

To continue honing in her song writing skills and developing herself as an artist, Kaiit was involved in the ‘Dig Deep’ hip-hop mentoring program at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. Successfully helping her to find her feet, the program means a lot to Kaiit, who now helps run it.

“It gave me a new finding for music,” Kaiit explains. “They gave me so much support through opportunities to record my music and perform at so many different things. I took it all in my stride and now I’m able to continue to do what I love.”

With the recent music video, an upcoming single and an upcoming show, Kaiit is definitely one to watch.

“I just finished recording and mixing the next single. And we filmed the music video for that last week. That’s going to be a huge deal too.”

 

Kaiit will be launching her single Natural Woman at the Gasometer Hotel on Friday August 11. You can find more information here.

Follow Kaiit on:
Facebook | YouTube

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra 

ANGUS LEGG

Something of a late bloomer, Angus Legg hadn’t made the decision to become a professional musician until November of last year. A trip to Europe, a lot of expenditures and a worldly insight was what he needed to come to this decision.

“Then [in Europe] I realised that there wasn’t much else I wanted to do but music. I can’t see myself ever giving up music. I’m giving it a whirl, working on my EP, and just having a great time,” Angus tells The Real Songwriters of Melbourne.

No stranger to music nor Europe, Angus was born and raised in England to musician parents, and only moved to Australia at the age of eight. Despite being surrounded by music from birth, it wasn’t until his arrival in Australia that he began playing an instrument, falling in love with the drums.

“My parents travelled around Europe a lot and I always went with them. I took up drums once I got to Australia and played in different bands for a while. Eventually I picked up the guitar- which was inevitable because both of my parents played it. I then started singing, but it took me so long to sing in front of other people. Nowadays, it’s almost where I feel most comfortable.”

Angus Legg 2

Even with years of playing and performing under his belt, Angus didn’t begin to drabble in song writing until a couple of years ago. “I’d write things but I guess song writing was something that never really crossed my mind as something I was going to do. I used to just play covers,” Angus admits. Recently building on his abilities; however, Angus is in the process of recording his debut EP- consisting entirely of original tracks.

“Five originals on the EP, and it’s been a totally new experience from me. We’re still only halfway through recording, but I’ve learnt more in the last three to four weeks doing this about the industry and the way things work than I have the entire time I’ve been doing music.

Keen to release the EP, Angus says the process of it has been one of the biggest highlights of his career so far, and has plans to celebrate its release in style.

“Doing the EP has been an absolute highlight. I used to have no confidence with what I was doing when it came to music, I just did it to earn a little bit of extra money. As you grow as an artist, your confidence grows. There’ll be a single launch to begin with and a big campaign, loads of plans in mind. I’m going to put my heart and soul into it so I hope it goes really well.”

Whether it’s a result of his recent acquisition of song writing skills, or simply the musician he is, Angus admits that the songs he writes are ones he can always relate back to himself (“I can’t write about just anything, but I feel like they’re things a lot of other people can relate to as well”), and that he always starts his song writing process with the melody.

“I always start with melody first. I work out what I want to write about, create a melody to fit that, and then let the words come. There’s a method to the madness, I couldn’t tell you why, but it’s just how my brain works. I think every musician can agree that everyone has a certain way they write a song. Unfortunately, melodies can always start off so similar, but then you find variations. The more you do it, the better you get at it and the more creative you can get. It’s all about being creative.”

He may be particular about how he writes his songs, and what he writes about, but Angus admits he’s had great difficulty in determining just what genre his music fits into. With influences such as Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and Jason Mraz, there is a singer-song writer element.

“It has some folky elements, and some synthetic pop undertones also. As for Ed Sheeran, I can play pretty much his entire discography- but it’s not much help at your own gigs.”

 And as for his number one goal in the music industry… “I just want to be able to support myself with my music, and continue to travel.”

 Angus is one of the featuring artists at The Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #5 on July 22 at Wick Studios. You can find more information about the show here.

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Check out more from Angus on:

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Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

TORI DUNBAR

Melbourne born-and-raised musician Tori Dunbar has always had a love for singing and songwriting. It is her love for audio production; however, that sets her apart from the rest. After studying audio production at Collarts, Tori went on to record, produce and mix the majority of the songs she has recorded for her solo project so far.

“I didn’t expect to like it http://production as much as I do. In saying that, my first official debut single ‘My Head’ wasn’t done by me at all. That one was much more experimental than anything. I’m not more excited about this one than the other songs or anything, but it was interesting to do. It was a total journey for me, having Anna Laverty produce it, just because it was something I’ve never done before.”

Despite experiencing a new way of producing music, creating music itself is definitely not something new to Tori. Hailing from the Eastern Suburbs, Tori began music at the ripe age of six and has stuck to her guns ever since.  Once she finished high school, she decided she wanted to turn professional as it was something she always wanted to do. So she started studying a Certificate IV in Music Performance at Box Hill.

“I played keyboard and guitar through primary school and high school. It’s pretty funny actually. My dad always played guitar too and when I was younger my brother and I shared a guitar. So dad used to set a timer and make up practice every night for half an hour. I always used to do the full half-hour, but my brother admitted to me not all that long ago that he used to cheat and skip some of the practice time!”

Tori also began song writing at a young age. From the age of 14 she first began to learn how to play the songs she knew from the radio. She then understood the idea of being able to sing and play at the same time, and then create her own chords, melody and eventually lyrics.

“[Song writing] came from a ‘I want to try that’ part of me. Once I learnt that I could do it, I wanted to do it. Nowadays, I will definitely start with chords or a rhythm- it’s got to have a colour to it. The lyrics I’ll write as I progress with the chords. With ‘My Head’, I wrote the first verse, then the rest of the song just predicted itself into the next section. My songs are often written together. It’s rate that I’ll write just the lyrics, or just the music, by themselves. That’s why I have so many unfinished songs because I get to a point where I feel that I can’t continue with them.”

And unlike many other artists, she finds herself writing songs for others rather than herself. Once again, ‘My Head’ happens to be the exception.

“I come from a place of unintentionally comforting others. It’s about me reflecting back to others about how they should feel about or sense themselves and trying to help them; give them hope. I try to write from a hopeful perspective rather than a dark place because I don’t like to send my audience there, not do I want to sit their either. The inspiration for ‘My Head,’ came to me after disagreement I had with somebody. You know when you’re in the heat of the moment having a big argument with somebody and they tell you that you’re making up things? It’s called ‘gas lighting,’ and it makes you question your own sanity. I’d never written anything with this sort of sound or feel before, but I enjoyed the percussiveness of the vocal and writing it in that way.”

With such an intense passion for the words she writes, and also how she conveys them, there is no surprise that Tori’s biggest musical inspirations range from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, to John Mayer and Jason Mraz.

“My music is very rhythmically and lyrically driven. To put it into a specific genre is hard- maybe it’d be singer-songwriter? But some of my songs borderline onto folk and some have a soul vibe to them. I really like it that way though.”

Tori’s debut single ‘My Head,’ was released on July 7. Despite it being the first single she’s released, she doesn’t expect herself to dwell on it before she brings out more music. The Real Songwriters Live #5, an event she’s very much looking forward to, will act as a ‘semi-launch’ of sorts for it.

“I released the video for it last Friday, but I’m looking at getting another single out in a couple of months. I want to push out back to back singles until the end of the year and then release my debut EP early next year. I want to get as much of my music out there as soon as I can. I’m really excited to perform it at The Real Songwriters Live Show #5 too. Working with Jena has been amazing, and everything she’s done has been so crazy helpful. My brain can’t imagine what Wick Studios is going to look like on the night because I’ve only been there before for rehearsals, but I’m guessing it’s going to be awesome. It feels almost inclusive to be working with the RSOM team!”

Tori is one of the featuring artists at The Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #5 on July 22nd at Wick Studios. Tickets are $15 at the door. You can view more information about the event here.

Tori Dunbar

You can check out more of Tori on
Facebook | Soundcloud | Website

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra 

DARCY FOX

There was never any doubt Darcy Fox was going to become a musician.
Now at 24, she writes, records and plays for a living.

Growing up in a musical family has only aided her on her path, too. Her mother, one of twelve siblings, grew up performing in a family-show band, surrounded by Irish and showband music. Even today, Darcy’s mother is a singing teacher. Naturally, Darcy has always been surrounded by music. It is this life-long love of it that has gotten her to where she is today.

“I’ve always come from a pretty musical family. But then when I was about 15 I was like ‘yes, music is the thing I want to do,” Darcy tells the Real Songwriters of Melbourne.

Despite her talents and obvious passion, it wasn’t easy convincing her Mum, either. With persuasion and an ability to prove that music was all she wanted to do, Darcy eventually managed to get her mum on her side. “Mum was like ‘Don’t do it, you’ll be poor!’ But when she realised how much I wanted to do it, she began to help me out here and there. It sort of grew from there.”

Unsurprisingly from a young age, Darcy began to learn how to play. Even though her mother is a music teacher, Darcy has had no formal training and admits to learning how to play guitar via YouTube videos and other online resources.

Darcy Fox 1

“I started songwriting not long after that, and properly started writing when I was 15. I did write a song when I was 12 though and it was very bad, about bullies and 12-year-old things. I got to record it, never did anything with it, but just to experience that. When I got my guitar, I started writing for real, and wrote so much after that.”

Nowadays, Darcy tends to still write from her own experiences. Saying she writes about incredibly personal things, she believes her best songs are the ones that relate back to something that has directly happened to her. Her own experiences often even dictate how she writes a particular song.

“One of the songs off the Chapter One EP, I wrote whilst I was working as a waitress. I wrote it on the back of a napkin during one of my shifts and afterwards took it home and added a melody to it. Overall though, my writing process changes depending on the song. A lot of the time, I’ll just be playing around with the guitar and different melodies, and then the lyrics will come from that.”

Quickly becoming an established artist, Moe-born and raised Darcy soon realised that she had to branch out of where she called home to live off being a musician. Ending up moving to Melbourne, Darcy says that starting out wasn’t easy, but when she did get a gig booked it was great.

“I’ve always travelled for music, it’s just a part of how the industry works- you have to travel. Moving to Melbourne wasn’t so much as difficult as starting out playing gigs. But it was awesome to have them once you got them. I really like playing at The Workers Club in Fitzroy and the Spotted Mallard is a really cute venue as well.

“When it comes to music these days, you have the ability to do practically everything yourself, which is really cool. I’m currently self-managed, and I feel like you don’t need to be with a label or a manager to put your work on iTunes.”

Despite being back and forth between Moe and Melbourne, currently, Darcy is eager to not forget the opportunities the Gippsland region have given her over the years. She admits that some of the competitions she has won back home have been the highlights of her career.

“They ran a ‘Battle of the Bands’ style competition, and the prize was to open for and then perform with Jimmy Barnes at a particular music festival he was playing that. I won that one, which was amazing. Then there was also the ‘Freeza Push-Start “Battle of the Bands”.’ I won the Gippsland Heat for that and got to go on to perform at the Moomba Festival. That was really cool.”

With eight years of performing around Victoria under her belt, Darcy released her ‘Chapter One’ EP earlier this year. Successfully launching it at The Workers Club, Darcy says that the majority of the EP was a really easy and timely writing and recording experience, having done a lot of it back home in Gippsland.

“I recorded it with this guy named Jack Cookie. He’s a friend of mine, a producer and musician, and he’s from Gippsland as well. I had the songs already written, one of them was an old one- the one from work, and then the others over the last couple of years. When I had the time I’d just go over to his place and we’d spend the day recording it. It was just the two of us who played on it, so it was really laidback and chill. We’d throw some ideas back and forth and play around with different samples and it all just came together really easy.

“Hurricane, the single, actually took me longer to write than the others, however. The chorus came to me really quickly, but it took a couple of months for the verses to be written. On the other hand, the title track, Chapter One, was written in a couple of hours, as was the rest of the EP.”

Not incorporating many people in the recording, Darcy is a keen user of the loop pedal, especially at her live shows. Accordingly, she cites Ed Sheeran as one of her biggest inspirations, having been blown away by his looping abilities at his Festival Hall show in 2013.

“That show was what really pushed me to get good at the loop pedal. I’m also a huge fan of Passenger- his song writing is incredible. I started out as a country artist but have since progressed into the singer-song writer style of music. I definitely think there’s still country influences in my songs, however.”

Darcy is one of the three feature artists performing at The Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #5 on July 22 at Wick Studios. She is looking forward to cross-promoting with the RSOM team and playing an awesome show.

You can view more information about the upcoming Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #5 here.

Follow Darcy on:
Facebook | Instagram | Website

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

 

Natalie Nish

“I’ve always been a little bit weird, a little bit different. It can really set you apart. It’s so important to embrace being different rather than let it hinder you.”

Growing up in a Christian family and raised on Star Trek with her two brothers, and her two ducks, Natalie Nish comes from a musical family. A singer for a mother, and a local radio presenter for a father, singing, music and performing was always a part of her childhood and has since transcended into her adulthood. And despite looking at the pop genre as one that is heavily influential on her own career, she admits she was sheltered from most pop music as a child. From the likes of the Backstreet Boys, to the Spice Girls, to Stacie Orrico and Ed Sheeran- she appreciates pop’s structured way of writing when it comes to writing her own music.

“I love Ed Sheeran. I love his writing style and how he puts so much into a small amount of space without making it seem rushed. I love Stacie Orrico too, her voice and her style of singing is amazing. Her writing I haven’t looked into too much, but I noticed some of the songs she has recorded, she wrote back when she was 14 or 15.

 “I’ve always been told that it’s really important to describe your music, in case you want to change labels or something. But I’m really not sure- I guess honest and quirky. And probably heavily pop-influenced, especially in structure.”

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Similarly to Stacie, Natalie’s song writing career took off from a young age. From singing in the Church, to writing songs to sing to her younger brother, Natalie’s music and song writing abilities are still evolving, and always growing.

“I shared a room with my little brother as a kid and I remember always singing songs about fairies or something, just to help him sleep. A couple of years ago my dad found a cassette tape of songs I had written and sung when I was about ten. It’s always been there and I’ve always wanted to be a creator. Having a passion for music and wanting to create things kind of just came together into what it is now.

“For a very long time, I really wasn’t great. Even before I started studying it, I’d have ten songs I’d written at a time but I never wanted to show them to anyone, because I didn’t understand that it was okay to have bad songs. I then learnt that the most important thing is to just write, and write, and write. If you have crappy ones that come out, that’s fine- it’s just a part of the learning process and you can drop them. Once I found that mindset, it really opened up a lot more for writing. I’m still getting there though, I still try to challenge myself. I find I don’t write overly complicated chord structures or anything, so I’m trying to branch out more there.”

With years of experience and a progressive attitude, Natalie finds that her writing methods are not always typical. She admits that she won’t write a song until she has all the pieces ready to go, and will put them all together before fixing it up, rather than building up the song bit-by-bit. A lot of her lyrics come to her unexpectedly, or very much in the moment.

“I might be out somewhere and think of a word or lyric and write it down on a notepad, or I’ll be sitting at home and go back to those points later. I try to write things metaphorically a lot because otherwise I feel like I’m not doing justice to what I’m trying to say. Sometimes I’ll have my phone on record and just play around and sing whatever I feel like singing at the time, and then touch base with it later. If there’s anything I liked I’ll do it again, and then it’ll progress from there. It’s always the start of the song that’s the hardest part, afterwards you can just work on tidying everything up and making the structure more suitable. If I decide to write a song, it’s because I’ve already got all the pieces there to put it all together.”

As with her writing process, Natalie’s inspiration often comes in the moment. If she finds a particular event or emotion affecting her, she will write about it. And yet whilst most of her work is about herself and her relationships, she often finds herself wanting to write about the bigger picture- even if it is more of a challenge to do so.

“Every now and then, there’ll be topics or issues that are heavy on my heart and I’ll want to write about them, but sometimes they’ll be such a big deal that I don’t know how to write about them. I tried to write a song about homelessness a little while ago, and I’m currently debating whether or not I revisit it and write it a little bit better. Maybe to get some more knowledge about it before I go back into it.”

An evolving songwriter, Natalie is always looking for new opportunities to progress herself and show the world what she’s made of. Having only ever recorded in Melbourne, she’s been given the opportunity to record her next single in Sydney- which she says has been the highlight of her career so far.

“I contacted this songwriter in Sydney called Jeremy Fowler, whose sound I really liked. His manager said he’d be happy to work with me on my next song, so I’ll get to work with him in Sydney and get the song done. That was really exciting.”

Natalie launched her debut single ‘I’ll Leave You With This’ on June 9th. The single was premiered by The Real Songwriters of Melbourne thanks to The Backline Project. You can check out her live interview here and acoustic live performance.

You can listen to it here.

Check out Natalie Nish on
Facebook | Website | YouTube

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

A Conversation With Chloe Violette

“This last year has been about celebrating women in the creative arts. Hence the film clip I’ve just released- it was done by an all-female team from the producer to the cinematographer, the camera assistants and the editor. It was a really liberating experience. We’re slowly smashing the patriarchy!”

RSOM recently spoke to the amazing Chloe Violette about her new music video, and her hopes for equality in the music industry.

I’m so amazed that everyone working on the ‘Hurricane’ film clip was female, it’s just so unheard of. How do you feel that completing a project in such a way will assist women in the industry going forward?

“Well it’s still very much a male-dominated industry, and it’s still very much a man’s world. We’re slowly, with the help of social media and other platforms that promote ‘girls to the front’ and everything, getting there. It’s a necessity that we need to have these things and have these conversations, even though it’s a bit unfortunate and honestly a bit sad. I looked over at one point and was like ‘Oh, we’re all chicks!’ which is amazing, but it is about exposing the fact that this isn’t considered normal, when it should be. The equality is still definitely not there. It’s one step at a time, I guess. It’s cool to work with like-minded people and if they happen to identify as female, then that’s really cool.”

Do you think that you’ll use the team that you used for the film clip in the future?

“Oh definitely, 100%. I’ve actually joined the collaborative of the filmmakers involved. I rounded up these girls and this was the first collaboration that they had done. And now they’ve gone on to do other work together. They’re currently doing a film clip for CHMBRS and other female artists in the industry. I feel really privileged to be a part of that connection. I’m working as a production assistant on their next project which is really cool.”

Hurricane Video Clip – an original by Chloe Violette

You talk about how hard it is in the music industry as a female, and it is. However on top of that you’re also in Melbourne, which is one of the most difficult music scenes to break out into in the world. Do you find yourself wanting to empower other women in the industry rather than compete with them?

“It’s such a competitive industry. There’s so many incredible musicians out there and it’s so daunting just to think about how many people are out there that want what you want. So there is that natural tendency to compare yourself to other women and think ‘oh wow they’re doing so much and they’re achieving this or that’ and that can sort of get you down quite a lot. I’ve learnt in the past year or so to just remember why I’m doing and why I’m pursuing music; why I’m playing it and making it. It’s a part of me. If you can join forces with other people just to remember why you’re making the art you’re making, it’s so much more thrilling. Collaborating and sharing that experience is so much more rewarding.”

 And so do you believe social media enhances or hinders this empowerment?

“It’s so easy to get caught up in that superficial love of the ‘double-tap love hearts,’ and the likes and followers, so it’s really easy to compare yourself to others. It’s just the reality of 2017 I guess, when we’re living in the digital world. It’s so important though to just go back to that authenticity and that organic nature of the fact that we’re musicians and we make music because it helps us make sense of the world. I think that’s the important bit- to bring back the perspective every now and again. It’s so easy to get lost in the idea of success on social media, but it goes so far beyond that.”

 Social media can be an entirely tricky thing regardless too!

“Exactly. At the end of the day when you’re promoting your music or art on social media, it’s your own business and your own branding. It can be really difficult to promote yourself, especially when you’re not used to it and have a tendency to have a lot of emotions, as many of us in the creative arts do. I have this saying on my bedroom wall ‘it’s both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply,’ which really resonates with me because when you are an emotional person you can put those thoughts and ideas onto paper or onto canvas, but it also comes with the downfall of experiencing negative emotions and the thoughts that follow. But you do have to have an online business presence because you’re essentially selling yourself and your music.”

Going forward into the future, do you think even more must change for women to further progress in the music industry? What do you think should be done?

“I think it’s a matter of education and it’s a matter of conversation. It’s easy to be ‘pigeonholed’ as a ‘raging feminist.’ But every intelligent person should understand the word ‘equality,’ and therefore needs to be a feminist. There’s still a lot of stigma behind the word ‘feminism’ and for us to move forward and promote that equality, so that in however many years’ time this conversation is no longer necessary. I don’t know how long that’s going to take and I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I do know that for it to happen; however, we need to have conversations and we need to stick together and we need to educate. We’re doing it already though, the way we’re going is the right way and I don’t know how else we’re going to get the word across. But everyone who understand equality needs to understand feminism and promote it.”

 Who are your favourite female musicians in the industry at the moment?

“ I cannot get enough of Julia Jacklin, and I’m also totally blown away by Gretta Ray. She’s so young and her sound and song writing ability is so mind blowing. They’re doing an amazing job at representing women in the Australian music industry and encouraging other female artists to get themselves out there.

 The film clip was launched at the Malthouse Theatre back in May and was a successful night.

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Check out Chloë Violette on:
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Written by Jordyn Hoesktra

 

CELESTE KATE

“I feel like writing is a bit cathartic. I’ll write about it [experiences] because that’s my way to essentially be my own therapist.”  

For some artists, the ability to find their niche happens overnight. This wasn’t the case for Celeste Polson. Not at all. The Ballarat-born singer songwriter, who artists under the stage name ‘Celeste Kate,’ didn’t begin performing her original music until she was in her mid-twenties. This was following the completion of a Diploma of Musical Performance at Gordon TAFE in Geelong, and making the move to Melbourne to give herself the best opportunity possible.

“The Diploma of Music introduced me to Jazz, so when I moved to Melbourne I found myself performing in the jazz scene. In 2015, I was singing in a big-band style ensemble at a jazz club in Richmond, where I shared the lead with male vocalist.”

Celeste also undertook a Diploma of Musical Theatre at the APO of Arts Academy. Whilst her main passion is singing and song writing, she took a year off her original music to focus on completing the degree and becoming an all-rounded performer: “I wanted to incorporate acting and dancing into my singing- I wanted to be a triple threat!”

With jazz and musical theatre under her belt, Celeste’s most in depth experience as a musician comes in her song writing. Having begun writing at the age of 12, after keeping a lyric-filled journal, she began to compose music with these lyrics. She even remembers the first song she ever wrote.

“I do actually [remember it]! I did record it. It was called Nowhere. It was sort of just about feeling like you’re literally getting nowhere in life, like people are trampling on you and you end up feeling like you’re never going to get anywhere.”

Recording these early songs proved beneficial to Celeste, as they equipped her with the experience needed to go on and place highly in several song writing competitions around Melbourne.

“In 2010 I was a semi-finalist in a competition called the Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase. Then last year I came fourth in a competition called the Emergence Festival.”

Similarly, her last EP I’ve Been Waiting, created a track that came in the top 30 at the finals of the Australian Song Writing Association Competition in 2015. Beating thousands of other songwriters for one of these positions, Celeste described it as the “highlight of my career- it was all very exciting!”

I wasn’t surprised to hear of her success after further discussing her song writing skills with her. I was in awe as she took me through a step-by-step process of a song she wrote, entitled Smile for the Camera and depicted the completely captivating concept she had for a supporting music video.

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“I wanted to write a song about people who appear to be really attractive and look like they’ve got everything together and look like they’re happy, but behind that smile it can be deceiving. It was about the point that you can be attractive and you can look like you’ve got all those things but perhaps behind those eyes there’s someone dealing with something really huge. I had this vision for this film clip that I just don’t have the budget for yet. There’d be these supermodels posing for the camera and looking all glamorous and beautiful; then in another scene they’ll be in the bathroom snorting cocaine with tears running down their face, which shows how they’re really feeling.”

This song; however, was out of the ordinary. Celeste admits she tends to write based on her own personal experiences, starting from the journal she kept as a child. The themes she addresses may not be a direct reflection of her own life, but rather those of her family and friends yet that have touched her in some way. When she does write about herself; however, she confesses to feeling selfish about what she’s producing.

“It’s a bit selfish really, it’s all very internalised. I feel like writing’s a little bit cathartic. If I’m feeling a bit anxious or particularly emotional about something that is affecting me in my life, anything that might be happening, I’ll write about it because that’s my way to essentially be my own therapist.”

Increasing her song writing experience has also meant that her methods and processes have changed over time. In the past, Celeste says she would come up with an entire lyrical structure and then add the chords in whilst at the piano. The lyrics would always be the primary feature, with the melody being added second. Nowadays, her song writing method consists of lyrics and melody after she has created a chord progression on the piano. Even then, no one process is set in stone.

“I wrote a song about a week ago and I sat there and wrote all the lyrics down until I was completely happy with them. It was kind of like this weird poem. Then I tinkered with different melodies, not even at the piano, I just sang them out loud until I was happy roughly with what I was coming up with. It’s kind of considered a really backwards way to do it but it seemed to work for that particular song.”

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If you needed further convincing that Celeste’s song writing is on par with some of Melbourne’s best, you only need to look at her musical influences. The style of music she aims to create and perform can be determined without even asking her. Discussing how she grew up inspired by artists such as Katie Noonan and Sarah McLachlan – and currently greatly idolising Kate Miller-Heidke – Celeste admits that it’s Kate Bush that takes the cake as the most influential artist on her career so far.

 “The way in which she wrote a lot of her songs  was very unusual for that era. A lot of female artists were writing ‘love’ songs, about having their heart broken and everything, but she was writing about lust and desire and all those other parts of being in a relationship that we don’t always hear about in songs. We often hear about the pain and the heartbreak of it, but she was writing about all the good stuff. I just love the way that she writes, as well as the sound of her voice. She’s a fascinating story teller, so I definitely look up to her as well.”

Celeste is launching her next single I’m Not Sorry at the Matthew Flinders Hotel this Friday (May 12). She will also be performing a few new songs that have yet to be recorded but hopes to add to her next EP. As for what to expect on the night: It’s going to be just myself on piano so it’s going to be a very intimate performance.”

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You can purchase tickets to Celeste’s single launch on the night for $12.
For more information go here

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Written by Jordyn Hoekstra