Get to know Austen, Brisbane’s next electro-pop sensation
Inspired by the likes of BANKS, HALSEY and more, brooding, dark electro pop has seen a massive surge in popularity lately, which in turn makes for a sea of budding new artists hoping to break through the noise. When this happens, it is increasingly harder to stand out from the crowd, but sometimes a gem emerges and rises above the masses. One such gem is AUSTEN, an artist hailing from Brisbane that’s making some very exciting moves lately.
Currently on tour with The Kite String Tangle and even joining him on stage to sing his songs ‘Stone Cold’ and ‘The Prize’, Austen is focussing solely on herself and her sound. Having released a couple of songs in 2016, instead of pushing forward in 2017, Austen bided her time, and took some careful and calculated steps and the wait was proven to be definitely worth it with the recent release of her new single, ‘Storm’. This time, joining forces with the epic Brisbane producer, James Angus, Austen showed a new and impressive side to her, putting her in good stead for whatever her next move will be.
To get to know this promising rising star, we had a chat about who she is, what she’s about, and what’s still to come!
Congratulations on the new single! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how AUSTEN came to be?
Thank you! I’m a singer, songwriter & play a few instruments and I’ve been playing music and writing since I was 5. Austen started as a way for me to take all of the writing that I was constantly doing with different people and release it under something that represented me in an artistic way.
You’ve had a few songs out over the past few months, and we even named you as one of our Artists to Watch for 2017. You’ve certainly been proving us right in the past few months! You took a bit of a break off between the releases of ‘Faded’ and ‘Darkside’ and now you’ve emerged with ‘Storm’. WHAT A SONG! Do you think the time between releases helped you find your sound and learn more about yourself as to what you wanted to create, musically?
Oh absolutely! I consume a ridiculous amount of music so my taste and inspirations are constantly shifting. Being a writer, you tend to approach the world in a certain way, not so much that you’re trying to go out and do things that will give you inspiration, but you see everything that happens with the perspective of whether it will make a good story. So having time to grow as a writer and let my musical palette evolve just gives me more to draw from when it comes time to record a song. It’s been great to let it all evolve and work towards something bigger.
You spoke about how this track was written about the start of falling for someone, but you wrote it in one go about exactly what you were doing and feeling at the time. Do you think this kind of raw approach led to this new emotion that we can hear in ‘Storm’?
Yeah I think so. The songwriting came together really quickly, which for me, is always a sign that you have something worth working with. Sometimes you can just tap into this place where you’re able to convey what you’re feeling in a simple and quick way. As much as I really love knuckling down and refining a song, those moments where it just flows are the best feeling ever. You can get the same amount of creative juice out in an hour as you can sometimes in a day. I guess you can probably hear that in the song.
You worked with the amazing James Angus for this track – how was it sharing this creative process with someone else?
Yes! James is amazing. He’s great to work with and I just felt super comfortable throwing out these weird ideas to try in the early stages. The production process was similar to the writing process, in that he latched onto the vibe and it came together quite quickly. This is the first song we’ve done together & the first time we’d met. You never know if you’re going to be on the same page musically with someone until you get in the room with them, but we absolutely were.
You’re currently on tour with the Kite String Tangle, and its the first few shows you’ve played in a while. How has it been being back on stage, and do you think you’ve been learning any tricks from a master of the stage like The Kite String Tangle?
This tour has been so much fun. We’re technically half way through right now. Danny is a total legend and I’m having the best time opening for him. My favourite track of his has always been Stone Cold so it’s cool to jump up and sing that & The Prize with him for a few shows. He’s a super passionate performer, which is awesome to watch. It’s definitely a sweet feeling warming a crowd up as an opening act and then stepping back out two hours later when they’re completely vibing.
Looking forward now, what can we expect from you still to come?
You can definitely expect some more shows announced soon & my EP in the not too distant future!
Interview by Emma Jones