Recently, while checking out music on different platforms I came across a song from Melbourne, Australia native BATTS. First off, her voice is beautiful, distinct and caught my attention immediately. Second, the song is well written and the progressions have a lot of feeling to them. Third, I was really impressed with the perspective of the visuals for the video she directed. After doing some research on the artist and listening to more music, I was really impressed and decided to contact BATTS to find out more.
You have a very beautiful voice. At what age did you realize you have a gift and do you remember how you felt at that very moment?
Thank you, that is very kind of you to say. Umm well I started acting at a pretty young age and really loved singing and thought I could sing, but I was actually tone-deaf until the age of about 12-13. Then something just changed and I wasn’t tone-deaf anymore. Pretty happy about it.
When did you start recording music and what was your biggest inspiration to start creating ?
Well, I grew up watching my Dad sing and perform in pubs and stuff around the UK and Europe and he still to this day is one of my favourite performers. I feel I learnt a lot from him. I first started recording when I was about 15 or 16 with my friend James in his shed in the middle of the countryside, but boy did I have a lot to learn back then. Took a while to learn how to put a performance into a recording. I always wanted to create as a child, I would listen to a lot of old soul music when I was a little girl and then I’d just walk around singing whatever came out of my mouth. I’d then write songs with whatever lyrics came out and record the melodies into a tape back then or just remember them because my brain was a lot better as a child than it is now.
How has Melbourne influenced you as an artist?
Melbourne has HUGELY influenced me as an artist, mainly because of the people in my life here. I’m surrounded by amazing musicians and they inspire me so much and introduce me to new elements, new ideas, even old ones that I fall in love with again because of how they use it. The music scene here in Melbourne is really special and my closest music friends are all so beautifully inspiring and supportive. I’m really very lucky to live in this city and be surrounded by the people I am. The key is to be open to what people tell and show you and take it on board and see what you can learn from it. Just to walk around Melbourne and its surrounding areas gives me so much inspiration and definitely influences what I create.
Being that you are from Melbourne and Batt being your surname, have you ever thought of writing a song about the ‘flying foxes’ of the city ?
Actually funny you ask that, I used to live in North Melbourne right on the outskirts of the city and had this incredible windowsill which overlooked the city. North Melbourne is known for having insane amounts of bats in the evening. I used to sit out on my windowsill every single night and this one bat used to come over and just circle right up close to my window and hang around a tiny tree like it was hanging out with me. I named him Terrence, but then my friend kept joining me on the windowsill and I think Terrence got upset and stopped visiting me. I still think of him and did start writing a song for him.
While in the process of writing for your upcoming project, do you not listen to other artists music to avoid being influenced?
I’m totally the opposite, I think being influenced by other artists is great, we can all learn from each other and grow. I don’t listen to something and rip it off, it just helps inspire me more and helps me keep learning and progressing. Music for me is more about the feeling it can create and those feelings are largely what influence and inspire me.
Was it difficult to release music that sounded different sonically from what people were used to hearing from you ? How has the response been thus far ?
To be honest it was the easiest and most natural and best thing I’ve ever done for me. I wasn’t nervous about what people may have thought about it, because for the first time I finally felt like I was releasing what I really want to be making into the world, like exactly what I hear and wanted to create. The response has also been absolutely incredible. The amount of people that have personally reached out to me about ‘For Now’ has been beautiful. I’m so happy and feel I’m finally on the right path with what I want to create and am super grateful for everything I created before this moment to get me to this moment. It’s been many years of mistakes and learning and progression and I’m really excited about what’s to come.
In a recent interview, you stated “Lately my biggest inspirations have been from artists who I believe are just magical storytellers like Andy Shauf ….. “; can you tell us an artist you would like to work with that people might be surprised to hear about and why you would like to work them ?
Well obviously I’d love to write with Andy Shauf, Justin Vernon, Hope Sandoval, and the biggest dream, Stevie Nicks! I guess something that might be a surprise is that I’d beyond love to work with Sigur Ros. I have another project called Mechanitis and our debut single ‘Mechanitis’ was very Sigur Ros inspired. I love those types of vocal challenges and using your voice pretty much like a synth but full of an insane amount of emotion to add to the journey, it’s just so natural and such a release.
Your most recent video for the song “ For Now” is filled with beautiful footage from NASA’s archives , did you come up with the idea for the visuals ? How long did the process take ?
I spend a hell of a lot of my time on NASA’s archives anyway, I really love learning and I’m extremely obsessed with the beauty and also destruction in space. I read and watch a lot about space as a whole and my aim with ‘For Now’ was to sonically create a song that made you feeling like you were floating through space, so it felt only fitting to then find some space footage to accompany that. It took a while to find the footage I wanted; a lot of their footage has a heaps of text on it, so finding the right moments without it was a task, but quite fun. It didn’t take too long and if it did, I barely noticed. I tend to get lost in that stuff for a whole day and night and all of a sudden it’s 4am and I’ve been lost in a space hole for a very long time.
Do you have an interest or previously studied Quantum Relativity ?
I definitely have an interest in it and I’ve done a fair bit of reading on it, however I won’t go into detail, because I’ve done that many times after a few whiskeys until the wee early hours of the morning.
What is your greatest aspiration as an artist and also during your journey in this lifetime?
I think my aspirations as an artist and in life are to keep learning and bettering myself as a writer, an overall musician and human. Learning is my favourite thing, we are born with such incredible tools like our brains and we have this ability to take them as far as we like, to fill them with knowledge of all things and just progress.
With your debut album due out later this year, what are your plans for 2018 ?
I wish it was an album, it’s an EP at the moment, although I’m writing so much at the moment if I could afford it I’d definitely make it an album. Alas, it’s good to start with the EP then I’ll do an album. Once this EP is done I’ll be touring Australia but in 2018 I will be taking a trip to my other home in the UK for some shows there. I’m really excited about that as all of my family and friends there have never seen me play and I can’t wait to share my music live with them. I also have a few collaborations I’m working on and hopefully I’ll start recording an album in 2018 too.
What can fans expect different from this project compared to previous projects you were involved in ?
I think with the new stuff you can just expect to see inside my brain a lot more. I feel I am finally at the stage in my life and career where what I’m creating is 100% me and what I want to be creating and everything I have done before this has helped get me to this point. I also am now working with the most amazing band that really bring to life what I’m trying to create so I’m really excited about it all.
Do you have any plans to come to the U.S. for a tour ?
I mean that’s the dream right? I actually lived in America for a year when I was 16 on exchange and haven’t been back yet. It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do and It’s something I definitely plan on doing in the next couple of years.