Tia Gostelow, singer-songwriter, The Motorcyle Up Late at QAGOMA
I’m really working on making myself a better writer and stepping out of my comfort zone ...
If anything helped us get through last year, it was music. While we couldn’t go outside to catch musicians in their live element, many artists continued to write, record and release new tunes to help us get through isolation. Tia Gostelow is one such artist. The musical prodigy (who has been writing and performing since she was 16) put out her second album Chrysalis in October, arriving like the light at the end of the tunnel. Naturally we (and most of Australia) jumped on the album, which earned rave reviews far and wide. Brisbane audiences will finally get to see Tia in action when she takes the stage as part of the line-up for The Motorcycle Up Late at QAGOMA on Friday March 19. We caught up with Tia ahead of the performance to chat about Chrysalis’ reception, growing as an artist and the song she’d most like to ride into the sunset to.
Late last year you released your new album Chrysalis, which scored some incredible praise straight away. What was the process of piecing together this album like, especially with everything that took place last year?
The timing of the record was really lucky actually – we finished recording it right before COVID hit, so I’m glad we were able to do that. I spent a lot of time in Sydney and Melbourne co-writing with people and also in my bedroom writing with my roommate and drummer Baz. That’s where all of these songs came to life. Once we had the songs picked I flew down to the Central Coast and recorded it at The Grove Studios with Oscar and Baz. We recorded it all within a week between the three of us and it was seriously so much fun. After that, I flew down to Melbourne a couple of times to visit Oz and add some finishing touches on the songs – that was it really! Looking back on it now though it seems so crazy that this was finished before COVID, but the main themes throughout resonate so much with what is happening in the world right now.
What was the greatest piece of feedback you received after the album’s release?
It’s always so lovely when I receive any kind of nice feedback from anyone. I live for the messages from people telling me how much my music has meant to them and how it has helped them through tough times. I recently had a girl message me saying she hasn’t seen her boyfriend in three months due to COVID, that she was flying from the UK to Aus to see him and ‘Two Lovers’ was her anthem. That really moved me to know that my music is helping and affecting people in that kind of way.
It seemed like we all entered a Chrysalis of sorts last year – how would you say you evolved as a person and a songwriter during 2020?
I used the time during lockdown to have a break, to be honest. All of the music stuff obviously stopped so I started working another job for a few months and for me that was a really good chance to reset. I’ve come out of last year a much more motivated and passionate person and songwriter and I can’t wait for the year ahead!
Although you’ve only recently released a full-length album, we’re keen to know if you’re already looking ahead to what’s next. Is there a style or subject matter you’d like to explore more through your music in the future?
I’ve started writing again and am planning to do a lot more of it! I’m really working on making myself a better writer and stepping out of my comfort zone to, hopefully, help achieve that. As for style or subject matter, I’m not quite sure yet – I’ve started reading more and trying to immerse myself into the world to try and find inspiration. Everything is going pretty well for me right now, so I’m finding it a little hard to draw on personal feelings for inspiration (laughs).
Now that live music is back on the agenda, you’ll finally be able to take these tunes on the road. What have you missed most about the touring lifestyle?
I think making new memories with my band – I have some of the best memories touring in different cities and I’m sad I haven’t been able to make any new ones for a while.
We’re very keen to catch you play at QAGOMA’s The Motorcycle Up Late on Friday March 19 – do you have anything special planned for the show?
I’m so excited to play! We are definitely playing new songs from Chrysalis and are keen to put on a super fun show.
Speaking of motorcycles, if you could hop on a two-wheeler and head for the horizon, what song would play as you rode off into the sunset?
Probably ‘Shook’ by Tkay Maidza – it fits the motorcycle vibe, I think!
You’ve released two albums and toured overseas all before the age of 21 – what advice would you give kids looking to follow in your footsteps and break into the Australian music scene?
Stay true to yourself and follow your gut instincts – you’ll know when something is right and when it’s not. Also, sometimes saying no is better than saying yes.
Tia Gostelow will be taking the stage at QAGOMA’s The Motorcycle Up Late on Friday March 19, performing alongside WAAX, The Hi-Boys, DJ Black Amex, Lori Lee and Sweaty Baby. Tickets to the the night have sold out, but you can buy a two-night pass, which will give you access to the second show on Saturday March 20, featuring Tex Perkins & friends, VOIID and JK-47. Tickets can be purchased here.
Artist image: Jeff Andersen Jnr