From the crowd to the stage: Asta has had a big year

From the crowd to the stage: Asta has had a big year

Watching from the crowd at the Marion Bay Falls Festival, Asta always pictured herself as the one on stage.

Come the end of December, and she won’t need to imagine it anymore. The 19 year old will be playing for thousands of people in Marion Bay, Lorne, and Byron Bay.

She still has a twinge of incredulousness in her voice when she recalls finding out about the festival wanting to add her to the lineup.

“I… it just really felt like a dream,” she says. “Because it’s been such a huge dream of mine since I was young.

“Just watching people perform on those big stages just really gets me really pumped up,” she exclaims. “I wish I could be up there performing, so I’m not sure how it’s going to feel, being the other way around, and being on stage. It’s all very crazy.”

It’s been a crazy time in general for Asta. After winning Triple J’s Unearthed High in 2012, it seems as though she’s been non-stop.

She took out the competition with track ‘My Heart is on Fire’ and a voice that belies her age.

Her haunting vocals and infectious melodies won over Triple J listeners, and are now working their magic in shows around the country. Asta wrapped up an East Coast tour in October, and has been the support act for bands such as Birds of Tokyo and Hungry Kids of Hungary.

Amidst touring, she’s also in the middle of relocating her life from Hobat to Sydney.

“I’ve just been staying at a friend’s house, and it’s so exciting, because today I found a house and it’s been approved,” she tells me excitedly. “I’ll get to set up my own studio, and have my own space.”

She’s pragmatic about the move, admitting that although she does “miss Tassie every day,” living in Sydney will give Asta more opportunities to work as a musician.

“I guess people just take it more seriously here as a job… There’s more of the business side is up here, and it’s just on a bigger scale than Tasmania, there’s just more people here for that reason.”

She’s also in Sydney so she can play with her new band. As she tells it, it happened quickly; she told someone at one of her shows she needed a band, “and all of a sudden he organized these guys and I was up here rehearsing with them.

“We all just clicked, and it just worked out really well.”

Asta says the three band members bring a new dynamic to her live shows.

“The energy on stage, you can’t buy that, and I was just really craving having a kick drum behind me and being able to look around at people on stage and be like ‘yeah this is awesome,” she exclaims.

“And it’s just been so good to be having a party on stage, because it just really supports my vocals. I just want it to be really be able to yell, and sing,” she explains. “So having those instruments behind me just really supports that, so it’s been a big difference.”

On stage, Asta is invariably in some sort of sequined, shimmery, eye-catching outfit, dancing theatrically. Her energy is always apparent, whether she’s with her band or just an acoustic guitar.

“I also love doing those really intimate gigs where it’s just myself and someone playing guitar, “ she reflects. “I really find that refreshing to do as well… it’s one extreme to the other.”

Asta is working on a mini-LP, and she says the band now play a part in the writing process.

“The guys will come up with a little riff, and send it to me, and we’ll start the song, and it will evolve,” she explains. “And I guess it sounds quite rock, and I try to bring those electronic elements into it as well, and mix those two.

“It can be quite difficult at times as well, just mixing both those worlds. But that’s what I want. It’s hard to describe,” she laughs. “But I guess I’ve been writing heaps lately and there’s all different sounds happening.

“I just keep exploring, and writing with other people.”

She had the chance to write and collaborate an APRA songwriting camp, which drew musicians, singers, and writers from across the globe. Amongst them were Lady Gaga’s and Beyonce’s songwriters, and “a really lovely girl called Alex Hope, who does a lot of writing for other artists like Tina Arena,” she says.

“We got along really well, so we’re locking in another session, and collaborating.”

“Its’ kind of like a building,” she muses. “You can’t build a massive building on your own, that’s how I like to think of it.

“It’s been a really great experience, and, it’s challenged my songwriting.”

Although Asta says we’ll have to wait to hear the LP, we got a little taste of new songs earlier in the year with the release of single ‘I Need Answers.’

The clip and the song itself have drawn comparisons to the 80s, but Asta says she just writes music that she likes to hear.

“It’s really hard to describe the process, she says. “I just kind of write what I want to hear, and it just evolves from there, and someone will go ‘hey that sounds like that person in the 80s’ and I’ll be like ‘really? Cool! They sound awesome!’

“I love love love Kate Bush, she’s really inspiring me with my writing. And Annie Lennox is a big inspiration as well. It’s hard to describe, but I guess I just love all different types of sounds.”

It’s clear that whatever inspiration Asta takes, she has a way of stamping it with her own unique sound and songwriting vision. She’ll be taking her new songs onto the stage with her at the Falls Festival shows, and you can tell she can’t wait to be up there.

“Basically, I’m over the moon.”
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