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Beth Stephen

Australian singer + songwriter

S2 Ep74

Beth Stephen

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I am very excited to welcome to the podcast today Beth Stephen, a singer, songwriter and mother of 2 from Melbourne, Victoria, and one half of the Teeny Tiny Stevies.

Beth grew up in a very musical family, her parents were working musicians and she has fond memories of seeing her parents all dressed up ready to go to a gig and listening to her parents band rehearse.

In her teenage years Beth and her sister Byll decided to start their own indie-folk group, The Little Stevies and they performed on the folk festival circuit in Victoria playing their own songs. (The girls actually still release music as The Little Stevies)

In 2015, inspired by the need to teach Byll’s three-year-old about the challenges of toilet training, the sisters started playing around writing children’s songs. What began as a side-hobby became so fun and effective that they decided on a complete change of direction and The Teeny Tiny Stevies were born.

Before they knew it, their debut album ‘Useful Songs for Little People’ had become a word-of-mouth sensation around Australia.

They’ve since released 4 albums through ABC Music, won both the ARIA Award and AIR Award for ‘Best Children’s Album’ in 2020, been commissioned to write music for Sesame Street’s online channel in the US, and signed a book deal with HarperCollins. Their first book, released in December 2021, was nominated for the 2022 ABIA Best Children’s Book Award.

They’ve also licensed 18 animated music videos to ABC KIDS TV, which have been played over 21 million times on the ABC KIDS iView app.

And at the time of recording this, the girls are up for another ARIA Award for their album How to Be Creative, the winners announced this week.

Beth website

Podcast - instagram / website

Tiny Tiny Stevie's music appears in today's episode with permission via my APRA AMCOS Online Mini Licence Agreement

When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast

I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!


Thank you!


Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.


Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast. It's a platform for mothers who are artists and creatives to share the joys and issues they've encountered, while continuing to make art. Regular themes we explore include the day to day juggle, how mother's work is influenced by the children, mum guilt, how mums give themselves time to create within the role of mothering, and the value that mothers and others place on their artistic selves. My name's Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter, and a mom of two boys from regional South Australia. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the show notes. Together with music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our lively and supportive community on Instagram. The art of being a mum acknowledges the Bondic people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded on. Thank you so much for tuning in. It really is such a pleasure to have you. today. I'm very excited to welcome to the podcast bet Stephen. She's a singer songwriter, and mother of two from Melbourne, Victoria, and one half of the teeny tiny Stevie's Beth grew up in a very musical family. Her parents were working musicians and she has fond memories of seeing her parents all dressed up ready to go to gigs and listen to her parents bands rehearse. In her teenage years, Beth and her sister veal, decided to start their own indie folk group, the little Stevie's and they performed on the folk festival circuit in Victoria, playing their own songs. The girls actually still released music as the little steamies in 2015, inspired by the need to teach Bill's three year old about the challenges of toilet training, the sisters started playing around writing children's songs. What began as a side hobby became so much fun and effective that they decided on a complete change of direction and the teeny tiny Stevie's were born. Before they knew it, their debut album, useful songs for little people had become a word of mouth sensation around Australia. They've since released four albums through ABC music won both the ARIA Award and the air award for best children's album in 2020. They've been commissioned to write music for Sesame Street's online channel in the US and signed a book deal with HarperCollins. Their first book released in December 2021 was nominated for the 2022 Abia Best Children's Book Award. They've also licensed 18 animated music videos to ABC Kids TV, which have been played over 21 million times on the ABC Kids IP app. And at the time of this recording, the girls are up for another ARIA award for their album how to be creative in the 2022 areas. The winners will be announced this week. The teeny tiny Stevie's music appears today with permission by my APRA m cos online mini licensing agreement. Thank you so much for listening. I really hope you enjoyed today's chat.

When it's time to

end everything is I lay down my head say good night.

Thanks so much for coming on today, Beth. It's an absolute pleasure to welcome me and to meet you as well.

Alison, it's an absolute delight to be here. Thank you.

You are a little bit of a famous person, you and your sister.

Are we are we famous, you're famous. I don't know that. I did

just do like a heap of shows at the Opera House.

We did. And my goodness, have we been telling everybody because it's not every day that you get to perform at such such an amazing venue. And so look, we may never be able to do it again. But hopefully we do. So I think I'm starting to go through life with that sort of mind frame which which I'm quite enjoying it just going enjoy this as it may be the last time which has been actually really great to just really lean into enjoying things as much as you can.

Yeah, that's thing isn't it? Because sometimes we can take things for granted in the moment. It's just happening. But yeah, if you can sort of stop and go actually, yes, I'm going to experience this fully and and there's nothing wrong with telling people to because you can be really proud of yourself you know to sing at the Opera House is a pretty big achievement. So yeah, I quite enjoyed the the secret of skates. You know, bringing the ring what was it the physio Are you because I've just done some shows of the opera house?

Yes. And I should ask you that, you know, credit to my sister bill, my big sister bill. She is quite the comedic talent. And look, she she entertains me as much as she entertains. Everybody else who follows follows us on on the socials.

You get the feeling she quite enjoys doing that kind of stuff. Yeah,

I think it could be a throwback to a few drama. Training that she did. I remember going to hear VCA drama, final performance, and it was quite quite entertaining and amusing outside

the UK. So using skills in different parts of life. So as good. So tell our listeners, what you are and who you don't what, sorry, what you do. You do. That is it. You ever said introduction to to yourself and what you are passionate about with your music?

Well, as you said, I am a musician and songwriter. And I work with my sister, Bill Stevens Avila. And we are the teeny tiny Stevie's and we started this project maybe six or seven years ago, after we had been playing music together as the little Stevie's since we were teenagers. And we sort of got to the point where Bill was starting to have kids herself. And we just sort of got to the point where we had to start asking ourselves some, you know, difficult, challenging questions, a lot centered around how we're going to keep doing this, if we want to, you know, with the money that we're making at the time, which essentially wasn't really enough. And so the way that life was changing, we sort of had to ask ourselves, those questions of how we were going to do it, what should we do going forward, we still want to keep doing music. And that's when we decided that we wanted to do a bit of a pivot, you know, reinvent ourselves a bit. As you have to do all the time, going through life, when you sort of you find yourself getting stuck a bit, and you sort of have to think about things differently. And that's when we started seeing tiny Stevie's. And we thought, at the time, actually, we were thinking about potentially writing some comedy music, which I feel ridiculous even saying that sentence, because I'm not, not the naturally funny one. But I sort of thought, you know, maybe I could be the straight person, you know, again, side by side with Bill and I should be the funny man. And we did actually, you know, try and write some music like that. But then the other thing that we were exploring was trying to write some kid songs. And I sort of, say, Kids Songs in quotation marks, because I guess, the journey that the team science babies has been on, and what we have discovered about ourselves, and what we like to do, and our skill set is that it's not specifically for kids, it's for families. And we like to write about things that can be great conversation starters, within the household and within, you know, social settings and, and friendship circles. So yeah, and really, you know, over the last six or seven years, it's just gone from strength to strength, and it has definitely become the main thing now that we do, which is incredible. I never really thought that. I mean, I certainly hoped and dreamed that music would become the main thing that was has always been the dream. But, you know, for it to actually become that that's pretty special. So, you know, going back to trading each thing that we do, as you know, this could be the last time so we're definitely going to enjoy it. I think maybe those two things are connected a bit of just going off got to pinch ourselves. Sometimes we get to do all this amazing stuff.

Yeah, it's fantastic. I love speaking to people who have have made their love into what they do every day. I think it's just wonderful. It's just, it's such a fulfilling life to have, like, I can't, like not speaking from experience with the music side of things, but the job that I have with children I absolutely adore. And I'm so lucky that I do it every day. And I sometimes think that I think God I get paid to do this, like, yeah, I would do it anyway. You know what I mean?

Yeah, and that's the thing, isn't it? Fortunately, or unfortunately, you do it anyway. And we would do it anyway, at least, you know, if I think if you do have something that you're just driven by and so passionate about, you will you will fight for it and you will do it no matter what. in some capacity, you know, not always in the capacity that you would hope. Hope see, because obviously there are lots of things in life that can that impact that. But yeah, it's uh, yeah, fortunate later on unfortunately, forget on the day. Yeah, yeah in my mind in my head

so your sister, how how many you guys twins? Or is there a bit of an age gap? Sorry, I'm not really sure.

No, that's okay. Looking with Bill was listening she she'd love that comment that you just made? No, we're not twins. But you are probably the third person that's asked that question this week. Oh, I think is a huge four years older than I but she just doesn't seem to age. So somehow she managed to get that really fantastic, Jane.

Yeah, that's actually I can, I can appreciate what you're saying. Because my sister and I, I'm two and a half years older, but for years, you know, and even now, sometimes people will get us confused because they're speaking voices and our singing voices are almost identical. And I used to trick people on the phone when we were younger. That who they're talking to, and my sister, the she used to work in our family, plant nursery, and people would see me down the street and ask me questions about their Protoss drums or their whatever's and I just, I don't like to embarrass people like I wouldn't, I wouldn't say I'm not Emma, I just sort of play along. Oh, gosh, oh, it was because I just I felt I wouldn't do it now. But I felt really bad for the person. And I'll pop into the nursery, and I'll help you in.

And then you find yourself into doping. You're

like, Oh, yeah. And I don't want to have to be like, Emma, there's a person gonna come in and think that they've already spoken to you. So get ready, you know? Yeah. I mean, did you girls ever do stuff like that? Like, cheeky things?

Do you know what I actually don't think we did? I don't have any memories of it. Which, that sounds very boring. I know. Now you sound like fun. Very fun.

So you girls have always sang together? Is this been a thing that's happened right from the present? As you know, for as long as you can remember?

Absolutely. Yeah. So our parents were musicians, full time musicians for a good period of time in their working life. So certainly, as a little kids, you know, we as young kids, we saw Mom and Dad, you know, going off to work at night, they would pick up, you know, they'd get all dressed up in their stage view, and then pack their know their bags, and the babysitter would come around, and we, you know, go to bed just after they left. And yeah, that was just lots of strong memories of that. And then lots of big memories of the band coming over to rehearse in the garage. And we would either be, you know, in there listening with them observing everything, I don't know, rolling around on the floor, probably, or in the main house, you know, sort of listening through the baby monitor type scenario. So yeah, I've got really fond memories of all that. So you know, as a household music was always encouraged. Mum and Dad have always been extremely enthusiastic about us taking an interest in it. And I think you know, now that I've got kids in my own, I think probably when we reached those teenage years, when we started to show interest separate from Mum and Dad, and we started to explore things together a bit more. And we kind of discovered each other in our teenage years. Though, I can imagine that they were wrapped, you know, that we just had something to focus that energy into, because I guess, you know, sometimes teenagers can be a bit. You know, you can find yourself a bit lost and distracted. And so I think to have that, yeah, had to have that focus was probably a great thing. You know, maybe they probably weren't so stoked when it became obvious that we were really going to pursue it seriously. In terms of, you know, the money of them probably thinking to themselves, Oh, I don't I don't know if it's the most secure. Most secure Korea, but you know, as parents, it's yeah, it's a hard thing to balance all those feelings, I imagine.

Yeah, that's the thing is a lot. I'm going through that with my son at the moment. He's thinking about what he wants to do. And I keep saying choose something that you love. Just pick something you really love. And my husband's a financial planner, and he's going Yeah, but make sure you know, you got enough money.

I know it's, it's, yeah, I imagined their hard conversations to have.

Yeah, yeah. So did you start learning instruments like formally or do you just pick things up from your parents? I had that sort Okay,

both we do Yeah, we both did, you know, formal training on instruments through school, I think that was a bit of a expectation that mum and dad had. But then we also did it just ourselves, you know, at home, pick up picking up the guitars and stuff like that, and started to write songs. But really, you know, learning the guitar, and instruments like that was really just a vessel to be able to write songs and start writing songs. And I think at some stage, Mom said to me, she goes up to both of us, but she said, You know, one of the best things that you can do is to just learn an instrument that you can accompany yourself with. So you're not reliant on anybody else. To be able to write and perform your own songs, if that's what you want to do. And that was really great advice. And I'd probably give that year on to anyone else. Because it's great if you can just be self reliant, and then you can collaborate with others. But you know, if there aren't other people to collaborate with, and you can't rely on other people, you can still do the thing that you love. And you can still do it really well. And you don't have to be a superstar on your instrument. You just, it's just handy to be able to, you know, play a few chords.

Yeah, that's it, isn't it? And then yeah, as a tool for songwriting, that you've actually got something you can not get you, your chords on, or, you know, he trains and things. Yeah. So can I ask with your parents, with a songwriters, as well, what sort of band did they have?

They were, so they did their own original stuff. And they also did a bunch of covers. So I think for them, it was a mixture of the cover work, you know, really paid the bills. And then they also did their original stuff, and sort of kind of integrated the two a lot of the time, and also did separate things within music. So yeah, and when they were younger, before we were on the scene, as kids, they had their separate original groups when they you know, in their early 20s. And they did lots of touring, and you know, had their their own success doing that. And then when they got together as a couple started the new thing. And, and they continue doing that while Bill was a young kid, and then for a little bit when I came along, but I think certainly me as the second child, I sort of burst the dream a little bit, and they got some more reliable jobs, or better paid jobs.

If everyone was gentle all the time, everyone would feel so good.

I'm jumping into this early in the conversation, but have you found that you've sort of that role modeling of how to balance the two has been useful for you with your own children?

Oh, definitely. But I would probably say, only because, you know, I've, I was a kid when my parents were doing this themselves. So there's not really I can't really have a great understanding or, or perspective on that, I guess, now, but what I do have, and what I've had been so lucky to have is Bill, who has who went through it all before me, you know, at least sort of six or seven years before me and because we spend so much time together, and we also have a business together, and we work together in so many different capacities. I've seen that very, very closely what she's gone through. And that's just been hugely beneficial for me. I mean, it's still it's not like having your own kids and going through that yourself. By any means. Yeah, you'll, you'll sort of never really understand that to that level until you're doing it yourself. Because you're always going to have a different experience for someone else. But yeah, to be able to see all those peaks and Trump's very closely was very helpful. I think it made me go in with very low expectations, to be honest. And I think that was quite handy. Yeah,

that's true, isn't it? Because I think that's the thing, like, unless you see it, you can have all these wild ideas, like I'm gonna wear the baby while I'm, you know, recording or you know, all these sort of things, and then you just happen to have it happen to you and you go on, that's never gonna work like so at least you sort of had this rough idea of what was perhaps achievable and, and what wasn't.

Definitely, and the stress, you know, the stress of, you know, if you're doing here with another person, and you know, there's a partnership or relationship involved, like, what a huge thing. What a huge stress to put on a relationship like that's, it's enormous and it's and it's and it's ongoingly stressful, it's also can be great and beautiful and all of those things, but it's a constant negotiation and compromise and, and just because you talk about one thing once doesn't mean that it's going to remain that way for In the next 20 years, and, you know, you've got to nurture and meet everyone's needs involved is really tricky. Obviously, we all know that. So yeah.

22nd We're in the summer holiday, people rush to get this stuff done. So they can stop and take a break Christmas movies on the TV, Sunday's up close to the tree.

So back to you girls in as the little Stevie. So what sort of how old? were you when you first started sort of that project? And what sort of things were you doing with that?

So we started when I was 15. And I think Bill had just finished high school. And we, we basically just started applying for folk festivals around Victoria. And we were really lucky to get a couple of opportunities, doing those. And because we'd already started writing some songs, we really just, yeah, we started on the folk festival circuit for those years after that, and we just kind of learnt on the job, you know, which can be can be difficult when you're learning everything in front of an audience.

And at that age to like you, I mean, not 15 Is not that old to be getting out there. And, you know, perhaps in a more adult sort of world as well.

Yeah, look, it's um, you know, there's, there's so many different aspects to them, is it? I mean, it's, it's just, it's such a steep learning curve, when you are, how can I put this, we've never sort of been a group, you know, or sort of done music where we've just done it at home, in the privacy of our own space for years, and years and years. Before we go and perform it, or share it in front of an audience or with people, it's always been our rally song. Okay, well, I guess we better go and, you know, do something with it, you know, or not, and perform it. And that's, and that's when some of the embarrassing moments can happen when you're literally, you know, you're learning in front of an audience and in front of people. But gosh, you do some quick learning. And, yeah, I think sometimes if you if you spend too much time, just creating at home and sort of not sharing it, and you know, and it's hard to share it because you got to means you got to be vulnerable. And you know, you're putting yourself up for criticism. Yeah, sometimes, then you can sort of risk just never putting anything out and never showing anyone anything, and never been happy with anything as well. And then all of a sudden, so much time can pass.

Anyway, so does that mean then you feel really comfortable on stage? Because, you know, literally anything could happen, anything could go wrong. And you're okay with that?

Oh, no, I wouldn't say I'm okay with that. Okay. No, I like I know, I still get nervous all the time. And we still get nervous all the time. If, yeah, if there was a there was a video sort of videoing us when we get off stage every time Oh, my goodness, it would be just so embarrassing. Witnessing the conversations that we have, like, it's you know, I'll say isn't it's all literally let's just jump into just like talking about all the things that we you know, all the things we did wrong and all the mistakes that we made and oh, oh, what do you think they thought when we said this or did that and It'd be terrible if if, if people actually knew that, you know, the critique that we put ourselves through after we got off stage. But look I just mentioned i i just love performing. I love it so much. And Bill does too. So yeah, we just gotta get out there and do it. Hmm.

So what aspects of performing Do you love the most when you say you really love it? What what do you look forward to? For a gig?

Well, I love singing like I love the action of seeing the physical action of singing and it's you probably feel the same way or just it just makes you feel so joyous you know? It's a it really there's I don't know it's like exercising it just makes you feel incredible as endorphins go Yeah, you know mentally and physically so I think just that alone, I love the feeling that I get whilst doing it and after but I also love I love this is going to probably sound like I'm sort of I love the sort of validation or or positive affirmation and look, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy that. I think everyone enjoys you know, getting positive feedback and but you know, we've been so If you go and someone comes up after a show or emails us and says, I've connected, or this, these lyrics that you wrote, have made me feel like this, or this has been my life experience, you have just summed that up so beautifully. You know, and they said something deeply personal about themselves, because they heard something that you've written like that is beyond special. And, you know, that's just, yeah, that makes you keep going. Because you're just like, wow, I don't I'm not sure. I think anything gets much better than this.

Yeah, that is pretty awesome, isn't it? It's sort of I liken it to, it will never happen to me on this scale. But you know, when you're at the concerts and the famous people, they hold out the mic, and everyone knows the words, it's like that, yeah. Oh, you get it, you get me like, yeah, resonating with something that I'm putting out there. And that that is hugely validating? It's sort of, I mean, I know, we don't necessarily do our art for that reason. But it's a lovely, sort of side thing of that, that, that you're connecting with people, you know, and if you can't, yeah, you can reach somebody who might get so much out of what you're sharing like that, that example you gave. And it's so special, it is an awesome feeling.

It is awesome. And, and we all know what it's like to have another person write a song. And for us to feel like there's just something up for us, and how special that is to be on the other side of things. Yeah, and there's so many people that I wish that I could say that to, you know, if I saw them in a physical sense that I just love to say, how much of an impact they've had on me. Which Yeah, now when I'm saying that loud, I should just do that more often.

Through the wonders of social media, we actually have access to people we for I don't know, I used to write fan mail and post it off into the nether and you know, oh, that's so good. You remember the old Smash Hits magazine? Back? Yes. It was like, you know, they'd have their their fan mail address. And I'm swear, no one ever got those letters. But now you can literally just message someone and say, You're awesome.

Yeah, it's pretty great, isn't it? Yeah.

I really love that. This is totally off topic. But the other day, you know, Constantino, that magician? He's like, the grand illusion. Oh, yes. Yeah, he came to me at Gambia. And that was a big deal. Because we're just, you know, a little country town in the middle of Adelaide. And afterwards, because, you know, when you're, when you're in the know, you know, where the stage door is, and, you know, roughly how long people take to come out. So, my little, my little seven year old, he's a massive fan. He's got his books, you know, he's into him. And I said, Come on, let's wait till he comes out. And he's like, Oh, really, I said yet. It'll only be like half an hour. And it was only us and one other group of people were there. And he came out. And I said to him, I said, Because and Taylor said, what you're doing, you know, he writes books for kids with reading difficulties or ADHD dyslexia. Yeah, he went through that as a kid. And I said to him, thank you so much for what you're doing for the kids. Yeah. And he was so chuffed that did be had his book. You know, I think that meant that meant so much to him. You know, everyone loves his show, you know, he knows that everyone thinks he's amazing, but I think that connection with a child who was really into his stuff, and I made sure I told him because I'm like, This is great, like,

yeah. Oh, that's great. I'm sure he appreciated that.

And I can I can get a bit fangirl sometimes. And

you will. It's hard to find the words though, isn't

it? It is literally I don't know one day I met Kate soprano because my sister and I were this is really random store I don't know why I'm coming out with this. But we were at this corporate gig corporate event in on the Gold Coast for for plant nursery. And she just happened to be the the entertainment and so she was she called for people to come up sage singer backing track they didn't have the mics turned on so we were like off for God's sakes then we can sing we can sing proper backing but you know they had the microphone. And when I when I walked off I all I could say was I love you so much. It

was just so embarrassed.

I just love you so much and she's probably thinking God Who are these drunk women up on stage but anyway, I'm digressing now. These I don't go in my pants when I saw this this time you saying six or seven years ago you guys decided to do you change the direction And I'm really intrigued to know how you were received initially. And I don't want to I'm not comparing you to the wiggles at all, because you're completely different. The depth and the thought that goes into what you write and what you share is phenomenal. And so I'm just wondering, like, how, how it went down,

as he would just ask that question, I was thinking to myself, Oh, my gosh, I wish I can maybe I recall. Sounds like a long time ago now. But look, I feel I feel as though probably for us, during the whole time that we've been doing music stuff. Sometimes, and often we have you know, we've we've written something, or we've taken a sort of decided that we take these kind of an approach. Yeah, we're even thinking to ourselves, Well, I'm not sure how this is gonna be received. But it feels right, it feels like the right thing to do. And she feels like the right thing to do for us. I think when we started, we definitely knew what we didn't want to do. And we had a pretty clear vision of what we did want to do what we didn't want to do. And we want to keep performing music alive, in pretty much the same capacity of what we're doing with the little Stevie's, which is really just a live band. Wearing what we would normally wear on stage, playing our instruments. But yeah, we weren't interested in doing anything else other than that. And yeah, there was there was probably a lot of questions around though I don't know, if that's going to necessarily been engaging enough. Or so there was a bit of, there was definitely some trial and error for sure. I think one of the first gigs that we did, as a team timings was at a festival, it was a festival slot. And, you know, we kind of like even scripted a bit of dialogue in between the songs, and, and sort of tried to, like, you know, order the songs to tell a bit of a story. And after we came on stage, that time we were, it was very obvious. We're just like, oh, no, this is not, this is not what we want to do. But this didn't work. And it was, unfortunately, you have to live through some things like that, to really realize what you don't want to do, and what's not going to work. So there was a bit of that in the first instance. And also, when the first few songs that we wrote, you know, having really young kids to try them on, as well was extremely valuable. You know, Bill's eldest child at the time was three, and we started with a toilet training song. And the rainbow song, they were one of the two of the first songs that we wrote. And they'll really taken very well and received very well by him. So, so then that gives you confidence to keep going. So yeah, having that immediate feedback from kids was really valuable. And it just sort of developed from there to be honest.

Green roughly being beans, celery and apples, spinach, peas and lettuce, I.

I am on my way.

I mean, you've written to my favorite ones that the I'm the boss of mind, body, that's one that really gets stuck in my head. I really like that one. And you've written songs by song about COVID about staying home? Like do you basically look at what's happening? And what's important to you, and maybe look at your kids and see what's happening with them. And that's where your inspiration comes from?

Yeah, has in the past the first three albums that we did useful, helpful, thoughtful songs, or little people, they were pretty much mostly, the ideas are sort of crowd sourced. So I mean, the first, the first, like the first step, and we came up with those things ourselves. And then the second two, we put a call out and we said to parents and educators and carers what, what what would be helpful to have songs written about, and they gave us lots of ideas, and people were really, really engaged with that, which was awesome. And lots of the same things started getting mentioned. So the ones that were repeatedly mentioned, were like, well, obviously, there's a huge need, and desire for a song about this. So then we just give it our best go at writing about that particular theme and, and I should sort of emphasize the fact that it's, yeah, it's the the lyrical process is a long process. And all the lyrics are very sort of, you know, scrutinized by by ourselves and so there's Yeah, it's not a it's not a quick job, the lyrics because you know, We also know that your lyrics are incredibly powerful and, and kids, in particular, listen to things on repeat. And again and again and again and again. You know, I'm an adult that listens to things on repeat to I got, I bought everyone around me with just watching their same movies and the same TV show that I, you know, I think for some people that gives a lot of comfort to, you know, repeatedly listen and watch and hear things. So, yeah, we're just we're just very much very aware of that. So we want to make sure that we put a lot of thought into them.

Hmm, that's a really good point. Speaking of things being on repeat, I've had Hamilton the Hamilton musical only my car for about three years now. The other day, we finally saw the actual stage show. So that was nice. So now we've moved on to something else. But yeah, you had your flight? Yes, I've had the fix now. And it's funny because now I've seen the stage show that Australian actors do the nuances and the intervene to nation a slightly different and so now when I listened to the state the the I called Broadway, I'm like, Oh, that's not how it went. Jason era didn't do it like that.

You know, everything. Yeah, the older days out.

But I do that, too. I get fixated on things. Or the Beatles. I'm back on the Beatles now. Listen to this same album, but it never gets old. You just

know it doesn't. They will never get out. Ever. Thank goodness.

One male body, male body? I am.

So with you guys with your singing with your harmonies and stuff, have you always just naturally like, I guess I'm comparing it to my sister and I like our voices is she's slightly lower than me and I go slightly higher, but in that general with both our toes, but I can go slightly up a bit. And so I've always just taken the higher harmony. Do you guys have like a? What's the word, a system or a method that works for you?

I mean, I think when we were kids bill would always take the harmony just because she was always much better than me. I've been able to pitch in arrange harmonies, she's got a real real knack for it. But yeah, giving myself a bit of credit to as I've become an adult and also grown and developed, I think. Yeah, I think I think we're both pretty good at doing that now and and we both just, you know, take it into singing lead singing harmony. And it's really fun. Keeps it really interesting,

huh? Do you guys have like, again, I'm comparing to myself like a sort of an invisible, like connection of communication when you're on stage, like, someone might move their eyebrow a little bit or look a certain way. And the other person goes, Oh, crap, that bit, you know, like you have this this way of communicating with each other without anyone really knowing.

Yeah, I think so. Although, although, I've often told that I think that I'm smiling to my bandmates interview on stage. And then they go on stage saying that you're just looking at us like this the whole time. Like I've done something wrong. No, I was just smiling at you like I'm really having fun. So, so there is communication there. I'm not sure if we're really receiving the correct communication, but the other ones trying to communicate all the time. But we think we're communicating. But look, in terms of singing the actual, you know, the actual singing that we Yeah, we're, because we've been doing it for so long together. I think we're pretty good at predicting what the other one is going to do. And to be able to match each other and shadow each other and that type of thing. Yeah,

yeah, I couldn't relate to that. It's like, sometimes when we've been performing like, we both start singing the tune or something. And for Amelie say it'll like literally a millisecond. And then it'll be like, Oh, she is in the hammock, like, and it's like, watching would ever get that we've just stuffed up. Yeah, but yeah, exactly. So quickly. And so intuitively. It's so much fun. I just like we did a wedding just the other week. And we hadn't been together for so long because of COVID. And just, I really pulled back from gigs, but we did this wedding and we're just sitting there. Obviously, it's so fun. You know, we've forgotten

so lovely. And it was so great. Yeah,

it was so lovely. It was a great was great fun. They had the the photo booth right next to us though, so it was like laughing and I'm like him as always on my left. I've got to have her in my left ear. I don't know why it's just a really, it's a quick that I have so I've tried to shut out this site and listen to her on

so I'm sure why that's so nice that you said those things out loud. And you acknowledge the fact that it was really fun. Because it is. And I feel like I'm really guilty of not doing that enough. And I'm trying to do that a bit more. Over just yeah, really acknowledge and verbalize when something's really fun when you're really enjoying doing something with another person, so they know so they know that you're really enjoying this time that you're spending together.

Yeah, that's it, isn't it? Yeah.

But that doesn't make it easy. Nothing says everything. starts again.

So back on to your your children. How many kids do you have?

So we've got two kids. We've got a four year old and a nine month old.

Oh, little tracker.


So yes. Again, back to you. Your stories on Instagram. How hard is it really traveling with the kids? Like, there was a funny, funny, one of like, pushing the pram and there's things hanging off every single like, on the frame? And, you know, that is that literally the realities of going on tour with the kids? Oh, yeah,

absolutely. And look, we, I wouldn't say that we it's it for our collective kids to come away with us. Because as we can all hopefully agree, it's so hard to work and parent at the same time. And when you're trying to do both at the same time, inevitably, something something somewhere, you don't do it as good a job as you could, if you're not doing the two at the same time. So, so yeah, it's this year, my baby has come away with this a lot, because she's been so young, hopefully into the future. That won't necessarily be their regular thing. But again, you know, each each, every few months, you know, we sort of need to look at things again. And say and sort of went through all the different commitments that have come up. Because, you know, all the touring commitments that we've had this year has been a lot more intense than previous years. So and our circumstances have changed again, you know, family wise. So yeah, it's just a constant juggle and a constant. Yeah, just renegotiation?

Yeah, that's it, isn't it? Because the children are always growing? Stages? Yeah, the needs are changing and what they what they're capable of, or what you're capable of doing with their mare. And, you know, yeah, it's always been, like constant reassessment. Yeah. Yeah. What I want to ask you about are not just on that for a change tab. So where have you Where have you been this year? So far? What what's you've been your sort of, I don't want to say your schedule, your tour schedule. You've been we have some places you've

Oh, my gosh, we've been everywhere. We have been. We've been to most states this year already. And we're going and we're just continuing to do more over the next six, six to 12 months. So we've been all around New South Wales and Northern Territory went there for the first time this year, which was amazing. All around Victoria, South Australia. We're going all around Queensland, over January this year. So yeah, just just everywhere, and look, the nature of our music, because it's for kids and families. It's mostly weekend and school holiday work, where we do most of our touring. And look, because you know, my partner and I do very different things. So he has a weekday job, pretty standard office hours, and then I'm doing weekends and school holidays. That does work quite well. And I don't know, I just don't know how people who are working in the same industry. They manage exam time. Yeah. I mean, there's challenges to everybody. But that because I'm not living that. That experience. To me, that just seems huge. If you're competing for the same time. Yeah. Yeah, literally the same time to try and

work. Yes, yeah. There'll be so many conflicts in schedules. And it's like, yeah, someone would have to have to sort of let things go, I guess at different times. It would be very challenging.

Yeah, exactly.

I have tripped up to some space. But human beings names they shall always leave to them. You're listening to the art of being a mom, with my mom, I was singing away from my dreams

with your songwriting process? Like, do you just pick up ideas here, there and everywhere? And then come together with your sister and just bang it out? Or do you often like come to each other with, like, with a half done song, like, how do you sort of work in that way,

it's a bit of everything, we often, because we're now living in different places, the, we don't often sit in a room together, and just create something from scratch, it'll be one of us coming up with an idea, you know, maybe a nearly finished one, or maybe just the beginnings of something, and then we just send it to the other person, the other person has their time with it, I send it back. And then when it's goes back and forth a few times, and then when it's, you know, pretty much in its fully formed song, or, you know, or book or whatever the thing is, then we'll get together and we'll just knock out the last little bit and just rehearse it up. So suppose in a state that we can perform it or you know, get the Voice Memo recording out and just do a acoustic recording on our phone. Imagine if we lost our phones. And imagine if we lost all the voice memos thinkable. It is unthinkable. And it's also think of all because it's like, how I don't it's like I barely know how to backup my computer, or what's on my phone onto my computer. So just Just don't be lost.

Oh, what a disaster that would be. Oh, man, I was talking to a I had on my podcast the other day. It's not out yet. It will be seen. I recorded an episode. That's what I was meant to say, with as a songwriter. And we were joking about how you could be anywhere doing anything, and you'll get an idea. And until you've written that down or recorded that idea, you just cannot relax, like you're just in this state of, I'm going to forget it. I quickly have to do something with this. And you'd like she was joking. She's got all these little voice recordings if you're going in and new stuff. And then you listen to it later. And you've got to try and make sense of what your idea.

Oh, I know. And to anyone else. Oh my gosh, it would be so embarrassing for someone else to just start listening to them all, online. All of mine start with this a standard tuning Capo one, five. This is what tuning Capo on blah. And it's just so it's just so boring to listen to.

Do you ever wake up in the morning and have something in your head?

No, no, that's never happened to me. A lot of people but no, not to me.

I actually I love talking to musicians because I love it. I love it. Everybody has these, you know, all the different ways that they write or the different ways they get used. I just find it so fascinating. It's just fun. All right, well, I'll stop indulging myself. Yeah. That's great. I

love I love hearing all of this, all of this stuff that you do yourself, too. It's so very interesting.

It's so much fun. Love it,

it is fun. And you know, on that, it's like when it stops being fun, then maybe that's, you know, that's usually the time that you got to change something, isn't it? Or maybe time to stop doing something and then start something else. Yeah, because, yeah, you definitely want there always to be an aspect of fun

for that, and that's the thing, like when I said to my son, you know, you've got to you've got to do this every day. You don't want to literally wake up every morning and just go Oh god this again, you know, you want to be energized by what you do. And and if you're passionate about something, you know, if it's your your music or whatever you're doing that you're you're sharing that with people you know, I sort of feel like you've got this thing in you that you've managed to make into something and then sharing it with people is just the icing on the cake you know like she can wait to me she can't lie to me.

I know some families

back on to you being a mom. I like to talk to moms about the concept of their identity. So You know, you've always been a musician, singer songwriter doing your thing. When you became a mum? Did you? Did you really want to hold on to that part of your life? Did you feel like that was important? You weren't going to just go? Now my mom not going to do anything else? I'm just going to be mom.

I mean, totally, I think, I think whether we care to admit it or not, we're all changed immensely when you have accused because your whole world changes. And that maybe I shouldn't assume that everyone's the same. But But yeah, for me, absolutely. I mean, your whole identity sort of changes. I mean, you know, in the first instance, all of a sudden, you go from being this independent person, who really, you know, if you've got a partner, and you know, you are thinking about him, to a degree and kind of do I mean, but you're still kind of two individuals. You know, doing life together, but there's still so much of that, that is separate and individual and independent from each other. But then when kids come on the scene, like, yeah, their needs, then it have to come first. And so, and that can be really hard to swallow. In terms of, you know, I really, there are still things that we all want to do. So fulfill us and to fulfill our own needs. And just sometimes, yeah, and often, you just can't do that. So yeah, definitely. And also just, you know, all the sort of the biggest sort of society, the society, sorry, societal things, you know, of becoming a mom and, and some things to do with gender as well, all of this stuff changes, you know, sometimes, and you can often work out how you feel about it, or actually work out what's going on at the time, but it doesn't feel right. And it can take some time to sort of explore those things and work out where you are, and how it's affecting you and what it is what it actually is to be able to verbalize what the thing is. I'm not sure if any of that made sense. Gosh, it is.

Yes. And that's where I was leading you to because I look, I've spoken to a few members on this show. I've got to be careful how I ask questions, because I assume that everybody feels sometimes feels the same way that I did. And I've spoken to some mums who have just gone. No, I just went, I'm going to be mum, that's great. And I just went, that wasn't me. Yeah. You know, and so I've got to be careful how I don't want to ask leading questions. But I did lead you into that, because I had a feeling you'd say that.

Yeah, well, I mean, I, yeah, gosh, the idea of? No, I definitely, I'd say definitely the person, a type of person who likes to have a good balance of both. I'm just happy, I'm just a happier person, if I'm also doing unstuff. Otherwise, I just get too cranky. Allison, too cranky. And I don't I don't like listening to myself. I can totally relate to that. I think I'm just a happy presence for everyone. If and it's funny, like, you know, both my partner and I, we acknowledge that and and say those things out loud. And it really has to be like, Okay, we have to we have to let each other do these things that we want to need to do to various degrees so that when we're when we're coming back and interacting with the rest of the family, you know, we're out of the we're close to the best versions of ourselves. Absolutely otherwise said

that. Otherwise, there's

too much resentment. Hey, that can just simmer up very quickly.

Yeah, that's the word that I can definitely relate to is that resentment is just Yeah, and I'm not saying that in a negative like, God, I feel like I've got to justify everything I say now. But you know, I love my children. I love being a mom. But I also love doing things that I love to do that don't involve my children, you know? Oh, definitely. And that's, there shouldn't be any shame in saying.

No, exactly. And here's the thing, right? We feel we feel guilty saying anything like that. Of course we love our kids. Yeah, of course. We love them. I love mine. Immensely. When I'm not with them. I miss them. And then when I'm too often, they can drive me absolutely nuts. Yep. I mean, and then yeah, and then I feel guilty about that. And then it's just crazy. And then and then you can't fully enjoy the time when you're away from them. Because you have all these feelings too. And then, you know, and then yeah, you're missing them a little bit. You're like, What is wrong with me? is wrong.

It is just this perpetual thing isn't it's like we cannot escape it. Whether we're with them or without them. There's some element of guilt that We feel it's just, ah, it's horrible.

I know it's huge. And yeah, you start to then see your own parents in a different light to realize that, oh, they probably felt all of these things, too. Yeah. Maybe I should have been more kind to them. You get new appreciation? Yeah, maybe I should be less judgmental of my parents.

It is it is an interesting science lesson. But it's an interesting experience to be an old to be older and have your own children and look back on your parents with so much compassion. You think my God, you know, that what? You know, I don't know. I think we're so hard on ourselves. And everyone's just doing the best that they can with what they've got at the time. And yeah, you know, give me a break.

Absolutely. Yeah. I couldn't agree more.

Yeah, cuz Yeah, mom guilt is something that I do like to chat to all my moms about. And I have had two people in this last week was the 78th episode that went out to mums. Wow, that have said they don't know what it is. They had to google it. And I was like, Yes, this should be all of us. We should not even have this word, you know? Yeah. And I feel like, you know, a lot of the people I talk to sort of share the view that, that it's this, the it's the external judgment, and the external societal norms or expectations placed upon us and making us feel this way, you know, if we just mothered the way we wanted to, and didn't feel this pressure, we wouldn't feel guilty because we'd be doing what we wanted with you. No, no. No, external helps.

It helps to move your arms does help. You know, you know me.

Ah, yeah. And social media. I think it's just been, it's got a lot a lot to answer for when it comes to this judgment of each other and things like that.

It's yeah, totally. I mean, yeah.

I mean, there's so many great things and so many bad things, that social media, it's to have it, it's a hard, hard balance to get a feel. With social media. Yeah. Because most of the mums I speak to are on there for you know, their art sharing their work, or, you know, they're for business. So yeah, you sort of feel like you've got to be on there. But then it's interesting to the last few people I've spoken to have been really had some, you know, the great advice, which should be obvious, but sometimes when other people say things, you notice it more than if you thought it yourself, but you know, only following people that make you feel good. You constantly see someone come up and they they trigger something in you don't keep looking at them.

I know. It's such a simple thing. But yeah, so simple and so obvious. But why do we Why do we find ourselves doing it? I don't know.

Yeah, it's a funny, funny world.

Imagination tell me they're under my bed when worries

come in and like wave rushing up to my,

my superpower.

It's essential that you have your support network in whatever way that you need that support. I'm sure that support comes in different forms for each individual and each family and each household. But, yeah, I mean, personally, I certainly feel very appreciative. And I was I was thinking in the car the other day and thinking how I would say this, and answer this question. If it came up with going, I don't think I feel lucky. I feel nervous using the word lucky because I feel like the insinuation is that I've had nothing to do with it. You know, if I say I feel lucky to have a partner that I do, I feel very appreciative. Because we certainly, I think we're doing okay, and again, ebbs and flows, I think we're going doing all right, you know, so far of trying to let each other you know, flourish kind of professionally and sort of try and really strive for those things that we want to do outside of having kids and parenting, which is so important. I think if I felt like I was just battling, you know, against someone or really trying to fight for time, all the time, and vice versa. That's not conducive to being creative at all. So yeah, that's really important. And I think everyone needs to be on the same team to make it work. So this year, for example, you know, we've had a baby at the beginning of the year. Everyone has needed to be on board for for it to be successful. You know, so and that's, you know, partner, SR manager, you know, all the people who are involved in the team, to be on board to make that work and to be happy to make that work. And, and for that to be successful. So, yeah, that's, that was the thought that I had driving for hours yesterday in the car.

Yeah. And I think it to being able to ask for what you want and make your needs clear that this is not going to work for me, or this is what I need to make myself comfortable here like not being afraid to speak, speak up, I suppose.

Definitely. And yes, to be really clear about those expectations that you have of each other, and, and to have those high standards of each other. I think, you know, to have those high standards, and to have those, you know, a level of expectation, and also to communicate the expectations that you have of each other as well, because, gosh, if we, if we assume too much, we're generally wrong, or incorrect in our assumptions that we make. So we may as well just talk about it and clear it all out from the get go. So everyone's on the same page.

Yeah, that's a really good point. Because I feel like, as much as you know, you, you're obviously, you know, we're attracted to our partners for a particular reason. That's great. We love them. But those people are still different to us. And I feel like, I know what I do is, you know, for example, in a situation, I'd do something this way, and I can't assume that my partner would do that. I've got to go, actually, what would you do? I've got to ask him stuff. Because I've learned over the years, we're very different in certain areas. And there's and when you assume you make an asset of you and me, so yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Third, ask Allison. Yeah.

Yeah, I can play. Yeah, exactly. I agree. I think it's, it's just yeah, it's just so beneficial to just be really clear about what you want. You might not get what you want.

Where you stand and ask for something. They won't be surprised because they know that's where you're hitting with things. And there's nothing up for interpretation. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. No mixed messages. Yeah, I had Adam Paige who's a South Australian. He's from Adelaide. He's a musician. And he said, when they had kids, he had to set like, literally have the conversation. This is what I need. From my music. This is what I need from this man. I should say also, that was Father's Day episode. Yes. Yes. Sorry. randomly say there's been a man on my show. That's a bit.

Oh, no, I mean, it sounds great. I will get through all 70 episodes. Wow. Very impressive. You said you're up to the 70th episode. My goodness. It's a huge achievement look,

honestly, I'm gonna say it again. It's just good fun. I just love doing it. I love talking to moms I love you know, chatting about stuff and sharing stuff and and I love the beat afterwards where you edit and stuff. I love doing that. So it's you know, it's a win win.

That's great. Okay, doing at

least peppers, strawberries, beets, rhubarb, and berries. Green, green, green. broccoli, beans, celery and apples. Spinach. Peas and lettuce.

What do you got coming up the rest of the year? You said you you're still you still touring? Are you? Are you ever coming to mount Gambia? Just Well, I'm, I've got you. Gosh, I

don't know, we probably will at some stage. But I can't for the life of me. Recall all of the places that we're going because there's too many. Which is actually awesome. I actually love that. That's always been a dream, you know, to just be able to to so much. But look what's coming up. I mean, we're about to we are we've, we've got so we've always got so many things on the go, which is great. We've got more books coming out. We've been very fortunate to be able to start writing and publishing some books, which is sort of based and expanded on from our songs. Obviously more touring. We've got some new music coming out towards the end of the year in preparation for Christmas time. And, yeah, I'm trying to think Is there is there anything else there's just there's just always stuff. There's always projects, and that's what I love. And, and that's yeah, that's the thing that we're hooked on. We just you just got to keep making projects for yourself, don't you? Because if you don't do it, if you don't initiate them yourselves, no one else is gonna initiate them for you.

So funny I was in. I was in the shower yesterday. I get so many I don't know about you. But when I'm in the shower, it's like a portal opens up and I think of everything ever in the world. It's this Yasha thing. I'm in the shower and I'm thinking oh my god He's, I don't want to do this. And once he did, and then I got out the shower and went, Oh, but first I have to go make some school lunches and

back to reality. Yeah, I'm gonna do all those jobs that actually make the day sort of just run successfully and smoothly.

Oh, it was it was it was like one of those moments where it was just like a slap on the face like, yeah, you'd have to actually look after your children.

You shouldn't do right. All those things download just so you don't forget them.

I do. I'm an intense note writer, like I have to write down so often. I'll just like record voice messages in my phone for later. Oh, great. Yeah. There's probably quite a lot I've never really listened to. But

I think if you're writing all those things down, then you're one step closer to actually achieving them than someone who doesn't.

It sort of just forget tangible doesn't it's like yeah, actually, it's on a list. So it means it's, you're gonna keep thinking about it and keep, you know,

well, it's all part of just making yourself accountable in a way. Yeah, it's the first step really?

Yeah. Yep.

Not the boss and many things. I'm just little and still learning. But I am the boss one thing.

I'm not the boss of anyone else. I gotta let them be themselves. But I am the boss of one.

Look, thank you so much for coming on, Beth. It's just so lovely to meet you and to chat with you. Everything keep doing what you're doing, because I think what you guys bring to the space is really important. And it does open up conversations, which is obviously that's your aim, and you're doing it beautifully. So thank you and say hi to your sister for me tell her I love her on it.

I will it never gets old. Her hearing that people actually find what she does funny.

If she could just mention a couple more times, you know, playing at the Opera House, that'd be good. I'm not sure if everyone's got the memo yet.

I know it's too funny, isn't it? And hopefully, hopefully we do get to neck Gambia at some time or somewhere you know, you know somewhere close

will if you do you know I'll be stalking you at the stage door. Oh yeah,

I love that. Absolutely love that and funny.

Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mum Helen Thompson is a childcare educator and baby massage instructor. And she knows being a parent for the first time is challenging and changes your life in every way imaginable. Join Helen each week in the first time mums chat podcast, where she'll help ease your transition into parenthood. Helen aims to offer supported holistic approaches and insights for moms of babies aged mainly from four weeks to 10 months of age. Helens goal is to assist you to become the most confident parents you can and smooth out the bumps along the way. Check out first time mums chat at my baby massage dotnet forward slash podcast

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