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Interview: Florian Chats About Her Recent Single, ‘Seventeen’

Recently Sydney indie-pop sensation, Florian released her nostalgic number, Seventeen, of which we had the joy of premiering the video for. We sat down with Florian recently to chat about the track’s inspiration, songwriting methods, staying motivated and more!

Can you walk us through the initial ideas for ‘Seventeen’ – what initially prompted you to write a track like this?

An impending lockdown birthday!! I was talking to a friend about how weird it is that birthdays are something you look forward to half your life, and then dread once you hit your 20s… well for me anyways. Then obviously tacking on COVID to that, I was just on a roller coaster of emotions so decided to write about it.

It definitely has a reflective tone; what is it about ‘Seventeen’ that still hits hard for you even now?

Ahh so much. It really is two different sides of me in one song, a super positive person and a person who has shitty days. So sometimes when I listen I resonate more with one section than the other. I think the bridge and end in particular really capture the essence of the song, I still tear up at the guitar in the outro.

The music video is super fun, though made during Sydney’s lockdown – what was it like to have a bit of a re-think about how to film something when your normal resources or accessibility was hindered?

I’d love to say it wasn’t weird or stressful buuuut it kind of was! I’m a virgo and way over the top with stuff when I really should just chill. More than anything, I just love collaborating with people and my favorite part about putting visuals to music is that creative process of throwing around ideas with people and that’s what I missed out on. Although I feel like I levelled up on my skills so there’s also a pro to doing it all yourself.

Can you break down your process as a songwriter now, compared to what it was like when you first started writing music? How would you say this has changed over the years?

Well I’m still writing heartbreak songs in my bedroom like I did when I was 14 so eep don’t know how much has changed ha. No no just kidding, I think a game changer for me was picking up some production tricks and starting to write on Ableton maybe 5 years ago. It’s helped me move into heaps of different genres and just play around more. Also I think just getting older helps your confidence in writing. I kind of just write what I like now instead of worrying about what other people are doing.

You’ve been developing your craft as a writer, arranger and all-rounder for quite a few years now; what first drew you to music and the desire to create across a number of fields?

I think aside from starting singing from a young age, definitely my Mum and her taste in music/pop culture. She would always have Rage blaring on a Saturday morning and would always make her own mixtapes with the best music which I still have to this day. I realised only recently that a lot of the music I love has come from movies as well that she let me watch from a young age and I just became obsessed. I just really love the creative process of music as a package, like organising the shows, the artwork, the videos, the outfits, the dancing, all of it. It’s like therapy for me!

What is the most important thing for you when it comes to keeping yourself motivated, creatively?

Ooh great question, and something that’s a work in progress. A few things come to mind:

  • Being easy on yourself and not putting yourself down if you’re having an ‘off’ day creatively
  • Staying in your lane and not comparing yourself to anyone else
  • Forcing yourself to be uncomfortable. I think the best art comes from pushing boundaries and doing things you’ve never done. If it’s scary, it’s probably a good thing.

During lockdown, it would be understandable to have lost spark for creating anything – was this the case for you? If not, how did you keep the creative juices flowing?

Oh definitely, I reckon it was about 50/50. I really enjoyed having the mental space to write and I did that half the time, and then the other half it was procrastination central! I bought a pink guitar at the start of lockdown so that was a good inspiration to keep practicing. I also picked up a few other creative hobbies like making necklaces, painting jeans and doing jump rope routines so I tried my best to keep busy!!

Technically speaking, how would you say the Florian sound has evolved with the additional input from your fellow musicians/production team?

Love this question! It’s so fun having other people be part of the writing, recording and live show process. I’m trying to think of an analogy and all I can think of is Cold Rock ice cream lol. It’s like I’m the stable ice cream flavour and then the people I work with are the mix-ins who change the game and all add something different. Of course it changes my sound, but in the best way because luckily I work with such talented musos they all have their own flavour to bring to the table (ice cream) which is so incredible. At the end of the day no matter who I work with it still feels authentic to me, which I’m grateful for.

Written by John Zebra