Interview by Molly McKew
What are some of the concepts behind your album, Real High?
It is so unusual to meet another Ramona (person or magazine lol). “Real high” is ripe with lots of different ideas but I suppose the central one is laid out in the title track which talks about seeking out polarity in one’s life (high and low). I wrote a lot of songs w this idea in mind: how one avoids a liminal space, an in-between, perhaps due to fear, love, lack thereof, or otherwise, and how that bears on how we engage in relationships to others, to oneself, and to one’s art.
Tell us about your first performance experiences – do you still get nervous before gigs?
I used to only perform with sunglasses on and would shroud my vocals in reverb in the beginning because i was so nervous. now I rarely get nervous unless I’m trying out something brand new – or the other night I got nervous because the stage was really high up and I am afraid of heights. lol
Finally, what do you think of Australia – and more importantly, have you tried and do you like Vegemite?!
I love oz! so beautiful and fun and amazing food. Although I can’t say vegemite is my favourite item I tasted there 😉 So excited to return.
Nite Jewel performs at NGV Friday Nights on the 20th October. You can book your ticket here.
Hi Airling! Tell us about your debut album Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream.
‘Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream’ is my debut album and something that I had been dreaming about and working towards for a while. Essentially, it was the culmination of many years of creative outpour and experience. I worked with two of my favourite musicians and producers, Tom Iansek (Big Scary, #1 Dads) and Graham Ritchie (Holy Holy, Japanese Wallpaper). We created a beautiful and honest set of songs that tell stories of life, death, love and love lost. We made sexy beats and grooves, melodies that were soulful and pop, and everything was always underpinned by the truth, ugliness and beauty of what I was feeling. There’s some songs for dancing, and some for listening and feeling. I am extremely proud of this record.
You have performed in some really cool places! What do you love about the experience of live performing?
I think it is the feeling of connection. Humans, in general, spend the most part of their lives connecting in various ways to other humans. When I’m playing my songs and I can feel the energy that I’m giving out also being given back to me, it’s a beautiful thing. To be able to create, to share and to perform… I feel very lucky. It’s not so often that you can reach so many people without directly looking in someone’s eyes or shaking their hands or sharing words. Music, and especially live music, is a very powerful and moving thing.
And, finally, if you could perform a duet with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you sing?
I would love to sing any song with Tracy Chapman :). She was an artist that I loved when I was growing up and she was the first one that showed me how to sing from your soul.
Airling performs at NGV Friday Nights on 3rd November. You can book your ticket here.