Spend 15 Minutes With ARIA Award Winning Singer Sarah Blasko

Sarah Blasko
Photos: Nick Wilson

The first time I played in Adelaide… I fondly remember. We drove there from Melbourne across the Hay Plains. We went for this scary walk in the cemetery [and] we stayed in Hay. But then [once in Adelaide] we played [at] a place called The Jade Monkey. I actually think that Sia came along to my show, because she and I had sort of started emailing each other. I didn’t feel like there were that many women playing pop music… so we connected over email and then she came to the gig. So that’s probably the most memorable time in Adelaide.

What do I love about Adelaide? I’ve got a couple of close friends who are from Adelaide, so I kind of feel like I’ve got the inside info. I like the very South Australian sort of food secrets that you have… you’ve got FruChocs, and there was [another] one we encountered called Giant Twins. I find it really funny that Adelaide has all these little hidden food secrets. Why don’t we have those in New South Wales. I mean, FruChocs, c’mon?! How come that doesn’t make it outside of South Australia?

How long have I been playing for? About 20 years, which is scary to say. I’ve been doing it professionally since I was about 26. That was the last time I had a real job. I feel like I should know more by now!

Sarah Blasko

People in high school were… surprised when they saw that this is what I was doing as a job because I was doing it behind closed doors when I was a teenager. I wasn’t performing at school all the time, so I think a lot of people would have been very surprised because I was fairly quiet.

When I was 17, I remember… having a really serious thought that this is it, this is what I want to do. I love this more than anything else and I’m going to try and pursue it.

The reason I was drawn to music… was the escapist element. You get really carried away. My Dad would play us lots of music of very different styles when I was a kid… classical music and jazz and folk. It had that transporting quality. I would go into my room and close the door and would just kind of get transported to another place. [That’s] when I would sing. That’s what I loved about doing it – listening to other people’s music as well.

My biggest influence has been… Paul McCartney. My Dad played me these eighties Paul McCartney records when I was a kid and I didn’t know that The Beatles had happened. All I knew was Paul McCartney before The Beatles, which is quite funny. They’re really quite bad, these eighties records that I grew up with, but I have a real sentimental attachment to them. Songs like ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Blackbird’… [there’s] something about hearing them that really captured my imagination. It’s [influential to] a lot of people, but I think it’s definitely [been] influential to me.

How do I describe my music? I don’t really call it anything, I just do it. A couple of people recently called my music art-pop and that sort of resonates with me. Even though it kinda sounds [like] a little bit of a wank, I probably associate with that the most. There’s a range of influence in the styles, like from jazz, folk… and I love pop music and I am always writing in a pop structure.

Sydney is… where I grew up and that’s where I was born. I lived a few years overseas [the UK and Europe] but otherwise I’ve always pretty much [lived] in Sydney. The weather really brings you down [in the UK] when you’re from Australia. The greyness feels like there’s this constant cap over the top of the sky. I would come home and the sky just felt so huge. For all of the things that I find frustrating about [living in Sydney], when something is home to you, you can’t really deny it.

Sarah Blasko

Winning an ARIA was… kind of strange. It becomes this celebration of the people around you as much as it is about you. I guess those things mean so much to family and parents, and it meant a lot to me in some ways. You grow up watching something like [the ARIAS] and then it’s a very different experience actually winning.

My new album… is not just a physical release, it’s kind of an emotional release. You put an album out, and it feels like you can breathe. It’s a lot of anticipation and it sort of doesn’t feel like it’s real until other people start hearing it. It’s a good feeling once it’s out there because, you know, you make these things for yourself, but you also make it for other people.

My new album is… a bit hard to quickly sum up. The title Depth of Field was the best way to express the fact that [the album is] about perspective in life and how easily perspective can change, depending on what life throws at you. I think I was interested in looking at really differing perspectives as well – characters that I feel like I’ve seen in life, but trying to step in their shoes.

Sarah Blasko performs at The Gov on 8 June.

Sing, dance and cry your lungs out to some bold beats from her latest album Depth of Field. It is an intriguing insight into the life of the award-winning singer-songwriter. Tickets are $45. Doors open at 7:30pm. The Gov, 59 Port Road, Hindmarsh.

Which artist heading to Adelaide are you excited to see? Let us know in the comments, below.

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