Vanessa Fernandez on her new sound, being a mum and performing at Sunset Sounds

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Vanessa Fernandez on her new sound, being a mum and performing at Sunset Sounds

Melbourne’s own songstress Vanessa Fernandez has had a very busy year, playing gigs all over the place, writing new music and all whilst raising her newborn second child Sam.

So how do things change as a touring musician after you have a child?

“It becomes very hard! You are really time poor and every spare hour you get, you try to put it into your music,” Vanessa explains.

“It definitely makes you a bit more; I don’t know how to put it, deliberate in your actions, and quick. You look at your time and what you have to do and you narrow everything down and you don’t really stuff around as you normally would.

“You also need a lot more patience, but yet, you also become a lot clearer about what you want to do; whether or not you want to keep doing music and how you would go about doing it. I feel after having children I am a bit happier doing gigs where I cover music, where as before I was more interested in writing and being an artist. But I feel after you have kids, you are just more so happy to be involved in music.”

After being trained in jazz music, Vanessa has toured a lot of the genre in the past, however with newly discovered perspectives, she hopes to expand on her sound by merging genres for her upcoming release, which is hopefully expected next year.

“I’ve been applying for a few government grants and just trying to find ways to get funds to record a new album for hopefully next year. It will be a bit of a soul/jazz crossover. I’ve mainly been doing jazz stuff for the last couple of years and previously I had been doing a bit of funk and jazz.

“I have a whole demo ready to go of soul/jazz originals. Ideally, I’d love to record two albums; as I’m sure every other artist does. I’d make one some great jazz standards I have reinterpreted, and then an album of complete originals. But I guess it’s all dependent on what kind of grant I can get for myself.”

Some of the first crowds to experience this difference in genre will be those lucky enough to attend Sunset Sounds, which is also featuring Cookin’ On 3 Burners as the headliner. Vanessa can’t wait to perform alongside the other acts on the bill.

“This is the first time I’ve been asked to play here! It’s exciting! To be honest I don’t know too much about it, but I’m just excited about playing alongside two really well established soul/funk outfits in Melbourne. These guys have been playing around the tracks for a while which means they are really well known in the scene and just such a tight outfit – so it’ll be interesting going before them!”

When & Where: Sunset Sounds @ Malvern Gardens, Malvern – January 22

Written by Alex Callan