Following her appearance on Denzal Park’s Animal Heart and Ivan Gough’s Home, Penelope Austin has released her latest single, the hypnotic electro-pop tune Dynamite, featuring up and coming Hip hop artist Beatport. Tomatrax caught up with Penelope to ask some questions.
You’ve traveled around the world, has this influenced your writing and music?
Definitely. I am not the same after seeing the moon shine on the other side of the world. I guess in the earlier stages of life I used travel as an escape mechanism. I would detach from reality in foreign places. There was solice in that. Certain places I visited were considered third world and it’s these places in particular which made me realise that my actual reality wasn’t as bad as it felt whilst I lived amidst it. I saw a lot. I felt a lot. I missed a lot. I yearned a lot. I grew a lot. All of these experiences now affect the music I write and the way in which I view the world.
Do you have a favourite place you have visited?
Oh man.. Hard one. I have an affinity with New York City & to this day I get shivers when flying in. It’s now more of a home then a destination. It’s ugly. It’s pretty. It’s hard but it’s wonderful.. It can chew you up and spit you out.. Luckily for me this hasn’t happened yet and so the love affair continues. San Sebastian in Spain was pretty magic – in fact Europe on a whole is really inspiring. I like the idea of history etched into the walls where you walk. It’s mysterious and makes me all the more curious.
Is there anywhere you’ve wanted to go but are yet to?
Lake Como, Italy. It seems to be one of those picturesque places where magic happens. It’s romantic. It’s sexy. I want to see for myself.
You’re latest single features up and coming hip hop artist Baro, how did this collaboration come about?
Robert Conley (my producer / co-writer) and I were throwing around some names because we had a breakdown in ‘Dynamite’ that we wanted an up and coming rapper to feature on. We heard some of Baro’s stuff and loved it. We just reached out and asked him to feature on the song and that was pretty much it!
What was the inspiration behind the video for Dynamite?
Dynamite was written for fun. Unlike some of my other tracks on the album this one was less sinister and sentimental and by no means over thought. I was loved up and happy at the time of writing the track so when it came to putting the video together we wanted to capture the light heartedness and innocence of young love. We had a low budget. But I had a few friends and a video camera and LA, the playground. We had a BMX and a heap of glitter and we thought fuck it, let’s ride!
You’ve featured on two club anthems. Animal Heart by Denzal Park and Home by Ivan Gough, Walden and Jebu, how does appearing on other people’s releases compare to putting out your own music?
To me it’s all collaboration. Whether it’s my own music or a combination of my own with others. I find the whole process enjoyable. I’ve been writing for years and flying under the radar working behind the scenes so to combine creatively with the boys was ace. In comparison I guess when you release your own music there’s an element of edge because you want your music to connect and for the audience to understand you as an artist so there’s a subconscious nervousness to it.
You’ve been described as Australia’s answer to Lana Del Rey, do you think that’s a fair call?
It’s humbling.. Lana Del Rey is beautifully toxic. I have detached myself unknowingly from a lot of what’s current and now – however Lana.. As she did the world.. Got my attention. Its funny that people are making this statement before hearing my album because there are parts of the album that really show a warm familiarity with her. To me.. Lana is dark sexy mysterious & strong. If the whole world looked at me in the same light then I wouldn’t feel disheartened.
Your music covers a wide range of styles, is there any style you’ve wanted to do but are yet to?
I’d really like to experiment with several genres mixed into one epic musical experience. I guess my album is the above but it’s super subtle. I’d love to attempt a medly of hard core kind of Eminem raps & lyrics mixed with an orchestra with operatic medodies with some rock beats between snaps of R&B.
Is there any style you won’t touch?
I am as open as a bad book.. Although I don’t think I have the pipes for Death Metal.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Never, after I’m completely happy with the finished product.
What music do you listen to?
I listen to a weird and wide range of music ranging from the 50s through to the early 90s.. In all honesty that’s where I chime out.. I’m stuck in the past. Give me the Boss any day.. I’m on fire..
Now that your single is out, what do you plan on doing next?
My album is complete and I’ve started on the next. I’m heading over to LA next week to continue writing and experimenting with different genres and whilst I’m there I’ll hit up Coachella. Time to educate myself.
Check out Penelope Austin’s Facebook page to find out more!