Odette’s Savvy Seven

Odette Photo by Giulia McGauran Music Industry Inside Out
With her sophomore album 'Herald' - a collection of 11 soaring songs, Odette has delivered another beautiful, poetic opus to follow up her award-winning debut 'To a Stranger'. Working once again with famed producer Damian Taylor (Björk, Arcade Fire, The Killers), Odette says Taylor gave her the confidence to experiment further with her sound this time around. “He saidI just want you to let go and deep dive into your world and make something from it”, she says. “So I feel like I was a lot bolder with instrumentation and with experimental sounds."

It’s been a huge few years for the Sydney-based singer-songwriter. Her debut landed at #1 on the Apple Music Charts, achieved two 2018 ARIA noms, garnered 55+ million streams and secured her two national sold out headline tours. In 2019, she ushered in the new year playing Falls Fest before embarking on a successful SXSW run and headline Europe & UK tour. Now, with the release of her transcendental new record, 2021 is shaping up to be her biggest year yet (Covid19 be damned!) and we were lucky enough to snag some time with her for this weeks Savvy Seven! 

What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

It brought me joy to perform for people when I was a kid. 

Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are? 

I’m not sure in all honesty. I think it’s some sort of practical joke sometimes. I just make music and people seem to like it. It doesn’t hurt to be proactive either, talk to people, make videos, show people your truest passions. 

How do you approach developing timelines for your career?

It’s all a blur. The first thing you need to start a timeline is the actual record or body of work. Then you go from there. Release dates, tour dates, when to put out the visuals. Everything cascades month by month after the body of work is released. 

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What’s your advice on staying professionally active during COVID times?

Swim. Cook. Do anything except lay in bed. That’s rich coming from me because all I do is lay in bed. Literally make sure you are dedicating a portion of your time to something you enjoy without pressure. Then it makes working a lot easier to know you can still feel joy and have that reminder. 

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What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?

Not becoming consumed in the narratives I’ve made surrounding my music. As Joanna Newsom says ‘never get so attached to a poem you forget truth that lacks lyricism’. Very, very important to interact with the real world. 

How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?

Talk to each other. The truth lies in lived experiences. Shirk your performative, instagram activism for a minute and call your buddy. Ask them what crushes their soul the most about the industry. I’ll go first. I have a strong disdain for how disposable artists are in the grand design of label monopolies. I lucked out with my label (lol soz they’re pretty great and like actually listen to what I have to say) but hearing about the intensity of how labels design artists careers and subtly manipulate them into fulfilling their monetary-gain-prioritising schemes under the guise of being ‘lovers of music’ is pretty fucking evil tbh. Algorithmic music is BORING. I wish companies would believe in artists more and stop the circle jerking of egoic chess games that is the industry in its current state. When you prioritise passion and music, the only thing that follows is personal and social fulfilment and validation. 

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How have you integrated modern technology into your content process? 

I use techno wizardry now like a very adept person. My producer, Damian Taylor, showed me how to use Logic Pro and encouraged me to branch out my skill set from just acoustic instruments. I’m keen to record underwater. 

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