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Ollie English

Featured Artist

2018

26

Nov

Ollie English

( )

Adelaide, SA

Adelaide artist Ollie English will stop you in your way with his powerful, soulful voice. He will be joining The Rubens this weekend on stage as our comp winner!

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?

I began learning Spanish classical guitar when I was very young. It was really invaluable as it helped me to understand melody and dynamics but eventually blues & soul music stole my heart as a teenager. I loved everything about blues guitar, I found myself playing along to BB King and Led Zeppelin records. At the same time, I was really inspired by soulful voices like Nina Simone and James Brown. I went through my first heartbreak when i was in year 12. I turned to songwriting as a way to process my emotions. I have fond memories of sneaking out of home on school nights and thrashing Jeff Buckley’s album ‘Grace’ through the CD player in my car. John Mayer’s album ‘Battle Studies’ had some pretty strong rotation too. This time was really important for me, I began to work out how crucial music and storytelling was for my soul. Over a long period time I worked out that this was a part of who I was and I couldn’t live without it. I’ve caught the bug and haven’t stopped since.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?

I’m really inspired by life, whether it's my own or others experiences. I’ve written songs about a whole spectrum of human emotions; I can be inspired by anything if it moves me. My writing is also really affected by my mood, or just listening to some really dope music. Inspiration strikes at really odd times and usually I get my iPhone out, press record, and go from there.

What can punters expect from an Ollie English live show?

You can expect a pretty diverse bunch of songs, from ballads to upbeat rock grooves. What I notice is that my live shows give people a chance to slow down and hug the person next to them, and then the next minute, i want to make them want to get up and groove. I’ve always found that people who talk to me after the shows have each had their own unique experience with the stories I had told.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?

When my grandpa passed away, I went into the ward to see him for the last time and his last words to me were ‘take care of each other’. This influences how I approach everyone and everything in my life..

What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?

'No Ordinary Life' by Matt Corby. If I could musically explain a rainbow, it would sound like this song.

What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?

'Took The Children Away' by Archie Roach.

You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?

'Overrated' feat LILLI by Kuji Koo! Such a banger. You can download their track on triple j Unearthed.

What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?

I was lucky enough to play and attend a brilliant local festival called Handpicked. Such a cruisy vibe out in the vineyards of Lake Breeze Wines in Langhorne Creek. I got to share the stage with amazing local artists Laura Hill, Neon Tetra and the Sundance Kids. It also featured incredible Australian talents Boy & Bear, Vera Blue, Ball Park Music and Alex Lahey.

Tell us about the bands or people in the Adelaide music community that inspire you.

Adelaide is pretty tight knit community. It feels like a big family. I’m inspired by how much quality music is being produced in SA. First up, Surahn is a big inspiration, he’s an incredible songwriter who’s made a mark on the world with his music. He’s written for Usher and toured with Empire of the Sun. Laura Hill inspires me a lot, I met her this year at a gig we played together. I was struck by her beautiful voice and relatable songwriting. Wanderers are so bloody groovy. They’re on tour right now! You gotta catch these guys live. Dusty is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen. Mane is another inspiration. She’s creating some really great pop music. Her new track ‘Chasing Butterflies’ really grabs you with her pipes, the strings are so dope too. I’m a big fan of Timberwolf, such a unique voice and he’s written some incredibly honest music. His new single ‘Proud Silence’ hits really close to home, I also caught mum jamming to it the other night! Neon Tetra, are bloody funksters and a ½. I have so much fun watching them at their live shows, so good! Such great tunes. Tales are beautiful musicians- recently known as ‘The Winter Gypsy’. Their song ‘Took Me By’ is one of my favourite songs. So excited for their next release. Also, Jordan Ruru. Big things. You have to check her out. Amazing.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018 / early 2019?

A lot of recording and I’ll be releasing my EP early 2019! So excited to support the Rubens this Friday with my full band. I’m also planning my first national tour for early 2019, including a festival appearance at Womad in March. I still can’t believe I’m playing WOMAD and supporting The Rubens, a dream come true. There’s a lot of hard work to go but so much to look forward to.

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Gretta Ray

Featured Artist

2016

26

Sep

Gretta Ray

Melbourne, VIC

Unearthed High champ Gretta Ray is back with 'Unwind' - a stunning new song she recorded here at triple j.

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You've just released your new single 'Unwind'. Tell us a little about the genesis of that song and what it was like to be writing/recording again after the success of ‘Drive'?
Writing Unwind after the success of Drive was a fascinating challenge for me as a songwriter, due to the fact that Drive was one of those songs where all the elements kind of fell into place right from the beginning of the writing process; the piece came together in a rather organic way. For me, that rarely happens when writing music, and I had to consistently remind myself of that when writing Unwind, as it did not unfold as naturally as Drive did. That being said, once I had the bones of Unwind, I became excited about how different it sounded from anything that I’d ever written before, and once I arrived in Sydney to record it, I was so pleased that I had pushed myself to have a brand new song finished in time for that particular project. Concept-wise, the lyrics of Unwind intend to portray one’s thought process when going through a break up. More specifically, the moment when one comes to understand the extent of what they have lost, when they start to feel the weight of what the relationship became. I feel as though the lyric that best conveys that is “I am sure that there is more to this than I care to admit”. Hopefully this rings true with some listeners. This is a song for those that “feel it all”.
 
You recorded it at the triple j studios in Sydney. What was that recording process like compared to how you usually lay your tracks down?
The recording process at triple J was such an incredible opportunity; I got to work with some very special musicians and am so grateful for all of their time. The main difference between recording in Sydney and how I usually record was definitely the time constraints. We completed the production for this new song in the space of a day and half, which was a huge achievement for the whole team, considering that my usual producers and I spent a good few weeks on Drive. But despite it being a speedy process, it was as equally as fun and satisfying when we completed our work.
 
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I spend a lot of time examining the way that I and others move through the world. I am constantly observing human interactions and human behaviour on the whole, and find that most of my ideas are born when I am taking note of one’s body language or the way that they are conversing with another. For example, there is a lyric in Drive that talks about someone having the ability to make one’s “tired eyes widen and cheeks turn rouge”. I like to focus on minuscule details such as these, details that have the potential to mean so much if they are explored in depth. So overall, I would say that choosing to watch and listen to those in around me has always been what has inspired me to write.
 
What's your go-to snack when making music?
If I’m writing? Hmmm.. okay, this isn’t interesting or original at all, but vegemite toast is definitely my go to. I consume so much bread on a day to day basic, it’s out of control. When I’m recording and making music in a studio environment however, I am hungry the entire time, so props to triple j for bringing me pastries and pizza when I was working in Sydney. Saved my life. 
 
What's your vision for the ultimate Gretta Ray live show?
Oh man, I’m not sure. I sure do think about it a lot, but I am yet to put a band together, as I have always played my shows acoustically; just me and my guitar.
Although, touring as a part of Japanese Wallpaper’s band was an eye opening experience in regards to what it takes to put on a good live show. I loved watching our support act, E^ST perform each night. She radiates so much energy on stage and is jumping and dancing almost the entire time, keeping the audience in the palm of her hand. I found that incredibly inspiring, so when it came to singing lead in Japanese Wallpaper’s set, I attempted to channel a similar energy. When school ends and I can start thinking about putting together a show of my own, I’d definitely like there to be moments where I can put the guitar down and move around on stage.
 
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
I am very lucky in the sense that I seem to have wise, supportive people around me all the time, so I am constantly being offered amazing advice. My family has always taught me to be thankful for everything that comes my way and to be considerate of others. Although that’s very broad, I would say that’s the best advice that anyone can be given.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
I Love Pop Music by Ben Lee. Maybe just Ben Lee in general. Ben Lee forever.
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Consolation Prize by Montaigne. I cried on the plane to that song the first time that I listened to it.
OR Stranger In My Room by Kat Edwards. Hauntingly exquisite. 
 
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Get Down by Jess Kent. Banger and a half. I will never get over how good that song is. 
 
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?
I am going to finish High School! HOORAY! Then straight after that, I’m flying to Nashville for 2 weeks alongside my mum to hang out with my producer, meet people, eat a lot of food and start work on what I hope to be a full length record. 2017 will consist of playing shows, writing a lot of songs and hopefully travelling back to the states if I can earn the money to do so.

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