Asta is a name that has been continuously circulating the Australian music scene for a few years now. With the success of her catchy and diverse breakthrough tracks ‘My Heart Is On Fire’, ‘I Need Answers’ and ‘Dynamite’ feat Allday, she became one of the most buzzed about independent pop acts. From opening for the likes of Ellie Goulding to playing countless festivals and events, Asta was on a steady path to build herself a strong fanbase of excited pop fans.
Her debut EP ‘Shine’ was a bold experimentation into a sonical palate of 80’s influenced pop with big hooks and slick production. However following her national headlining tour, she took an absence from the spotlight which she now reveals was impacted by a mysterious illness which was numbing her.
Joining Cosmos Midnight on the road for this extensive world tour and coveted festival sets, Asta got re-acquainted with her passion for live performance and music in general.
Working in the studio with frequent collaborator YEO, she gave birth to a playful new song which kickstarts a new era of experimentation for her.
‘Want You To Know’ is an 80’s inspired pop track with a lot of heart and soul that hears an essence of ‘Shine’ and ‘Wild Emotion’ embodied. The hopeless romantic track reflects on the strong feelings she developed for someone and all the things she would do to just be with them and to make it known how she feels.
I recently chatted to Asta about developing the distinct aesthetic and groovy production behind her comeback single ‘Want You Know’, discussed why it’s taken her two years to release new music and reflected on why she loves being an independent artist. Check out the chat HERE;
TB: Your highly anticipated comeback single ‘Want You To Know’ is a synth soaked and nostalgic affair that reflects on the strong feelings you’ve developed for someone. So how did this song all come together and what was inspiring the foundation of the sonic?
A: It came about on a really hot day in Melbourne at Yeo’s studio in Northcote. I was obsessed with a Mark Ronson track ‘I can’t lose’ at the time, which is a very high energy bop. There was lot’s of dancing involved during the creative process!
TB: Was it a track that quickly came together, or was it one that you had to experiment a lot with to fine tune the melodies, structure and sonic?
A: It was one of those 5 minute tracks that escaped our bodies and I think at the time we were like “oh ok, let’s just write three more then”. We were definitely in the zone!
TB: ’Want You To Know’ has a very playful edge to it lyrically with so many little nuggets of gold hiding within the verses and chorus. So what is one of your favourite lyrics from the track and why?
A: I feel like it’s the opening lyrics for me, “writing down the list of my to-do’s, there’s an empty space and a box right next to you”. It’s so naughty, and I LOVE it.
TB: Reflecting on your debut EP, ’Shine’, to where you are at now with ‘Want You To Know’ and your forthcoming future releases, what would you say is the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself as an artist?
A: It’s really just believing in myself wholeheartedly. I went from getting my parents support, to my ex boyfriends support, to a managers support, and now it’s just me and my friends . I feel way more confident about my taste and where I feel most comfortable singing on a track now than ever before.
TB: The aesthetic already for this era already seems very neon, bright and 80’s inspired. How would you personally describe the visual and sonic aesthetic you’re heading towards for this era?
A: I would say it’s in-between the 80’s and 90’s. I’m really enjoying 90s fashion right now and trying to move that into my sonic landscape.
Like how do I make this song sound like my favourite blue fluffy hat and neon bright sunglasses? I want all my tracks to sound aesthetically like that.
TB: It’s been two years since you released ‘Shine’. Why has it taken you so long to get new music out to your listeners? What was the roadblock that was stopping you from feeling confident and feeling that drive about the material?
A: I experienced some very strange mental illness which I’m only just coming out of. I was literally numb for a good 12 months which sucked and on top of that my manager at the time was never into the tracks I was writing so I felt super defeated.
I have my friends to thank for keeping me motivated and pressuring me to put this track out and start this process again.
TB: You’ve spent the last year and a bit extensively touring with Cosmos Midnight as apart of their live show. So from playing with these guys and having to keep up with the high intensity nature of their show, what was something you realised early on that you had to focus on about yourself as a performer?
A: I feel like just enjoying the actual moment is super important. I would always be focussing too much on the sound of my voice, or what the hell my hands were doing. But now it’s just like, there is nothing else more magical and beautiful than connecting with an audience and singing from my heart. Wow, that’s a little cheesy!
TB: Over the past four years you’ve done a lot of touring, from supporting Ellie Goulding to playing headline shows and festival slots, to also touring with Cosmos Midnight. What has been one of your favourite touring memories so far?
A: They have all been favourites really. But I think the most enjoyable memories have just been seeing people smile, meeting people after the shows and hearing how my music has inspired them in some way or another. I would have to say performing in Japan was a highlight though!
TB: Leading into the next chapter of Asta, you have continued to stay independent, so with this new focused project, what has been one of the biggest hurdles you’ve faced as a independent artist?
A: I do want to stay independent for as long as possible because I love the freedom of putting out what ever I want and genuinely working to do that.
I feel like the most difficult thing is just trying to fund it all yourself which takes a long time, but I have friends who complain they cant release things under their label so it’s just like, there’s no easy way in this industry which is why I’ve kept going. Some days are super challenging for sure, but others are just like, “haha I can’t believe I’m just sitting on the couch on a Monday sipping on milo” and living the dream.
TB: In honour of ‘Want You To Know’, what do you want us to know?
A: I’ve got many more songs coming! I promise!
TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions. Just answer these little questions with the first thing that comes to your mind. Okay?
A: Let’s do it!
TB: Pineapple on pizza is…
TB: Most people think I’m…
TB: My favourite song of 2019 is…
A: ‘Look At Her Now’ by Selena Gomez
TB: If I was a rapper my rapper name would be…
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be to…
A: Magically collect all the plastic from the ocean
‘Want You To Know’ is out now on all streaming services