Describe a normal day in the life of Martha Brown.
Hmm I’m not sure I have a normal at the moment – or if I ever did. I’ll try my best:
Wake up at midday and freak out that its midday. Drive to my studio at my mothers house and steal her bananas and newspaper and do the crossword out in the sun.
From here its go time:
Meetings with film people, skype meetings, fittings, rehearsals, planning of events and recording for my project or someone else’s. Lately its been that OR getting on a plane to another city.
After the day passes its yoga time or swimming time, which I give in to completely. Lately I’ve been going out for dinner with my boy or a friend and then playing some bball or watching a movie.
I have terrible insomnia so every night ends the same: roaming the halls like a ghost, scrolling through web articles or watching the sopranos (although I’ve now finished it).
Three things are guaranteed:
I’ll wake up late, I’ll be running late, and I’ll go to sleep after everyone else. Very impressive I know.
How did you get your start as a musician? Has it been something you just had to do or did you make a conscious decision to become a musician at some point?
Mm I don’t think there’s such thing as doing something without making the choice (with art I mean). In my view, life is a collection of choices we make – big and small – and it’s these that define our “normal”. Musicians can say they don’t have a choice but ask them what they mean and they mean – they want so badly to do music that they’ll give everything else up.
I’m in the middle somewhere – I could finish up today for sure, but I’d miss it.
There are certainly more important things than making music and I want to make sure I never abandon important causes for art. I don’t believe I have one “purpose”. I am just enjoying this particular area of my brain for right now.
What tips would you give an Artist trying to succeed in Australia? Is there a certain route they should take?
The main thing I would say is to stick to doing it your way. That way will change, so I don’t mean “don’t evolve” I just mean don’t tailor or craft to suit the mainstream. I don’t get that much radio play and I’m not the biggest success but I believe in what I do and it makes me happy and I’d rather that over any route.
From an artist’s perspective, what issues/potential issues do you think the current Australian music industry face?
Our industry is so limited. We have one popular radio station that broadcasts Australia wide. People are beginning to make music that they think radio will play instead of music they love. None of the artists I respect from overseas would have made it if they lived here because they simply wouldn’t have gotten played.
We have a monopoly going on in broadcasting and not enough funding for local stations to keep supporting the musicians they believe in. I understand that everyone is doing the best with what they’ve got – the funding just isn’t there to expand.
Compared to other countries Australia’s music scene is very narrow, there aren’t little micro communities and people making it in all different genres the way they are in Europe or America. I really hope we change this somehow.
“We have a monopoly going on in broadcasting and not enough funding for local stations to keep supporting the musicians they believe in.”
Have you had to overcome any challenges/adversity throughout your career? If so, can you tell us about them and how you approached them?
Ha being a woman is a biggy but I think I’ve been talking everyone’s ear off about that, and I’m tired of my own opinions on it. A big challenge I face is, when to be my moniker and when to be me. They’re not one and the same and sometimes it’s hard to know where to draw the line.
Playing as any minority in Australia is hard, we are a very white middle class “straight-up” country and I’m aware that the scene I live in is just that – a scene.
I hope that soon we can expand the inclusive attitudes I see around me into the mainstream.
If you could collaborate with any Australian artist that you have yet to work with, which artist would that be?
Mmmm tough one. Probably Sia or the Australian Ballet.
What has been your most memorable moment of your career thus far?
I’m not sure I have one! I have a terrible memory, but also I think I’m just very grateful for most moments so I don’t want to pick one.
Who are your role models (either musicians or people in the music industry) whether they be International/Australian?
Laurie Anderson, Kelela, Micachu Dev Hynes, and Jess Keeley (a manager). All of these people did things their own way, ignored gender roles and expectations and fought for new ways of making art – ways that weren’t built from racial bias or patriarchal ideals.
What does 2016 hold for you? Any exciting things that you can tell us about?
A fashion line with my girls from Pageant is coming out March 10 at VAMFF!!
Some collaborations and vocal features, some new videos, some writing and hopefully a new record! I’d die to direct a music video or be in a film.
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
Yoga, Swimming, Writing and Dancing.
Top 3 artists to watch?
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Fantasy – Mariah Carey.