After winning the Triple J Unearthed High competition in 2012, 19 year old singer/songwriter Asta has taken flight from her hometown in Hobart, to show off her talents on the mainland. After playing at one of Melbourne’s most popular New Years Eve festivals The Pyramid Rock Festival, the hype behind this young musician is only growing. Couturing chatted with Asta about life after winning Unearthed High, her music and her plans for the future.
Q: How has your musical career changed since winning Unearthed High, 2012?
ASTA: It has just sky rocketed and been bursting with opportunity and support; it exploded like fireworks! I was played in New York last week on a local radio. It’s all so refreshing to know that I can put so much energy into my career and know that I have some kind of following behind me to back it all up. I am totally focused now and I am making more tunes and growing as an artist. I would say that’s the biggest change – making conscious decisions every step of the way, knowing what I want and how I’m going to get there.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
ASTA: My sound would be a mixture of folk, electronic pop elements and live rock instruments. Almost every song has my acoustic guitar in it somewhere, and that adds a nice natural shimmer to the pop aspects. I naturally have strong vocals that are the soul of my sound.
Q: Who inspires you?
ASTA: I go through fazes of who inspires me. At the moment it’s Bjork and her enormous performances. I love her style and it has really inspired me to take certain things from nature and use a lot more colour and authenticity in my work and design. I always ponder “ah, people won’t like this track, it’s a bit too left of centre,” but then I think, well there are many artists pushing the boundaries creatively, and are pulling it off. It’s all about the yin and yang and what I feel passionate about.
Q: What has been your favourite performance so far and why?
ASTA: I really enjoyed playing on NYE at the Pyramid Rock Festival on Phillip Island. They had downsized the festival by a few thousand so it was spacious, but very welcoming. When I got up on stage, it was like bees to a honey pot. After the first song, I couldn’t believe how many people were there. They must have all been at the beach frolicking? There was a Tassie group right in the middle of the audience absolutely going off, belting “my heart my heart!”. Afterwards, a man proposed to me and I signed his arm. We spent New Years driving home in this massive black four-wheel drive eating McDonald’s (vegetarian of course) and witnessing riots on the outskirts of Melbourne. I was very well looked after and brushed past Tame Impala briefly. It was quite the road trip.
Q: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
ASTA: This question comes up a lot, and I’m always stuck for words. It would be a male artist, someone who is good with the beats. I imagine us sitting in his room up a few stories high, looking over a grey city. We would drink black tea all day and do some beautiful harmonies together. I’m thinking Chet Faker perhaps.
Q: If you could choose any venue to perform at, which would you choose?
ASTA: I have heard Madison Square gardens in New York is pretty cool… But for now, Splendour in the Grass at Byron is looking promising.
Q: Plans for the future?
ASTA: I am so excited to share the news that I am releasing my new single ‘I Need Answers’ in the coming weeks. Cal Young has done a great job once again producing the track. After that I will be knuckling down, working on an LP; finalising management is my plan also, I feel I can only do so much! My days go so fast, but things are coming together and looking very bright.
Q: You are based in Hobart, what is the music scene like there?
ASTA: It is quite solid. We have our regular bands that are on rotate a lot. It would be good to see more local acts and I probably should be playing more there as it’s my hometown! But the support here is just beautiful and so uplifting.
Q: Any plans to move to the mainland?
ASTA: I feel Melbourne tugging at me slightly. It would be nice to move there as many of my friends and family are happily soaking it up. Now I’m 19 I do feel I could go it alone and take the plunge into a new environment. I have been so inspired lately meeting so many international people. I would love to travel to Paris, New York and India. I want to immerse myself in different cultures and experience different fashion and music.
Q: When you’re not singing, you can be found…?
ASTA: Either in a room doing some hot Yoga, or working at my other job waitressing alongside world-class chefs. I find food is also a form of art and I enjoy the varied clientele that roam around the premises. You will find me in my kitchen cooking various vegetarian delights. Lexie my silky black cat usually helps. I always have new songs popping into my head so I’m usually going into a corner somewhere and singing into my iPhone.
To listen to some of Asta’s tracks go to: http://www.triplejunearthed.com/Asta