With a massive sound and a prominent message, Fulton Street’s premiere single ‘Young People’ is an evocative exploration of the pressures and difficulties faced by young people today. Born from the experiences that all of the band members have faced trying to balance work and education whilst pursuing their passions, ‘Young People’ is a powerful new tune that will surely make its mark in Melbourne’s music scene. Leading up to the release of ‘Young People’, lead singer Shannen Wickremasinghe  talked about the song’s origins as well as Fulton Street’s process and inspiration in creating current and future music. With a passion underlining the band’s overwhelming soul, there’s a swirling promise surrounding the band’s purpose.

Inspired by the difficulties of being a youth in society today, was there a key turning point that inspired ‘Young People’?

Yes! Since completing my teaching degree, my life has been a whirlwind of short-term contract work to unemployment. At times, the instability has been overwhelming. Employment agencies say ‘you’re qualified, so you’ll be fine.’ Employers say “you’re not experienced enough“… if they get back to you at all. I just woke up one morning asking myself, ‘how are we going to fix this situation?’

“But for those young people who might not have such support, what happens to them? There are so many young people out on the streets. What’s being done to help these people?”

 

Reflecting on the social and political topics affecting youth in Australia, is it empowering giving those around you a voice to project these feelings?

It definitely is! I think people who have heard our track find it relatable because they’re experiencing the same hardship, anxiety and fears as myself. I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my family and friends. But for those young people who might not have such support, what happens to them? There are so many young people out on the streets. What’s being done to help these people?

Merging these elements, how did you settle through the creative process? Was there a key moment in its writing?

This song probably came together the easiest for us. I wrote the lyrics and melody before I took it to the guys. They then began writing the music underneath my ideas. I wanted something that sounded dark and ballsy. They delivered. Once we got that happening, I brought in my secret weapons – Thando and Moe. I knew that I wanted gang vocals for this song. So, we sat down together and worked on ideas for harmonies and backing vocal parts. Hearing them sing these parts alongside Lauren, Shonelle, Liona, Jae and Thembie was the icing on the cake!

“When we come together, we always focus on creating a sound that’s big, sassy and downright gritty.”

 

With seven members in Fulton Street, how do you find balance with all your interests to create such a cohesive sound?

Behind the scenes, it’s a juggling act. Some of us work full time, some of us work part-time, some are at uni, and then some are also involved in other music projects around Melbourne. However, when we come together, we always focus on creating a sound that’s big, sassy and downright gritty.

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With all members playing their unique instruments, how has your talents and tastes diversified the band?

I think it’s definitely a positive thing to have band members of different musical backgrounds and tastes. Jamie, Dan and Nathan are more jazz-orientated. Andrew and Foon have been classically trained. Connor and I love the soul sounds that are coming out of Daptone Records. These different genres definitely influence our sound.

From writing to performing, how does your energy change during performances? Is there a difference between performing in the studio?

When heading into the studio, we always aim to create a live sound. To do that, the boys put high energy into their takes. They vibe off each other, as they do in our live performances. They sweat. Lots. When I do my vocal takes, they laugh at me because I perform as if I was performing to an audience. But it’s all for the purpose of making people feel as if they’re at our show whilst listening to our tracks. The sound that we’re going for is raw. It’s not overproduced. It’s us.

“I hope that listeners take away the following message: Do what makes you happy. Don’t let others hold you back. Stand up for yourself, and in a world where there is so much hatred and violence; stand up for what’s right.”

 

What kind of messages and feelings are you hoping listeners will experience through your craft?

Each of our songs has an underlying story based on our personal struggles. But the main theme is about strength. I’ve had people in my life try and control me and exert their power over me. They’ve told me that music isn’t a career. But I never let that stop me from doing what I love. I hope that listeners take away the following message: Do what makes you happy. Don’t let others hold you back. Stand up for yourself, and in a world where there is so much hatred and violence; stand up for what’s right.

With the release of ‘Young People’ creating incredible energy, what can new listeners expect from your upcoming record?

New listeners can expect to hear dirty riffs, driving rhythms, magnetic horn lines and powerhouse vocals in our upcoming record. We’re also extremely lucky to have gospel-esque backing vocals from Melbourne acts such as Thando, Mya Wallace and Tatafu. They’re sound is massive. When audiences hear these angels sing, they don’t know what hit them.

With your single launch show just around the corner, what are you most excited about venturing out into the Australian music scene?

We’re super excited to be releasing a debut single we’re really proud of. We’ve met and worked with some great people along the way. Next up will be our album release, so hopefully we’ll get around to touring soon. We look forward to working with more people and putting live shows together with acts from Melbourne, as well as acts from across the rest of Australia.

RSVP to the Fulton Street’s single launch and support them on their Facebook page

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