Life has sped up for Asta since being crowned the winner of triple j unearthed high in 2012. Following her victory in the prestigious competition, the Hobart-born singer has become accustomed to tours, festivals and new planes of recording; and is set to adapt an even busier schedule in 2014. We spoke to Asta as she prepared for an Australian tour and her first (real) appearance at the Falls Festival – which includes a set in her home state of Tasmania.
She reflects on how her life has changed since taking out unearthed high in 2012, explaining that “I get to do what I love every single day so that’s the most amazing part of it; just writing, performing, meeting people, traveling, and just being able to chip away at something that I love.”
“I think I’ve grown up a bit from last year and really started to think about my songwriting more and collaborating with other people which has been really good.”
Her 2013 single ‘I Need Answers’ conveyed a shift in sound for the performer, who won unearthed high on the merit of her acoustic-oriented pop track ‘My Heart Is On Fire’. She elaborates on her recent inclusion of more electronic elements in her music, stating “that was my first collaboration with an electronic artist so I guess you could really hear those elements come through.”
Asta has recently formed a live band to cater to her expansion of sound in lieu of playing solo. She says of the band that “the sound is quite different, like having those live instruments on stage – it’s a much fuller sound than what it used to be, so that’s really exciting.”
However, adjusting to a live band has had its oddities for the singer.
“I like to have a song where I’m playing the guitar because sometimes I need that connection with it. As you can imagine I used to be on the guitar all the time, and now having people who can do the music while I can concentrate on singing makes me think ‘Wow! This is crazy!’ I feel so naked without my guitar, and now I can dance on stage! It’s been really weird but amazing doing that and having that freedom.”
Having been born and raised in Hobart, Asta was new to the music scene when she was catapulted into it. Speaking slowly, she calculates how her Tasmanian surroundings have come to influence her songwriting.
“Tasmania is a really unique state and you’re not influenced by a whole lot there because it’s not overcrowded with music as such, so it really gives you that space to do your own thing I guess, and to not really take it seriously.
There’s a little scene – I never really got out much. I was always the girl writing in her bedroom. I missed out on a lot of my teenage years. I’m turning twenty in January and I’m thinking ‘what have I ben doing? I’ve just been writing songs all my life!’ So I feel like I’m going to have this massive party when I’m like forty years old. So yeah, I’ve just been living under a rock basically when it comes to music in general.”
She speaks about her roots and inspirations, as well as the first song that she wrote at the tender age of seven – devoted to the tender subject of “driving over the moon.”
“I love Kate Bush and her quirkiness, Annie Lennox and her power and songwriting, and I love Bjork – the way she includes electronica in her music is really cool. I guess they’re the main ones. Lykke Li as well; I like more of her down-tempo songs.”
Finally, she discusses her plans for the future – which include playing The Falls Festival over New Years. Despite her “first taste of playing at Falls” occurring last year when she briefly joined her friend on stage at the APRA tent, this year will see her first appearance on one of the two main stages. She also speaks of her plans for 2014.
“I kind of picture myself just continuing to collaborate with people and to meet musicians, and like I’ve said before just discovering my sound and hopefully getting into a studio after Falls and seeing it all evolve. And I hope to play a few more festivals.”
Asta hopes to record and release an album next year. Tickets still remain to see her play at The Falls Festival in her home state of Tasmania. Buy tickets here.
Dec 28 Falls Festival: Lorne Melbourne – Sold Out
Dec 29 Falls Festival: Marion Bay Tasmania
Dec 31 Falls Festival: Byron Bay NSW
Jan 03 Southbound: Busselton, WA