Australian indie musician
Welcome! My guest today is Melbourne songstress, songwriter + vocal coach Mezz Coleman, mum of 2 children, aged 16 and 11.
Mezz grew up with music all around her. Her parents took a leap of faith and began a music therapy business, her siblings played as did her friends. It was so normal to see people make a living from music. Having been immersed in it from a young age, it was quite organic that Mezz would spend her life making music.
She began playing the piano from a young age, dabbled in the flute and guitar. Straight out of high school Mezz went to Uni to study a jazz improv course. Her son was born in her final year of Uni, so Mezz has never experienced her music career without having children.
Mezz has released 3 studio albums, Parts of You, Parts of Me in 2010, Words in 2015 and a Christmas Album in 2015. Mezz is currently recording her third studio album, a chamber indie-pop record, produced by Rohan Sforcina (Oh Mercy, Kate Miller Heidke, Ali Barter, Ferla)
Adored by folk festival audiences around the country and celebrated as “a musical treasure” (Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival), Mezz has a unique ability to conjure worlds, transporting audiences with her powerful vocals and straight-to-the-heart lyrics. Her career has seen her appear on national television on Carols by Candlelight, and open for the likes of Kimbra, multi-award-winning songwriter Sara Storer and iconic Australian artist Shane Howard (Goanna).
When she’s not performing her own material, Mezz’s experience as a backing vocalist and session vocalist, has given her the opportunity to work with many international and national artists including Nana Mouskouri, Brian McFadden, Marcia Hines, Delta Goodrem, Barry Humphries, John Foreman and the Melbourne Gospel Choir. In 2021 Mezz toured as backing vocalist and keyboard player for The Marrollo Project’s “Uninvited: The Songs of Alanis Morissette” .
Music heard on todays podcast is from Mezz, used with permission
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.
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!
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 juggler, how mothers work is influenced by their children. Mum guilt, how moms 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 Bandik people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded on. Welcome to the podcast. It is really great to have you here.
My guest today is Melbourne songstress, songwriter and vocal coach, Mezz Coleman, who's also amother of two children aged 16 and 11. Mezz grew up with music all around her, her parents took a leap of faith and began a music therapy business her siblings played as did her friends. It was so normal to see people make a living from music. Having been immersed in it from a young age. It was quite organic that Ms would spend her life making music. She began playing the piano from a young age, dabbled in the flute and guitar. straight out of high school Mezz. went to uni to study a jazz improv and her son was born in her final year of uni. So Ms has never experienced her music career without having children. Ms has released three studio albums, parts of you parts of me in 2010 words in 2015 and a Christmas album also in 2015. Mercy is currently recording a chamber indie pop record, adored by Folk Festival audiences around the country and celebrate it as a musical treasure. By the Bendigo blues and Roots Festival. Mays has a unique ability to conjure words, transporting audiences with her powerful vocals and straight to the heart lyrics. Her career has seen her appear on national television on carols by candlelight. And I prefer the likes of Kimbra multi award winning songwriter Sarah Stora and iconic Australian artists Shane house of Goanna fame when she's not performing her own material mess his experience as a backing vocalist and session vocalist has given her the opportunity to work with many international and Australian artists such as Nana Maskuri, Brian McFadden, Marcia Hines, Delta Goodrem, Barry Humphries, John Foreman and the Melbourne gospel choir in 2021. Mears tour is backing vocalist and keyboard player for uninviting the songs of Alannis Morissette. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. And thanks for your continued support.
Welcome to the podcast today, mares. It's a real pleasure to have you.
Thank you. Thank you for having me. It's so nice to meet you.
Yeah, it's nice to be able to chat to you because I've been following you for a while after I sort of connected with Georgia through the Motherlode, Georgia fields, and then I saw that you were a guest on there. So I was like, oh, because I'm a musician. So I like to follow people that I can connect with in that way. So yeah. love watching you. You're playing the piano and singing the songs.
Yeah, well, yeah. And it's amazing. What Georgia has set up with the mother lode. And it's like, extra special for me, because, um, I've actually known her for a really long time. We're at the same high school together. Yeah. And it's not like we've, you know, hung out throughout all the years, but we've actually known each other for ages and to just see what she's building there. That community for mother musicians. Yeah, amazing.
It is. It's so it's so valuable. And it's one of those things that like, there is no rulebook of what to do. It's like you learn from each other and trip over on the way but then you sort of go, oh, I can learn from that. Or I can Yeah, take that on. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So you're, you're a musician, singer and a songwriter. When did you first become interested in music?
I think in many ways, I was quite lucky. I have a very musical family. So my parents It's so funny, this is a story that I've only really recently realized is quite amazing, because when it's just your normal life, you don't really think about it. But when my mum was a stay at home mum for a long time, but you know, loved singing, and my dad worked, I think, a fairly uninspiring office job somewhere. And then when we were sort of when me my brothers were sort of like, early teen years. My father's whole office got retrenched. And so he was looking for other work. And I think it was, you know, a little bit disheartening. And then just on this sort of, like, it's sort of, I think it hit him and my mum at the same time, like, we love playing music together, we should do something with this. Oh, and they ended up like, for 1015 years, like, I think they really stopped doing it maybe five or six years ago. So maybe even longer. They actually built a business playing music together. So my dad would play guitar, my mom would sing. And I guess you would say they were like music therapists, they would go into a lot of aged care places, senior citizen places, maybe I'm not sure, maybe hospitals as well, I might be wrong about that. And they would sing for people, and they would and people would join in, and they would like do the songs that would you know, maybe trigger a lot of memories for older people. And so I grew up just thinking it was totally normal to make a living, playing music.
That is awesome. Yeah. And when I say totally normal, like, it was tight, sometimes, you know, like, they'd have good weeks, and then then have not such good weeks in terms of, you know, financial, so, but yeah, like I just sort of learnt from an early age that you can play music and make a living from it, and also makes such a big difference in the world with that, I think that's the other thing that they were doing was it was so much more than being like, perfect, or technically brilliant. It was about like sharing a real gift with people. And so I sort of grew up with that idea. And then on top of that, I was really lucky that both of my brothers are quite musical. So we would often just jam together and play together. And then when I went off to high school, a lot of my friends were musical and musicians. And I don't know, I I feel almost like spoiled now that I've met other people who haven't had that experience and really had to fight to kind of play music, even in terms of like, sort of going against maybe what their families, you know, would like them to do and stuff like that. Yeah, yeah, very lucky that musics just been around me, and I've been immersed in it. And if anything, I probably just came to it because there wasn't much else I could do. I'm just like, quite good at this. I'm not quite not very good at much else. So. Yeah, sort of how I'm sort of, yeah, found music. It was very organic.
Yeah, that is such an awesome story. I love that so much.
It was so normal for us that I thought nothing of it. And if anything, I just shrugged my shot I did. And it's only been in the last year or two. That's amazing. That's a really amazing and inspiring thing to see your parents go off and do.
Yeah, and that thing to that, you know, in them. I'm not sure exactly how old they were, but just say, midlife they've gone, I'm gonna totally change my career, I'm gonna take this, maybe take a risk, you know, financially, it's like, let's do this, just do something that we love. And that is so inspiring is
fine. Yeah, they would have been a fair bit older than I am now. And so to think that there's, I think sometimes as an artist, and maybe especially as a female artist, I'm not sure about that. Maybe I should talk to my male friends and see if they feel the same way that you can feel like time is running out. And that clock is ticking. And oh, shit. Um, you know, I'm turning 40 Soon, and I haven't done the things I wanted to do, or a bit of probably not the same thing when I was like, in my late 20s, about turning 30. And, actually, yeah, to sort of go up, I've got plenty of time. Yes. Sort of, like, try other things. And yeah, and get this stuff done that I want to get done. You know, it's really helped me not feel like there's this mad rush.
Yeah, it's really, it's almost like an empowerment that you can take the pressure off yourself. And I can sort of relate this to the kids like my son's in high school, and they start sort of on their paths of what they're going to do when they leave school. And so I keep saying to him, like I was what was I foot nearly 40 When I finally found the job that I loved, you know, you don't have to know straight away,
or they do they put so much pressure on these like 1617 year olds to make these, you know, really important decisions to pick a perfect subject and your whole life will depend on it. And I just, yeah, say the same thing to my son. I'm like, whatever. You just work, you know, just do whatever you like, you know, whatever you're doing at the time, try and do your best but it's not this sort of Yeah, it's not a life or death situation. That's it, isn't it? Time to explore the world and yourself.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it? You actually have to get out in the world and see how you feel in the world. And absolutely, maybe what are the things you enjoy? Right, I'm gonna leave school and go to uni and I'm gonna drop and that's it your whole life Smackdown was like, that's just so unreasonable,
unreasonable and like the stories you know, just like friend after friend after friend who went and started a uni course. And within a year had gone this is so not for me. So like, you know, there's yeah, there's just no rush. It's a really nice Yeah, absolutely. Gosh.
Being exposed to the music with your parents, did you start playing particular instruments? At that point? What were you playing?
Yeah. So again, when I was quite young, there was this. I just feel so lucky for these rich experiences that I totally took for granted as a child, but there was a woman in my neighborhood who was she played piano? Like, I think back in Dancehall, dancehalls, back in the day, and so she just like, as a very local little business, just all the little kids in the area would go to her house and learn the piano. And you'd get your lowly and you learn your scales, and you'd go through your books, but the thing about her that really set her apart is like she was, you know, I thought of her I think she was you know, quite, she wasn't old, she's still with us. So she's not like that, you know, she was quite a lot older than say, like my parents at the time. And she was so different to so many, like, sort of music teachers in that it didn't take her long to work out that my heart wasn't in all the technical stuff. And also that, you know, I like to sing. So from a really young age, she kind of worked that out. And she was like, Well, I'm going to teach you how to like play chords and accompany yourself, and I'm going to teach you how to improvise. And like, you know, we're not just going to play fair release. And the entertainer and I did do a bit of this wonderful piano teacher who like really picked up early that I wanted to learn that kind of stuff. Maybe even before I knew
that, that's what I wanted. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, so I've played the piano forever and, and have learnt piano in a way where I've been able to accompany myself to sing since I was practically a kid. And so that's always been a part from my voice. I'm a singer first, but piano would be my secondary instrument. And that's generally the instrument that I write with. And when I'm writing music, and then, you know, just in those sort of primary school and high school years, I dabbled in the flute. And I wasn't bad at it, but my heart wasn't in it. So yeah, yeah. Yeah. The guitar. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Oh, there's always time. I love that. That story about your music teacher that that is such a gift for her to give you because so many music teachers, it's like theory. You know, like I, I, my experience was with teachers that basically you had to learn your scales yet to know what all the notes were called, and how long you held them for. And I just wanted to play stuff by ear. And it was like, really, like, my, my teacher wasn't as amazing as yours. But I think back now, like, I would have loved to have just learned how to accompany myself, that would have been amazing.
Well, she was yeah, she was quite an amazing woman. And actually, a few years ago, I felt really compelled to reach out and thank her and I wrote her this letter, just like, Oh, my God, you're amazing. Thank you. And I got this beautiful letter back. And I think she'd be in her like late 80s by now. The funny thing is, though, when she was teaching me what I think she must have been quite brilliant. Because while she kind of adapted the lessons to suit me and my needs, she somehow was sneaking that theory. And I actually have got a fairly good, you know, theoretical foundation, but really kind of managed to do it in a way where it was helpful or making sense to the
end. Yeah, relative to what you wanted to do with your music like,
yeah, she's, yeah, she whatever she was, she was working her magic. That's for sure. What a
gem of a woman honestly. That's honestly, we should all have a lady like that in our lights. Just be amazing.
Marge Williams is her name.
Good. Good on your Marge. Give her a shout out.
I wish I had met Marge when I was when I was a little girl. That would have been amazing. Yeah. So the game All
right. at the moment with your music is your music your life? That's what you do you.
Yeah. So, in a roundabout way, I've managed to get to a point in my life where I can sort of comfortably say that I make my living as a musician. But like, realistically, that, Oh, quite a fair percentage of that living is coming from being like, like working in the teaching field, as well as performing and recording and all of those things. I'm really fortunate to have quite a good teaching job at a university here in Melbourne, where I teach mostly singing, like a one on one singing lessons to the students that come through. But I also help, you know, work with bands, and, you know, mentor some of that, you know, mentor the students through some of those processes and classes. And then on top of that, yeah, my, so, artistically, the thing that I'm most passionate about, and I'm always working towards, sometimes slowly, but is my own music that I write. And that I really, yeah, I pour a lot of myself into. And then I guess the other thing, and obviously, work has been quite quiet in the last couple of years due to COVID. But as a singer, like, as a vocalist, I can Yeah, I often work in that field, I guess for other people. So doing session work in studios for like, people that need a, you know, a vocal line on this particular track, or a harmony or a demo and, and working as a backing vocalist for other artists as well. So through or So like most, I think, not just me, I think like most artists, you generally you don't have like that sort of nine to five, steady job, you just you have your fingers in all of the pies, and you kind of slowly build whatever it is that you're building that way, which in some ways is kind of stressful, because you can't remember what do I do on Wednesday. And, you know, there can be dips financially, of course, especially when we're in COVID. But even before that, to be honest, but I also know I wasn't built for a nine to five job. So in many ways, it's thrilling to be doing a few different things. And I get quite excited when I'm looking in my diary and I'm like, Oh, I've been booked for that session next week cool, like different people different kinds of environments. So yeah, yeah. Without the teaching work It'd
be impossible Yeah, yeah. But yeah, that you but you're still so involved in music like it's not like it doesn't probably doesn't feel like a real autonomous a real job because it is a real job but you know, you're you're really enjoying what you're doing.
Absolutely. I there are things about teaching that can be quite draining and you know, because I put a lot of myself into it. But there are also like yeah, I'm still like I'm surrounded by music every day many of my students inspire me I work I have amazing peers so like other teachers that I work with they're all musicians so I'm sort of like spending time in that world still yeah work yeah
yeah day and God fashion keep it to myself most days I struggle to this crew good. Kids my thing carefree was counting on. But
it's a bit of an intro into your children. I came into what were you doing at the time when you had your children?
Oh, goodness, okay, so I have, my son is almost 16. And my daughter is 11. And my son in particular came along in a very interesting time. I was studying music at university. So I went straight out of high school into a music course that I studied is like a jazz kind of improv course, which was interesting. And in that final semester, of the entire course, I discovered I was pregnant. And that was quite intense. Because I was trying to like, sort of start this music, career, whatever that is. The same time, I suddenly had this, like, human being that was like, gonna need my care. So I had him when I was 21. So nearly my, so my entire music career really has coincided with raising a child, which has been, which has had some real positives, and has also obviously presented quite a few challenges. Yeah, he's sort of been with me every step of the way. And, yeah, it's been. Yeah, overall, it's been a really great thing. And yeah, I guess the main, the main thing that I now know, looking back, not that I would change a thing, but I never really got those years prior to kids to build something up
first. Yeah, for sure.
Yeah, you know, like my 20s. You know, for instance, I didn't spend my 20s being able to just say yes to every opportunity, or like, just be like, yes, we'd all go on that tour. See, everyone, I had to be from sort of day one, I never stopped, like, I always like, you know, I released an EP not long after he was born,
which, kind of like, Oh, my God, how did I do that. However, I probably never had quite the capacity to take things as far as I would have liked. Because like, the child comes first. Like, that's the reality. And so like, my music always played, like a really close second to my number one priority, which was, you know, raising this beautiful boy. So. Yeah, that's, that's just how that's just how it has been for me, like music and parenting have always had to coexist. I don't remember ever. Yeah, obviously, like, I've got an amazing partner. We've been together for a long time. And so I've never had to do it all alone, which is great. But like just little things, like, I don't know what it's like to book a gig without also going, who's gonna watch the kids? I actually never had that experience. It's always been those two things happening at the same time. So
yeah, it's a unique perspective, isn't it? It's a little different. Yeah, and I can definitely see how it would have its positives. It does.
Yeah, there have definitely been positive. So the positive that I'm feeling now and the so like, you know, the positive place that I find myself in now, is I'm currently at a place with an 11 year old and an almost 16 year old who are pretty independent. And I now have this time and space and energy to be really going for it. And so where a lot of my friends who like have done a lot of their now maybe like they've got toddlers, or they've just had a baby. And so well, while a lot of my peers are probably like slowing down a little bit, which is so fine. They should, they've got kids that need that care. I'm at a place now where I'm really like, much more sort of time rich, and kind of really go for it. And the fact is, I think my music is better now than it was when I was 2122 23. So I could have you know, the energy and the time that I could have poured into my art back then I'm sure it would have been great. But actually, I think the work I'm making is better now with maturity. And now I have this energy also to kind of Yeah, kind of play with I guess. I think the other thing that helps sort of having children along pretty much from the beginning is you. You tend to I don't want to say you use your time well, because people who know me would know that I'm not great at that. But I guess like as in I'm a terrible planner, and I can, you know, procrastinate like anybody's business. But I guess the thing that I do know when you know if you've got to babysitter, and you need to be, you know, so you've aren't, hey, I've got a rehearsal. And I've asked someone to watch the kids till you know, this time, you don't just wander into that rehearsal and blah, blah, blah and wait, like, so you have shorter pockets of time. And so you bloody well use them properly. And so what I found is like, yeah, like, so? Yeah, you it's almost like you get these pockets of time, you don't have just like this rich expanse, expensive time just before you when you can do whatever you want. And slowly, you know, kind of work on songwriting, or rehearsal or recording session, like, sometimes your time is limited, generally, always, to be honest. And as a result, you get quite good at working pretty fast. If I'm honest. Like, yeah, I'm pretty good at getting in and out of the studio, like, position work. And I reckon, part of that has just been through experience where I'm like, Well, I've got to leave it midday. So I think I've got that skill where I can be a little bit like, when I really have to focus on time, creatively, I can kind of just get it done. Same with songwriting, like I really, I mean, I don't, I'm not a prolific songwriter, like, I don't write heaps. But I do feel like when I'm like, Okay, I've got this time, I've got this energy and like, say, when the kids were younger, you know, the kids are occupied, or away or whatever, and I've got these few hours, I would generally walk out of there with a song or two, because it was like, I have to, really, ya know, so that kind of time pressure can work. to your advantage. Also, there's the flip side to that, where the time pressure can be a massive disadvantage in terms of just not having the space and the time that you would want to give to your art. Yeah, so there's like the payoff of that as well. But I think yeah, really fast.
Yeah, yeah. It's it's instilled those skills in you and then you can you can take that through the rest of your life really.
Because you just want to be. conscious.
You mentioned because you had your son, like, you've never known your career without your son. What was that like then for you being in that world with other musicians, other women who weren't mums yet? Was that how did that feel for you being in that environment?
Yeah. So there were, again, musicians, like, especially female musicians, are just beautiful people. And so while I was, for a long time, the only one in my peer group with a child, you know, I used to, like I'm thinking back two years ago, like a long time ago, when he was quite little. And I was actually in this singing group with three other singers. And one of them has gone on to just be absolutely amazing. I'm sure you've heard of it. Ainsley wills. She's like, the best. Anyway, and I remember, I would just take the baby to rehearsals, and they were so lovely. They would like hold him that because it was so cute. Get a lot of like that kind of, oh, we'll hold him and we'll look after him and using that. And so I remember back in the day, actually having a lot of support in the moment, like the other musicians were absolutely amazing. I had an I had a band at the time, and we would rehearse weekly and sometimes I just have to bring, you know, my top baby or toddler with me, and you know, and actually everyone else in that band would dudes. Yeah, some of them were my brothers. So they were like uncles to the to the baby. But you know, our guitarist wasn't and I don't know, he could have just been like, this is crap. I'm, you know, I didn't sign up to kind of come to the studio and keep climbing all over my face, so generous and so kind about it. And so musicians in general, were pretty lovely, and pretty welcoming. I think where it became a challenge was more than just the industry wasn't set up for it. So while individuals within the industry were like, so beautiful, so kind, really found Yeah, the whole situation, I'm sure they were all a bit like, Oh my God,
but you know, they were like, is like, our friends got a baby. It's so weird, but um, yeah, everyone was lovely. But it was more when it came to things like geeks and knights and just being like, we can't bring him here, you know, it's dirty, there's no way to breastfeed or change a nappy. You know, I really found that within Melbourne, like, where I live, I was very active in the music scene, and, you know, still am. But if I've never really felt I had the capacity. I know, some parents do. And I'm just like, wow, they're amazing, but I never really felt like I had the capacity to tour. So I've never really even even now like, have never really too much. Or like, sort of been able to spread further than that, because I just didn't feel like there was much space or capacity there to like, take him with me, or, you know, the alternative, I guess would be to leave him for long stretches of time, which again, like, I've thrown no shade on parents who can do that. Like it's just each to their own. Just with, I guess, my parenting style and his personality and needs. That actually didn't feel like an option either. Where I could sort of almost be like, Alright, you're staying at Nando's for two weeks, I'm off. That was just, that was just not a way that we could do things for him. So yeah, I don't know if that answers your question. But like, no, yeah, other women and like my peers, my friends. They were so lovely. It was actually divine, like the way they kind of embraced this little baby and toddler who was sometimes at rehearsals, and sometimes it gigs. And, you know, even though none of them had kids, so they'll probably all a bit like, I don't know what to do, but they would hold him or Yeah, you know. But it was more yet the industry as a general kind of beast, I guess. Yeah, my, my, my place there felt a little. I don't know, where Be quiet anymore. Yeah.
I'm going off track slightly. But do you think that is because it's mainly a male dominated industry? Or has been in the past?
Yeah, I think so. Totally. And I think it's changing. And I think that's really exciting. Yeah, like men, you know, historically, can have kids, and still go off and do their own thing, you know. And, yeah, I think that's definitely, you know, how the world works, too. This is not just the music scene, it's the patriarchy and action. But I do feel like it's changing, I just think the changes are slow. And I think it's different. Now I see friends who sort of musician friends with babies now. And I think that the capacity that they have, and the understanding that they have from other people, I think, is better than probably I had at the time. Also, I've gotta remember, I was very young, I wasn't hugely educated. And so I probably didn't have the capacity personally to like, advocate for things that maybe I would now as a 37 year old woman, like, hey, use rehearsal space, I'm going to have to bring my child wet, you know, like, I'm gonna have to feed him, what are you going to do to help me like, you person to begin with, and especially when I was 21, and probably much more overwhelmed than I allowed myself to kind of think I was, I wasn't gonna ask that I was just gonna, like,
Or, or, or see that as an opportunity that I couldn't have or I don't know, feed him in the car, or, you know, so I think sometimes, you know, having a little bit more, you know, a few more years behind you, and just a bit more confidence. I've advocated for myself a little bit more and being a bit more assertive, but I think the industry is changing. Like, there are so many more women speaking up in the industry, about and not just about motherhood, but just about sexism in general. And just small things like, you know, there are more I'm seeing more females working in manager, you know, like artist manager roles who are female, so they're just gonna have a, I'm sure, just more empathy for the say, their female clients around some of this stuff. I'm seeing more female sound engineers and producers, and I think that is really, really important. publicists did just seem to be a whole bunch of dudes back in the day. Doing that stuff. Yeah, yeah, maybe it's changing but I just think like anything in life changes are slow. So
especially when you're trying to change Something that's been endemic since the beginning of time, but seems like we're looking at like this tiny little kind of music industry. I don't know, from my perspective in Melbourne even like, yeah, yeah, that's it. We're talking about an issue that is like, just the way humanity has been built for a very long time. So, yeah, yeah, I can see. Yeah, but I think more more and more women, a lot of performers who have children, I guess it may be being like, if I'm maybe social media, I think social media can be a bit. Yeah, um, but I think sometimes social media might be great in that way that they might post like, they're on tour, but you can see the kid in the backseat of the car, or, you know, I don't know. So maybe, maybe like, you know, female artists sharing their experiences of like, motherhood and the road or motherhood and recording or just motherhood in any sort of arts practice. Just makes it again, it just normalizes it.
That's it, isn't it? And it makes it sound achievable for yourself. Because like you said, as a 21 year old, though, that that wasn't in you at that stage. But maybe if social media had been around, or if you had seen someone do it, you would have thought hang on a sec. That's, that is acceptable. I'm gonna have a crack at this sort of, sort of mentality.
Yeah, yeah, just seeing some art. Okay. There are a few other artists, you know, doing this as well, because yeah, I definitely felt while everyone was so kind, you know, my other musician, friends, I think, you know, when you're in something, it's very hard to really know how you feel. Because I know when you've just had a baby, sometimes you're in survival mode to a certain extent you just like, head down doing what you got to do. And so I think now that sort of time has passed, I can be a bit more reflective. And I think I was, I think there was still a sense, even though no one overtly excluded me, ever. I do think I felt very alone. Because I didn't have other peers really having that same experience. And then the few people I would look up to and like, oh, wow, that person is a mother and a singer, songwriter, too. They wouldn't maybe I still felt alone in that a little because maybe they'd had their kids a bit later. And so they still had maybe a bit more of an established Korea. Look up to them. Okay, I'll just do what they do. And then I just almost find that really disheartening. Almost more so because I'm like, they're like, doing it all like, and they've got kids and I'm not doing it all. Yeah, so yeah, it was a bit lonely at times.
Buried, you came alone with your shop, silent, said, get out, get in, just get to your beauty, your voice your take on a magic.
I want to ask you about when you said before, that you you did your AP, when your son was young? And you said I don't know how I did it. Yeah. How did you actually do it? Was he? Is he coming with you a lot? Yeah. Like, how to physically manage it.
The first thing to know about my son and my daughter. And it is what it is like. And again, like when it comes to parenting and how we do it. I just have no, I just people do what they've got to do. Like, I just do not care how other people like feed their kids sleep their kids like you do what you got to do. For me, personally, neither of my kids. So it wasn't because like of my own belief system around feeding, but neither of my kids would take a bottle. So the only way they were fed was via me for you know, 18 months, both of them my daughter a bit longer. So they were breastfed, which just meant they couldn't not be with me for long. So the hours so how did I do that EP, I think I had started recording it before he was born. Which helped so I think a lot of the work had been done. And then I think I did little short recording sessions in around feeds Due to finish off some of the vocal stuff, and then when it came time, I guess to like launching it, you know, like playing it playing like some shows and try to build up a bit of publicity around it, which again, like things have changed a bit, I probably would now, looking back, hire a publicist, which I didn't at the time, so it was just a lot of email, beat magazine, and whatever else it was. I just sort of it was just in snatched moments. i Yeah. And I don't know if that's the most sustainable way to do it. But I don't know any other way. I could have done it. Late nights when the babies are finally asleep. That was often when I would sit on the computer and email out my, you know, although Admony type parts of music rehearsals were Yeah, like, he'd be there. And just thankfully, my musician friends were cool with that. Yeah, the actual launch. I remember, I remember the gig, it was a great gig. It was really, you know, everyone came it was, I was so blessed. You know, like, it was a really beautiful moment. And yeah, we brought him. And so yeah, it was sort of this bar. I'm looking back, nothing was even allowed in there. I don't know. But you know, like a band room and a bar. And it was really crowded. And, you know, it was a great show. And yeah, just with this, I think by then you might have been walking, you know, like, sort of toddler age, just sort of this little toddler near the front of the stage. And it was stressful, because like, I think what we sort of had arranged was like, he'll come but people, they're sort of watching him like my mom or whatever. But no one quite watches your child the way you would. So I remember just being on stage and just being like someone grabbing plays, you know, like, he was too close. But like not like just all like I'm literally performed. Internally, almost just yelling at people like, move him grab him. He's too close to that, or whatever it was. Yeah. Looking back. That's not a way to perform. Hey, but yeah, so in hindsight, I probably would have just booked a babysitter and not had him there. at them, you know, in the moment, it felt like the right thing to do to have him there with us. Yeah, yeah. So yeah, I think snatches of time is probably the best way to describe, especially those early days when you know, you're fairly sleep deprived, or, you know, they're very kids are very young. Yeah. Like parenting is like a lifelong journey. Like you're never not a parent, you're always on. But those early years, that, like the time that is required of you is very demanding. Yeah, that's it, that changes when they get older, which is really great. And I'm sort of, I think, you know, enjoying the benefits of that now. But also, they become more complex human beings. So I find it emotionally more challenging now. Yeah. But I am getting sleep.
And I go somewhere during the day, and my son, gets himself to school, gets himself home, if he wants to go out on the weekend, like, we're at that stage where I'm just like, Oh, my goodness, like so independent. It's brilliant. I love it. And I'm so happy for him because he's obviously enjoying that independence. And yeah, when you think back to just like, oh, you couldn't leave me for more than two hours? Because it is so nice to be in that space. But yeah, then you I don't know. Because you you said you've got a 14 year old that I worry one out or I'm not emotionally like,
oh, yeah, it's a whole different ballgame. Isn't it? Like it's? Yeah, like, yeah, the emotionally draining is a good way of describing it. Because you're, yeah, you're just you're trying to solve problems for him. I help him through things and issues with mental health. And yes, yes. This Yeah. Like you become a psychologist.
And yeah, my sister in law, Nicole said recently because her kids are sort of my age, but we have nephews and nieces. Who are that younger age, that sort of baby toddler. And yeah, like, she just sort of commented like in a family thread recently, like, Oh, those beautiful days. I miss them. Like, yeah, they were demanding, but they weren't complex. Like, Oh, I feel every word of that. Yeah. So it's a different type of energy that you're pouring into your children, but you never stop. And I'm sure when they're 20 3040. Like, you'll
That's it, isn't it? Yeah. It'll be it'll be something it'll be different again. It'll be Yeah, another thing.
seems insane to say this, but then maybe there'll be grandkids and you're like, yeah, what's my role here? But I'm gonna use to believe that I'm still way too young to even consider that. So. Yes, I'm sorry about that. Yeah, I'll come back to you in like 30 is time when you're doing the grandmother artist. thing.
That's awesome. Well, I won't have to worry about one of my kids, because my eldest has told me that he's never having children because it's just too hard. He's seen what we were going through. He's living with a six year old. So he's like, I'm not having kids.
We're modeling like, how hard it is. Yeah. Yeah.Because you're gonna want to tow back to?
So one of the questions I asked my mums is about before you had kids, what was your influences for your art? And then after you have kids? So asking you this is going to be a little bit different? Because I mean, I'm sure you're going to have some, you know, obviously, to music when you're a child, but in terms of what's influenced you, have you noticed that that has changed? Or how you look at your music? Or I don't know what what sort of changes has your own creativity gone through? As you became a mom?
Yeah, I think I think the thing? That's a great question. Like, musically, my influences were pretty broad growing up, and I don't think that's changed. You know, like, one day, all I want to do is listen to Abba. And then the next thing I just want to listen to, like, you know, I actually listened to a lot of classical and choral music, and I don't make that music. But it's often what inspires me the harmony in that is so rich, I love harmony. Actually, that's like probably a big part of what I'm drawn to as a musician is harmony and melody. And so I listen to a lot of music that feels quite dense and rich in that way. As I said before, like before my son came along, I was training more in that sort of jazz wealth, and so was playing quite a lot of jazz music. And a lot of those sort of early jazz singers really inspired me in terms of their vocal sound. So like I absolutely I do absolutely love Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. huge Beatles fan of course. Yes. My parents pretty much raised me on on the Beatles. And again, their harmony always three. In terms of the Yeah, what inspires me now I think the one thing I feel like my 20s were a little different, right? So a lot of music that's often about like, heartbreak and breaking up, or will we or won't we like just for whatever reason, like I kind of, I found my partner quite young. And we had quite a different experience, like in our 20s. And so I guess sometimes that music even I can really love it. It's not necessarily themes that I'm super drawn to. I guess I'm drawn to themes, like Yeah, so I really loved clear that Bowditch I've never known whether it's Bowditch about it, by the way, but you know what I mean? Yes, I do know, album that came up, actually, when my son was quite little. That was the whole theme was grief. Yeah, I, that had a huge impact on me, because I was like, Oh, you can write a whole album on grief. Like, you don't have to write a whole album on like, you broke up with me, and I'm gonna break up with you. And now we're back together. Because I guess a lot of like, songs in the popular culture are still like, some version of a love song. Yet she wrote this incredible indie pop album on grief.
So do you remember what the name of that album was?
I do now it was what was left. So it was. That's funny that I just said it. Yes. So she made the album in 2005. And my son was born 2006. So I really remember listening to that. I don't even remember that I was stuck in a lot of grief at the time. But it was more like there were growing up themes. You know, there were real life themes. And they were themes that I kind of that really resonated with me so that that album actually had a huge impact because it showed me that there were other things I could write about. And I could write about things that were really real to me. You know, one of the songs that is on my new album that is still you know, in we're in the process of making and releasing is actually just all without boundaries, I would not have written a song about boundaries when I was 18. Because it's not very sexy at all. I really like it. You know, like, that stuff's important to me. Yes. So, so that album had huge impacts and a huge impact on me. from more of a lyrical perspective, yeah. And then like, musically, my tastes have just never really changed because they were always broad to begin with. And they remain really broad. So I listened to a lot of music that I know I'll never make, like I listen to a lot of neo soul. I'm probably not going to make me I mean, I love it. You know, Jill Scott is one of my favorite singers. And I also just know straight up that I will never sound anything like Jill Scott or make me look like us. But I still love absolutely love her. So I don't. Yeah, don't necessarily always listen to a lot of music that's similar to the music I make. But I don't know, I think that can really make help you be really well rounded to when you're really open to all sorts of styles. And, yeah, I'm so sorry. That's my dog. Oh, hey, puppy. Sorry.
I had my cat in here before and she's got a little bell on a collar. And I was like, Don't scratch your
head. It's actually not much of a back and normally I think maybe another dog walk by what sort of dog is he? He's a stuffy cross. We don't know what we use in rescue dog. Yeah, and he's one my heart big. Heart. Yeah,
he's funny. Yesterday, I interviewed a lady and she had a stuffy as well. Oh, really? And it my son's been on this bandwagon that he wants to get a stuffy and I was like maybe the universe is telling me something.
While banjo is a real sweetheart. Yeah, like he was pretty full on when we got him because he was a rescue and hadn't. Yeah, he we pretty much were starting from scratch with him. Yeah, yeah, he's just Yeah, cuddly and but anyway, I think he's still packing now.
Good job AJ. You're listening to the art of being a mom was my mom. I was a new member too. Yeah, when you saying before about influences, but they're not necessarily what you put in your music. I appreciate the Beatles so much because of what they've allowed me to understand about how you can present your music. Like, you can do whatever the hell you want. Like, honestly, I play this. And like if you want to, like play, record your guitar solo, and then play it backwards. You can do that. And then you can. But the thing that got me was like, changes of tempo within songs and different elements that go together to make the same song but it's like you're just grabbing stuff from everywhere. And I was just like, I don't have I had a poster on my wall. I've got my Abbott poster up there. And I did have one but it failed. Me Oh my God, and harmonies, harmonies just a massive thing that I love so much. Yeah, it's just like, can just be shown what's like, same thing with your example. With clear it's like, you can write an album on whatever you'd like. Like, I call it the Taylor Swift music like the we broke up and we're getting back together. And then you didn't call me about you know, all this, which I see is really frivolous now, because I'm, you know, happily married and have lots of, you know, security about my life. But I think you know, I can understand where that fits in. But yeah, there's just so much depth to stuff and a singer songwriter that I really admire. Jen lash, I'm not sure if you've heard of Jen. She's a South Australian artist. And look her up. I think you'd really like her music. She's, and she's been a guest on my podcast, and I kind of see her as a bit of a mentor. I don't know if she knows that. Hi.
All my mentors have no idea that they might Yes.
She inspired me to be able to write songs about really difficult subjects, but make them really listening. So the musical in her words, the musical treatment that she gives that song allows it to be like received by people sort of thing.
And about a topic that's very jarring. Yeah, maybe maybe the music can be jarring, too. But maybe you're gonna let more people in if allows that.
Yeah. And so yeah, she really inspired me With a song that she wrote about postnatal depression called called Wolf, and when I heard I saw she sang it live. She came down here as part of a sort of a was called Palomino nights at the wall shed it was in this old watershed down in Glencoe. And she performed in this space and when I heard that song, I just went, oh my god, like it was like someone had slapped me in the face and gone. Yeah, you can do stuff about anything. Yeah, so she's really inspired me. Jen lash. Okay. Look her up. Jen's amazing. I love Jen so much. And she's listened to her episode, because she's got such an amazing way of speaking the way she articulates things. She's just such a wordsmith like, Ah, just love.
I will definitely listen. Yeah. Yeah, just knowing that you can write about anything, I think was really? Yeah, that's definitely what that clear album did for me. And then you've got that album. She bought out years later, which was the winter I chose happiness, where the theme was almost about this kind of like, so she done his album about grief. And then years later, she did this album. But it wasn't that frivolous happiness. It was, like real choice. Like it was like an oyster kind of. And so again, that another album she might use later also had huge impacts on me like, oh, you can write about happiness without being cheesy. Yeah. Yeah, that's it. Yeah. So yeah, just, yeah. How good is music? So lucky? This? Pretty much you will never hear it all, you know? Yeah. Yeah. People always, actually, because I work with students. They're often like, oh, have you heard blah, blah, blah. And I'll be someone a bit younger. So someone I haven't heard of. And, you know, my mind is just continually blown.
Yeah. Let's see. I go through phases, like where I deliberately don't listen to current music, because I want to stay in the past in some way. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't want to admit that I don't know what's happening right now in music. Like I just I like to know, I like to be able to sing along and I know what's coming. But then sometimes I think I'm missing out on so much, if I don't you know it, because there's so much amazing stuff being done. Some of it's a lot of crap. But
there is a lot of crap. There is a lot of crap. And I think therefore we sort of go, it's all crap. Yeah, you can kind of like wade through the crap. There is also just some amazing. Yeah, there's sort of amazing music being made at the moment. But it's also not the music that's necessarily in the top 20. So yeah, that's it is more. Yeah.
And I think over the years, I've become a lot. Obviously, as you get older, you understand things, you understand how things work, and the thought the whole thing about the NSA pop, you know, in inverted commas, because it's not necessarily I don't know, any music can be popular, but I'm talking about in a commercial sense. Yeah, it is really is just a big business. You know, it's just about producers, people, finding people, people making money off those people and, and the person themselves becomes the product. And yeah, always freaks me out a bit, you know, like,
yeah, yeah, yeah. So I've come, I've come quite jaded of that. And, and not wanting to care. Like, I know, like, commercial radio is literally commercial radio. Like, it's just people, they pay the money to have the songs on. And so I've had a bit of a wake up call, like, for many years, it's like, I just want to be, I want to be on the radio, I want my songs on the radio. And then when I understood it, I was like, no, actually, I want my songs on community radio, because that's where the relationships are. And that's where your people care about the songs they're playing. They have a choice about the songs they're playing, you know? Yeah, so that yeah,
no, that's it. Yeah, you're so right. Like, I mean, yeah. Also, I think just the way music and how people listen to music is changing. So I'm not even sure anymore, that being getting on the radio isn't necessarily the golden ones. Still space for it. And especially think there's space for community radio, like here in Melbourne, we've got like PBS and triple out there, and they're huge stations, and they're amazing. And you know, to be on one of those stations. I think it's fantastic. But yeah, I don't know, you know, there are so many ways people can access music now that, you know, yeah, I don't know, it's probably one of many ways you can reach an audience, but maybe not sort of the only way. Yeah, it used to feel Yeah,
absolutely. Quite, sort of, unless you were on the radio. It was like no one ever heard. You know, you can pay people to put your music on things and they were know, yeah, totally. But I mean, it's the world, isn't it? Yeah. Do you very expensive to be an independent musician, you know? Yeah, that'sthe thing. Isn't it no one tapped me on the shoulder and goes, Hi, here's heap of money to record. Yeah, women? Oh, no, I'll do this and that for you. It's very parenting into the mix. I think it's, and I think that's part of the challenge is, I really believe in my music, I really do. I really think it's pretty good. You know, like, I'm not saying I'm the best out there or anything like that. But I know I can sing. I know I can write I know, I'm making a pretty good record. But when my confidence starts to fall down big time is actually when I start realizing like the costs in like releasing it and releasing it. Well. You know, whether it's paying a publicist or making a video or whatever, yeah. And then when you have children in the mix, it can be really hard to justify those costs when, you know, you've got to buy school uniforms, and CDs in classes and soccer, you know, like, it can seem really self indulgent, that you're really selfish. Yeah. So it's so that's probably where I'm finding myself at the moment a bit like, the confidence in the music is there again, which is so nice, you know? Because obviously, we have times where it's not. Yeah, but it's that kind of this is, this is such an endeavor to embark on. And how can I justify
I can totally appreciate that. Like my husband said to me, when I print because I like to print say days and albums, because I think people's people still like to put things in means. I found what I when I used to play a lot of folk festivals, and I found that the seat Yeah, you still needed CDs. So like, yeah, so obviously, they're not gone. Yeah, I don't think they're gone. For them to be gone. Yeah, people are also buying finally again. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. People like a tangible thing, man.
Yeah. And I think that the amount of effort that I end the people I'm, like, work with to do my artwork. I think that it deserves a bigger, you know, platform than just a tiny little square on the iPhone or whatever. You know, the actual your actual artwork. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, my husband is like, have you worked here? How many? So I should preface this, my husband's a financial planner, right? We can be really handy are really annoying. We could not be different worlds, honestly. So yeah, it's like, how many CDs do you have to sell to be able to make your money back? I'm just like, I am not thinking about this. I'm thinking about creating my music and giving it to the world. That is,
I know, thinking about and I remember like me with my like pea size, math brain. first EP and sort of trying to do the maths and in the arm, like I can't do the bloody maths, I'm just going to do it like, yeah. And, you know, probably to be honest, years later, having a few boxes of CDs still stashed under a bit.
Think it's the same for everybody. It's always a boxer CD so. Now I guess that this topic is sort of leading into something that I love to talk to moms about. And it sounds nasty when I say I love to talk to you about your mom guilt. But I find it such a fascinating topic. Yeah, we put ourselves aside like literally what we've just been talking about, like, we feel like we have to justify ourselves because you know, that money could be paid for the school fees, or could be for the groceries, you know, how how do you sort of approach that mom guilt thing?
First of all, for years, I really resisted the term. And even with credit, I'd be like, Well, I don't have no guilt. Good on me. I don't believe in it. It's bullshit, and I don't have it. And then in the last few years, like of course I have, I experienced guilt as a human being and part of that is around my mothering. So yes, technically, I experienced mother guilt. I experience it often around time. So even though my kids are a lot older, my daughter in particular, she really misses me when I do things. And in many ways that's very sweet. And in other ways, it's really had, um, I can be like, you know, spending a fair amount of time and energy on my art, which I think is really fair, because I also give a lot of energy to other people. And she'll actually like, you know, if I'm, I don't know, maybe I was at the studio all day and all night and didn't get home like, and I try my best to like, you know, communicate that in advance that maybe once or twice where like, because they're not home like, you know Dad's home. So it's not like they're home alone. But that can be a real, like, she can be really upset with me that the next day was just like, I didn't know, I didn't know you would be out too late and well, and I feel really bad around that stuff. So I'm trying to get trying to get better at like, not changing what I do, because I think it's really reasonable that I'm sometimes busy doing stuff that almost I think I could, yeah, so I can experience guilt around that, kind of like the time away that it can be. And like I said before, I don't even know if it's guilt, but it's maybe like the justification around like, the financial side of things. Like I think the reality is, like, we sort of, we grew up in a world where the idea of being a musician, so 2025 years ago, it was like, Well, you just get good, and then you meet the right people, and then you get signed to a contract, and they'll give you lots of money, and you'll make records, and actually realizing that happens to such a small percentage of including musicians who we would consider to be quite big and successful. Like, they're still doing it in a very different way, I have friends who I would consider like, on paper to be much more successful than I am as musicians, and they're still working other jobs or, you know, looking for funding for certain things, you know, so it's a very, most of us not doing it that way. And the reality that I'm sort of facing at the moment, really, with this album that I'm making is that it's costing quite a bit to make. So not only am I not making money, at the moment, I'm actually spending money to make my own art, that's not a job. It's not like it's when you think about what a job, you go to work, and you get paid. I'm going I'm I'm doing a lot of work. And also forking out money. So so the whole kind of, what am I actually doing? And why am I doing it can kind of creep in sometimes because it's not if you're if you know, I call it work, I call it like, you know, I'm an artist, and I'm working and I'm this is my project. But if I'm really honest, right now, it's sort of not work. It's, it's not bringing in, it's not bringing home the bacon. So I think the guilt can then arise when because we live in a capitalist society, where we value money. So I find it much easier, even now, even after all these years, it's much easier for me emotionally, to ask, for instance, for someone to babysit my kids, because I'm teaching because teaching brings home money. And so there's like, this is the most important thing in the world that we all need to do, we all need to make money, because that's the society we live in. And I need to go and make that money. So I feel quite justified. There's that word again, in getting help with the kids because we've got to make that money. But then I really can struggle with the same kind of asking for help or reprioritizing things to say, like make this record because it's not bringing in the money. And I think that comes down to Yeah, like we live in a society that still doesn't value things. Paying. So I trying to really, really kind of remind myself that this is an important expression of who I am. And that's why I have to give it time, and maybe that's why I even have to give up. You know, money. Because, yeah, it's I don't know, I hate talking about money, it makes everyone feel really uncomfortable. But I think it's also really important. It's a huge part of it can be a very big barrier to making art.
And, yeah, when you have a family, it can be a barrier that you put on yourself because it just doesn't feel kind of right. But I'm really sort of trying to lean into the feeling that I have that for me at the moment. It is right and it is okay. But yeah, so I think it's really interesting, I think, yeah, how what we value in this society still often comes down to like, how much money you make from it. But why not just think of all the great artists you know, like, I mean, it's such a it's such a cliched example. that Van Gogh, you know, didn't make any money and we all now know that he's just the most brilliant artist. So just trying to like remember that this art is important and to try and not feel that guilt, whether it's the financial guilt or the time away guilt, which is a big one that I tend to feel. Well, the other the other guilt that I can sometimes feel is when I'm, and I'm sure a lot of parents might relate to this is when I really go for it, like I'm diving into a really creative space, whether it's just like, oh my god, like these songs are just churning within me or like I've booked out a few days in the studio, I'm just going for it, I'm the the first thing to kind of fall apart is just all the shit at home like dishes, washing, yep, eating healthy food. And again, I think that's a very sexy thing to talk about, like it's pretty boring and unglamorous. But part of our job as parents, I guess, is to kind of keep on top of some of that stuff. And I'm very, very aware that I have a partner who does more than 50% of that stuff. So I really can't complain. Especially, you know, I speak to a lot of females with male partners and, and find out that even though it's 2022, they still seem to seem to take on a huge percentage of that, and I know that I actually don't so I'm very, very fortunate. However, yeah, I can still feel like when I'm really kind of diving into some artistic spaces, mentally or emotionally, the house just turns to absolute shit. And, and that can actually bring up a bit of guilt for me too. Like, well, we're eating takeaway again, because I don't have time to cook because I've written five songs. Yeah. Yeah, so that's just another aspect of mom guilt that I definitely feel and I try to be okay with. exists, and we just have to, like, kind of know that it exists and acknowledge it. Like, I'm feeling guilty right now. Why is that reasonable? Am I being too hard on myself? Actually, it's, it's really fine that I've done those things, and it's fine. And then, you know, the, the other thing we've got to remember is occasionally guilt is healthy, and it is telling us something. Yeah, maybe I'm feeling mom guilt, because I actually haven't spoken to my kids for days. And I need to fix that, you know, like, so actually, like, might Yeah, I just try to be aware of how I feel, and then kind of sit with it, and then work through whether it's like, you know, a feeling that I need to kind of listen to or a feeling that I can sort of go that that's just like your kind of inner critic getting pretty loud in your head. Yeah, it can really your inner critic has one or two important things to say as well. So just knowing you is unhealthy, and when it might actually be just telling you something that you better like, come on. Yeah, no, that is the fourth time this week. They've beaten junk. So maybe it's really important tomorrow to prioritize some vegetables. You know what I mean? Like, so?
Absolutely. I think yeah, I think you're right, I think you can definitely serve a purpose. It's definitely not a place. Yeah. But then when it turns into this, and I, whenever I say, ma'am, you I do the air quotes, because I feel like it's just the term has been constructed by a new social media hashtag, you know, it's this theme. This this plan, and, and that's why I hate saying it, but I feel like it's when I say, Do you feel guilty? That sounds really creepy. You know? You're not
really, I think I would love to live in a world where the term mum guilt is just not a thing. And if we're gonna have anything, it's parent guilt. And I don't even think parent guilt should be a thing, but at least that crosses genders and roles, you know, like, why, for instance, because I'm a woman should I feel really bad about, you know, the dishes piling up and you know, an unhealthy dinner. If, like, you know, a male parent really doesn't. Now I'm not saying they don't. And I'm not saying it's that simple. But yeah, like, what is it about? Like, why have we been conditioned to kind of carry that burden or that guilt? Yeah, so yeah, if we, if we have to feel guilty. Can we all please feel guilty together? It's just on the women.
Yeah. You know, we'll see.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it? over last year, I did a couple of Father's Day episodes, especially ones where I chatted to dads about and it's it's a different kind of guilt. Yeah, they certainly feel it. But just, I think they're not expected to feel I think that's the difference. We're the ones who are supposed to wear it. Yeah,
yeah, totally. And even like, I'm, like I said before, like, we've sort of really set our lives up, in a way, you know, in our family where I guess we don't necessarily play those traditional gender roles. Like, at the moment, I work more than my husband, like an extra day, he does all the washing, because I'm really bad at it. I don't know, he's actually much better at like remembering the admin sort of stuff around, you know, our that notice needs to be handed in. And we've got to pay that, you know, I'm pretty bad at all of that. So even though I live in a relationship that has really kind of, we've really intentionally tried to not just play those roles that can fall on you, because you are male, or female or whatever. Even within that year, I think I experienced more of the emotional kind of guilt. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'll ask him and find out that. Maybe, yeah, maybe. So even if within your kind of nucleus family, you've got something really going on. That's pretty kind of countercultural, or whatever. We still are in a society that puts pressure on women and mothers to do it all and be at all. Yeah. And so yeah, that's it, isn't it? Yeah. I'm not feeling guilty about the parenting and I'm really focusing on the parenting and, you know, doing great there, then I sort of start to feel a bit guilty about, oh, I'm not really doing any art or singing. So like, it's a little. A little sometimes
that's just a load of crap. Whoever said that. He was the first person that said that should just because it mean, you can't you can, I heard someone say you can do it all. But you can't do it all at the same time. You know, like you go through phases in your life where, you know, your children are young. So you're focusing on your children, then you do your art, like, you can't, you can't do it all, you physically cannot do it all and also, mentally and in your heart. You can't do it all because you're torn all over the place. You know, totally.
I also think I think just the way my brain works is I'm not very good at multitasking. So I think those people like I'm really good at like, diving in deep. So if I'm so I'm writing today, I'm probably just long writing. And if I'm just like, all in with like, hey, it's my day off, and I'm going to clean the house and I'm going to cook a really nice dinner and I'm going to pick my daughter up from school and we're going to go out for a milkshake, then I'm going to do that really, really well to not very good at trying to do both of those things at once. Yeah, I've always said yeah, you can do it all if you want to do it all pretty badly. Yeah, that's it, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah, you spread yourself so thin that nothing gets done.
I don't wanna say well, but to the way that you probably want it to be done. You know? Yeah. Nice myth, isn't it? It's an urban myth. So going back to your your music and your identity, how you see yourself as a mother and as a musician and an artist, is it really important to you that your children's see, and I don't want to say I'm putting it in quotes, again, that you're just a mom, because you're never just a mom, that you are contributing to the world. Your your voice is being heard what you're saying is a value. Is that something that is important to you?
Yeah, I think it's extremely important to me, both of my children in very different ways, obviously, showing to me that they're very creative people. And so I we really want to nurture that in them. Like my son is an amazing writer, like really incredible writer. My daughter is a natural dancer. And actually, funnily enough, I think she's also a really good singer, too. I have to like, listen out when she doesn't know I'm hearing it. Because I'm a singer. Yeah, there's some stuff there that we'll probably have to unpack that one day because yeah, she's a really great singer. When she was really little, I'd hear her in her room, listening to music, but harmonizing Oh, what? Oh, okay. Um, but she's pretty. She's done it a bit in the past in the last few years, like, if I'm like, Hey, John is seeing this, she's actually pretty reluctant. And that's fine. Like, I'm so not gonna push that. But I think she does have some natural talent there. Anyway, they're both really creative. And I think that's so beautiful. And so I would hate to be kind of creating an environment where they don't see that that's a really normal thing that you would want to foster their dad to. He's very creative. He he like, he wouldn't call himself a professional musician, but he loves music, and he plays in the past. He hasn't done it for a while, but he used to do like, some street art. He's always building things, you know, I'll say something like, oh, we need a box to plant some daffodils in and literally the next day. He's just found some wood and made a box. So and yes, he's a good visual artist. So pink growing up. I hope seeing that art is something that nourishes you. And, and yeah, I hope I hope I'm not I hope I'm modeling to them that I really love music, I guess the one worry I have is that they might see all the stress behind it. Yeah, I think they Yeah, so I know, it's really important to me that they know that creativity in whatever way or shape, you know, like, it doesn't have to be music. But creativity is something to be that we should honor and chat and spend time on. And that doesn't have to make you money. And if you make your living, you know, my son grows up one day to be a writer, my daughter grows up Monday to be a dancer. Wow, how amazing. But that's not even what I mean. It's it's about expression and about, you know how happy they are actually, when they do those things. And actually, I think when they see me when you strip away or they're like, I'm trying to be an independent music in the world, and I'm applying for funding, and I'm very, very strict like that when they actually see me like sit at the piano and just play and just seeing this seeing me really in my most pure kind of happy state. And they see that all the time. Yeah. So. So I think I'm more I'm hope that I'm modeling to them that in whatever way it looks like for you. And it can change as you change that creativity is just a really important thing to nurture within yourself. Because I think everyone is creative. Actually. Everyone. Yeah, but not all of them have been taught that that's okay. Or it's worth fostering or looking after? Yeah, I think. And maybe this is, I think, based on my experience with some people I've met along the way that a lot of angry people I know, are people who are not allowing themselves to be very creative and switch somewhere. And they just sort of hate everyone. And I really think that if you are if you allow yourself to, you know, yeah. Be creative. However, that is. I think you just yeah, like it's a bit cliche, but you're sort of tending to your soul a little bit. And then I think you just live in the world in a more well rounded,
happy away. Yeah.
put that so well.
Thank you. Very important to us, actually, as a family that we yeah, we do it and therefore hopefully, they just naturally do it, too.
Yeah, that's it. Like like yourself growing up in your family, you saw that that is just part of a normal, everyday existence. This is not something that's out of the ordinary. You maybe didn't realize that till later. But, you know, this is a perfectly acceptable way to live your life like you don't have to be afraid of this. Yeah. And there have
been times you know, when like, the kids were little aware, I wasn't spending heaps of time on music, but I actually was always being creative. So when I wasn't making music, I was I was writing the scenes. And when I wasn't writing scenes, I was like, bought a sewing machine. And I was trying to sew think I wasn't very good. But like I was sewing. Yeah, quarter like gardening now for me is a big one, like, so it's also like music is the thing that I come back to because I think, I don't know. It's like, it's in my DNA. It's who I am. And it's how I express myself in the world. But also just there are so yeah, showing them that there's just so many ways to be creative. Yeah, they can be small. They don't have to be big.
Yeah, that's it and they don't have to be for anybody else. And they don't have to be clever monetary value placed on the me that they can be something. It's something for yourself, you know, so important. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. No, I love that.
Best Use of my garden and losses, concert was born?
Can you share with us what you might have coming up? You mentioned about your album that you're working on? Yeah. Have you got? And also have you got? I mean, I guess shows us starting up again in the world have you got anything you want to share that you've got coming up?
Oh, so that Yeah, so the big, big one for me at the moment is the album that I've been making. And it's been a really long labor of love, like I always knew it would take time. But then right in the middle of it, we had a two year pandemic, which has had so many impacts a, it has impacts on time, because you can't like get to the studio. And then the other thing, like we've talked, we've talked about money a little bit today. But one of the things I do as a singer is, you know, when I do that backing vocals gig or I go on tour with that person on BBS, or I do that session work, that all generally gets generated back into the art that I make. So I lost all of that work. So then so so it's not just the time factor has slowed the record down, but it's actually the the income coming in to generate back into it slowed down as well. So COVID has really impacted it in a really huge way. However, we're really close to finish, like we finished recording the music, we're now mixing it and mastering it. And the hope was to release it at the start of this year. And now it's like we're going to release it towards the end of this year. And again, like you can have a plan. I don't know, I'm actually feeling really good about that. Now, I'd like you to have said right at the start, like, you've got time, you don't need to rush. Yeah. And I, I had a bit of an opportunity last year where I did something on TV. And so I was like, right, I've got to release it now because I got to ride that wave I'm gonna work out and I was like, Oh, I really disheartened by that. But in hindsight, it would have been rushed. And it actually wouldn't have been very good. And, and now I feel really good about sort of almost mapping out, you know, I don't know, like a six month plan and, you know, sharing the music, my music with the world really well and properly. So I don't have any gigs booked at the moment, because I'm super focused on the album. And what like, you know, as much as I hate to say it, social media plays a really big role in building my audience. So like, if anyone listening to this wants to follow me on the socials that would really be amazing. Or even sign up to my mailing list.
Yeah, yeah, definitely put all the links, I'll put all the links in for people there.
Cool. That would be really great. You know, that is sort of these days, I guess how we reach to a certain extent, at least, our audience, and of course, I would like to be gigging again. But I'm also really pacing myself, I want to do things well. Yeah. I don't want to just be throwing things together and quickly hopping back on stage. So we yeah, we will definitely be playing some shows when the album comes out, or there's single release or whatever. But yeah, choosing to take my time choosing to remember. Yeah, that I've got time.
Yeah, that's what I think I think we can all take something from that, that it's, you know, we have got time. We don't have to rush. It's not a race and not to do things at our own pace. Yeah, totally. And
obviously, the flip side to that is like, sometimes you need to give yourself a deadline. Otherwise, maybe I'll just be doing this for the next 10 years. So I know the deadline for me is by the end of this year, but what that looks like I still don't know. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that's the main thing and yeah, maybe yeah, if people find me on social media, then yeah, if a gig pops up, and sometimes I'm doing gigs for other people, you know, like, I might be backing vocals for someone and I can share that as well. Yeah, but at the moment, I'm actually yeah, just tucked away doing all the behind the scenes work.
Yeah, all the really hard work. Oh, my God, I know, right? Jumping on stage at the NCAA.
Put me in front of like 1000 people or 2000 people and tell me to sing no problem. Put me in a room with like two people where I'm like asking for funding and I'll be days before Yeah.
And that's the thing too, like, unless you're in that musician, where Old, or even the artists will, all you see is that in result, all we see is that in product, so you don't understand all the stuff that goes in behind the scenes to make that product, you know?
True and like, you know, I think I think I read it somewhere that way, often comparing our kind of, like, we know what we're doing behind the scenes. So we know how hard it is and how messy it is and how not not ready it is yet we can get that to like what everyone else's end product that they're showing online is, and I think it's we're gonna do that too. Like, eventually, when I released this album, it's probably going to look quite nice and shiny and like, hey, look, but like, yeah, we're hearing the journey, you know, to the destination of others. And that's not a very smart thing to do. Probably not very helpful.
Your, your album journey sounds like mine, mine is just taking forever. And I don't care because I hate sitting. I hate setting deadlines, because I hate that pressure. Because you know, life happens and you have children. And you know, you can't just go by, I have to do this for my 14 year old having a breakdown, like Italy's life, and it's so good. So I'm working with these producers who are overseas, and they just only because we have nothing here and that Gambia we don't have access to any sort of recording studios or anything. And again, I'm not going to tell you I know this is the world now. You know, it's amazing. And sorry, I'm just gonna blog for a sec. But yeah, they're in Spain and Argentina. So I basically send them a video of what I want, I bang out the chords on my old Casio and say, this is the idea I've got, then they send back their idea made on computer instruments. And always I say yes, that's amazing, because it always is. And so then they, they organize the musicians to play it properly. Then they send it back and I do my vocals and then they mix it. So they're doing everything apart from mastering it. So it's just like, and I can just sit here in my little room in the middle of nowhere. And this album and I'm, it's so wonderful.
I think, you know, there's so much stuff around technology that can bother me and just, and then I hear a story like that. And I'm so excited. I'm like, that's now a possibility. You're working with producers saying, you know,
and me years ago, to know that this was coming that this was possible, I would never have believed it. You know, I always had this idea that I live in this little town. I didn't I never wanted to leave my little town because I love it. You know, I was born here. I've got my kids here. Even Adelaide, it's only five hours away, or Melbourne five hours away. But it's a different world. So I've never wanted to pick up and go right, I'm gonna go there and make my career. It's like, No, I want to do it in my, in my own terms in my own way. And it's like, finally the time has come. I can do it. You know.
I love that. Yeah. bloom where you're planted, you know? Yes. You know, other people might have a completely different, you know, they do want to move and they want. And that's great. But I agree like, you know, you don't have to, you don't have to. That's the cool thing about being an artist. You can forge your own way. There's actually no real like, we think there's a way you've got to do it. But then when you start to talk people, everyone's winging it. Yeah. That's for some people that's moving overseas for other people. It's so not that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think that's really exciting. Well, I can't wait to hear it.
You'll be waiting a bit longer.
I know these things take time. Okay, with that, I think yeah, and
that's thing too, if you if you're the sort of person that can be settled and go, Okay, when it's ready, that's fine. You can you can do this. But if you're the sort of person it's like, I have to do I have to get done. You could not do this. You'd be off to wherever to record but you know, that's the great thing, too. We're all so different. And that's what makes the world go
yeah, we're all doing the same thing.
Today, Ms. It's just been such a joy chatting with you. I really loved it.
Thank you so much. You're so lovely to talk to me about music and I love talking about my kids. So it's a pretty it's a pretty nice thing to do to sit down and have a chat with you.
Yeah, no, thanks. It's been great. I've loved it. Always good. Always good to get a bit of Beatles chat in there somewhere.
Anytime, Ill have to tell you my Paul McCartney story another time.
Oh, okay. All right, To be continued. Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review Are you 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 who'd like to be a guest on the podcast, please get in touch with us by the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mum.