Quality time with Ayla- Interview for Bear Family



Queensland’s AYLA has had a pretty solid year. With an EP penetrating earholes regularly on Triple J, a brand new management deal and  one of the best ‘Like a Version’ covers of 2015, it’s fair to say we can add AYLA to the list of youngsters who are at short odds to surge forward in 2016. With Aussie talent kicking goals overseas the world is starting to look at Oz as a veritable orchard of muso superstars and AYLA is just about ready for picking.

To get us all a bit warmed up before her inevitable world domination, AYLA is treating us to some stripped back, intimate acoustic shows across the east coast to celebrate the year that has been.

We had a chat with AYLA to discuss all things songwriting, tour life and armageddon before she hits the road.

BF: First of all, Happy New Year! What has been the highlight of your 2015 and what are your main goals for the year ahead?

 A: Playing at Woodford Folk Festival at the end of the year was definitely a highlight. It was my first time playing there and the crowd was amazing. It was a lot of fun! In 2016 I’d like to play more shows and festivals, to release another EP, and maybe to do some showcase shows overseas.

BF: You recently smashed out a ‘Like a Version’ with your own supergroup made up of some of Australia’s coolest fellers including Montaigne and Gang Of Youths’ Joji Malani- Who would be in your ultimate supergroup, given the choice of anyone, ever (alive or dead)?

 A: It was pretty amazing having those guys. The whole experience was pretty amazing. I think my supergroup would have to consist of: Joanna Syme from Big Scary on drums, Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead on Keys, Paul Simon to co-write and do backing vocals and Dave Grohl on bass – because who wouldn’t want Dave Grohl on bass.

BF: You are getting ready to play a pretty extensive east coast tour in a few weeks, visiting some of Australia’s best cities and towns- where is your favourite place in Australia to visit, and why?

 A: My parents have a farm just north of Rockhampton, and that’s a pretty great place to visit. There are creeks with swimming holes, plenty of space to explore and relax and it’s actually right near one of the best ice-cream places I’ve ever been – which is a definite perk!

BF: What do you like to do whilst on tour to keep yourself entertained between shows?

 A: Eating. Food is good. I like trying different places to eat when I’m in different cities. I also like just exploring around and getting to know new places.

BF: You first strode onto the scene at the tender age of 16, making the finals of the Australian songwriting competition and have gone from strength to strength as a songwriter since. What advice do you have for other young songwriters looking to get their start in the industry?

 A: Keep writing. I think one of the hardest things when you’re starting is to get a finished song, because you stop when you think it’s no good. Just keep pushing through until you’ve got a finished song, and then finish another song, and the more you keep doing it, the better you’ll get. Also, listening to other songwriters and taking note of the things their doing in their songs, like juxtapositions, alliteration, metaphors and all of those other words you learnt in grade four English that you didn’t think would ever have any real world relevance.

BF:. If the world really does end anytime soon- what does your last 24 hours on earth consist of? Mine would definitely involve an ungodly amount of tea & cheese and maybe season 7 of Seinfeld.

 A: I like your thinking. I’m definitely keen on the idea of good food and good TV – maybe some Pad Thai and episodes of Friends? I think a huge party with friends and family would be called for though. I think I could get a pretty good party going within 24 hours.

BF: And finally, for those playing at home, please sum up in 3 words what the good punters can expect at your ‘When a world ends’ tour in a few weeks?

 A: Stripped-back Ayla music

(That’s four words, Ayla.)

AYLA Tour Dates

17th January – Workers Club, Club

20th January – Café Lounge, Surry Hills – FREE ENTRY

23rd January – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle – FREE ENTRY

5th February – Treehouse On Belongil, Byron Bay – FREE ENTRY

27th February – Mountain Goat Valley Crawl Festival, Brisbane

4th February – Gallery Bar @ OAF, Sydney

7th February – Bison Bar, Sunshine Coast

TIX – http://bit.ly/1JWvk7D


Alistair is the founder of Bear Family. Alistair resides in Melbourne and can be found wandering the streets searching for bargains and peppermint tea. Come and say Hi, he's nice.

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