What do you get when you combine a love of musical theatre, pop, classical music and Harry Potter (yes, really) with a new-found love of beats and synthesis?
As you’ll find out in our latest Get To Know feature, you get an ever-evolving songstress from Melbourne who goes by the name of Woodes.
01. Name : Woodes or Elle Graham.
02. Where are you based? Melbourne, Australia.
03. How did you get your start in music? Music’s always been part of my life. Throughout high school especially it became an outlet. I began to record ideas and perform. I chose to study a music composition, which evolved into me doing my own production in order to realize my concepts. In my final year of study I began to piece together a character project that I wanted to create. I didn’t want to just create songs, I wanted to create a world for her to live in through fashion, creative direction, colours and sounds. I named her Woodes.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Evolving. Passionate. Collaborator. Producer. Writer.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. It’s always linked through the use of my voice. As I’ve grown as a producer and writer I suppose my sound shifts too. It began with me layering my vocals and drenching them in reverb. I started getting into electronic music via artists such as Imogen Heap, James Blake and Sufjan Stevens. I liked how the vocals drove their music; I liked how fragile they were in parts… exposed. James Blake in particular showed me a style where you could place something beautiful next to something jarring. I became interested in all the background elements, like sound effects or atmospheres. Which is now leading me into beats and synthesis. I believe the production of a song can make or break the final product, and I find it liberating to have that control over my work. I love warping sounds and creating atmospheres for my ideas to live within.
06. Who have been your musical influences? I suppose those three have a massive impact. I’m also very into Grimes, Jon Hopkins, Nils Frahm, Sigur Ros, Bjork, FKA Twigs, Soley and Little Dragon. I also adore musical theatre, pop and classical music. It’s quite varied. I love collecting music.
07. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Hide And Seek’ by Imogen Heap. I remember it on ‘The OC’ and downloading it to Windows Media Player and sitting on dial up internet looping it over, and over and over and over. Every time it’s on I am overwhelmed. It’s perfect. ‘Fourth of July’ & ‘Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland Illinois”- Sufjan Stevens, ‘The Needle and The Damage Done’ – Neil Young, ‘Unluck’ / ‘Retrograde’ – James Blake, ‘To Build a Home’ – The Cinematic Orchestra, ‘All I Need’ – Radiohead ‘Fjögur píanó’ / ‘Rembihnútur” / ‘Sæglópur’ – Sigur Ros, ‘Immunity’ by Jon Hopkins.
08. What was the first album you bought? When I was 10 years old my dad bought me ‘Decade’ by Neil Young and I was so happy with that. I used to wear dad’s Ray Bans and pretend to be Neil with my long blond hair. I remember the first single I bought was ‘A Woman’s Worth’ by Alicia Keys. Can’t really remember the album – probably a ‘So Fresh’ compilation?
09. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I used to dress up for every Harry Potter book launch. We’d all line up at an incredible local bookstore called ‘May Who?’ in Townsville. They always decorated the store for the occasion.
10. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? It would still be in the creative arts I would think. Maybe a festival curator, a stage manager, or someone within the film industry. I like creating new worlds or places to exist in. Props or locations or someone with a lot of lists. I like lists.
11. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? I suppose, it took me a while to stop wishing I could be like someone else. Especially coming out of a contemporary composition degree in fine arts where you are experimenting and analyzing sound constantly. I wanted to figure out how to produce like so-and-so… sometimes you get in a trap of trying to figure out trends within sound, replicating over and over. A solution I’ve heard quite often this last few years is that your unique sound and vision is always important. Trust it. Try not to follow trends or replicate. In a time when there is so much content, so many people trying and pushing it’s important to be yourself and trust your gut.
12. Tell us about your latest release. I wrote ‘The Thaw’ about being in the thick of winter… I liked the starting point of a piece of ice getting a fracture and starting to drift apart. Thick snow vs snow melting were nice extremes to play with. I worked with Lanks in writing/producing it, in the session his guitar looping made me think of snow automatically. It was a lot of fun to create.
13. What do your future plans involve? It’s about to get busy. I’m about to go on tour again! I’m looking at putting out my EP soon, working with more people, doing more travel, learning more…
14. Where can our audience catch you live? I’m on Tour with Dustin Tebbutt all through August. The live show’s expanded, which I’m really excited about.
August 04 : Byron Bay (Byron Theatre)
August 05 : Brisbane (The Foundry)
August 06 : Maroochydore (Sol Bar)
August 11 : Melbourne (Northcote Social Club)
August 12 : Melbourne (Northcote Social Club)
August 13 : Geelong (Workers Club)
August 18 : Sydney (Newtown Social Club)
August 19 : Sydney (Newtown Social Club)
August 20 : Canberra (Transit Bar)
August 26 : Perth (Jack Rabbit Slim’s)
August 27 : Adelaide (Jive Bar)
WEBSITE : http://www.woodesmusic.com
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/woodesmusic
TWITTER : https://twitter.com/Woodesmusic
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/woodesmusic/
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/woodes