The nomadic existence seems to suit Sydney singer songwriter Penelope Austin. No stranger to our pages (via her singles ‘Trigger’ and ‘Dynamite’, she’s currently working on her debut album with one of this country’s finest pop producers.
Before she jets off again, however, she was kind enough to find time to answer our eleven probing questions for the latest in our ‘Get To Know’ series!
01. Name : Penelope Austin.
02. Where are you based? I’m currently based between Sydney, Canberra and the United States. I’m quite the nomad so I’m rarely still but i’m loving escaping big cities when I have the opportunity. Collecting my thoughts and exploring my creative side in a quiet space is a new experience for me.
03. How did you get your start in music? By stealing a guitar! I lost my mother when I was a teenager. I had been described by those close to me as the ‘Greatest Pretender’ as I was killer at hiding my true feelings. I began to write as a coping mechanism. Dad didn’t have a lot of money and I thought the school I attended had an ample amount of bashed up Gibsons, so I took things into my own hands and wrote words at the time considered only for myself. I lived in the Southern Highlands and a song I wrote and recorded was put into the hands of a gentleman who lived at Jimmy Barnes’ studio. His daughter at the time dated the lead singer of Wheatus and when Channel V came down to visit the American band, I happened to be in the house. Right place right time?
04. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. Robert Conley and I have been developing my sound for many years in between my usual run and flee stints! I love the story telling element of music and love instruments that are highly emotive. My sound has echoes of strength and bashfulness combined with a sensitive vulnerability. I’ve been told it’s unique. It doesn’t sit in stereotypes. The high’s are high and the low’s are low down; lyrically and through its production.
05. Who have been your musical influences? I had spent so many years traveling the globe on a whim and a prayer with out dated music devices so my education came from artists from the 90’s and prior to that. I grew up listening to the big belters – Celine Dion Whitney Housten and Sade but as I grew I emerced myself in Bruce Springsteen Bob Segar and that of the likes. Sia is also a real inspiration to me.. She is a wordsmith! Lyrically her poetic way of describing things blows my mind.
06. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Atlantic City’ – Bruce Springsteen. My heads spinning there’s too many to lock down! I tend to play this track when I touch down in a new city to get the buzz.
07. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I went on tour with the Rolling Stones through Central America. I arrived at the Four Seasons in Mexico with greasy hair and a bashed up guitar. I was surprised to get through the front gates! From there it was crowds of hundreds and thousands and guacamole with Keith Richards and his kids post show.
08. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Be true to your art.
09. Tell us about your latest release. Following the release of ‘Dynamite’ we have released ‘Trigger’ from my upcoming debut album ‘Cathedral Parkway’. It’s a very real interpretation of an honest heart. So far the response has been awesome and i’m thrilled people are digging it. It’s nice to send out a message of how love can work as opposed to broken bonds.
10. What do your future plans involve? Right now I’m riding the wave and continuously exploring my creative side! I’m soon to set sail yet again across the oceans. First stop LA to work on some pre existing tracks that are receiving some love on foreign shores. A few cheeky shows in Vegas followed by some pen and paper action in Nashville. Then I’m shooting off to Europe to do much of the same then home in time to push hard on my album release!
11. Where can our audience catch you live? I’m currently locking in shows for the end of the year when I return. At this stage certain things are being kept secret but you’ll be first to know! I’ll be performing abroad in the cities I mentioned previously so hey. If anyone’s in Vegas or London.. HOLA!
WEBSITE : www.penelopeaustin.com
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/PenelopeAustinMusic
TWITTER : https://twitter.com/PenelopeAAustin
INSTAGRAM : https://instagram.com/penelopeaustin
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/penelope-austin