You may have heard her single ‘Shine’ on regular rotation across the triple j airwaves, because powerhouse musician Asta is back with her debut EP Shine, slated for release mid-February. We sat down with her to talk about life in your 20s, the inspiration behind her EP and her upcoming tour.
Your EP Shine is set for release on February 17 was produced by Melbournian creative force YEO, what was it like working with him?
It was really magical, we had a great time. It was just like a match made in heaven, I think if we were a tinder date we would be pretty successful.
You said that you “had to do some living before [you] had enough to say for a debut EP. [You] think [you've] scrubbed enough dishes, eaten enough tofu and broken a few hearts now to deserve a party." What kind of living did you do to get the inspiration for the EP? Did you travel, work, date or all of the above?
I think it was mainly just moving to a big city, like I guess moving to Sydney and trying to survive. Yeah I guess the inspiration is mainly from that. There’s a particular song called ‘Doing What You Want’ on the record, the verse is like (sings) “When the day has been long / And your feet are tired/ And the things you want/ Are so hard to find” like that kind of stuff. It’s about, just keep pushing on no matter what, and hanging in there and believing in yourself, and believing what you’re doing is the right thing and trusting your own journey.
Through both ‘Shine’ and 2015’s ‘Dynamite’ you can clearly hear yourself establishing a funky alternative pop sound. You’ve stated that it “feels as though [you’ve] finally found [your] sound”, how would you describe the genre or sound of your EP?
It’s definitely got electronic elements, it’s got funk elements, it’s got soul elements, [and] a little bit of RnB in there as well. It’s got quite a lot really. I feel like it’s really hard to explain and there’s not many people doing funk.
Where do you find the most inspiration for your art?
It comes in all different shapes and forms really; the main thing usually is just being a 23 year old now and just experiencing things. There’s quite a theme of not really going out and partying, like there’s a song on the record called ‘Saturday Night’, which is like a party song but is like an anti-party song. I would work every single weekend, so I’d be working and everyone would be going out and I’d be serving everyone drinks and things. So I think it’s just my lifestyle, it’s all real. There’s not much ‘fantasy’ like “oh I’m going to make this song up about this thing that didn’t happen to me”. It’s all what I’m going through and I think that’s pretty important to me. It connects with me a lot more.
You did only celebrate your 23rd birthday a few days ago, how did you celebrate?
I drank way too much champagne in the park with some friends and then passed out really early so it was fun while it lasted, definitely!
You were only 17 when you had your first listing on triple j’s Hottest 100. They found you in high school with tripe j’s Unearthed and since then you also had another Hottest 100 listing in 2015 with ‘Dynamite’ featuring Allday, what was it like collaborating with him? ‘
It was really fun, it happened quite quickly. I actually didn’t have the opportunity to meet him so it all happened through the internet, which was a really interesting process. When I finally met him after doing that, it was really awesome and I invited him to perform with me on a couple of shows and that was really fun. I asked him to do my Like a Version with me, I really owe him some. He’s done a lot for me, hopefully I can repay him back one day, he’s a really cool guy.
With the new EP, what kind of creative process do you use, do you write both lyrics and melody?
It’s usually the music first definitely, and then it will be melody and then it will be lyrics. I’m definitely more focused on melody, I know most people are probably more focused on lyrics but I find the melody really important and it has to be memorable to me.
You’ve played a myriad of huge festivals such as Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass, do you prefer the intimacy of the smaller venues or do you love the big crowds at festivals.
They’re both good but in different ways, like I do really love doing intimate shows and really connecting with my audience and just like getting a vibe from a small room. But then playing festivals is just really fun, there’s not too much pressure, I don’t know why. It’s like you’re there to have fun, and everyone’s just, like, chill. There’s something really cool about playing festivals and there’s big outdoors events that I really love. Having a bigger stage is really fun because you just get to dance around the whole stage so that’s really fun, I love doing that.
Your upcoming tour is a whopping 14 dates covering both metropolitan cities and regional locations, what kind of prep work do you do for such a long tour?
I mean I haven’t really done many tours, I’ve done one and that was for ‘Dynamite’, which had quite a lot of shows. I have to exercise definitely, keep my stamina up, keep my vocals in shape and do my training I guess; mentally, physically and vocally. It’s just important to stay focused and make sure that you rest lots as well on tour.
What song are you most looking forward to playing for everyone on tour?
Obviously ‘Shine’ because I think it’s just such a fun song and people can dance to it. I’ve heard it on the radio, whereas most of the time people don’t know my songs cause I’ve only released a few songs. I love it when people sing along to my songs. So ‘Shine’ will be really awesome… I’m really excited to be able to be touring and to see my fans, that’s really important.
Don’t miss her when she comes to Adelaide on Friday March 3rd at Fat Controller, you can grab tickets for under $25 here!
Image via Mucho Bravado
Header via Mucho Bravado