I was lucky enough to chat with the lovely Thelma Plum and get some insider views on what it’s like to be the upcoming ‘it girl’ of Australian music.
Firstly, tell me about your music – You have such an original voice, how did you develop your sound and style?
I don’t really know, I just write and it comes out. It just happens.
Who have influenced your music the most, musicians or otherwise?
I think both. I’ve always been exposed to great music through my family and artists growing up, like Paul Kelly.
It seems your becoming the next ‘It girl’ in the Australian music scene, every time I put on Triple J I hear ‘Around Here’. Not that that’s a bad thing. Do you find it hard to keep yourself grounded sometimes when there are so many people focusing on you and your career?
I guess everybody has their own experience but I’m surrounded by really great people and my team and so they help me keep grounded.
You’ve been travelling around the country playing gigs and doing a lot of promo of late, has life changed much in the past few months?
It’s definitely changed a lot because I wasn’t doing this sort of stuff before but it’s really fun and it’s what I want to do. I’m very grateful and I probably wouldn’t have it this way if it wasn’t for those who have helped me.
What are the downsides of travelling?
Just that I hate flying, I’m like the worst flyer so that’s the only downside.
‘Around Here’ had just been released and the EP launch is in a few days time. What’s your favourite track from the new EP and why?
I don’t know, they’re all a lot of fun. I love singing king. Andrew [Lowden] and I wrote that together so it’s special to me.
Your EP is named after your dog ‘Rosie’, right? Is the song about her too?
The EP is named after her, yep, but the song is about living in the country and being away from everything else and everybody, kind of moving on and about life. Rosie lived in the country with me. So it’s not about Rosie but it’s definitely inspired by Rosie.
There’s a line in ‘King’ that says, “Do you like the way that he hurts you darling?.” Is your songwriting inspiration drawn from your own experiences or those of others?
A little bit of both. The EP is written about me, which is a bit selfish writing about myself, but then I guess ‘King’ isn’t about anybody in particular but just about relationships in general. You can get a little bit lost and infatuated when you’re in love and you start to blow off or not realise the bad things and then you can get hurt.
How long has it taken you to construct the EP?
All of the songs were written in different stages of last year and then we went and recorded it. But I’ve had the EP recorded for a few months now. It got to a stage where it started to not feel very real anymore because I had it just sitting there and nothing was happening while we were trying to do the artwork and organise promo. So I guess when I heard ‘Around Here’ for the first time it finally felt real.
You’ve had a few great successes already in your career, playing at the National Indigenous Music Awards, nominated for a Deadly Award, being selected to play at the Mumford & Sons Pop-Up store, plus much more. What has been your highlight to date?
I don’t know! There’s been so many things, there’s not one that I can say was the best. I think meeting Paul Kelly, that was definitely a highlight. Really just everything has been amazing.
The next 12 months will hold big things for the world of Thelma Plum, what are you most excited about in the coming year?
The EP is being released [on Friday], I’m supporting an amazing person on her upcoming national tour, which is being announced on Thursday [announced as Emma Louise] and after that, hopefully my own headline tour!