Interview: Demi Louise

Having already played to audiences all over the world, and heading to SXSW very soon, Demi Louise has packed a lot of experience into her young years. We caught up with Demi and asked her about her song writing, travelling and record labels.

Q - You released your debut EP 'Songs From My Bedroom' at the end of 2013, how important was it to get your music out there and release something?
Is there any plans in place for the future to release another EP?

It was really important! I felt as though I needed to cement something formal to really present myself to everyone and a starting point to grow from with the follow up single. Its important to share where you are at with the world I think, and yes definitely plans! Always plans. 2015 plans? wink.

Q - Your song 'Ruins' seems like a very personal one, do you always write from an inner place or do you get inspired by the world around you?

A little from column A, a little from column B. haha Definitely both. I write all the time, everyday, whether it be voice memos of melodies or concepts or lyrics or whatever. Sometimes that’s from an inner place or sometimes that’s from something I have seen/heard etc. I think that’s true of all artists and nobody has a set style.

Ruins is incredibly personal. I wrote it about my grandparents relationships as both my grandfathers have dementia. Ruins is a beautiful sentiment because as a concept they are a structure that was once complete and over time it collapses, somewhat like my grandfathers minds, and this evokes a whole new love between them, which I guess the song is my way of dealing with the sadness of it all, because it is a beautiful thing to watch all the same.

Q - The female indie/folk singer is something that seems to be nearly becoming overdone these days, what makes your music stand out from the crowd?

I wouldn't really say it was overdone, because in that regard I think everything is overdone. Electronic, female/male solo acts, DJ producers, pop groups, indie bands, rock bands, there's an abundance of everything and I think that’s just because technology has made it more accessible to not only create the music and share it, but also learn how to make it. That’s how I learned to play for starters was through the internet.

I think that there Is definitely a lot of other acts that fall into similar category to me, but I guess what makes me a bit different is my openness. My songs are very heart-on my sleeve, and I talk a lot about the stories behind them, and anyone who knows me knows exactly what my songs are about within 10 seconds of hearing it. I think that makes me relatable and that’s the kind of artist I want to be. I'm not aiming to be a genius cryptic songwriter and I think people know that. I just want to make music someone sits and looks out the window too and thinks yeah, things are okay because that’s me too.

Q - Being an unsigned artist do you think that it is a necessity to eventually be signed or is it possible to grow with your music and fans in a more natural way and still be successful?

You can definitely grow your music in a natural way, you can develop fan bases from playing shows and being online, but I do believe that to really break to that next level you have to be signed.

The reason is that PR budgets and marketing budgets are just not as achievable as an independent act, in terms of the fact that even down to relationships that major labels already have with advertising front men because of their other acts, for you to develop that yourself it is extremely hard. I don’t think you need to be signed to fund the recording process, and the music you make being unsigned can be at the same level as when your signed, but its marketing and publishing that makes the wider audience discover you.

Big acts on labels (eg: Taylor Swift) that have big incomes for the label are what supports the smaller acts on that label, that don’t have that kind of revenue as of yet, and with music sales the way that they are, it is really hard to support yourself independently just off that.

Independently I feel like I can be successful yes because even right now I'm living a life that I love and that’s without being signed, and that feels fulfilling and successful to me, but to break you really have to get signed. So being signed is always the big goal to work towards.

Q - You like to keep in touch with your fans using vlogs and you are very active on social media. Is this a conscious decision?
How important is it to have that constant connection with your fans?

I am a bit of a serial-social-media-ist. Haha I just love it. I love that I can connect with people on an everyday basis about everyday things just from clicking a few things and someone can see it from a screen anywhere in the world. Its fascinating to me.

Its definitely not a conscious thing. I think its just an extension of my natural personality, because even conversationally I am the kind of person who you don’t really want to ask how their day was because I WILL tell you what I had for breakfast and all the in-betweens. I'm very open. Haha
Its incredibly important for your fans to understand who you are and feel like they are following your growth as a person. They deserve to know who you are because they are the ones who got you to whatever point.

Q - Over the last few years you have played all over the world, what has it been like travelling to all these different cities? Does life on the road take its toll on you?
Is there anywhere that you have fallen in love with and can't wait to visit again?

I've been incredibly lucky with where I have played over the last year. I've been to England, Ireland, Seoul in South Korea, Malaysia, New York, Kansas, and now Texas and then Canada in May!

I love travelling and always have. When I was younger I moved to Malaysia with my family and lived there for a few years, and I spent another part of my childhood living in a caravan travelling around Australia, so I guess for me travelling has never really got to me. But it is hard to maintain healthy lifestyle sometimes and exercise and eat well. So I try really hard with that.

I was the first Australian to showcase at MU:CON In Seoul in South Korea, that was definitely a massive highlight of last year and the city and the people and the audiences were just incredible and I definitely fell in love. I love Korean fashion as well and so I cant wait to go back.

Q - Recently you played Folk Alliance in Kansas, can you tell us about the experience?

Folk Alliance was incredible! It was like no other conference I have been to. There was 2 levels of the hotel that was dedicated to some unofficial showcases and it had different acts in each room and it was PACKED. Like a frat party I was never invited too haha It was great just to wonder around and find new music you never expected to find.

You have already supported some big artists such as Gabrielle Aplin and Kodaline, what were those experiences like?

The thing about those experiences is that I was such a big fan of them beforehand, and both I got to do through social media. With Gabby I won the competition that was based on votes, and with Kodaline I did a cover of 'All I Want' on YouTube and their manager saw it and invited me to open. So it was as surreal as you can imagine. Both shows were sold out and go down as 2 of my biggest crowds to date, and just that experience alone was fantastic and being so well received was amazing.

Q - You are playing SXSW very soon, are you looking forward to it?
Are you nervous given the amount of talent that has been discovered at SXSW previously?

I'm leaving on Sunday !! I cant believe it! I am so looking forward to it and trying to sleep as much as possible before I leave because I have been told as soon as you get there all sleeping patterns go out the window haha.

SXSW is kind of a right of passage within the industry and that’s one of the reasons I'm so looking forward to it. It has been a huge step that takes a lot of people to that next level also.

But I'm just trying to prepare as much before I go with planning meetings etc. to make the most of the people that are gathered there. I don’t have any expectations but I know only good things will come of it!

Q - Where do you hopefully see yourself in a years time? What is the plan for the future?

If this year goes according to plan, and I get signed of course, In a years time I will have a debut album ready to release, and have another worldwide trip planned to tour it live, back to places I have already been to those loyal fans and new places to develop. It’s all very exciting.

Ciaran O'Brien

Founder of The OB, Ciaran is also a cameraman and video editor that has an obsession with all things music. He created The OB Sessions in 2014 and set up The OB Blog in 2015.

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