Photo Credit: Idam Adam
Aquila Young: the name evokes mystique, tranquility. Yet this young Gold Coast singer / songwriter is capable of searing souls with her particular brand of fearless poetry: I fought and feared, and staggered through the distance to live another day. Establishing a local following by captivating audiences with a live dynamic energy and alluring presence, the past year has seen Aquila Young share stages with Bob Evans, MT Warning and TSUN as well as play Bleach* Festival and Glow Festival. Blank GC spoke with Aquila about her most recent musical experiences and what is next on the agenda.
2015 was a huge year. In addition to graduating from Griffith’s Bachelor of Popular Music and a trip to the US where she was able to record in Nashville, Aquila released her debut EP, Distance Echoes.
“It had been over 3 years in the making so quite a long time coming,” she explains. “It marked the end of a long reign of sleepless nights and mania and transitioned into a festive tour season.”
The tour itself brought its own set of rewards. “The shows themselves highlighted some great moments. It was incredibly fun and such an honour getting to take the show across the border and connect with so many others.”
An experienced soloist, Aquila has been playing more and more with band members with whom she was placed in a group project during her studies at Griffith.
“When I first started I was doing a bit of a solo electronic hybrid thing, but now I’m pretty much only playing with the band, carrying across that original sound. Which is always going to change depending on who is on your lineup so I’m trying to keep it consistent with creating that experience.”
“I prefer playing with the backing band I guess because I really enjoy that kind of interaction. Live I feel like there’s a whole lot more energy that comes off that as opposed to having just myself playing everything. Maybe I get lonely up there, and I need to get some people to hang out with me,” she laughs.
Even as a solo artist, Aquila was no stranger to collaboration.
“There’s a lot of potential for creative energy to be gained in meeting others and over time I’ve become invested in playing with a few other bands. I’m currently playing keys for Ella Fence and mucking around making some noise with a few other friends.”
“I’m more of a solo writer but I’m working on more of the collaborative side because I can get lost in my bubble sometimes – and I do love it there – but finding time for that kind of interaction I find keeps everything evolving and moving.”
Following the success of her performance at last year’s Picnic In Your Patch event, Aquila returns to Bleach* Festival this year for Out Of The Woods, an eclectic mix of music and dance on Currumbin RSL’s new outdoor deck. She will be working alongside some of the best talent that the Gold Coast has to offer, including crazy dance collective The Farm.
“I am very much looking forward to that,” she declares. “Last year I got to play alongside a couple of other female artists and in an all-female lineup which was really cool.”
Finishing studies is always a major life-changing event. We asked about some of the things that Aquila will take out of her time at university.
“There’s a lot that the course has to offer. It’s quite a broad course so there are a lot of vocalists that come on board and producers that come on board and even session drummers and you find people that you need to work with to make the stuff that you want to do.”
“I found my band there, I recorded my first record there, and that was always such a big deal for me. I had this idea and vision that I wanted to create without knowing how to execute it. It was great to be able to find like minded people. Even to find people who challenged my ideas to change the way I approached things and find new creative practices.”
Graduating does come with its own set of benefits, however.
“Now that I’ve finished up everything from last year I’ve been able to get back to basics and get a normal routine happening. There’s also more time to invest into other things so I’ve started exploring some new sounds for the next collection of songs.”
“There’s some cool shows lining up for the year so far. I’ve got some plans to step up the show and take it to some new places. There will be plenty of new sounds for 2016 and some more collaboration across various forms of visual and sonic media.
“I’m currently working on the next batch of material so who knows? Maybe there’ll be a new release.”
We hope so!
Interviews by Samantha Morris and Natalie O’Driscoll
Story by Natalie O’Driscoll
JAN 29 | Platform Show | Southport Sharks | Gold Coast
FEB 05 | City Sounds | Brisbane
FEB 27 | Stone & Wood Brewery | Byron Bay
MAR 06 | Bleach* Festival | Gold Coast
MAR 26 | City Sounds | Brisbane