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Interview: Sahara Beck

sahara beck 2

Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter Sahara Beck has had a busy couple of weeks, releasing a new music video, playing at Bluesfest, completing her upcoming album ‘Panacea’, and announcing her an album tour! We caught up with her to chat about how it’s all going, and what it’s like being a young woman in the Queensland music industry.

Hey Sahara, it’s Sophie from AAA Backstage here! How’s your week going so far?

Yeah it’s been good, still coming down from the weekend!

Oh yeah of course, you performed at Bluesfest, how was that?

It was so much fun! At one point we were dancing side of stage to Tom Jones and we were just going crazy, it was so much fun! And I somehow accidentally ended up in the front photography section for Brian Wilson, like they just somehow let me in! I just strolled in like I was meant to be there, and I was sitting about a metre from Brian Wilson’s face and I just couldn’t stop smiling!

Oh my god, that’s amazing! Now, congratulations on the new album ‘Panacea’ and upcoming tour! I’ve listened to the album and it’s phenomenal!

Oh wow, thank you so much! That’s so good!

The music video for Here It Comes is so interesting, especially that amazing bit at the end where the world is filled with colour again. How did you come up with the idea for that?

Dylan Woodland [Creator] and I had a few different ideas – we were originally going to shoot it in a theatre, but then the time and money restrictions meant we couldn’t do that. So then I was like, “Why don’t we just do it in my house?”. So my roommate acted in the video and because we couldn’t find a bass guitar that looked nice enough anywhere, we decided to make one. We grabbed a shovel from downstairs and put some string around it, and made it look like a double bass. But that ended up looking so cool that we decided to go with that theme – so we got all the pots and pans out for the drummers too!

What’s the reception been like for the video?

It’s been so good! I think it’s always more fun when people can see that we’re actually having fun as well. Those really comfortable sorts of videos seem to get the best feedback, rather than having it look really expensive and slick.

Now you’ve mentioned you’re a huge fan of using less conventional instruments in your tracks, and actually using a bunch of kitchen items for percussion. What’s the strangest instrument you’ve ever used?

I think the strangest instrument I’ve played is a bowl of water, which has a really weird sound if you hit it from underneath. We discovered it by accident, and it was so cool that we decided to put it in one of the new tracks Crack Bang Bang. It’s almost like a cartoonish drunk sound!

One of my favourites from the new album is Everyone Wants Noise. I just love that whole message of making up your own mind and doing things for yourself, not because other people want you to. Can you tell me about your own experiences that lead to you writing this song?

Thank you! Yeah, I wrote it at a time in my life when I wasn’t really sure yet of who I was going to become, so it felt like everyone was giving me their opinions on everything, and then getting upset about different things. And I’m essentially running my own business, so it was just really crazy. Everyone wanted noise, but I was all out of noise. I just needed everyone to chill out!

Of course! And do you have any particular musical influences?

I’ve really always looked up to The Cat Empire, Louis Prima, and The Kinks, mainly for the way that they all perform. They really make it dramatic and bring the point across theatrically, which I love. At the end of the day, music is art, and it doesn’t have to just be about my voice. I love the performance and getting a message across, so that someone can actually feel something from the music. That’s why I enjoy live performances so much. Especially for Bluesfest, because it was an eight-piece band, so we were on stage just bouncing off each other’s energy. Seeing everyone smiling and singing along to the songs is probably the most exciting part of it all.

Your ‘Panacea’ album tour kicks off in May, what are you most excited about?

I’m excited (and nervous) to just get back out and bring the new songs out! After a year and a half of working on them, I’m just really excited to see what people think.

I saw you did a Ted Talk recently, that’s so freaking cool! How was that experience for you?

I was so excited at first, but then I was completely freaking out and wondering why I said yes to it! I’d obviously been writing the speech for a few months but it hadn’t actually occurred to me that I’d then have to memorise the entire thing! I’ always thought on the Ted Talks there’d be a little screen to read off, but there wasn’t! But anyway, I got to speak about the importance of supporting live music, and how the live music industry actually thrives off of you going and seeing live gigs. If you don’t make the effort, the bands won’t come to your area. Live gigs are my favourite way to perform, because you get to exchange the look and be in the present moment together. I’m really passionate about it.

Yeah, of course. You’re from the Sunshine Coast originally but you’ve been living in Brisbane for a while now. Do you notice a difference performing live between the two cities?

I feel like there’s more of a variety and more venues to play in Brisbane. The people are equally supportive in both cities, but I guess there are more people in Brisbane that play the type of music I enjoy. There’s lots of that jazz and gypsy scene here, which I love being around.

And how do you find the Queensland music scene in terms of their support?

We all get to sort of know each other because Queensland’s fairly small, and yeah most people are supportive! I think it’s kind of like school though, where it can be kind of confusing for some people. Some artists may get a bit confused by how big it seems when they first break into it, and they adopt that school mentality of taking others down to be ‘better’. I think it’s about just being above that, and doing your own thing. People will either like it or they won’t!

Sahara Beck is also appearing at AAA Backstage’s 5th B’day Party at The Foundry alongside The Jensens, Ayla, Lastlings, Machine Age + many others! Use the password “Candles” to purchase discounted tickets…

AAA Backstage’s 5th Birthday Party
The Foundry, Brisbane
Bands Start 7pm
Get Tickets HERE
  Invite friends to the Facebook Event HERE

Sahara Beck’s new album ‘Panacea’ is set for release Friday 22nd April. Until then, check out her music video for Here It Comes below!

Sahara Beck ‘Panacea’ Tour Dates

The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood
Sooki Lounge, Belgrave
The Workers Club, Geelong
Newtown Social Club, Newtown
Rad, Woollongong
Live at Lizotte’s, Lambton
Brass Monkey, Cronulla
The Triffid, Brisbane
Big Pineapple Festival, QLD
Studio 188, Ipswich

Get Tickets HERE