Interview: Athena Joy
Coffs Harbour singer-songwriter Athena Joy is on the rise. Her single Blue, which has only just been released, is already a finalist for the Queensland Music Awards! We had a chat with the rising songstress about the story behind the song, her new musical style, and love affair with Taylor Swift.
How would you describe your music to people who haven’t heard you before?
I think a lot of people compare me to Florence + The Machines vocally, and lyrically I think I’m inspired a lot by people like Sia and Taylor Swift. They use a lot of emotion in their lyrics, which is kind of what I’ve always aimed to do.
Are they the types of artists that inspired you to pursue music?
Definitely, when I was younger I used to always write. But, I never wrote about my life until I heard Taylor Swift’s stuff. After her first album, I was obsessed. I was completely in love with how she would put little clues in her songs about her own life, and about real life situations. That really inspired me, and made me want to do what I do.
Do you find that the writing process is a good outlet for you?
Definitely, I was thinking about it last night and honestly I don’t think I could survive if I didn’t write music. It’s like breathing to me. When things get overwhelming, I’ve got to write a song.
So is the story behind Blue a personal one?
Yeah, I went through an event and I met this guy. We ended up staying up until six in the morning just talking, and it was the sweetest thing ever. Later on, I was just sitting down trying to write a song and was getting really overwhelmed. Then I just like, no keep it simple, keep it simple. What’s on your mind? And it was honestly just that night, and that situation. It was the first time I really felt anything for someone since my ex-boyfriend so that ended up being a really good night. He was a really sweet guy!
He sounds amazing! Is he still in your life?
No, definitely no. He lives in a different city. So I guess that’s kind of why Blue is what it is. It was confusing, because it was like I don’t really know how to feel about this because I’m probably never going to see you again.
I noticed quite a difference sound wise between How Do You Know, and Blue. What prompted that shift?
Well I think, first of all, I worked with this amazing producer his name is Anthony Lycenko. And just overall maturity. I’ve grown up a lot in the last year, and the overall vibe behind the song was just a bit darker, and he really understood that. We really wanted to capture the emotion behind it, and he’s done an awesome job. I love it so much.
So what’s your favourite memory from your career so far?
Probably the Queensland Music Awards! It was super exciting. We applied for it last year like a week before their round closed. I stayed up late one night and was just like let’s do it, do it, do it! But yeah, I’m so excited!
So if music could take you anywhere, what would your long term goals be?
I really just want to be a touring musician, and travel the world honestly. So, if I can keep making music and making things that people like, hopefully I can do that.
Where have you traveled to so far that you’ve really enjoyed?
I went to Cambodia a couple of years back, and that was amazing. But I will go anywhere really. Like I’ve only ever really been to Cambodia and New Zealand, but I really want to go over to Europe eventually. Like most people my age, I just really want to see the world.
Are there any artists that you have in mind that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
I mean if we’re goal setting, Taylor Swift! I’m a total Swifty. Especially since she was the one that inspired me to write music the way I do, I think it would just be a surreal experience.
Did you go to her show?
Yeah the one in Sydney! The one with over 50,000 people, I was one of them. It was so cool. I’ve watched the concert on Apple Music, and I can see my fairy lights! It was the best night, I just want to live at a Taylor Swift concert.
So what are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’ve got a couple of other songs that I’m hoping to release that are a similar style to Blue, and hoping to make an EP out of them. So just promote those, do shows and see how that goes!
Many people struggle with songwriting. What would your advice to them be?
Be honest. People really connect with honesty. The reason why people love Blue is because I wrote it in half hour. I didn’t get the chance to second guess myself, like I just did it. Just write all the time, every day, and just be honest. Everyone loves honest music.
Click HERE to read our premiere of her single Blue