Friday, 29 March 2013

It's My Kind of Interview - Asta

Following in the footsteps of Snakadaktal and Hunting Grounds, ASTA took out the 2012 JJJ Unearthed High crown and has already begun to make an impact with 'My Heart Is On Fire,' the incredible debut track coming in at #50 on the Hottest 100. Currently sitting pretty at #1 on our own weekly Top 25 with her new song, 'I Need Answers,' ASTA has been kind enough to have a chat to us about her busy year, what makes a good music video and surviving being stranded on an island. Sort of.

Interview by Matt Bond

The last twelve months have been huge for you. Winning Unearthed High and landing in the top 50 of the Hottest 100 are two major achievements. What are some other favourite moments in ASTA’s career so far?

ASTA: I would say simply looking out into a crowd and seeing people so engaged and really enjoying my music, and feeding off their energy. It's an amazing feeling and something I want to experience for the rest of my life.

You recently released a taste of your debut album, ‘I Need Answers.’ Talk us through the concept behind the track and is it a clear indication of what we can expect from the full album?

ASTA: The track is about needing answers from men and pretty much life is general and funnily enough I got the answers in the end. Wanting things black and white. I like to experiment with all sorts of sounds, but you will always here a shimmery guitar and some pop beats in the background. I like to think that my voice will stitch most songs together in the album but I'm not jumping into one particular sound at the moment. Still very fresh in this industry so lots to play with.

Speaking of your debut LP, when can we hope to hear it and how have you found the creative process so far? Are you going to be collaborating with other Aussie talent on it?

ASTA: I hope to have it out early next year, but you never know how long these things can take. I don't want to rush it as I know quality is so much more important and I am in it for the long haul. At the moment I am planning on jamming with other musicians and a trip to New York may be on the cards. I would like to collaborate and do a song with someone in the mean time, but as to who that is, I am not sure!

As a true success story of the JJJ Unearthed program, what advice would you give to other acts hoping to utilise the platform? How important do you feel Unearthed is for an artist looking for a break into the music industry?


ASTA: Radio play is key. So what I would recommend is loading your songs on unearthed and really starting up a campaign to get friends to rate and review your tracks. Eventually Triple J will prick their ears up and hopefully give your track a spin!

Everyone is loving the video for ‘I Need Answers.’ What do you think makes a good music video and what are some of your all-time favourite clips?

ASTA: I grasped inspiration from Kate Bush and Bat For Lashes for my latest clip but I think what makes a good film clip is to visually bring your song to life and play on what you immediately saw in your head when you first wrote the song, not going by creating something afterwards that may not really connect. My favourite clips would have to be 'Bad' by Michael Jackson and 'Running up That Hill' by Kate Bush.

What music have you been listening to in 2013? 

ASTA: I have been listening to Cat Power's album 'Sun' quite a bit. It seems to work in any situation. Car, bath or jogging. Bjork would be another, but other than that I am constantly tuned into Triple J most days and I am enjoying producers such as Flume.

Surprise! You’ve been stranded on an island in a remote location and no one’s going to find you for a couple of weeks. Don’t worry, you’ve got shelter and plenty of food and the weather is nice and there’s no mosquitos. Problem? You’ve only got enough battery on your iPod to listen to five songs. Facing the prospect of a couple of weeks without music, what five songs are you choosing to keep sorta fresh in your mind?

ASTA: This has happened many times, but on a treadmill. I would say:

Cat Power - Cherokee
Husky - I Need You Tonight
Beirut - Santa Fe
The National - Lemon World
Mark Ronson - The Bike Song

That would keep me pretty happy.

If all goes according to ASTA’s grand plan (should you have one), how do you see the rest of your year playing out?

ASTA: I see myself meeting heaps of musicians, gathering knowledge, making magic, traveling and chipping away at an album. Head on, striving along, reaching my dreams and forever writing songs.

A huge thank you to ASTA for stopping by and we can't wait to hear more from one of music's most exciting new acts! Brisbane fans can see ASTA live at Track and Field (Electric Playground) on Friday 26 April, 2013. This boutique night of awesome Aussie music will also feature The Jungle Giants, Alpine and Cub Scouts! 

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