Alice Skye, an artist with no shortage of inspiration or passion

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Alice Skye, an artist with no shortage of inspiration or passion

Alice Skye is the modest and passionate Aboriginal Australian singer/songwriter from Horsham who, without the pairing of vocals and piano becoming her inspiration and focus from a very young age, actually planned to become the next Cathy Freeman.

“As a kid, I was really into running and sport. Cathy Freeman was my idol, I just told everybody I was going to be the next her when I was really young,” she laughs. “But I always, always played piano. When my sister started playing piano I just immediately wanted to copy her when I was four or five. I’ve always had that influence around me. I loved it so much, but it was never a goal or an idea that I would be doing it one day, it just happened.”

Now based in Melbourne, music has definitely turned into a career for Skye who is now experimenting with new sounds, playing with a live band for her upcoming gig at Narana Unplugged III – a performance for Rock For Reconciliation next month.

“I’ve been playing a lot more gigs with my band rather than being by myself so I’m excited for this one in particular because we’ve written a whole lot of new songs – it’s going to be fun to play some songs that we’ve never played for a crowd before,” Skye says, confessing the support from a band has been a real stepping stone for her confidence.

“It’s really scary to be on stage by yourself, and not have that on-stage support. These are boys I’ve known since I was four and we’ve grown up together back home, so if I was going to play with anyone, I couldn’t imagine it being anyone but them,” she says. “It just gives me more of a chance to do more than one thing; I really like writing by myself and playing piano, but it can limit you in terms of what sound you can produce so it’s nice to have drums and guitar to have a bit more of a contrast between songs.”

At Narana, Skye will be joined by the likes of Benny Walker (with claims of a possible on-stage duet), Nathan Seeckts, Rach Brennan and Lyndon Morgan for an event focusing on creating positive dialogue and action on issues of National Reconciliation.

“I’m fortunate enough to be asked to be involved, especially when it’s something like Rock for Reconciliation because that’s something really close to home for me and it’s similar people from similar backgrounds. There’s this kind of unspoken understanding of each other from the beginning.”

Since the beginning of 2015, the 21 year old has had two tracks featured triple j’s Unearthed and was one of eight winners of the Alukura Songwriting Competition, chosen to record at the CAAMA Music studios in Alice Springs for her very first release ‘You Are the Mountains’. CAAMA knew they were onto a good thing, asking the young artist back to record an EP which has now turned into a debut album, with her first single set for release on July 7 coinciding with her late father’s birthday.

“I just had too many songs. It was really bizarre. In the lead up to me going back to Alice Springs to record with CAAMA I was so nervous. I only had three or four songs and I wanted to have more than that just in case some weren’t as good, or just so we could maybe cut it down to the best four. I ended up having 10 when I got there, and wrote a couple more while I was there, so I think we’ve ended up now with eight recorded – so it’s definitely an album instead of an EP,” she says.

“It worked out really well and I actually ended up going back to Alice Springs again to work on a couple more. I really fell in love with Alice Springs as a place – it’s stolen a piece of my heart. I was just so excited to go back and do something that I loved which was just writing and recording music.”

When & Where: Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Grovedale – June 3 from 12pm

Written by Talia Rinaldo