They have already given Anglesea fans some crackers this year, and there are still some treats to come before year’s end. August is looking good at the moment, with Cash Savage and the Last Drinks (with support from Hollie Joyce) locked in for August 2, and divine songbirds Alice Skye and Emily Wurramara locked in for August 3, who will be sharing their voices, their stories and their experiences with heart and honesty at Anglesea Memorial Hall. We chat to Alice Skye ahead of the gig.
Last time we spoke was 2017 and a lot has happened since then, including the signing to the nation’s leading label for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists Bad Apples Music – congrats! How did that come about?
Thank you! SO I met Briggs and Coco from Bad Apples, I won a competition – I’m not sure how long ago, maybe two years ago, or a year, but I won a competition through Bakehouse for First Nation Women on International Women’s Day so I got heaps of support through Bakehouse Studios in Melbourne and also a part of that prize was some mentoring from Briggs so we just sort of met through that, and then Coco who works there as well was just really supportive and would come to lots of my shows and was just one of those nice people that you meet in the industry that just seem really into what you do which is obviously a very nice feeling. It’s just so nice, I wasn’t expecting to eventually become a part of the label but I am very grateful that I am.
What does this now mean for you and your music?
It’s about supporting me while I release music, but also supporting me in general. I definitely think that not every artist needs a label to be successful, there’s a lot of great people doing great things independently but for me it’s just really nice to have a home base, and have people that believe in what you’re doing and want to help you achieve the things you want to achieve. They are really encouraging me to do that and let me drive it myself, they’re all just so great!
Word on the grapevine is you’re working on a new album at the moment. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, I’m so ready to have some new things for people to listen to so I’m really excited. It’s all just in my head currently, so I’m just doing demos and things like that at the moment. I just want it to be really good so I want to take my time as well as have things ready towards the end of the year as well. I’m just trying to balance that feeling of excitement and procrastination.
In comparison to your debut Friends With Feelings, where do you see this project heading musically?
Well, it’s going to be really different because when I did the first album, even though it came out last year it was done quite sometime before that, so I was about nineteen and I was also on my own, I didn’t have my band at that stage. For a long time since then I’ve been playing with twins that I grew up with, these boys are just super talented and I think having people that you know so well to collaborate with and bounce ideas around with changes it a lot. For me being so isolated the first time I did it (not in a bad way, it was good isolation), but I think having the boys with me on this next one is really exciting. They’re just great and they understand what I want in a song without me having to verbalise it which is great because I’m not very good at communication.
I’m sure it’s also nice to have the company up on stage too to calm the nerves a bit!
Oh absolutely! I’m never alone now. I mean I’m still nervous, I’m just a nervous person, it’s just how I am. Performing for me is just so dependent on my headspace already. If I’m having a good day, it might be really good, but if I’m having a bit of a weird day, sometimes it will be a little bit weird on stage, you just don’t know what you’re going to get.
Oh absolutely understandable, we’re all human! Speaking of performing, you’ve got an upcoming gig in Anglesea presented by the Sound Doctor. Have you played there before?
No, I’ve actually never been to Anglesea so I’m very excited. It should be so pretty!
And that gig sees you performing alongside Emily Wurramara, have you two played together much before?
Oh yes, we’ve spent a lot of time together! She’s my sister! We met a couple of years ago and I guess she had been doing shows a little longer than me but we’re around the same age and she’s another young, Indigenous women in the music industry doing cool stuff. Her friendship means the world to me and it’s really nice to have someone who’s going through the same things as you to talk to because sometimes it can be a little weird and overwhelming. I’m very lucky to have her, and she’s just also super talented and such a great songwriter. We actually did a co-headline tour together last year, I think it was my first proper headline shows and we did some collaborations so maybe we might do that again. But so much has changed in a year and we both have lots of new songs, so we might just see what happens!
I’m sure whatever happens will be great! You also collaborated on a cool project Deadly Hearts Two which features ten First Nations artists reworking iconic Australian songs. How was that whole project?
That was great. I really loved the first Deadly Hearts album last year, there are lots of beautiful songs on that one, so I was super excited to be asked to be on the next one and the fact that they were doing another one. That was the first time I’d recorded with my band as well so it was really fun! It was our first song to be released as an outfit together, so that was a really cool process to do with them! It was also a cool opportunity to record a Leah Flanagan song who I think is also another incredible, strong woman in the industry, and just a really clever songwriter.
How was it being the first time recording with the band? Was it just an easy process?
It was so natural and nice! I hope it’s a good indication of how the album will go because it was just really fun and easy and I think came together really nice. I really liked what they did; I just described the feel I wanted it to have and the boys worked their magic and instrumentation on it. It felt like for me what I consider an upbeat song because I usually do things at like 60 beats per minute and this song is double that!
Ohhh exciting! Is that something you might continue exploring?
Yeah, I think having some more driven songs will be fun. I still like sad songs, sad songs will always hold such an important place in my heart but it’s fun playing around with some more driven, heavier songs. You’ll just have to keep an ear out!
When & Where: Anglesea Memorial Hall, Anglesea – Friday, August 2 (Cash Savage) and Saturday, August 3 (Alice Skye + Emily Wurramara). Visit thesounddoctor.info/