THEAUSSIEWORD.COM special interview with Kaurna Cronin.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I grew up with my mother and father, my mother was a textile artist and my father was a clown. I loved performing from a young age – mainly circus skills and theatre. My parents would work at the many folk festivals around Australia – we were at Port Fairy Folk Festival and many others annually and I grew up being inspired by the craft of songwriting, story-telling and performing along with the love of acoustic singer-songwriter music. Growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s I was influenced by a lot of different music – Aussie Hip Hop, Rock & Roll & Pop but but always found myself coming back to artists such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and Jackson Browne. These singer-songwriters and many more became the bedrock of my love for music. I also love reading and writing in many forms as well as producing and recording any kind of music that is honest and artistic.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
My biggest motivation for creating great music is a passion for creating something unique that connects with people in exciting ways.
Touring my music globally and performing live influences me to write in different ways than in the studio, but overall the goal is to connect with people and bring people together in any form. My touring shows over the last years have inspired me to develop different ideas whilst collaborating in studios with other brilliantly creative people has also been a huge motivation to develop ideas and create great music.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We’ll be touring Australia in June 2019, celebrating the launch of the new single in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide plus we have two months of touring in Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Netherlands in July/August 2019. We are also hoping to get out west and further up the east coast of Australia later in the year, once the album drops.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
‘Gotta Get Outta This Place’ is a song I’ve been wanting to write for a long time but had never really managed to get the tone quite right. It’s a song about internal battles of a sense of belonging and love for the idea of ‘ones home’ and the ongoing feeling of needing to get away from home to experience the unknown to be inspired by different places, people and ideas. It was important for me to try and capture the sense of passion and inspiration in ones home and not dismiss that – it’s about the conflict of urges that one can associate with not wanting to feel ‘comfort’ anymore.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
I am fascinated by the emotive responses music and art can create. When writing I am always trying to create sonic landscapes that fit the stories and characters that traverse them. I am always trying to develop new techniques for different expression both lyrically and musically and am inspired by many different themes.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
There are no hidden meanings if you are willing to listen and discover. Doesn’t good music always allow for discovery and interpretation? I think no matter how any music is interpreted or understood, it’s important that the artist always has considered intentions and direction. You will always find what you’re looking for if you look long enough…
Success, what is the secret to it?
Enjoying every process of what your creating and the way you’re sharing it with people. Make sure you don’t compromise by doing things that don’t excite you, you’ll end up doing more and more of those things if you start. Stay passionate and don’t focus on the outcome, everything ends eventually, you just have to make sure you had a good time before it does.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Either touring throughout many different cultures over the past years has been the most incredible experience. From tours through Russia, India, Sweden, Germany, Italy and The Baltics it’s been an incredibly diverse collection of shows and audiences and every place has had it’s own very unique experiences. Or, it would be the writing, developing, recording and mixing of this latest album as an entire process. It has been a thrilling journey mentally and physically with so many passionate and brilliant people involved.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
I have a new album being released in September 2019 which has been a while in the making. It’s a culmination of many years on the road, particularly throughout Europe, and it includes many songs which I have been developing much longer than previous records. There was a great focus for this album to have a greater attention on the specific moods and emotive ideas in each track, before collectively developing it as a cohesive album. It was recorded in many different studios and places throughout the world, which is very fitting to the overall content of the album.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Touring nationally and internationally connecting with audiences and having great nights performing wherever they’ll have me. Also making records I believe in.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Favourite: Being able to dive into fascinating scenarios and experiences with magnificent minds day in day out. Whether its developing ideas in the studio or performing on stage, it’s incredibly filling.
Least favourite: Anything that feels stagnant, repetitive or not creative.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
At the moment I am digging: Tom West, Delia Obst, Timothy Nelson, Banjo Jackson, Ro, Ben Whiting, The Maes, Timberwolf, Oh Pep!, Loren Kate, Max Savage, Kelly Menhennet, Aaron Thomas.
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 there is huge positives in the way the industry is heading for independent artists and huge negatives. It has never been easier to access distribution, promotion and bookings however it seems the overall value of music has decreased which has made many great artists and musicians resort to focussing on other mediocre content that is trending but not necessarily meaningful and artistic. I think there has been a big shift towards fast monetisation which doesn’t hold much longevity in an artistic career. Personally, I see any kind of artistic growth as development, therefore an artistic career should be perpetual, hold integrity and overtime meaningful artists will build a following based on artistic merit as opposed to gimmicks and trends.
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
My first years in Europe I was based in Germany, I spent a while busking in the streets of Berlin in 2011 developing songs which I would later create my first LP with partly in a Berlin studio and at my home studio in Australia. Every year I have been travelling back to Europe, playing in new countries every year including Germany, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Austria. It has been a gradual and constant evolution of building audiences from performing on the streets, to cafes, to venues, to festivals in most countries throughout Europe. There is no “shooting to success” story by any means, but performing live to audiences all over the world has become my life.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I love to collaborate with different musicians and artists. At the moment I am particularly enjoying multidisciplinary collaborations through music, working with poets, photographers, videographers and visual artists to develop new ways of approaching songwriting, producing and recording. I would love to collaborate with different producers and songwriters. I think Paul Simon would be fun to collaborate with or even more pop orientated artists such as Bruno Mars or Beyonce.
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Stay passionate and make sure you are loving the process, as soon as you compromise on the process the outcome is too in focus and you lose all greater perspective on what you are creating or why you are creating it.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?
If there is something you like, never be afraid to tell the artist, in person, online or pigeon mail. You have no idea how much it can be a motivator when inspiration the disappears.