Singer, songwriter and country musician Chloe Styler stops by THEAUSSIEWORD.COM for a special interview.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I started writing songs when I was 15 thanks to hours upon hours of listening to Taylor Swift’s album Speak Now. My parents put me into singing lessons when I was 7, Piano lessons when I was 8 and I was gifted my first guitar for my 13th birthday which I taught myself how to play thanks to YouTube. At the heart of it, I just love writing songs and connecting with people through my stories. That’s what drew me to the music industry and what keeps me here.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Lately I’ve been challenging myself to write songs about something other than heartbreak!
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
It would be a dream come true to put on my own headline tour of Australia! I also would love to release a debut album. A dream support slot would be opening for Kacey Musgraves or Taylor Swift (obviously).
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
My sophomore EP ‘Side A’ will be released on 18th November, and I will be launching it acoustically at The Junk Bar in Brisbane on 25th November. I’m really excited about this as all the songs on the EP were written with a pen, paper and acoustic guitar in hand. It means a lot to me to perform the songs as close as possible to how they were written so the audience gets the full effect of the lyrics etc. This will be a really special show!
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
My latest single ‘Vaguer Than Vegas’ was co-written with Jason Resch from the band Darlinghurst. We wrote it about those people who put on the façade of a perfect life but in reality, there’s nothing ‘perfect’ going on behind the scenes. We likened this to the glitz and glam of the Las Vegas strip and had lots of fun coming up with witty lyrics!
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Lately I’ve really enjoyed writing from a song title. I usually just start strumming on the guitar and go from there, but I found that my songs were all starting to sound the same! Starting the writing session with a song title instead really opens up the possibilities of where the song can head sonically.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Haha! I’ll leave the hidden meanings to Taylor Swift. My lyrics are very literal and often come from a super personal place. So, if you’re listening to my songs, you’re getting a really great insight into my personal diary.
Success, what is the secret to it?
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
My band and I were so lucky to perform at Suncorp Stadium this year as the pre-game entertainment for an NRL game. I remember seeing Ed Sheeran perform at Suncorp Stadium years before, so it was definitely a pinch-me moment!
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I’ve drawn inspiration from Maisie Peters, Kacey Musgraves, Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift, Gretta Ray and more!
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
Yes! There will be a ‘Side B’ EP dropping sometime next year with a bunch of new songs. I can’t wait for you to hear them.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?
Hopefully still plodding along, making music, playing shows, connecting with people through my stories and still enjoying it!
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
One thing that I find really difficult about being a musician is all of the events, birthdays, weddings, special days I have to miss because I’m working. It never gets easier. On the other hand, I love how being a musician takes me all over the country (& hopefully world one day!).
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
I mentioned her before, but I adore Gretta Ray. Her lyricism is so inspiring. I’ve also really been loving Boy & Bear and Shannen James lately too.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Social media is a blessing and a curse. I love how in touch we all are; however, I’m struggling to keep up with the demand from fans online. There is so much content being made and consumed that if you’re not on the ‘content train’ every day you almost feel like you’re months behind after a few days off socials. I think social media is an incredible tool for connecting with audiences far and wide, I just wish it was more sustainable for artists and creatives because I know I’m not the only one that feels burnt out by it lately.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
Ironically, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing on social media ha! I think this is how I’ll best reach an international market as an independent, self-managed artist.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I sure do! I love collaboration – it is the bees knees. I’ve co-written with some really incredible musicians such as Jason Resch (Darlinghurst), Sarah Buckley (The Buckleys), Kaylee Bell, James Johnston, Reuben Styles (Peking Duk) and Jared Porter. I’d love to write with the wonderful female artists I mentioned above; those who inspire me such as Gretta Ray, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves etc.
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
First of all, don’t follow in my footsteps! Make your own! There’s no ‘one’ or ‘right’ way to do things so find what works for you and roll with it.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
I prefer Instagram over any other social media platform. So chuck me a message there!
YouTube: Chloe Styler