Michael Green Interviews... Crystal Alice Hawes
Originally posted on 24th March 2016 here is a Q&A with singer-songwriter Crystal Alice Hawes from The Darling Mundaring. We talked about her experiences writing songs and performing live.
Photo by Neil McCarty Photography
Where did it all start for you getting into music?
Music all started for me when I was little. I used to sing all the time but the real turning point for me was when I saw footage of Eva Cassidy's rendition of 'somewhere over the rainbow'. I was mesmerised and determined to cover it. That song was a life changer for me with music. By the time I was 14, I was out gigging and writing my own songs. I'm constantly writing lyrics and exploring with different styles of music, which I find really nice to do. I sing my own songs slightly differently to covers, as there is already a connection there. I love telling a story. Who are your influences? I have so many influences when it comes to music and all for very different reasons. My main ones would be Amy Winehouse, for her uniqueness and jazz routes. Lianne La Havas, for her soulfulness and quirky ways and Laura Marling for the way that she writes and the stories she tells. Eva Cassidy was my biggest influence growing up. She's definitely one of the purest singers I have ever come across. With songwriting where do you tend to get your inspiration from e.g how do you start your songs & what's your process? With songwriting, my inspiration comes from people, places and experiences. Whenever I struggle with writing, I take myself back to a different time and place and I often end up back in Australia. I have so many lines in my songs, which represent that time of my life. People play a big part in my songs and I find it very hard to write about things that I haven't had a personal experience with. Lyrics are such meaningful things to me. Each line means something.
How important is it do you feel it is to listen to current music as well as music from the past?
I am one of those people who enjoys different music genres for different reasons. I cannot just stick to one genre. If I like something, I like it. I find that listening to all different types of music makes you experience different things and that can make you grow as a singer and a writer. Some older songs are so simple, yet so effective. One of my favourites is 'I'd rather go blind' by Etta James. The lyrics and emotion in that song are incredible. Yet, I love to listen to current music just as much. Laura Marling writes songs that I cannot believe, such a young person can write! She's an old soul and some of the stories she tells are unreal.
Do you feel it is important to watch other acts perform and to watch other live music?
I think it is massively important to watch other acts and I love nothing more than listening to live music. It's amazing to see and to listen to what other people are creating. It gives me such inspiration. It's nice to hear different voices, different music styles and different writing techniques.
Finally what tips do you have for anyone starting out when it comes to songwriting & performing?
The tips I have for anyone starting out is to just be yourself, perform in the way that you love to and write for yourself.
Find out more about Crystal and The Darling Mundaring at http://facebook.com/thedarlingmundaring &
Crystal performing with The Darling Mundaring
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