Alex the Astronaut on keeping your determination

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NAME

Alex the Astronaut 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Musician

FAVOURITE BAND?

Paul Kelly

FAVOURITE SONG?

Under Pressure - David Bowie/Queen

FAVOURITE FEMALE MUSICIAN AND WHY?

At the moment it’s Julia Jacklin - she’s a great writer and a really thoughtful and talented musician.

IS THIS WHAT YOU ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

Yeah I’ve always wanted to be able to sing about things that I think are important with people from all different walks of life. I’ve been lucky enough to play in Germany, England and all around Australia so far which a longer version of me probably wouldn’t believe I would get to do.

DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?

I get a bit anxious before going on stage. I’m outgoing but I’m an introvert so I need time to myself to prepare for a show. I’ve found I just need about half an hour by myself and I use the Headspace app to do breathing exercises. I usually spend about five minutes before I go on just standing next to the stage trying to get calm and ready. I have to tell myself that it’s going to be fine and I’ve done it many times before so there’s no reason to be worried. Then I walk on, pick up my guitar, have a few deep breaths and the show begins.

 

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

I love Amy Poehler, and other women who use their influence to boost other women who are doing great things with humour and dignity. Ellen is another person who does that really well. It’s awesome. Michelle Obama is also my hero, as are Ellyse Perry (I met her at one of my soccer games once and freaked out), Sarah Perkins and many of my musician friends like Montaigne, Jack River, Lisa Mitchell. It makes me feel hopeful seeing people succeed at what they’re really passionate at.

DO YOU HAVE LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

Don’t stop. That’s it. You just have to take everything that is working against you, look at how you can change it or do better and if you can move on and try again. The best cliche I think is nothing easy is worth doing, you have to work hard and love improving yourself to be good at something. I’m definitely not the best I can be yet but I’ll keep reading and writing until I get better because I love it. Having said that make sure you’re looking after yourself before anything else. We’re often told to work and work and work, but sometimes you do just need a day off to watch Netflix or go to the beach and do nothing.

 

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEENAGER? WHAT MAJOR THINGS DID YOU COME TO REALISE AS YOU GREW UP?

As a teenager I was half outgoing half shy. I had friends and was happy enough but I didn’t really feel confident performing for my peers. It took me time to realize that most people want you to do well. Most people are mostly thinking about what’s going on in their own universes so theyre not going to worry if you muck up a chord or sing the wrong word. I realized that if you want to do something that you love doing, prepare and then do it, there’s nothing important stopping you. For music it took me playing to a lot of different crowds of people and I found the more I relaxed on stage and just saw everyone as people who wanted to enjoy music with me, the more I could relax and enjoy performing myself.

Alex the Astronaut is headlining the Electric Lady stage at Mountain Sounds, grab your tickets here. Like Alex on Facebook, follow her on Instagram and listen to her music on Spotify and Apple Music, and vote for her in the triple j Hottest 100 here