Carley Austin AKA SILA on making it happen

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NAME

Carley Austin (SILA)

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I sing, write, produce and perform my own music. I also DJ! (well, let's say a wannabe DJ)

FAVOURITE BAND?

Tough question - I'm going to go with The Internet. Their slick beats and smooth vocals make me melt every time.

FAVOURITE SONG?

Goddess by BANKS

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

BANKS - Her lyrics are empowering, and she's unapologetically herself as a performer. I remember being in Chicago as a (broke) 21 year old, I couldn't afford a Lolapalooza ticket so I peered through the gates and watched Banks on the sidelines. I just remember being blown away by her energy, and the power of those dark electronic and R&B sounds. Ever since then I've wanted to create my own spin on these genres, because of her!

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

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Definitely. I've been singing since I was 7, and have always had a deep love for music and performing. I can't imagine doing anything else really.

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

When I was 19, I was pretty much bullied out of a girl group that I had poured my heart and soul into for years. At the time, I was really down and had zero self-worth. Hindsight is funny though, because this really strengthened me emotionally, and musically. I may not have discovered electronic music until much later if this hadn't of happened! Another tough moment would of been when I decided to quit my full-time job to pursue music. In my head and my heart I knew it was the right choice, but some people around me didn't entirely support it - so it was difficult to stay true to myself and pursue my passion while being surrounded by negative comments. But boy am I glad that I stuck to my guns! When you love something and work hard for it, it pays off.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT?

I see myself writing an EP, touring and collaborating with other artists. Collaboration especially, it's so important (and exciting) for independant artists. Working with other creatives helps you grow, discover new sounds and write about things that you never thought you'd write about. That will definitely be my next move.

FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?

This is something that I believe you learn with age and experience. When I was in my teens I would freak out, my anxiety would be in full swing and I'd allow things to build up all in my own head. But now I've learnt to firstly - BREATHE. Then take things step by step. I personally need to talk it out with someone - I find that speaking to my sister or chatting to my best girlfriends is key. Even if it's music industry related and they don't fully understand the predicament, advice from your nearest and dearest always goes a long way.

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC.

Wake up and work hard at what you want each day, but don't self-discriminate if your creativity or ideas aren't flowing the way you need them too. Motivate yourself each day, but also pay yourself with respect and self-love along the way.

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

Does a quick spray of rescue remedy under the tongue pre - gig, count as a ritual? I love that stuff - it actually does work and calms the excitement/nerves!

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Studio days are good days

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HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Acceptance and encouragement. If we continue to assist each other in achieving our purpose or missions, we can seriously conquer the world. I've seen a big uplift of women supporting each other in the music community, and the encouragement and help I've received from this network of ladies has assisted me greatly in recent times. It's so empowering to see women help each other in making their passions come alive.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Don't give a fuck what people think of you. If you are passionate, you work hard and you're kind during the process - then you'll be more successful if you focus on yourself and ignore the opinion of others.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

Confidence, resilience and passion.

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HAVE YOU COME UP AGAINST RESISTANCE WITH WHAT YOU’RE DOING? HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?

Definitely. In all honesty, it's something that I'm still working through. It's been difficult to make a living as a new starter in the music industry, and it's something hard to discuss and persuade my parents. Although resistant to my career choice, they are very proud of me. However I regularly need to catch up with and explain my future plans or how I'm earning a living, just so they understand and aren't worried. I've just been honest with them, and have worked casual jobs to keep my passion alive, and my head above the water.

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?

As mentioned above, as a new starter in music - not having regular income has made me think twice. However each time in my mindset, I think "okay it's now or never to give it a go - this is what I want to do, and I need to make it happen". I've had a corporate 9-5 job before, and I wasn't happy nor was I particularly that good at it. So, I WILL make this happen. And let's be honest, there are always side - jobs out there to make money. I can do it!

WHAT WOMEN DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

I know this sounds cliche, but my mum. She's gone through some dark times in her life, but has turned out such a strong, resilient and kind- hearted woman. She's actually just signed up to do the Kokoda Trail next year - I couldn't be more inspired and proud! I also look up to women in the creative industry, especially those in artist management, labels and booking agents. They pull through and kill it in a very male - dominated industry.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LITTLE SECRETS TO FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?

Just... keep... going. Trust in the universe and it will come to you.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

I yapped a lot and sung to strangers - so no, nothing has changed really.


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

I came across to be an extrovert and was at times a high achiever, but I was very anxious and extremely self-critical (like lots of teenage women are). I just wish that when I was in school, I hadn't of listened to bullies and trusted in myself more. I also wish that I had of drawn in my eyebrows...

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

No religion, just love and peace!

Follow SILA on Instagram and listen to her music on Spotify.