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Ditto Blog

Featured Artist - SYREN

SYREN has been creating impressionable waves with her Debut EP 'A Feather To The Sea'. 2014 has been a busy year for the songstress. From winning Best Pop at  the NT Music Awards to her own National Tour. Her distinctive mix of downtempo, trip hop with a hint of pop, is sure to get your ears hooked. 

A Feather To The Sea is available now on iTunes

SYREN playing THE OCEANIC Fringe Festival, Nightcliff Beach 



Originally from Sunshine Beach, SYREN aka LuLu Madill currently calls Darwin, NT home. She is one of our Ditto Music artists that we are excited about, and think you should be too! We spoke with her recently about what it means to be an independent artist, her plans for the future, the amazing locations she's played and her film clip for her single 'A Feather To The Sea'. It went a little something like this -

What's it like being an artist in the Northern Territory ? Is there a supportive community for your genre of music? 

I love being inspired by the wild natural environment of the Top End and by the indigenous cultures that infuses everything up here. I have worked out on indigenous communities recording music with young artists for many years, and I see how it has influenced the way I write now. I get a lot of support from Music NT who has really come on board and helped me this year with publicity and promotions and I have some fantastic fans here that love my performances and enjoy the new trip-step sounds I'm producing.

What are your future plans, are you planning on taking your music on the road?

At the moment I'm writing my first full length album, which has a working title "The Quickening Eye". It’s a concept album exploring the acceleration of time on a personal and global scale, from the purity of childhood when time barely exists to the momentum of the mechanical world that surrounds us toward the expansion of the digital reality. The album will combine traditional folk instruments like the Japanese shakuhachi flute with electronic production, from minimal glitch hop beats to upbeat delicious hypnotic beats, carried by atmospheric vocals with a cinematic sound design.  In 2015, I'm wanting to get on the road and tour it around Australia, as well as to the US and Europe.

Where was your most memorable gig, and what made it memorable for you?

In August this year, we staged a sunset performance called "The Oceanic” as part of the Darwin Fringe Festival down on the rocks by the ocean of Nightcliff.  I created a new set for this show, blending ocean sounds with atmospheric, ethereal soundscapes set to the rhythm of the changing tides, The show kicked off as the sun disappeared behind the ocean, and dancers emerged from the rocks, creating the shapes of life emerging from the sea, and then submerging beneath a huge fabric which we projected onto. It was a free even by donation so we had a lovely 300+ crowed that came to experience the performance by the ocean.

Do you get nervous before playing? If so, what is your 'go to thing' to do, to calm and focus yourself?

Yes every time. I do a little ceremony before I go on stage and I sing to my ancestors and ask for strength and guidance for my performance. Sometimes I burn Palo Santo wood from Peru and have a quiet moment to calm my nerves.

What inspired the theme and visuals of your music video for A Feather To The Sea?

A Feather To The Sea video clip was created by my partner Timothy Parish who is an artist and filmmaker. He was inspired by the environmental message of the song, and wanted to evoke the mythic Greek legends of the winged siren, but transforming them into guardians of nature, using their song to signal a warning (like a police siren) across the world. We shot it in Vietnam over three days, and licensed footage from Greenpeace Canada to include footage of the Tar Sands development in Alberta which is one of the most destructive mining operations in the world. It was an amazing journey for my first video clip, and we’re looking forward to making some more in the near future.

You can watch the 'A Feather To The Sea' clip here

As an independent artist, what’s one piece of advice you can pass on that you would of liked yourself? 

Enjoy the freedom you have being independent. Not having a record company control the sound you create and the creative decisions you make.  Learn from other musician's you love. Get in touch with them and hang out with them and watch how they play and perform. Write a duet with someone you admire.  Get work experience or work at a live venues, learn about different sound systems and learn how to mix yourself live. Have discipline in your life, a routine, because creative lifestyles can be very chaotic, and it’s great to have a routine that keeps you grounded. I do yoga most mornings and make sure I take the time to work on my new material at least 3 to 4 times a week. Live your art!

A Feather To The Sea is available now on iTunes

You can follow SYREN's music here:


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(Written By Vader Fame)