Special Interview: Montaigne

theaussieword.com catches up with Montaigne for a special interview.

Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?
Hi. Hey there. Wassup. Im Montaigne. I wasnt always Montaigne. I was once a tiny, tiny baby named Jessica Cerro. I enjoyed singing and moving to music from the
beginning. I still remember creating routines to This Is What Dreams Are Made Of from the Lizzie McGuire Movie. What a classic. I was writing terrible songs from a young age, but never thought I could make a career of music. So I turned to football, which I was also quite good at. And then suddenly, after my mum had me record a song Id written to layer over a football highlights reel for Ivy League Football Scholarship applications, I had a song in Unearthed High 2012, which wasnt very good in my own opinion. But other people seemed to like it. I got some attention from radio play, and then after taking a year of hiatus from being in the public eye in order to finish my high school studies, I recorded an EP with Tony Buchen. It was great. We had a superlative time. That EP was released last year. And that, my friends, is where the tale of Montaigne begins.

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Loving music, I guess. Thats the motivation. I have many influences, the key ones being Sigur Rós/Jónsi, Arcade Fire, The National and Coldplay. I like big sound, deep sound, ambient, epic, orchestral, anthemic sound. Some people think its artless, but I dont really give a fuck about elitism of that kind.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Id like to play arenas, Id like to have really cool visuals behind me while I play, Id like to play live with every instrument used on a record (including horns and strings). Id like to meet my musical heroes, Id like to move people with my music, Id like to say something with my music thats going to make a positive impact on the world.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Oh yeah. So much touring. Im currently on tour with Megan Washington, then I have my headline tour in April!
Tell us a bit about your latest EP and how would you best describe your music?
The EP is pretty neurotic, pretty intense, angsty and almost entirely self-related. By that I mean that its more about oneself than about others. Its more about ones personal development and conduct and outlook and how that affects the way they live their lives. Its all about interaction with the world, and learning, and unlearning. Things I find very important. Thats the lyrical content, anyway. Sonically, Ive tried to make it
Success, what is the secret to it?
For me so far, luck. Seriously. Luck.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
So far? Probably the time during the San Cisco tour that I was playing to a crowd of people wherein there was one guy who knew every single lyric to my song and was singing along, even though my EP had only been released the week prior. That was unreal.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I think Björk is the coolest person ever. I think a big part of ones creative capacity is how uninhibited they can be. Björk does what she wants and does it unashamedly. Thats why everything she comes out with is phenom.com. I wish I were like that. Alas, I am not! I hope to be one day.
Any new projects in the pipeline?
Im pretty much just writing and touring right now.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Still a part of it, hopefully? To me, the music industry is like the ocean, and there are strata of deep sea which I know absolutely nothing about – I dont know how deep it runs. So Im just going to have to see where I get to. Im not really the kind to project into the future too much to be frank.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Vance Joy, Japanese Wallpaper, The Temper Trap, Gotye, Big Scary/No.1 Dads, Thelma Plum, Tkay Maidza, Gang of Youths.
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 used to feel really weird about self-promoting and generally talking about myself on social media but Im getting used to it. Like anything. Its like riding a bike. I quite like it. I find it interesting how much of a voice, especially a controversial one, artists can have nowadays with shit they say on twitter or whatever. I like that that is a possibility, and I mean, I cant control what anyone else says or does, I can only hope that I do the responsible thing and I never punch down with what I say. My main shtick is music though, Im not a very political person generally. The only thing I have somewhat of an opinion on is queer issues, and feminism. Anyway, in regards to my records, it basically means that its easier. Im part of a generation which sees the ubiquity of social media as completely normal, so its not really a big deal for me.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
Stay in school, kids. You know, if thats whats best for you. Above all, follow your dreams, and dont be jealous of others success.


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