Tia Gostelow started making her mark on the Australian music scene at the ripe old age of 16, when her debut single ‘State of Art’ won Triple J’s Indigenous Initiative of the year, and gained her a place in the 2016 Triple J Unearthed High Top 5. Since then, Tia’s indie dream-pop sensibilities have enticed the nation into a romantic haze. From adorning the stages of Big Sound, to accompanying the likes of Husky and Bernard Fanning on tour, to releasing her own album, Tia has been busy cementing her place in our hearts, and on our charts – and all before hitting her 20’s!
In typical muso style, Tia will be reigning in the new year with slots at Falls Festival across the nation, before embarking on a national tour with her debut album ‘Thick Skin’. 2019 is already looking massive for Miss Gostelow – we can’t wait to see what’s next!
A huge hats off to Tia for taking the time to chat with us – read below!
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
Probably Taylor Swift. I saw her when she came to Australia for the first time in 2009 at CMC Rocks the Snowies when I was 10. It was my first live music experience and I was obviously a huge fan. I’d been learning her songs from Youtube for about a year before I saw her perform and I remember her coming out on stage in this blue sparkly dress and just being so
excited! I think that’s when I first thought ‘I want to do that!’ So she definitely inspired me from a performance perspective.
From a song writing perspective, it was 2013 in Tamworth at the Country Music Festival that we went to the Telstra Road to Discovery finals and I saw Melody Pool win the songwriters award with her song Henry. When she was performing that song, the whole room was captured and it was such a powerful moment for me. Her song writing and her album The Hurting Scene, which I was obsessed with for years and it still is one of my fave albums, definitely inspired me to be honest and vulnerable with my lyrics.
I also think I’m really lucky to have parents who support me 100%. They never told me I needed to get a ‘real job’ or to have a back up plan and have always encouraged me to make music my number 1 focus and that it’s possible to build a career with music.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
I’ve really just lived and breathed music my whole life and played a shitload of cover gigs from the age of 12 to 17! I started out performing at Country Music Festivals around Queensland when I was 11. I also attended the CMAA Junior Academy of Country Music that same year, which introduced me to the basics of song writing and playing with a band. Music was my part-time job all through high school. I started when I was 12 just playing solo cover sets in the beer garden on a Sunday afternoon and eventually most weekends I’d play 3 or 4 gigs a weekend either at local venues or community events around Mackay, Sarina and Airlie Beach. Some weekends I’d have up to 3 gigs in a day! The country music talent quests taught me how to play with a band and eventually I started doing gigs as a duo, trio and a full band.
For years my family and I would travel to Tamworth Country Music Festival where I would busk a few hours a day, compete in every talent quest that was going and do as many gigs as I could get! Busking on Peel St lead to meeting Busby Marou as they walked past whilst singing their song, which lead to supporting them at one of their shows in Airlie Beach and that lead to supporting them on their regional Queensland tour my first year out of school! I also attended a writing camp run by Nash Chambers.
I think my first support gig was for Bill Chambers when he played a show in Mackay when I was about 14, and from that and the connection I made with Nash at his music camp, lead to my first recording experience with both Bill and Nash.
How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
Definitely something my managers mainly take care of, I’m happy to leave the business stuff to them and just focus on the music and performances. We do communicate over the phone and email a few times a week and discuss ideas and opportunities that come up and the things I’d like to achieve, my wish list I guess.
We talk about what I’m ready for now, or if it’s something that needs to be a long term goal and what things I need to do in the next 6 or 12 months in order to move closer to that goal. It’s baby steps, learning to be patient (which can be very challenging for me) and just making sure each song is better than the last and each performance is better than the last one.
What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
I feel like moving away from my family at the start of this year to pursue music was really hard, definitely the most challenging thing I have had to do so far. I’m so, so close with my parents and brother and moving 12 hours away from them was hard, but I knew it was something I had to do and it was definitely the right thing for me to do.
I spent a year at home after I finished school as I was still only 17 and during that year I had the opportunity to do some great support shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, support HUSKY on their National tour and it was really difficult to do that from a regional location financially and also being able to rehearse with my band as they are based on the Gold Coast.
What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?
You need to look after yourself! I quickly realised that drinking, late nights and early mornings and not eating healthy meals is
not great. Uber Eats Maccas at 2am in the morning has been my saviour after some gigs, but it’s really not a good thing to get into. I actually got pretty sick the 5 weeks I was away from home on the HUSKY tour last year just from fatigue and lack of decent meals! Exercise, eat well and try to get sleep when you can! Not saying a cheeky drink is a bad thing, just don’t
burn yourself out!
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
Read, ask questions, get involved in music programs and events. There are so many great organisations and resources at your fingertips. QMusic have definitely been great to me and offer so many really great programs.
How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
You need so much content to be able to post onto socials to keep people interested and engaged. It’s actually a job in itself and can be kind of exhausting thinking about capturing content all the time! I use heaps of apps, for scheduling social media, Master Tour for logistics whilst we are on the road, shared calendars with my band and team.
Engulfed in the life of this rising star? Want to know more about Aussie artists who have been blowing us away recently? Check our more Savvy Seven’s in the archives here!