SARAH BLASKO-A READERS’ POLL WINNER
November 29, 2007 | Author: Australian Musician
Sarah Blasko has developed quite the reputation for disliking and often disregarding the frills that come with being in the music business. Her approach is nothing like the anti-establishment cliché – middle-finger rock & roll angst – but rather one of an unpretentious introvert. Having just won Best Pop Release at this year’s ARIA Awards and now the Australian Musician Magazine awards for Most Respected Female Artist, Best Australian Female Live Performer and second place for Best Ever Album By Australian Female Solo Artist, she’s a little ambivalent about all the accolades, only for fear they’ll “distract” her.
Blending ambiguity with a lust for virtual anonynimity, it’s only when this meek, squeaky-speaking voice stops dodging personal questions and finds itself on stage that it sings the truth. Sometimes hollering, other times whispering, that’s where you’ll hear Blasko at her most honest, twisting, pivoting and letting each compelling note and notion electrify her body.
Your live performances are something else. They allow your audience to see you as someone else – or who you are, whichever the case. What happens to you when you walk out on stage?
It’s just something that I love doing – performing live. I’ve always wanted there to be a theatricality to the performance. There’s an emphasis on that. It’s hard to describe. I feel very immersed in what I’m doing when I’m performing.
It’s otherworldly for us, as the audience. Is it for you too?
It’s certainly true that you can only really take people somewhere if you go there yourself. I think it’s a bit of a mix of being aware of the audience and being immersed in what you do so you don’t get self-conscious in front of an audience.
Ironically, you seem to look more exposed off stage than you do on stage … would you agree with that?
Yes, I think I am much more confident as a performer than talking to people. I’m happiest when I’m revealing stuff but not in a personal, obvious sense.
These awards are voted for by your peers. How does it feel to know that you’re so highly regarded by them?
I don’t really know. I’m kind of struggling to get my head around it to be honest. I actually don’t really want to dwell on it because I fear that if you dwell on things like this you get an inflated opinion on yourself and also you get distracted from what you’re doing. I’m really proud of the record and I’m really grateful for all the people that worked on it with me, but it’s very, very difficult when something like this happens to really get a grasp on what it means. I think if I sit around and try and think about that too much I think it would be counterproductive. So, I’m not really thinking about it. I don’t think I can sit down and go, “Woah!” It’s not really in my nature.
Is there one of these winning categories that means more than the other?
No [laughs], they’re all pretty lofty titles! I’m happy to accept any of them.
Most respected female artist … how do you earn respect?
You want to feel like people think that what you’re doing is genuine. They’re the kind of things I respect in other people – the artistic pursuit. Not getting too caught up in this other bullshit that is part of the industry.
What Australian female artists are you a fan of?
New Buffalo – Sally Seltmann. She’s my number one Australian female songwriter. And Holly Throsby. They’re my favourites … closely followed by Olivia Newton-John [laughs].
Do you think that women in music are considered equally as talented as their male counterparts in Australia?
I don’t think that female writers are acknowledged in the same kind of way. I think often they’re lumped together. It’s looked upon as a genre – female singer-songwriter. Whereas I think it’s not really indicative of the diversity of female writers.
Do you feel as though you’re helping to change the stereotype of Australian female artists?
I don’t know. It would be great to know that you’re inspiring other people to have a career in music and to do things with integrity. I hope that I could be one of those people, but I don’t really know if I’ve earned that yet.
So next year will have you go back into the studio for album number three … are there any themes that have already started to develop?
Some of them are a bit bluesy. I don’t know where that’s going to head! It’s exciting to think about new things. I’ve gone through a lot over the last year or so. I’ve got a lot to write about I think. I’m trying to find a way to do that.