Sizing Up: Why Odette is one BIGSOUND artist you shouldn’t miss
Even beforeit premiered on triple j’s Good Nights program last Tuesday, the buzz around Odette’s new single’Watch Me Read You’ was intense – and it only intensified when the track actually lived up to the hype. Pairing delicately syncopated verses, suspended somewhere between hip hop and spoken-word, with a chorus that pleads for power and visibility viaan indelible hook, all over deceptively simple loops of piano, ’Watch Me Read You’ is a powerful first impressionfor the 19-year-old Aussie (via South Africa and the UK) singer-songwriter.
The track, which is out now through EMI, also released simultaneously with a visually arresting video. Full of luminous imagery and pointed symbolism, it hints atthe instantly-iconic visuals being made forSolange and Kendrick Lamar, but on a more intimate scale.
That’s a long-winded way of saying that her upcoming showcase at BIGSOUND is going to be absolutely packed, so get there early. In the meantime, TMN caught Odette for a quick Q&A about how she’s gearing up for the music industry’s biggest week and who else she’s looking forward to seeing.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a musician? How long have you been doing it in your current incarnation?
I’ve been writing since I was about eight years old. I’ve always known that I lovedwriting, I became set on being a musician around the same age. I just completely fell in love with it.
What’s made the biggest difference for you – the biggest bit of luck or hard work or serendipity or support from a community that’s given you that crucial bump?
Everyone has been super supportive of me; my family and friendshave always encouragedme through everything. I guess I’d say what’s given me that ’crucial bump’ was actually seeing how I pushed through times of hardship and staying focused.
What’s been the most important lesson you’ve learned, or advice you’ve been given, in theyearsbetween uploading your first few tracks on Unearthed and releasing ’Watch Me Read You’?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to always keep expressing myself, keep talking. I’ve really learnt not to stay quiet about my experiences –it’s quite empowering.
How does it feel to have ’Watch Me Read You’ out in the world? How was the response after the premiere on Tuesday?
It feels amazing. It’s such a deeply personal song so to have the reaction I’ve had, to see that it’s been heard and received by people who can relate or just love it in general is incredible. I feel incredibly humbled.
How have you been preparing for BIGSOUND?Do you have a day job you have to take time off from?
Yes! I’ve been working with some really talented people – I think this show is going to be super special.
And I do have a day job… for now!
What are your expectations and goals for BIGSOUND
Honestly I just want to play the best live show I can. My goal is always to connect with people through my music, it’s all centred around emotion so hopefully that comes out in the live show!
Which other acts will you be making time to catch?
I definitely want to see Ziggy Ramo, ConfidenceMan, Baker Boy and Donny Benet just to name a few – there are heaps of artists I want to see!
What’s next after BIGSOUND?
Well hopefully another single! I’ve got heaps of new material recorded. I’vebeen working with the brilliantmindedDamian Taylor on a bunch of tracks so Idefinitely see an albumon the horizon –and of course I’ll always be endlessly writing.