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Multi-Golden Guitar nominated singer-songwriter Paul Costa makes a much-anticipated return with a new single Road Train off his firth studio album, Whisper in the Crowd, in the lead up to two very special shows at the 2019 Tamworth Country Music Festival. I recently spoke with the Australian country music fan-favourite about how he spends his holidays, plans for Tamworth and finding inspiration in unexpected places.
I wanted to kick off with something different before we get into touring and recording. Your birthday is fast approaching at the end of November. What do birthdays mean to you and how will you be celebrating it?
I like to spend it with my family. I don’t go overboard; it’s fairly low key. We might go out for tea or just cut a cake. A lot of people are working in one place, getting away is their holiday. For me, it’s completely the opposite – I’m away so much; being home is my holiday. There’s still work to do when you’re home, as there’s stuff that goes on behind the scenes, so I can’t afford to relax too much but I am relaxed so far as being in one on my favourite places to be.
Splitting from his band and relocating interstate has helped define Brook Chivell as an up-and-coming solo artist to watch. After making the finals of Toyota Starmaker in 2017, he toured nationally with fellow country artist Natalie Pearson, as well as releasing his first solo single and its follow up Outta My Song last month. I spoke with Brook about upcoming music, getting dirty and being a fan boy in his own industry.
You were formally the frontman and driving force behind The Brook Chivell Band, releasing singles Drive On, Thrills N Spills and Let’s Stay In around six years ago. What was the reason behind parting as a band and how has that impacted on you as a solo artist? Because even being in the industry for ten years or so now, it must feel a little like starting over?
The main reason for the split was that I moved to Queensland. The distance made it really hard. The band all live in Melbourne and they’ve all got families. For a while we kept it together but it was getting difficult to get everyone together to play gigs. It’s easier for me to do a support gig as a solo artist, purely because I can get up there with a guitar. There’s a great, vibrant country music scene up here. Whereas in Melbourne every time you say ‘country’ it was a dirty word; up here, people love it.
One year on …
Jasmine Rae is a three-time ARIA nominated and multi-award winning vocalist, songwriter, actor and entertainer. Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a ‘pocket-sized powerhouse’, she’s the only female solo artist to win the CMC Australian Artist of the Year Award and has ten #1 Australian country singles under her belt.
Let’s talk about the Mount Hunter Country Music Stampede – a festival only its second year. Held at the K Ranch Arena, just 50 minutes from Sydney airport, will feature a line up of evens such as traditional cowboy skills, equestrian events, jumping castles, food vendors, as well as showcasing new and established country music artists. You’re representing for the females on Friday’s girl power night alongside Christie Lamb and Teleisha Eade, who won the Maton Rising Star last year. What can we expect from your performance?
Friday night is the first night and people usually party the hardest on the first night, because they’ve just gotten there. I usually party the hardest on the first night of a festival, so it’s going to be fun. It’s got to be an energetic show for sure. Playing one new song makes the whole set feel fresh and shiny. It does add some extra excitement.
Drew McAlister has long been recognised as one of the nation’s premier songwriters and performers. He recently lent his voice in support of the drought crisis facing our local farmers and, to coincide with the release of his third single off his current album, he’s been hard at work co-organising the forthcoming three-day Mount Hunter Country Music Stampede.
You released Kissing a Girl Goodnight recently off your album Coming Your Way. In the past we’ve spoken about how important you feel it is to perform songs you’ve written yourself – however, this is a song you found through a demo – and the sound as well is quite different to things you’ve recorded in the past. Does this song resonate with your life and is that what you connected with lyrically?
It’s exactly my life. I connected to it and I think other people will too, that’s why I recorded it. I think a lot of people will be living or will have lived some similar the version of that. It’s quite a difficult song to sing because it’s so low and then so high in the chorus, so I was a bit trepidatious, to be honest, when we were going to record this vocal. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I had to work on it for a while and sing it quite a few times to make sure it sat right and I had the right key.