Two years after she was named one of the five new Indigenous artists music lovers need to hear, singer-songwriter Alice Skye is on the brink of releasing her debut album.
The 22-year-old’s first single from the album — 60% — was released recently and the album, Friends With Feelings, will follow in February.
Skye says the songs are all very personal.
“A big theme of my song writing is that I write very personally and I write about what’s going on for me,” she says. “A lot of the songs are probably about being in my early 20s and having identity crises all the time and trying to figure it out.
“Friends With Feelings was like I could be friends with those scary feelings and being okay with not knowing what’s going on just yet.”
The album was recorded in Alice Springs and Skye put her time on the flight from her home in Melbourne to the central Australian town to good use.
“I write everywhere,” she says. “I recorded my album in Alice Springs and I really hate flying so I just did a lot of writing on the plane to distract myself.”
In 2015, Triple J Unearthed named Skye, a Wergaia woman from Horsham in Victoria, one of five new, must-listen to Indigenous artists.
That year she was a finalist in the Triple J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards competition. Her debut single You Are the Mountains was also released.
Fast forward two years and Skye is signed to Australia’s longest-running Indigenous music label, CAAMA Music, and excited about the release of her album.
Growing up in Horsham, she inherited a love of music from one of her elder sisters, who plays the piano and sings.
“I only really started playing piano because she was learning piano and I wanted to copy her,” Skye says. “I got her music book and learnt all the songs she had in there so I could sing them and then I started writing my own as well.”
She studied music in high school, but only started coming into her own in her 20s.
“I did music throughout high school, but I wasn’t the lead singer sort of person in high school,” she says. “I was backing vocals. I didn’t have one of the biggest voices. It’s exciting now to be able to do that.”
Today she will show audiences in Brisbane why she is being tipped as one of the hottest new performers in Australian music when she performs at the Bigsound Show as part of the CAAMA Music Showcase at Ric’s Big Backyard from 12.30pm to 2pm.