Exclusive Special Interview: Passerine

theaussieword.com catches up with the gorgeously talented Passerine! Check out the new single ‘Free Again’… you will LOVE it!

What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
My earliest memory of making music was aged about 2, trying to play my sister’s guitar like a violin, with a chopstick bow. At that point mum enrolled me in violin lessons, which lead to viola, singing, saxophone, piano… then into a position at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and principal viola in the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, and then into bands of all imaginable genres. 

What had you first interested in music?
It’s always been in me. Mum said that as a baby, when I cried, the best way to quieten me down was to put on music. And I have a really vivid memory from when I was really young… I was in a hotel lobby and a pianist playing “Memory” from Cats. I remember being totally transfixed by this beautiful music, and wound up in floods of tears. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been madly in love with music – it makes you feel things that words, images or other actions cannot express.


Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
Miles Davis, John Lennon, Radiohead, Nile Rogers, Tchaikovsky, Massive Attack, Bonobo, Roisin Murphy, James Murphy, Arcade Fire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Portishead, Robert Glasper, Little Dragon, Pantha du Prince, Flying Lotus and closer to home, Sia, Kimbra, Midnight Juggernauts, Gotye and The Raah Project. 

Do you have any planned tours coming up?
We’re launching our debut EP tomorrow at the Kelvin Club in Melbourne, and then have a huge March coming up, playing at The Hills are Alive (30 March) and alongside Bernard Fanning, Claire Bowditch, Pete Murray and Josh Pyke at Live on the Lawn at Werribee Mansion (16 March). Unfortunately, interstate fans will need to wait til later in the year. Sorry!

What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
Shows…. Collaborations with other artists… and writing, writing, writing… I’ve been so focused on promoting the EP recently, I’m so keen to get back into my studio and write some new tunes. 


Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Focus 100% of your energy into what you’re doing, and to have goals – big and little ones. Keep your eye on the big ones but also make sure you celebrate the little wins when they come about. The biggest highlight only came yesterday! I got an email saying that Paris Morning had made it to the semi finals of the prestigious, International Songwriting Competition – alongside other Aussies like Kimbra, Oh Mercy, The Preatures, etc! I entered 3 months ago and had completely fogotten about it! 

Which stars of the music industry do you find most inspiring?
Hands down, Roisin Murphy. She is so incredibly talented as a songwriter, singer and performer. Her style is incredible, she’s so poised, elegant and intelligent. She’s the coolest chick on the planet, bar none… except maybe Sia, who I also find incredibly inspiring. I can’t wait to see what direction her new album goes in. 

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Sia, Hiatus Kaiyote, Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, Jagwar Ma, Flight Facilities and the perennial favourite, INXS. I have their back catalogue on vinyl and no party at my house is complete without a 3am airing of “Original Sin” or “By My Side”. I think my neighbours hate me. 

How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?
A disco, somewhere between New York and Jamaica. A little bit dub, a little bit trip hop and a LOT disco… tending verrrry much towards disco with the latest single, Free Again. 

Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
I have a bunch of semi-finished tracks which I need to spend some quality time nurturing over coming weeks/months. I’ve been too busy finishing off the latest single and launching the EP to even look at new material. Also, some collaborations are in the works too but it’s too early to say anything just yet…

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Hopefully still making quality music that people like! I’m all about evolving my sound – with so many influences, it could go any way really. I have some ideas of where I’d like the next songs to go, but I have no doubt once I get back into the studio, it could go any way… 

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?
I think it’s brilliant. The number of artists I’ve discovered through social media, Spotify, etc is huge. Although I may not pay to buy their albums in the first instance, I wind up going to their shows and then buying album number 2… I think we’re in such a lucky position as independent artists right now. At no other time in history have we had the opportunity to be heard  by so many people, so easily. 

Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?

Keep discovering, supporting and sharing new Australian music. We’re a small little island with not many people, it’s so important to support local artists. Soundcloud, Triple J Unearthed, Spotify, YouTube and of course, blogs like theaussieword.com… there are so many platforms to discover new music, so go out and get to it! We’re waiting...

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