theaussieword.com catches up with Brandon Poletti.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I always thought about being a musician throughout school, I enjoyed music but was never overly competent on the guitar or at singing. Once I started university I started practicing often and improved a lot. I also had my tonsils out, which for some reason helped my singing voice drastically. Since then music has been something I feel I have to do and I really don’t have much drive to pursue anything outside of my music.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
I draw inspiration from a range of different places, particularly situations that have happened in my life can often get the creative juices flowing. I also enjoy getting amongst nature. Where I live in Bickley is gorgeous, there’s beautiful rolling hills and endless walking trails. I’ll often go for a walk and listen to my favourite Chris Stapleton, Leif Vollebeck or maybe Amos Lee tunes, I generally feel pretty inspired by the thoughtlessness of something like that.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I would really love to get to a point where I can tour regularly both in Australia and internationally, while still producing music that people connect with and that I’m proud of. The most important thing for me is that people are listening and enjoying the music I create, I will be very content with that.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Once my EP is out (29th of November) I’m planning to do some shows throughout the south west of Western Australia with my band. I’m also hoping to get over East at some point next year and play some shows over there but there’s no concrete plans set in place at the moment.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
My EP, which will be released on the 29th of November is a very relaxed collection of songs recorded to sound as though a band were performing them live in front of you. The most important part of the music for me is the lyrics, I always try to write while being as vulnerable as possible. I feel that when people hear these song’s they may have one or two that they could apply to their own life and previous experiences. In doing so I hope to create a feeling that is deeply special for people that hear these tunes.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
I have thousands of notes in my phones, from singular words to small phrases to a couple sentences. I write these down because they can be the foundation of a new song. There has to be something that will kick off the creative part of my brain, either a lyric, chord progression or lick. Once I’ve started everything seems to fall in to place quickly, it’s just finding that initial spark that is the difficult part for me.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Not really, I feel that most of my lyrics are quite transparent. The meaning to most of my songs should be quite understandable for most people. I connect more so with lyrics of that nature so it’s probably why I avoid being cryptic when writing songs. I like people to finish a song and know what it’s about.
Success, what is the secret to it?
I believe persistence and hard work. In the last 12 months I’ve really changed my mindset about how I was going to achieve what I wanted to achieve. Prior to this I could be lazy and basically expected that people would just discover my music without putting a great amount of effort in to promotion. For the past year I’ve really started working on engaging my audience and ensuring that I connect with them as often as I can and the difference has been huge.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
So far I’d say having my song ‘Find My Way Through’ nominated as a grand finalist in the national Listen Up songwriting competition was very special. I fly to Sydney with my band on the 27th of November to hopefully take it out. Fingers crossed!
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
There are a vast amount of artists that influence my style of music and writing. For instance people like Chris Stapleton and Amos Lee have influenced what I wanted instrumentally in this latest EP. I used upright bass and pedal steel guitar mainly because they were integral components of my favourite records from those two artists. Other artists such as John Mayer, Missy Higgins and Paul Kelly are hugely important to my appreciation of music.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
I have demoed several tunes of which I’m hoping will be a part of my debut album. However, production won’t start until at least half way through next year. Otherwise I have a good friend who is an electronic producer who has just remixed my song ‘Waiting To Be Found’ which we’ll be releasing in the coming months.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
While my current ambition is to tour and release more of my own music, I do really hope to get involved in other aspects of the music industry. My main focus is to also work as a songwriter and producer for other artists, I love songwriting and the ability to work alongside others to create something special is extremely appealing.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Australia has produced some of the most gifted songwriters and I’ve been obsessed with artists such as Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Archie Roach and Neil Finn (claim him as an Australian anyway) for years. Recently I’ve really started enjoying music that has been released by Dulcie, Dean Lewis and The Teskey Brothers. There just a couple examples but I am always on the lookout for great new Australian music.
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 feel as though the Australian music industry is very strong, we have a lot of gifted people on stage and behind the scenes that are doing some crazy amazing things. I really am privileged to be a part of something as inclusive as our music industry.
Social media is perhaps the most important tool artists and labels have to market music in the modern era. Personally, I love and hate social media. It’s been amazing at helping me create an audience and monitor who is engaging with me online. However, I do feel burdened by it sometimes because I’d rather be writing and recording instead of creating content for my social pages but it is so important that I am regularly updating what I put out online.
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
Marry a celebrity. No not really.. I will just keep doing what I’m doing at the moment, it seems to be slowly gaining traction. I’m always trying to engage people and show them what I can create as often as possible, either through gigging or social media. Social media in particular is so vital because it has allowed us all to be universally connected and artists can really exploit these tools to connect with a vast amount of individuals from anywhere in the world.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I have a heap of people I want to collaborate with. My taste in music is very broad, I enjoy everything from hip-hop to hair metal to programmatic classical music. If I had to choose a couple artist’s I’d love to collaborate with I’d say Baker Boy, Leif Vollebeck, Flume and Chris Stapleton.
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Firstly, I’d recommend just practicing as much as possible! I have written probably 1000 songs, if not more. 90% of them would be complete garbage but I continued to hone in on my craft and now understand my creative process and how to create something decent.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?
I will always talk to people via Facebook or Instagram if they message me. I like to think I’m a pretty polite kind of guy who’s always willing to talk so if anyone would like to, flick me a message and I’ll reply!
Any last words?
Just be a good person, it’s not hard.