Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative winner Aodhan brings SongMakers to his school

Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

Aodhan, Josh Pyke, JP Fung

15 year old Dharawal singer/songwriter Aodhan won this year’s Unearthed High’s Indigenous Initiative, which meant a SongMakers session at his school as part of his prize. Cue Josh Pyke, one of Aodhan’s biggest musical influences, who stepped in for mentoring duties with producer, JP Fung. Time for a quick Q&A with Aodhan to ask about the collab and see where things are at in his life now…

What happened in the writing collab with Josh and JP? How did you get started?

Josh had thought of something on the drive down from Sydney and we played over a few of those chords then he asked me if I had anything I had written that was unfinished. And I had lyrics I’d started ages ago so we worked with those and it went from there. We met again in Josh’s studio in the school holidays and that session ran really differently because we were working more on arrangements and playing with sounds and backing vocals and fiddling around with synthy sounds and bass lines. I do that a lot at home and I think that’s what I’d like to do most (in the future). The digital stuff. The song’s really starting to sound indie-pop cool and I think, if Josh and JP agree, we’ll release it in February. 

Reflections on your SongMakers experience?

Connections: having Josh and JP help me out and now we’re in contact on socials and stuff – it’s awesome to have that support. Collaboration: I feel a lot more comfortable and confident now about working with different people and using different things. And meeting Reg at APRA AMCOS. He’s awesome too. It was a very inspiring experience. Getting to know Josh is really cool because he’s been a very big inspiration since the beginning. I think you can really hear the influences of some of his music in some of mine.

How do you get started when you’re writing on your own?

I get home from school, go upstairs to the computer and play with sounds. When I’m happy with something I’ll pick up the guitar and start playing melodies. I find it pretty easy to get started with the music but it’s different with lyrics. I really want my lyrics to be good and they’re always so much harder for me. I take a lot of time on them.

Best thing about music at school?

Getting to use all the facilities and playing with other kids.

Favourite piece of gear?

My Maton guitar.

Favourite plug-in?

Alchemy. It’s one of Logic’s stock plug-ins. It’s awesome.

Favourite song at the moment?

‘What Are We Doing’ by Egoism. I love the whole dream pop style and crazy reverb. I don’t know why it hasn’t been a bigger song, to be honest.

Plans for summer break?

I’ll be playing at Deadly Hearts on the Gold Coast on 14 December, with Jessica Mauboy, Mojo Juju and Archie Roach on the same bill. I’m excited about that. And a couple of local gigs in January.

Next thing you want to write a song about?

Hmmm. I don’t know. Something weird.

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