Deena Lynch, musician and artist, Jaguar Jonze

Music has definitely become an integral process of catharsis for me and I’m so grateful it exists as an outlet in my everyday life ...

The term triple threat is thrown around to describe a performer with an array of talents – typically singing, dancing and acting. When describing local creative Deena Lynch, it’s probably best to up the count. Not only does Deena rock stages as Jaguar Jonze, she also captures tender moments of vulnerability under her photographer guise Dusky Jonze and communicates her struggles with mental health through her visual art persona Spectator Jonze. Tallying it all up – singing, musicianship, songwriting, photography and visual art – Deena is probably better described as a quintuple-threat. This creative force is in the midst of a flurry of activity, having just released a new single ahead of some performances at the BIGSOUND live-music showcase. We caught Deena in a rare moment if inactivity to talk about her new music, creative process, life on the road and the benefits of having multiple creative outlets.

We’d like to start with your appearances at BIGSOUND in September. You’ll be performing two shows across the conference – for those of our readers who haven’t come across your music before, what can they expect from a Jaguar Jonze performance?
A lot of pent-up passion and emotion spilling out on stage. Music has definitely become an integral process of catharsis for me and I’m so grateful it exists as an outlet in my everyday life. 

BIGSOUND 2019 boasts an impressive line-up. What other bands or presentations are you hoping to catch at the conference this year?
I’m keen to hear Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk talk. I recently signed with Nettwerk this year but I’ve heard so many whispers around the industry about how life changing his talks are. Then I’m keen to watch friends like Milan Ring and First Beige play.

As of writing, you’re just about to release your new single ‘Beijing Baby’. What can you tell us about this song in terms of its inspiration and what it means for you?
‘Beijing Baby’ is about hiding behind facades, materialism and privilege and that forever rabbit-hole chase of filling insatiable voids.

As a Brisbane local, how has the city shaped your creative process?
We’re lucky that Brisbane is actually a thriving hub for creativity and live music. I don’t know any other city with so many live music venues packed into one precinct. I’m always inspired and discovering new bands and ideas on a night out.

On a similar note, what’s the songwriting process like for you?
It changes all the time and I think that’s why I love it so much. Maybe it starts as a poem, maybe I’m writing both the melody and lyrics simultaneously, maybe I’m co-writing with someone from a whole different world to mine. There’s never really a set process, but I always start with a loose concept. 

This year you’ve toured with Ocean Alley, Japanese Wallpaper, Kingswood and CLEWS – what do you think are the best and worst parts of touring life?
Best: Spending so much time with band mates. Worst: Spending so much time with band mates! Hahaha, I’m kidding – I’m blessed to have an amazing band of Joe Fallon, Aidan Hogg and Jacob Mann – I just get sick of sleeping next to the snoring. 

Do you find recording or performing more enjoyable?
Performing by far, it’s always so in the moment.

Fans might not know that you’re also active behind the scenes as an artist manager, working with bands such as Confidence Man and The Jungle Giants. How would you describe the state of the local music scene in Brissy (and even Australia as a whole) right now?
There’s a reason why BIGSOUND is hosted in Brisbane and that’s because of the venues, culture and the importance Brisbane places in fostering new talent.

You’re a creative force to be reckoned with, also creating art under the alias Spectator Jonze. What sort of topics and themes do you examine through visual art, and what does this outlet provide that music doesn’t?
Spectator Jonze is all to do with mental health – whatever that may mean to you because we all have one, like a physical health. This outlet allows me to learn and grow by having conversations with others while music tends to be an internal dialogue with myself.

What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
Another single and more support shows. I can’t wait to send all these puppies I’ve been working on for so long out into the world.

If you’ve already got a ticket to BIGSOUND, you can catch Jaguar Jonze performing at The Zoo on Tuesday September 3 at 8:00 pm, and again at Family at 8:50 pm on Thursday September 5. You can still purchase tickets to the live showcase! Click here to nab a pass.


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