So I’ve scheduled this post for the 11th of August, and it’s currently the 19th of July. Fair to say, you’ll be reading a few weeks worth of writing and editing and complete deletions, rewrites and do-overs. Why, you ask? Because this is a different type of post, I guess. I’m putting some extra thought into this one.
Let’s start with the date. Why the 11th of August? Well, it’s actually my birthday. Ya girls 19. So what does my birthday have to do with this post?
Well, for this post, rather than speaking about musicians and bands I look up to, or songs and albums I’m currently listening to, I’m going to talk about a different topic. Myself. I can hear you gasping.
I’m not sure how to go about this without it looking like a blatant plug and self-promotion attempt, but here we go.
If anyone’s gathered any tiny hints from my last posts, you may know my name. If not, that’s chill, I don’t put it all over my posts other than once or twice. In that case; hello, my name’s Priya. p.f, You Should Hear, Priya are interchangeable now I guess.
I live in suburban Melbourne, Australia, which has a lot going on. It’s a great place. I love Melbourne. I’m currently at university, in my first year and I’m studying, surprise surprise, music. Music Industry to be specific. It’s definitely fun and interesting. I have no regrets so far.
But you guys came here for music.
Well, I actually started music myself when I was four. I started singing lessons, and for that I’m ridiculously grateful to my parents. Singing has been a constant with me since then. When I was probably too unsure and so not ready for the pain (blisters and rough fingers), I started guitar lessons, which didn’t work out for too long. Then I moved to the piano. In a sense, this started a lot for me. I learnt piano for four years. Sped through the levels actually. So it makes people laugh when I tell them that I can’t read a note of music and play by ear. I faked my way through six levels of piano by memorising every single song I was taught. My teacher even went through a whole phase of holding a book over my hands so I couldn’t see the keys and had to look at the page, but by then I had memorised the feel of the piano keys from middle C, so that proved futile for ol’ Vic.
He was quite an old, rigid, classical style teacher, and if you’ve gathered anything from my ‘writing voice’, you’ll know I’m…not. So I stopped piano lessons. I continued with my singing though, changing to a different music school when I was around nine. When I was in primary school there was also a music program you could enrol in, so hoping I could further my piano endeavours at least a little, my parents enrolled me in the keyboard classes. Let me tell you, playing Star Wars and The Simpsons on one hand when I’d previously been playing with two hands, no eyes, without taking in an actual note, was a huge waste of time and my parents money, so much to my keyboard teacher’s dismay, I stopped that after a short year and a half.
But, I kept up the singing outside school. By now I’d found myself a teacher, Nick, who I really gelled with, and we were kind of on the same page with a lot. He ended up leaving the singing school I was attending, and I left right along with him, and joined his own singing school that he literally ran out of his home studio. It was sick.
This turned out to be one of the best decisions my parents ever made, on my behalf. As well as gaining an amazing singing teacher and mentor, I’d go as far to say he was a great friend to my whole family. He eventually added small piano lessons to the singing lessons, but this time, rather than forcing me to try and read notes, he taught me chords.
I already knew the basics of the chords, but once I learnt how to build notes and trills around chords, my love and respect for the piano literally changed. One of my friends calls it ‘funky fingers’ because basically, if I know the song, and I have the chords for it, I can manipulate the chords and the way I choose which keys to play when, to sound pretty similar to if I had a note by note piece of sheet music.
It was great to find a singing teacher who was interested in the music I was, and it was around that time that I finally showed him some of my own original songs. That was when I started recording them. I think I was around twelve. The first song I recorded? Terrible. But for a twelve year old it was such an amazing thing to hear and listen to my own voice singing words I’d penned myself.
After that, I barely touched covers as much as I usually did, and we threw ourselves into building up my catalogue of songs, some that were written 100% by me, with all the music and chord progressions my own as well, others with him editing lyrics and playing the music for the recording. I only stopped going for lessons with him last year, at the end of Year 12. So nearly ten years, give or take a few months worth of breaks here and there. But, I achieved a lot in those ten years, and I’m proud of myself.
Yearly, he had concerts. Not even concerts, gigs, at a pub in Melbourne. It was open to the public, our families and friends were all invited and there were amazing potato wedges. Each student sang two songs, usually covers and the two or three of us who wrote originals performed those as well. The best part was performing with a live, interactive, highly adaptable band. I still give mad props to those dudes. It was when I first started performing with those guys around the age of 12, that my ever present interest for the drums peaked. So when I started high school and the opportunity to go for music lessons within school presented itself, I enrolled in drum lessons. Where I was made to learn to read music. Again. Drum music. That lasted a whole of a year, before I decided that was done, that was over, I was cool just chilling and making it up as I go. That said, you are hearing this from the drummer of the school church band, assembly band and rock band. Make your own judgements. I wish you could see me flick my hair.
Then in Year 10 Music at school, there was a semester assessment, where we had to teach ourselves how to play a musical instrument. I took this as an opportunity to have another crack at the guitar. Let me tell you, YouTube is a blessing, because everything I know on guitar now, I got from there, Google or Ultimate Guitar. Being able to play the guitar improved the scope of my songwriting infinitely, and I even managed to pick up the ukulele and teach myself how to play that little guy too.
All of this combined to broaden the scope and diversity of the music I was writing.
In 2014 I released an EP. You can literally listen to it anywhere. Like, iTunes and stuff. Get ready for the shameless promo that I warned you about, because here it is on Spotify for your convenience 😉 Peep the uke.
So yeah, that happened while I was in Year 10. It didn’t blow up or anything, but I made quite a bit of money for two charities through hard copy sales. It was an achievement for me, and I’m so grateful to my singing teacher for literally recording, mixing and bouncing the whole thing for me.
So that was that. That same year I placed third in a national songwriting competition in my age category. That was cool. The year after that I placed third again, got my school a neat electric-acoustic guitar and $500 to go towards a loop pedal I had been eyeing for myself.
Then in Year 12, I decided I wanted to do something with the collection of brand new original songs that I had written and recorded. So, I released an album.
A full length, twelve-track album. Here ya go.
I released this in December, so it’s still pretty recent in the scope of my ‘music career’ if you can even call it that. Since then I’ve just been relaxing a bit.
I’m lucky that with my university course, I get 24 hour access to the studios on campus, of which I’ve taken full advantage of. Sometime in the past two years I also started recording more stripped back, one-take covers, which I posted on SoundCloud. If you’re interested, here is a link to that too. Those have continued to do pretty well. So I did some more recordings at university, which were for actual assignments (how cool though??? Like I literally go to uni to do the stuff I was doing in my spare time??) and posted them earlier this year. Now I’m working on getting through university, writing more music, and hopefully recording and mixing myself sometime soon. Though, I know that I won’t be releasing any more music for a little while. At least until I finish uni. At least.
Like I said before, covers? I didn’t do too many after I started writing my own songs, but now I’m hoping to start up again, beginning with a cover of Ever Since New York by my man, Harry Styles. I actually posted that on YouTube, with some funky clips of my holiday to the USA. Would it be too obvious of a self-promotion to share it? What the heck. It’s my blog. And it’s music. So it counts. Here you go. I did it on GarageBand. With my headphones mic. Be warned.
How aesthetic of me.
What else? Oh, I also work at a music store. Which for me, is the ultimate job. The best job I could possibly ask for. I’ve been working there for over a year now, and I don’t plan on leaving it. Plus, the discounts!!!!!!
I’m sorry if this isn’t the usual post you are probably used to, but when I finally told my parents about this blog, my mum (A.K.A my biggest fan and harshest critic) at once asked me about whether I had promoted myself. And I realised that it was unfair to tell you guys about all the new music that I’m loving, give you my open and honest opinions, but leave out the music that is a huge part of my life; my own. So yeah, I hope you guys enjoyed this post anyway, and if you bothered to listen to any of this stuff, let me know what you thought!