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Airling

How would people describe your sound? I’ve heard people describe my music as soulful, dreamy, sad, groovy, and ethereal. All of which is probably true as there’s a lot of light and shade in the music. When I’m playing and when I’m writing, I get the feeling of being transported to another place, so it’s like I’m sharing the dream-like euphoria with those who also get lost in it.

What is your favourite live performance memory? I think my favourite performance memory is probably from a gig in 2014, a few months after I released my first song as Airling. We got to support one of my favourite artists from Ireland, James Vincent McMorrow, which was a bucket list dream in itself, but also played at the Sydney Opera House two nights in a row. It was just myself and my bandmate Graham Ritchie standing in this beautiful theatre playing our songs to about 5000 people, and it was bliss. On the subject of fashion, I was wearing a beautiful handmade dress from a fashion designer friend of mine back home. It was also my birthday, so there were many accelerants going on in my brain and in my blood.

What is your favourite fashion trend and why? My favourite fashion trend is probably androgenised stuff. Purely because I think it’s amazing when women can dress in pants or stereotypical male clothing and things that are comfortable for them, whether it’s to express themselves or for practicality or work reasons. It’s also inspiring because it relates to the bending of gender norms – fashion is a powerful catalyst for this.

How can music inspire fashion, and vice versa? It’s pretty amazing to look back through the eras of music, and especially thinking about majors ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s icons. People like David Bowie, Madonna, Patti Smith, Gwen Stefani and Prince, they all inadvertently (or perhaps consciously) inspired fashion and trends through their careers with the power of their music and their profile status. Their own vibe, style and music persona seemed to evolve seamlessly with their music in a very cool and organic way. Music is contagious, invigorating and stimulates people to want to express themselves and explore life, art, culture and self-reflection. This ties in with merch items and clothing lines linked to bands. People are living and breathing the artists that they love, they’re interested in their creative expressions and they feel proud to wear them as a brand.

How have you developed an aesthetic for your music? For me, the music comes first and then shapes everything else around I – the visuals, artwork, performance aspects, what I’m wearing, the merch I’m selling etc. Everything is also indicative of my own taste and interests; however I’m a person who will one day dress like a rainbow and the next day want to wear only black. So it’s all dependant on the feeling and mood of a song, or the sentiment of an album. When performing, I like to put on something that makes me feel special and helps me get my ‘game face’ on. Whether this is a sentimental thing or a more outrageous vibrant weird and sparkly item, I love getting myself in a feel good zone.

Airling will perform as part of NGV Friday Nights on Friday November 3 with DJ Principal Blackman.