Mylee Grace is one of those people who you may only get to meet once in a lifetime. Have you heard this girl sing? Man there’s no pretending that Mylee Grace has a special talent not only for writing songs that you will be humming for days, but also her knack for emitting forces of wonder to those around her. Those who know Mylee’s music pretty much throw praise her way like it’s going out of fashion. Mylee Grace is releasing her brand new EP ‘Baby talk’ and she was kind enough to give us a little bit of her wisdom in a cup of tea. We then translated every drop of that cuppa into text which now appears on your computer screen for you to read. O the things we do for our readers. Enjoy.
Where did you grow up?
Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Was music in the family or did you pick it up somewhere?
Music is in the family. Particularly from my mother. She is constantly blowing me away. She’ll pick up any instrument and play it beautifully and I’ll be like, ” I didn’t know you could play that”!
Can you recall one of your favourite early childhood memories?
Wagging school to hang out with Ozzie.
Did you always want to be a songwriter ?
I guess it’s just what I’ve always done. Before I could write I’d record myself free styling into my tape deck.
Does writers block exist?
Almost every day for me.
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Photoshopping snot off pre-schoolers faces.
Where does the idea of a song come from for you?
Mostly personal experiences and people who have an effect on me. Sometimes I’ll write to let steam off. For example Ozzie and I wrote the song ‘Mutilate’ about the things that make us really mad, which then made us really happy.
Can you explain how a song like Baby Talk came to life?
I wrote that song in a parked car, It was raining really hard and my boyfriend was surfing. I was overseas and pregnant, hanging out with a bunch of people I was in a very different mind frame to. When you’re taken out of your comfort zone it’s amazing the things you learn.
What inspires you to remain creative?
Being close to nature always inspires me and makes me feel grateful for not living a dull existence.
Which female artists have inspired you over the years?
PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Kimya Dawson, Tracy Chapmen, Nina Simone, Sinead O’Connor, Maria Stratton.
What’s the best thing about being an independent artist right now?
The creative freedom to do things however you wish.
What would you change to make things better for independent artists in general?
Money would puff out of chimney’s instead of smoke.
What are your thoughts about the internet and downloading?
I think its pretty crazy how you can have a million hits on Youtube but the artist is still not making a dollar. The internet’s great for an artists exposure and having an incredible music collection, but it makes it really hard for small time record labels to get ahead. I think it’s important for people to pay for music where they can. Like cutting down on cigarettes, society need to make a conscience effort to cut down on downloading.
You have a brand new ep coming out ‘Baby Talk’, how would you explain the process of making this record?
The process was short and sweet. We didn’t panic or pain over anything. It was quite natural and unforced. My Mum (Maria Stratton) flew down from the North coast to be part of it. Most of the playing was spontaneous and unrehearsed. ‘Love Puddle’ was recorded while we were rehearsing it for the first time that day. Un-known to us, Tim had pressed recorded. After we’d finished we were like, “Awesome! It’s an accidental take. There’s no need to do it again”. It’s awkward but I like it. You can even hear a voice half way through the song say, ”is this reggae?” Other songs took on new life thanks to Ray encouraging his signature, ‘epic outro’s’. For example ‘Baby Talk’ took a dramatic turn when Ray suggested we go crazy at the end. Ray’s Friend Brashy bursed in at one point with his trumpet, sweated out a solo and was gone within about 10 minuets. Tim Dunn who recorded us has an incredible collection of pre 1970’s recording equipment and instruments therefore it was an inspiring and nostalgic environment to be in. Also the fact that we were being recorded onto vintage tape sourced from the depths of Ebay was a reminder that we were in good hands. Tim has got to be the most mellow, Un-controlling engineer in the world, which made it easier for us to feel like we could do our thing.
Which artist would you love most to play with?
Favourite song right now?
Name the best live gig you’ve seen to date.
Name the best gig you’ve played?
‘La Femme’ night at Ruby Rabbit. I was totally green because I hadn’t played a gig in two years. Even though the sound guy nearly bit my head off because I had a broken lead, it was magic. It was our first ‘real’ gig with Raymond and Ozzie. Oh how I miss those My Sydney Riot ‘La Femme’ nights.
Are you a fan of the big festivals? or more intimate gigs?
Intimate gigs. No question about it!
There is alot of positive energy in your songs and there is also a lot of soul, where do you think this outlook comes from?
I like writing songs when I feel I’ve learnt something important. I also like the idea of feeling empowered by listening to music. Therefore I want to write music that inspires people to live their lives with joy. I love melancholy music and I’ve written numerous sad songs over the years but I personally prefer them locked away in the diary.
What’s on the horizon for Mylee Grace?
A thunder storm?
I’m just rolling with it.
Are you a movie buff or a book head? Give us your current fave’s.
I love reading, but lately, I’d say I’m obsessed with watching a movie every night before bed. I have about a hundred on my hard drive and I’m pretty sure I’ve watched them all. Last night we (Ozzie and I) couldn’t find one we hadn’t seen so we re-watched ‘Kick Ass’. Ozzie and I have also been reading ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith aloud to each other. It’s an awesome book.
Any recent life changing moments?
Yes, I learnt to surf. Now I don’t care about anything but scoring waves.
Cremation or Burial?
Any last words of wisdom?
You reap what you sow.
Mylee’s brand new EP ‘BABY TALK’
Is out thru MAKEyourself RECORDS
Friday 8th July 2011
Catch Mylee Grace at her cd launch at Flinders Bar, Sydney on Thursday 14th July and also on the following Saturday 16th July at Spectrum with Fait Accompli.