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Molly Devine - Interview: Molly Devine

10 Jun 2019 // An interview by darryl baser

Molly Devine is a contemporary vocalist and songwriter based in Dunedin.

She’s performed alongside some of the city’s rock royalty as well as fronting the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra in the Tally Ho series of concerts.

Molly sat at her computer and answered a bunch of questions thrown at her by Muzic.net.nz writer Darryl Baser. Here's what she had to say:

How's your musical journey going?

Really good... I feel like I’ve got great people around me at the moment as well as an abundance of ideas. I’m also building a catalogue of music that I feel really good about. I’m not sure what more I could ask for really!

You've got a Masters in Music from Otago, have shared rehearsal rooms and stages with Martin Phillipps, Shayne P Carter, and the DSO. What's your greatest achievement to date?

Well Tally Ho! was definitely a life highlight… The energy on stage performing with the DSO was so immense I think I’m still riding the wave all these months later. It’s like every musician on the stage brings their own power, and there was about 80 of them… and 3000 audience members like a mirror bouncing it all back at you… I remember getting off stage and literally shaking like a dog does when they get out of the water just to jiggle the energy into all the right places.

I also feel a great sense of accomplishment working with Nik Brinkman on our new music. I listen to it and feel like we have achieved and superseded all my visions and expectations of what we could create and done it so ease-fully and naturally.

How did working with Nik come about?

I’d been advised by many, many people that I should collaborate. I was a lone-ranger for sure back then, so I was hesitant but went with it. I was introduced to Nik as well as Nigel Stanford, and we set up a time to give it a go. I was very nervous, but by lunch time I felt like I’d been co-labbing all my life! Nik and Nigel went about things so differently from me, I remember pulling out my hard-copy of Roget’s thesaurus, and Nik thought it was so funny he took a photo of me… Nigel, being a programmer, had actually made his own 'lyric thesaurus’ type app on his computer, and Nik used google. I learnt so much that day. Nigel went off after that and started designing an app, but Nik and I continued on and here we are!

If a collab a shadow of things to come: are you working on an album with him, and or others?

I currently have a plethora of ideas; I feel this whole “co-labbing” culture has unlocked some sort of lyric fountain in my soul and writing songs just seems so effortless. So yes, at some point there will be an album I’m sure, but for now I’m happy just releasing singles as they are ready, and I really want to focus on my live performance. I love performing live, building and nurturing that ecstatic, free, non-judgement atmosphere.

What does Matt think of the song? (I can't help but think he was probably thinking the same thing.. :) )

He’s the guy with the ocean blue eyes, nothing phases him! I’m not sure how he felt in the moment, after we locked eyes across the dance floor in that song inspiring moment, he came over and said, “You’re Molly right?”… he’d seen me perform at a festival not long before, so he’d already done his research! He won’t tell me when he fell in love, but he did tell me that he was supposed to be working that night and then saw me and got someone to fill in for him soo… I think there may have been some interest there.

Your previous tunes have been more atmospheric, more spacey, does this more straight forward style herald a change in direction?

Yes definitely. I made a conscious decision last year to shift my music towards gratitude and compassion. I think when I finished uni I was quite sad and concerned about the world, particularly women. I was ready to fight the patriarchy with my own barehands! I was pretty angry really. I’ve softened now, I feel more compassion and gratitude for existence, and I want to express that in my music. I want to create music that is true to how I’m feeling, which generally is really really good. I want to share energy which is positive, and I want to share it while dancing! I’m not talking about sunshine and lollipops, although they are also great, I’m talking about that feeling you get when you are at a concert where you want to explode from joy. I feel that positive energy creates positive energy, so instead of fighting the patriarchy I’m trying to dissolve it with love and good vibes.

There are a lot of machines in your music; ever thought of going acoustic, to flip the paradigm some more?

Timely question! Just a few days ago I was sitting in my living room with my friend Maddy Parkins-Craig on an acoustic guitar, and my brother Jack Devine on the Double Bass jamming out an acoustic version of Someone Like You. I’ll probably be sharing that pretty soon :) Always up for a change in vibe! At high school I was in a Blues/Dub band, could be fun to bring in some of those elements too…

What are your goals within music?

This is something that is ever evolving for me. Today if I were to visualise my ideal future I would be performing ecstatic music to thousands of people regularly. I love performing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?

I would quite like to have my own little home with a dog and an abundant vegetable garden.

Who are musicians who you look up to?

I love Tracy Chapman; I admire her compassion and the effortlessness of her lyrics. She sounds like she’s just telling you a story from her heart. Also, Sam Smith can do no wrong, Khalid, Normani, Billie Eilish is so cool I can’t handle it. My favourite voice would have to be Beyonce’s, and Hozier writes the most beautiful songs. I love Junica, Nik Brinkman’s old project. It has immense energy!

What advice would you have to someone starting out in music?

I would advise them to focus on developing their music and nothing else. Also collaborate as much as possible and don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself.

Thank you!



Still Here
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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