This week's feature artist is Sophie Payten, better known as Gordi. Growing up on her Canowindra family farm 'Alfalfa' and sprouting (rare Alfalfa gag) up on Unearthed, the now Sydney based artist has integrated elements of electronica into her more folky roots with her stunning voice still taking centre stage.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I've been writing music for the best part of 10 years and it's developed through the music I listen to. From Missy Higgins and Megan Washington to Josh Pyke, The Tallest Man on Earth, Bon Iver and more recently Asgeir and #1 Dads. The kind of music I like has evolved from purely folk to incorporate more electronic elements and a real focus on vocal production.
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
My personal life. I think as an artist you really have to expose the most hidden parts of yourself in order to write something that connects with people. Otherwise I look to things like poetry and films, particularly when I'm preoccupied with boring and mundane things. Like today I had to install my new dishwasher. Things like that don't seem to resonate as well with most people.
What can punters expect from a Gordi live show?
Good times and great classic hits. Or at the very least some pretty inoffensive electro-folk music. Depending on the show I either play with full band or a duo set. We try to emulate that "folktronica" vibe on stage by using acoustic instruments with synths and trigger pads. I think trigger pads are the key to surviving on a musicians budget these days, plus they're quite cool. Maybe eventually even my vocals will be on a trigger pad so I'll literally just stand on stage and press buttons. How's that for stage presence.
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
With regards to music, the best advice I've been given was from Gregg Donovan from Wonderlick. I saw him speak at a conference and he said as an artist you should put your energy into the things you can control rather than worry about how everything will fall into place.
With regards to life, my Grandma's advice is that 'everything passes', and most importantly, 'it's not all beer and skittles'.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
I saw Megan Washington at the Metro a week ago. Honestly it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. She's one of the best entertainers going round and such a consistent performer.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
I'm a big fan of Little May
and Le Pie
. They're 3 really great up and coming female artists out of Sydney and I think really reflect the surge in talented young female artists in Australia at the moment. I'm excited to see what's ahead in 2015 for each of them.
What are your plans for 2015?
A lot of touring! I'm about to start a tour supporting Winterbourne
down the East Coast and some other exciting shows along the way, like the Spectrum Now Festival in the Domain and another show with Timberwolf
. I've also finished recording 3 new tracks that I'll be dropping when the time is right, maybe with an EP mid-year. I've got a bunch of headline shows coming up too.