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YOU SAW THEM FIRST Now hear from the artists


You Saw Them First is a new monthly night of live music that offers emerging artists the chance to take to the stage, often for the first time ever, and play their original songs live backed by a professional house band. With the series kicking off at Freo.Social on Thursday, April 11, BRAYDEN EDWARDS got to know the artists that scored selection for the launch night and found their musical styles to be as diverse as the stories that took them to this place amongst scores of other applicants.

In addition to the emerging stars you can also catch a set from local R&B sensation Jamilla while the night also be will be MC’ed by multiple WAMAward winner Timothy Nelson. The house band has also been named as Gordon Cant on keys, Sam Timmerman on bass and Dan Ablett on drums. Get down to Freo.Social from 6pm to catch the action or for more information and to buy tickets head to the Open Minds Music website.

Alex Daniel

Alex Daniel

How did you get into music and how long have you been playing for ?

I have always loved singing and have written little songs in my head since I was a kid. In high school I would write lots of lyrics to get things off my chest. I had lots of feelings (laughs). It wasn’t until the last few years that I started focusing on my songwriting and have gone through experiences that have inspired me to write more.

What artists have influenced your sound the most and why?

I grew up listening to artists like Fleetwood Mac, Tracy Chapman and The Beatles and would hope that they have influenced my sound in some way. Some of the current artists that have influenced me are Lorde, St Vincent, Billie Eilish and Amy Shark. I love Billie Eilish’s storytelling style of songwriting and her emphasis on not always having to tell the truth when writing songs. This definitely changed the way I thought about songwriting, being able to make up stories to write about opened up a new world for me. Lorde has also been a huge inspiration for me because like me she does not play any instruments and still writes amazing music.

When people come and watch you play, what do you think they will remember most about you?

I really hope they will remember my songs and that they will enjoy my sound and passion! It would be amazing if they left wanting to hear more from me and have my songs stuck in their heads.

What is next in the pipeline for you musically, any further plans for 2019 and beyond?

I am going to continue focusing on my songwriting and would love to do some more live gigs around Perth considering I am going to play at Freo.Social for my first time ever. I am planning a trip to the states later this year and hope to be able to continue playing live there too.

Cam Ellis

Cam Ellis

How did you get into music and how long have you been playing for?

I started off on trumpet when I was about 10, I’m now 27. I got a scholarship to high school a year later which piqued my interest in music. I started to notice my dad’s old guitar behind the TV as something of value and started to teach myself. I’ve been playing guitar for about 15 years now.

What artists have influenced your sound the most and why?

John Mayer is the artist I get compared to the most and he’s definitely been an influence. His frame of mind and general view of the world is quite similar to mine. Another major influence has been Tommy Emmanuel who I recently got to meet and spend some one on one time with. I asked him a number of questions and he answered similar to how I would have answered them myself, so good news. He’s an artist who continually reminds me to take care with what I’m playing.

When people come and watch you play, what do you think they’ll remember most about you?

My rugged good looks hopefully (laughs). Actually I’m not sure what they’ll remember most, an audience is good at noticing things you’re not even aware of. But I hope they remember most my intent, that they can understand what I’m getting at with my songs. It’s my job to make sure that comes through clearly which is not an easy thing to do. In other words I hope they notice an honesty to the songs the most.

What’s next in the pipeline for you musically, any further plans for 2019 and beyond?

I’ve been writing a lot of new music the past year. I’ll be looking at releasing some of it this year. I’ve already started with a live acoustic version of a new song called You’re all I see released to Facebook and YouTube. I’ve recently teamed up with another artist ML Ruubz and we’re working together as a duo for the smaller more intimate gigs. She plays keys and sings harmonies for me. We’ve started bookings gigs together and are both keen to ramp things up as a duo.

Sauvage

Sauvage (Alice Chevalley)

How did you get into music and how long have you been playing for ?

I’m pretty lucky in that I grew up in a fairly musical household so I was surrounded by music from a very young age. I’ve been singing around the house since I was maybe two or three. I used to do harmonies to dad playing Red Hot Chili Peppers and mum singing. I’ve been playing piano since I was seven, and I picked up guitar and ukulele as a teenager. I learnt general music theory at age five and start playing piano at age seven. I also started clarinet and self taught guitar. I started singing lessons through school when I was 14 and from that moment I have never stopped.

What artists have influenced your sound the most and why?

Missy Higgins originally inspired me to start writing music as a form of expression. I was mesmerised by her ability to capture a feeling and transform it into a song which I aim to do with my songs now as a result. London Grammar’s ethereal sound and effortless songwriting has also really inspired my music. I aim to be able to create a fairly similar vibe to them in making my music-sombre, nostalgic and dreamy. The Lumineers have also inspired me majorly and I’d say some of my more folky songs have definitely been born from their sound. Their ability to tell a story through their music is utterly incredible. I’m inspired on the daily by their songs.

When people come and watch you play, what do you think they will remember most about you?

For me, music is a universal way of connecting with people. Regardless of who you are, what language you speak, your religion, gender, where you come from, two people can experience the same music and both be profoundly affected by it. I want people to walk away inspired, moved and feeling that they have connected to some aspect of my music and songwriting.

What is next in the pipeline for you musically, any further plans for 2019 and beyond?

In terms of music, my main goal this year is to record and release an EP with all originals on it. I also want to get CDs made, so anyone can access my music, particularly while I am busking. I’m also super keen on collaborating with various artists, all from different musical backgrounds. Creating music with others is such a magical experience! When two or more brains are combined, the creativity that comes out of it is crazy!

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