On the rise Gold Coast singer-songwriter René Le Feuvre is an exciting new voice on the local music landscape who has been making rapid strides since commencing his musical journey, in which time he’s achieved a top 25 finish on The Voice Australia 2018, a top three spot in Nashville’s rising song competition in 2019 and an invite to the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas (which sadly had to be aborted due to the impacts of COVID).
The talented young indie-folk performer has an interesting background, having originally moved to the Gold Coast to pursue his other love of playing AFL football. But music became the bigger calling as his journey unfolded and over the course of the past two years, René has made every step a winner on his musical evolution, with 2020 seeing him release four singles as well as his debut six track EP ‘Watch Me Fall’, which were all self-funded.
And having played a sold-out show at Miami Marketta in September, René will be returning to the stage again on 11 December within the atmospheric confines of the Mount Nimmel Hall.
In the lead up to the show we chatted with him about his musical journey.
You’ve travelled an interesting path to get where you are artistically – what was the catalyst for you in choosing music over football as your primary focus? And was music a big part of your life growing up?
Music was always a part of my growing up. My parents both sing and are accomplished in several instruments, so I was lucky enough to grow up around it. I picked up the guitar at 12 and have been self-taught ever since, and gained the courage to sing at 16 after being successful in my school music audition as Peter Pan.
Being from a small rural town of around 300 people, it was always my dream to achieve greater things and not be stuck in my tiny town. I was good at sport, and football essentially gave me an avenue to do this, and it was something I was passionate about. My mum used to drive me 1.5 hours to training and back three to five times a week and I’d do my homework and study in the car. Upon finishing school I moved to the Gold Coast to give myself better opportunities with the Gold Coast Suns.
When I moved here I didn’t know anyone and certainly didn’t have any money, so I started busking. I was truly amazed by the support from everyone and realised how much of an impact music can have on people. To have the ability to change someone’s day, week, even life through my musical talent – it’s something I am so incredibly grateful for and is the core reason why I decided to drop my football career and university degree in Physiotherapy. Music is where I find fulfilment and what makes me happy.
You’ve been very busy this year, releasing four singles and your debut EP. Can you put us in the picture as to how the EP came together from a writing and recording perspective?
Yes I have! I see the overall sound of my EP as a reflection of myself, and the lyrics almost like a journal of my feelings and the emotions that we all experience growing up as a young adult. I write my songs nearly always at night, when I can think deeply without distractions. And it made sense when one of my followers told me that all my songs reference the night in some way through metaphors or setting. Most of these songs took me months and months to write – ‘Believe’ and ‘Watch Me Fall’ in particular I wrote over the course of two years… I only finished them when I knew exactly what I wanted to say and how.
The recording took time but came together quickly. I produced and mixed the songs through Jared Adlam (Machine Lab Recording Studios). We treated each song as their own, giving them room to move sonically but also keeping them within the singer/songwriter genre. We got away with adding different elements, from a retro wurlys and a 16 bar electric guitar solo to real life dolphin calls and lightning strikes that I recorded in my bedroom years ago for my demos. For my first EP I wanted to establish my own sound organically, rather than do the modern thing and try and sound like everyone else for means of play-listing and radio.
Who are a few of your biggest musical influences, both formative and current?
Growing up my parents used to play artists like The Beatles, Deep Purple, Billy Joel and The Eagles who were actually recording in Blackbird Studios the same time as me when I travelled to Nashville in 2019. I actually still listen to a lot of their music.
My biggest current influences are Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran and Michael Rosenberg (formally known as Passenger). My ideal style would be a mix between Ed Sheeran’s talent, Michael’s song writing and Ben Howards integrity. I think they are all incredible artists.
You recently played a sold-out show at Miami Marketta – what was that experience like? And what can we expect from you in the live realm when you hit the stage on 11 December at Mt Nimmel Hall?
It was an awesome experience and a huge milestone for me! Performing with my four-piece band was really something different, and something I want to do a lot more of next year.
I think my niche is still my finger style guitar playing and storytelling, which is why Mt Nimmel Hall will be the perfect venue for that kind of intimacy. I’ll be doing plenty of looping on my guitar and vocals to help fill it out. I want to show people what I can do with just me and my guitar! Supporting me will be Chloe May on the piano. I think it’s going to shape up to be a really good night!
René Le Feuvre is performing an intimate show at Mount Nimmel Hall in Austinville, on 11 December with tickets starting at just $20 and available here. His debut EP, ‘Watch Me Fall’, is out now on all major streaming platforms.
Check out the track Second Hand Soul from the EP below: