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Interview with Isla Noon (Q & A)

Lush, hypnotic and brimming with alt pop whimsy, the brand new single Body from Aotearoa New Zealand artist Isla Noon is an electrifying ode to growing up from one of the scene’s most exciting up-and-comers. A dynamic addition to Isla Noon’s ever-growing repertoire, Body is also accompanied by an enigmatic music video featuring the artist herself in a potent display against a fittingly eerie locale.

(STM) First up, can you please give us a quick intro?
I’m Isla Noon, an alt-pop artist from Auckland, New Zealand. I recently released my latest single ‘Body’.

Tell us about your new single ‘Body’?
Body started as a way for me to excavate a lot of negative thoughts and associations and get clear on the kind of relationship I’d like to have with myself. I’m particularly proud of the dynamics in this one, going from these melty verses to hit-you-in-the-face choruses when the emotion of the song takes over. It’s a very special one to me and I’m super proud to share it.

What’s the creative process like for you?
It’s changing a lot at the moment! I’m in a real period of exploration and growth with my own creative process. Body was an interesting one because the writing process was like nothing I’d written before. I started the lyric idea as more of a stream of consciousness in my notes app, something I didn’t think I would ever put to music. Soon a few of the lines I’d written in that note started making their way over a chord progression I had been playing around with for ages, and it all sort of came together quite organically from there.

If you could change something about the music industry what would you change?
If I could change anything about the industry, it would be more viable income streams. Over the last few decades the industry has changed so much, and the sale of music doesn’t bring in what it used to. I’d love to see my artist friends be fairly compensated for the immense work and heart that goes into their music and creative projects.

What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?
I think I would still be a writer, just not the musical kind. I’ve always loved writing but it’s more than just a creative outlet, it’s how I process life! I’m not sure I could get by without something that could act as that lens.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
So many people! I look up to so many artists and it would be a dream to collaborate with any one of them. At the moment I’m actually looking at a lot of visual artists and designers as I prepare for my next release, and I’m really excited by the prospect of that collaboration. I’ve always put my own imagery together so I’d love to experience working with someone else on that.

What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry ?
I think having multiple ways of engaging with the industry or multiple skillsets is a great advantage to making creative work sustainable. Whether you are an artist who can also produce for others, or you’re a great keys player who can double as a session player. Sometimes having those other skills in your kit or doing work with someone else can lead you to an opportunity for your own music. It’s just about getting in there in some capacity, meeting people and showing you’re good to work with.

What’s your favourite song to perform?
Hands down my most recent single Body. There’s just nothing like that chorus coming out of large speakers! I also love performing a song called Talk About Us, which I released in 2021. I have such a soft spot for that song and it has some really fun melodies to sing.

Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?
Not sure it’s a total surprise but I love clothing and fashion. I also love challenging myself to put looks together with second hand and/or vintage pieces for my videos and performances. I think a love of fashion doesn’t have to exist in a space where you’re constantly acquiring new, and I find it more interesting to source unique pieces and customise them. I also do a liiiittle bit of film photography – as featured in the cover art for two of my singles ‘Summer in August’ and ‘I Need To Go Home’.

Listen: BODY

Watch: BODY

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Interview with Shelley Segal (Q & A)

Released in time for Mother’s Day last month, the glorious new single Mother from Melbourne singer-songwriter Shelley Segal simultaneously tugs at the heartstrings and awes with warmth. A stirring ode to Shelley’s own mother, Mother is also accompanied today by a sentimental music video featuring footage of Shelley with her mum that perfectly complements the raw and beguiling new track.

STM: What’s the Shelley Segal story?

SS: I’m an artist and songwriter from Melbourne Australia now based in LA. I grew up singing and playing music in my father’s wedding band – which was an incredible foundation for a life in music. I played cover gigs around Melbourne for many years. I eventually started recording and performing my own music which is a singer songwriter / folky / story-telling style, though still very influenced by the pop and rock I grew up singing at functions.

I got a degree in music at Box Hill Tafe, opened my own label, True Music and started releasing my own music and touring overseas. I booked my own tours and built a dedicated fan base around the US until I eventually moved here in 2016. Since then, I’ve opened my own studio and music production house where I work with other artists and creating music for film and TV.

STM: Tell us about your new single Mother?

My new single is inspired by my mum, Jenny. I had the idea for the song when I walked past the mirror and saw my reflection in the corner of my eye. For a split second, I thought it was my mum that I was seeing and I was blown away by how differently I processed the image of my own body, when I thought it was my mother. It was an amazing revelation to me how much I look like her. How beautiful and perfect she is and how it follows that I am as well. As her beauty is undeniable to me, so became my own. It’s a message of self-love, strength and defiance.

STM: What’s the creative process like for you?

It’s different all the time. It depends on who or what I’m creating for. Sometimes I’m just writing because I feel I have something I need to get out. Usually when that happens, I pick up my guitar and will start with a melody, a riff or a lyric or sometimes a combination of those.

When I’m working with other artists, I try to tap in to what they’ve been going through lately and find some relatable experiences in my own life and draw from that. When I’m working to brief for a project, often we’ll pull up a track, jump in the booth and lay down a bunch of takes and pick the bits we like best. There are endless ways to do it. I love doing it alone and I love doing it with others too.

STM: If you could change something about the music industry what would change?

I think I would like it to be more diverse. I think that’s something that is happening and is very exciting, but it still has so far to go to work towards creating accessible spaces.

STM: What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?

I can’t even imagine. Music is my whole life. It’s the way I process what I go though. It’s a way I connect to others. It’s my every day. It’s been the adventure and gift of my life. I don’t want to imagine life any other way, I think we all need that creative outlet. I wish more people got to experience the catharsis from writing about your experiences. I love writing with other artists and helping them to get their message out in the way their want to express themselves. It’s one of my favourite things because I know how good it feels to get up on stage and perform something that perfectly expresses how you feel or think.

STM: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

Yes, lots of people. I’d love to get to write with Ani Difranco. Or even just spend time with her. She really changed the way I saw the world and inspired me to be part of that change of consciousness myself, through my own music. I’m also lucky enough to have collaborated with Adam Levy on our album Little March. So that’s collab goals already made! https://shelleysegal.bandcamp.com/album/little-march

STM: What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry?

I would advise young people to learn the business side early. If you understand what assets you have then you can advocate properly for yourself in every situation. It’s hard to learn and takes a while but is invaluable. It’s allowed me to advocate for myself and others around me. I would also say to try and keep a part of your music that’s just for you. There can be so many moments of rejection, or compromise, sacrifice, disillusionment. But if you have this sacred part of it, that’s just for you, that you can keep coming back to and cherishing no matter what then I think that can help you get through the harder days.

STM: What’s your favourite song to perform?

I love performing ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’ with my father, Danny, on the violin.
We’ve been playing the song together for decades. We’ve performed it as the first dance at people’s weddings. It’s very special to me and when I play it with my dad it feel like time has stood still
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10XCczZXzgc 

STM: Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?

Actually yes! I’m super into table tennis. My whole family played and as a teenager I would train several days a week with the state squad. I was nationally ranked and played competitively as a junior for many years. I love it so much – it’s the best sport!

Listen: MOTHER

Watch: MOTHER

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Interview with Dellacoma Rio (Q & A)

After years spent as the only internationally touring INXS show in the world, The Australian INXS Show are returning to local stages next month for an extensive run of regional dates, with tickets on sale now. Having first formed out of the seed of an idea planted a decade ago, the six-piece outfit have taken their myriad talents around the globe, performing to dedicated fans of INXS in locations such as Dubai, India, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Vanuatu, Singapore, Japan, China, Bora Bora, New Caledonia, Taipei, and South Korea. Now, the Melbourne-born outfit are coming home once again, bringing their unique INXS theatre experience along with them.

STM had a quick chat with Dellacoma Rio about this amazing tour and ensemble 

(STM)Tell us about your new Tour?

(Del) Its the biggest tour we’ve ever done! So far over 30 dates announced and we’re still booking. We’ll likely hit close to 50 theatres across all states and territories in the next 15 months.

What’s the creative process like for you?

Quite organic really. I allow the songs to lead this process 

If you could change something about the music industry what would change?

I would cut through a bit of the red tape around touring and releasing music

What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?

That would be terrible! A life without art or music is not a concept I really want to think about. Music and art weave through all parts of our daily lives, almost without realising it. Even those who don’t see themselves as artistic are surrounded by the effects of art and music. Art and music is a tangible way of bringing dreams into our everyday waking life

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

I would love to collaborate with Richie Kotzen or Jonathan Cain (Journey). It would be amazing as well to get in a room with Bob Rock or Rick Rubin too!

What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry?

Sit down and figure out what you want. Anything you want to do is possible as long as you are focused and determined. Get specific then put steps in place that you can actually follow through on. Perhaps most importantly, make sure you are being honest about what you enjoy. Joy comes through in art and if you aren’t enjoying yourself then it will show.

What’s your favourite song to perform?

At the moment I’d have to say “New Sensation” but “Never Tear Us Apart” is always up there for me.

Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?

I love to create picture frames, art and furniture out of reclaimed wood and occasionally shells and beach items

Tickets to The Australian INXS Show’s upcoming tour are on sale now via www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au.

THE AUSTRALIAN INXS SHOW 2023 TOUR

FRI 14 JUL I FORGE THEATRE, BAIRNSDALE VIC I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 15 JUL I WONTHAGGI ARTS CENTRE I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

THU 27 JUL I THE ART HOUSE, WYONG NSW I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 28 JUL I THE CONCOURSE, CHATSWOOD NSW I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 29 JUL I THE JOAN, PENRITH NSW I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 11 AUG I TOWN HALL, SWAN HILL VIC I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 12 AUG I MEMO MUSIC HALL, ST KILDA VIC I 18+
On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au


FRI 01 SEP I PRINCESS THEATRE, BRISBANE QLD I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 02 SEP I PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, BALLARAT VIC I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

THU 14 SEP I MEMORIAL ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, BATHURST NSW I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 15 SEP I WESTS, CAMPBELLTOWN NSW I 18+

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 06 OCT I ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, ALBURY NSW I ALL AGES

On sale 08/06 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 13 OCT I KARRALYKA THEATRE, RINGWOOD VIC I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 14 OCT I CAIRNS PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, CAIRNS QLD I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

THU 02 NOV I ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, BUNBURY WA I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 03 NOV I ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, PERTH WA I 18+

On sale 01/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 04 NOV I ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, ALBANY WA I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SUN 05 NOV I FREO SOCIAL, FREMANTLE WA I 18+

On sale 01/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 09 DEC I SARATON THEATRE, GRAFTON NSW I ALL AGES

On sale now I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 02 FEB I PRINCESS THEATRE, LAUNCESTON TAS I ALL AGES

On sale 08/06 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 03 FEB I ROYAL THEATRE, HOBART TAS I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

THU 15 FEB I ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, SHOALHAVEN NSW I ALL AGES

On sale 08/06 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 16 FEB I MANNING ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, TAREE NSW I ALL AGES

On sale 08/06 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 17 FEB I GRIFFITH REGIONAL THEATRE, GRIFFITH NSW I ALL AGES

On sale 08/06 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

FRI 01 MAR I ARALUEN CENTRE, ALICE SPRINGS NT I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

SAT 02 MAR I DARWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, DARWIN NT I ALL AGES

On sale 08/05 I Tickets available from www.theaustralianinxsshow.com.au

 

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Interview with KEL (Q & A)

A lush and luminous journey draped in bittersweet warmth, the debut single Paradise from emerging Sydney singer-songwriter Kel is a feast for the senses and the soul. Accompanied by a self-directed music video also out today, Paradise marks a sublime introduction into Kel’s musical world, with the track set to launch tonight live in action at The Great Club (Marrickville) in Sydney.

An emotive, rock-inspired ballad, inspired equally by the soulful flavours of Finneas and Conan Gray and even Taylor Swift, Paradise was written and arranged entirely by Kel, with production courtesy of the legendary John Castle, whose previous work includes Vance Joy’s Riptide as well as work with Megan Washington, Angus & Julia Stone, and Cub Sport. Swelling between a softly euphoric ballad and a driving, dreamy anthem, Paradise also tugs at the heartstrings via Kel’s emphatic narrative surrounding lost love, as he elaborates, Paradise is a song about a break-up. It’s a metaphor about losing something special about a place you might’ve shared with someone else, and how places and feelings change sometimes. It was inspired by a trip with my friends to a beach on the South Coast NSW. I wanted to write a song that felt like that place”.  

With Kel impressively conjuring his debut track with John Castle remotely via phone calls and Zoom sessions, Paradise was then mastered at Studios 301 in Sydney by Steve Smart. But the track’s accompanying music video was ultimately a DIY and family affair, with Kel making the poignant music video for his first sonic release during a family holiday. “The music video was made by myself and some family on a holiday,” shares Kel. “As a current film student, I was keen to direct and film my own video. When I was writing the song, the opening lyrics stuck out to me. Sunrise and long hikes. So, I knew I wanted the main visuals to be central around a beach. The song is about a favourite place that doesn’t belong to you anymore. I’ve found that often we connect certain places with people, and when that connection’s lost, the place is not the same”.

Hailing from a musical family, Kel began playing multiple instruments and singing while in high school, going on to pen his first original compositions in year 12. After producing some videos of himself, Kel’s search began for a producer in earnest, ultimately resulting in his discovery of John Castle and falling in love with the talented producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist’s sound and catalogue. From sending his videos to John, the two immediately began working together. While Paradise may mark the first single unleashed into the wild for Kel, the future looks bright for this talented up-and-comer currently working towards his debut EP. And if you’re lucky enough to be in Sydney tonight, you may very well catch some of Kel’s unreleased material this evening alongside his brand new single at the Paradise single launch at The Great Club (Marrickville). You can expect a large variety of different songs,” reveals Kel of the musical treasures lying in wait for his upcoming performance tonight. “A lot of the time when I’m writing, I pull inspiration from other genres, so my live shows are a mixture of exciting and vibrant songs with a huge band, as well as some slower songs where it’s just me playing and singing with a piano. It’s a mix of ballads, rock driven sounds, and acoustic storytelling”.

Paradise is out today, Thursday April 13.

Tell us about your new single Paradise?

Paradise was a song I wrote – produced by John Castle – about the changes and breakdowns in relationships and how it can tarnish places or emotions you shared with a person. It’s definitely a story about someone moving on from you and trying to figure out where it leaves you emotionally. I had heaps of fun making it with John, especially since most of it was recorded during lockdowns and it was really fulfilling to pour everything into this song.

What’s the creative process like for you?

My creative process is a bit of everything, I’ve noticed it’s always different when I write a new song. Sometimes I have this melody or set of chords that pop into my head at some random point in the day and I have to pull out my phone to record it before I forget, or sometimes I have a story or an emotion or message that I spend a long while trying to articulate, so it’s always new. 

If you could change something about the music industry what would change?

As a songwriter myself, I feel really connected to songs I write about my own life, so I’m always really impressed when a songwriter can write a song for someone else or pass their music to another person and almost reimagine their work through another artist. So, if I had to change anything maybe it would be to give some more recognition for songwriters who sometimes can write huge hits for another artist and maybe not a lot of people would know they wrote it. 

What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?

Probably very bland – since music has always been a way for me to communicate or to let someone in to how I’m feeling or my perspective, maybe without it I would feel at a bit of a loss about how to communicate and share myself with others.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

I would love to work with Finneas. I’ve seen him live twice but even listening to his music he has such a creative and new approach to experimental recording that is still foundationally alternative or pop coded. I think he’s very talented and ingenious with his approach to music making. 

What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry ?

Spend some time writing and making as much music as you can to work out what works and what doesn’t work for you. I found songwriting really hard when I started out as I didn’t have much of an idea where to start or what style or genre felt comfortable for me to write to.  Giving yourself some space to learn what your strengths are is something I didn’t learn until I wrote enough songs and worked out what I liked and what I didn’t.

What’s your favourite song to perform?

At my last show – I performed a lot of unreleased music along with Paradise, and I loved it because hearing those songs live inspired me so much about how they would take shape on a recorded track. However, I think I’ll go with Paradise as my favourite song to perform because it took a while to create and playing it live for a crowd is always so fulfilling.

Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?

I’m also a passionate film maker! For the last couple of years, I’ve studied film through high school and am about to finish it up at University next year – but I love making films, scoring films, editing films – all of it. I think storytelling is a big part of the creative processes that I have so having music and film as two of my main interests seems fitting. 

Listen: PARADISE

Watch: PARADISE

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Interview with Chavez Cartel (Q & A)

Indulge yourself in a vibrant and soulful musical experience with Gold Coast rockers Chavez Cartel's latest single, “Dead Weekend.” This dynamic track is a perfect blend of hazy guitars, moody melodics, and sultry swagger that is sure to leave you captivated.

Chavez Cartel has always been known for their exceptional musical prowess and artistic vision, and “Dead Weekend” is no exception. The band has managed to fuse different elements of rock, blues, and soul into a single track, creating a unique sound that is both refreshing and energizing.

With their signature gritty and raw vocals, Chavez Cartel's lead singer delivers a powerful performance that perfectly complements the edgy and electrifying instrumentation. The guitar riffs are catchy and infectious, and the driving rhythm section is nothing short of impressive.

Dead Weekend” is a testament to Chavez Cartel's ability to evolve and experiment with their sound, while staying true to their roots. The track is a perfect representation of the band's dynamic and multifaceted approach to music, and a great addition to their already impressive discography.

So, whether you're in need of some musical escapism or simply looking for a new sound to explore, “Dead Weekend” is a must-listen for any rock enthusiast out there. With its infectious energy and irresistible hooks, this track is sure to leave you wanting more.

(Tell us about your new single Dead Weekend?

Dead weekend actually came about with a guitar riff idea and a half finished song being combined. We had these ideas for a while however, we could never get them sounding right…until we decided to join em together. It’s edgy, it's druggy and it builds up to a huge explosion of sound that makes a great last song on a set.

What’s the creative process like for you?

I think as a band we’re most creative in the jam room. Most of our songs have been written by jamming in between other songs and messing around with riffs and grooves. Individually, I think we all get our inspiration from different places. I personally feel most creative, or in the “creative zone”, while listening to songs, lyrics and drum grooves in the car because that’s where I can just forget about everything and get lost in the world of music.

If you could change something about the music industry what would change?

To be honest, I’d change how tough it is to actually make a living in this industry as a band. Sadly, making a living is close to impossible until you get to a certain level of fame which happens to 1 in (insert big enough number here). I’d change this because I’m sure this has put off a lot of people, myself included, from giving their all to their music, their instruments and their passion.

What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?

This is going to be a very short answer haha but for me, without music there is no happiness, sadness, energy or any form of life. It’s where I go to to be myself and without it I would go crazy.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

Growing up I always loved Santana’s collaboration with other artist and he is an amazing musician so he’d be in my top 3 people I’d want to collaborate with given the chance.

What’s your advice to young people who want to make career for themselves in the industry ?

Go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that this industry is not good enough or not a career in itself. If it’s what you want, do it.

What’s your favourite song to perform?

I’d have to say either ‘Coming Around’ which we released a radio edit of not too long ago, or dead weekend. It always gets the crowd going.

Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?

Right after my passion for music comes my passion for food. My full time job is in the restaurant industry and man do I love to cook, eat and then eat some more.

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Interview with Montana Sharp (Q & A)

Montana Sharp, a connoisseur of art-pop, has recently released a new emphatic track called “Something Wicked”, which is even edgier than her innovative debut EP “Blood Moon” from 2022. With this new offering, Montana Sharp continues to demonstrate her ever-growing powerhouse status. The accompanying music video for “Something Wicked” puts a modern spin on the symbolism of wickedness and villainy, while the track itself is a tempting blend of empowerment and soulful desires.

(STM) Tell us about your new single Something Wicked?

(Sharp)) Something Wicked is about the fear that you are innately bad, and that sooner or later, people are going to figure it out – a fear we all share to some degree. It was a departure for my songwriting after only writing about ‘pretty’ things with very pretty words and metaphors. I also recorded the song whilst super sick with the flu, and somehow that helped me tap into some really edgy vocals that I didn’t know I had to be honest! 

What’s the creative process like for you?

The best songs I’ve written are when I’m at the piano and music and lyrics are occurring simultaneously. Usually, I’ll stumble upon a piano motif that grabs me and the lyrics will follow in a sort of meditative automatic writing way. However, I’m not at the piano 24 hours a day and there’s a lot of times that an idea will come to me at inopportune times; at a gig, cooking dinner, and often – ON THE LOO! So, I’ll open my notes app on my phone and jot it down while it’s still there. I will be honest and say that sometimes I’ve had lyrics or music ideas come to me in a dream! 

If you could change something about the music industry what would change?

The idea that women can only become successful in their late teens or early twenties, and then we’re no longer viable in the music industry. It’s probably worse overseas than it is here, but as someone who’s just turned 26, this is something that really plagues me and adds unnecessary pressure. It’s a little ironic really, because I’m so much more capable and confident than I was when I was younger. I do think that this is something that IS changing, slowly, but I find it astounding that we’re expected to reach success in a period as messy and confusing as the early 20s. 

What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?

Really really really boring. And depressing. I don’t know what I would do with myself if I didn’t have an outlet to turn something tragic or difficult into something artful. Maybe I’d get really into slam poetry. Maybe I’d write a book. Maybe I’d become a full-time activist. Hmmm…. I’ve changed my mind. It can be fruitful to ponder who I’d be if I wasn’t doing this. It’s important and healthy to remember that we are NOT our craft.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

Diplomatic answer but there’s no one I WOULDN’T collaborate with. I hold the belief there’s something to learn and gain from everyone, no matter background, skill, or genre. Something I’d really like to do is collaborate with a fashion label for a show. Fashion is very important to me – my favourite thing to do in the whole world is not to play music, but to play dress up!

What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry ?

Do it for yourself.

What’s your favourite song to perform?

My favourite song of mine is Greenhouse (my first release). I usually play it with my full band and string trio, and it sounds super cinematic and orchestral. To me, Greenhouse is more than a song, it’s like me creating my own atmosphere. My favourite song to perform that ISN’T mine is Uninvited by Alanis Morrisette. 

Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?

I like to read Twilight fanfiction. No, I will not be delving into this further. 

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Interview with Jack Panther (Q & A)

Tāmaki Makaurau-based queer artist Jack Panther has unveiled his latest single, with Weekend At Bernies arriving as an equally quirky and anthemic piece of summery pop. he took time to answer a few questions for us about it. 

How did you get your start in music?

As a toddler and a kid I adored music, I think I always have! Around 14 I began writing some angsty poetry in which at the same time I happened to start teaching myself piano. It was a lot of fun diving into each area and then connecting the two.

At 16 I began seeing a piano teacher who I began showing my songs to. Our lessons quickly became more songwriting lessons, then production lessons. I owe him a lot, I think he opened doors a lot earlier for me which I may not have seen otherwise.

I then went on to study music in my last year of highschool and at university.

How would you describe your genre?

I would say it’s super era/project dependent. I’ve begun diving into a quirky, fun, bright, distorted alt-pop realm. It’s been a lot of fun to not write sad stuff but dive into more fun music.

What differences, if any, are there between the Australian and New Zealand music scenes and how do you navigate them when touring in one place or the other?

I find both scenes really fascinating. In my opinion I think Australia has more room for experimentation which I adore. With platforms like Triple J to give artists boosts I think it can change the music scene entirely. At the moment NZ doesn’t quite have anything like Triple J and this forces creatives and artists to have to box themselves into a more commercial area.

I am yet to tour Australia but I am so excited for the day. NZ has been so fun to tour, I’m learning a lot and can’t wait for the next one!!

What's the favourite show you’ve ever played?

Last weekend in Auckland was huge and possibly one of my favourites. Just the crowd was insane and so fun to play to, I really felt as though I could thrive and have fun. Shows like that are game changers

How do you go about songwriting, what is your creative process?

Recently I’ve been vibing a lot off the production and write around that. Because my new music is so fun and bright it’s important to make that vibe immediately. It’s a new thing for me, I used to write then produce around it however I’m now trying the other way. It’s sort of stronger too I think?

I love your new single WEEKEND AT BERNIES. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process?

I flew down to catch up with some mates in Wellington! I got a DM from this guy called Tarn PK who was wondering if I was keen to do a session. It just so happened I was coming to Wellington and we worked out a recording session. We immediately clicked, he knew my vibe and that’s how we made WEEKEND AT BERNIES. It all just sort of flew out of me. We then had about 10 zoom sessions afterwards (when I was in AKL and he was in WLG) writing and going through the production together.

The music video for WEEKEND AT BERNIES is awesome! How did it come about? Where did the idea come from?

I’ve been meaning to work with Charlotte Evans (director) again for years. We had been in the occasional comms and then I got funding for WEEKEND AT BERNIES. I sent Charlotte a picture of the Backstreet Boys all huddled in together for a photo and it’s iconic. I sent it to her and was like “WOW, imagine if I played all 4 characters”. Charlotte totally blew it out of the water from there. It was awesome to see her work.

What's next for Jack Panther?

I’m wrapping up the tour this weekend in Christchurch for our final show! Next week I’m pretty much locking myself in the studio and making more music. I’m so excited for what’s next and for 2023. A couple of shows booked here and there but my main focus is finishing off all the new exciting songs.

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