Local folk artist Ziggy Alberts has been described as many things – surfer, independent artist, creative soul, literal angel sent from heaven – and while we’re sure he’s all of those, one thing we can confirm is that he’s a damned good musician. Ziggy played the Mojo stage at Byron Bay Bluesfest tonight, to a swooning crowd, and we were lucky enough to catch up with him prior to his set.
Before arriving at Bluesfest Ziggy asked his fan-base, via Facebook, what songs they wanted to hear from him. “I’m always curious to see what songs people want to hear,” he says, “as I have a large catalogue of songs for a young artist. I like to see what unexpected songs they request, as there’s always four or five that are regulars and then the odd song that sparks joy in someone. It’s a really beautiful part of the Internet, the community side of it.”
For the unaware Ziggy is an avid outdoorsman and is known for his love of surfing. Recently he joined his partner in Norway and occupied some of his time with free diving, cross-country skiing and snowboarding. “The beautiful wintery landscapes definitely inspire some writing,” he says, “but I was just living a normal life for a while. I wanted to support her, spend some time in cafes and I did a really cool surf trip up in the Lofoten Islands.”
Ziggy is also passionate about championing the environment and several of his songs have covered various environmental causes and topics. “We did some surveying of the Oslofjord to see how much damage had been done to the environment by the fishing port there,” he says, “It actually inspired me to look at different ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the world tour we’re doing this year. Touring has a huge carbon footprint and can have a lot of single-use plastic waste unless you make a conscious effort to prevent that. They have incredible systems over there to deal with single-use plastic and recycling, so it was great to be able to take away some of that.”
Ziggy’s latest track Heaven was released late last year and his fan-base is eagerly anticipating his next album, due this year. “This is the longest it’s ever taken for me to bring out an album,” he says, “The songs have been there for a while and we’ve added new songs, but the album is a story about coming out of one relationship and into another. It’s as much a literal story as it is about the growth that you go through in those times. This album also has a lot of environmental topics, but I think the honesty in this album makes it the best I’ve done so far. “ He reassures us that the album will still have that identifiable ‘Ziggy’ sound and that he’s excited to get feedback from his fans when it’s released.
Speaking of the upcoming album, there was one track that took him by surprise in its inception. “Bright Lights,” he says, “I started writing it in-between an Airbnb in Barcelona and an airport in Dublin, it just kind of popped up and was a sparking point for the album.”
Ziggy’s album will be released this year and you can be sure we’ll be playing it on repeat.