Q & A with Felicity Burdett

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As a one girl band, Felicity Burdett , has captured music lovers hearts all around Australia since the turn of the century.With her beautiful songs, she has stood out at major festivals, such as Splendor In the Grass, East Coast Blues & Roots & The Woodford Folk festival. She has also gathered extensive fans whilst touring Brazil, Europe and New Zealand.

If you are looking for courage,inspiration or just a chance to see raw talent ast it’s best, then look no further. Felicity Burdett naturally sweeps people away to happy ukelele land,with cleverly crafted melodies and positive,healing messages. She sings so sweet, she’ll charm you with her smile and she’ll leave you feeling like you have been a part of something special.On stage, she embraces folk guitar with ease, and much to the delight of the crowds, she loves to accompany it with her harmonica and do the Bob Dylan thing.

Felicity’s new album, ‘The Lion Within’ is her third release, and she has been celebrating it’s ‘life’ with a few shows, including an upcoming album launch at The Black Bunny Restaurant in Alex Heads on October 31.

Hello Felicity. Congratulations on the recent release of your third offering, ‘The Lion Within’. That’s a hefty collection of songs on one release, with 16 tracks in total. Most artists usually have an amount of songs, and then cull down to the customary 10 to 12 tracks. Was this a case of not wanting to waste any of the material, or did you feel you had a lot to say, musically?

I find once a song is recorded I can kinda move on and open up for new songs to enter into my creative space. It’s like channeling more clearly when the energy gets transferred. So yeah, it’s good to put a whole lotta songs up in one album. Leaves me excited about the next one!
I click with the notion of using songwriting as a form of meditation and rehabilitation (as would quite a few musicians… I know I’ve used it to help deal with my own grief). Just how much has it helped you, and did it change your style of writing at all?

I guess I have always used songwriting to express myself. I’m not much of a talker. It helps to put pen to paper. Quite often stuff will surface due to what I am going through and I lock myself in my room and just let it out. Some of my best songs are composed in about 20 minutes, because I’m just keeping it real and relevant. I find my style changes when I change instruments. So with my ukelele songs they tend to be more bluesy/country sounding songs and with my guitar its more surfy folk style. I have been jamming with a lap steel guitar recently and that’s bringing about some really cool new vibes.
Out of curiosity, I did read that you set up your own studio, so was the album recorded there (and self-produced), or did you use it for mainly cutting the demos first, and moved to a larger studio to track?
Well, I recorded the first four tracks at Scotty French’s Love St studios in Currumbin, Gold Coast. It was a fantastic process with Julz Parker as the producer. She is in a band called “The Hussy Hicks.” I toured through Europe with them two years ago. She learn’t guitar from Tommy & Phil Emmanuel, who are many a guitarist heroes! A funky California band called Allensworth played some percussion and also Scotty French did a bit of groovy guitar to ‘Bluebell Road’. The rest of the tunes were recorded with my old band “The Love Bus” in Alstonville at “Top Cat Studios”. I always find I have a lot of songs to share, so it made sense to combine all these together to share the journey with my new and old fans.

Being an avid surfer, do you often have song ideas pop into your head in between sets, and if so, do you have those frustrating times where the song in your head doesn’t transfer the same way physically?

I never write out in the waves. When I’m surfing I am just surfing. Completely there in the present, surrendering to nature’s power and beauty and just being stoked on life. It’s like meditation.The songs come after when I’m up on my balcony watching the ocean and thinking about experiences and messages that I wish to express.

You’ve clocked up some pretty amazing festivals (Woodford, Splendour etc) AND toured some great countries… but is there a festival or performance that particularly stood out for you?

East Coast Bluesfest in Byron Bay was a highlight! There was a lot of hype for it. Triple jjj were pumping out my songs and talking about my music and there was a great buzz going on. The stage sound was great, there was heaps of paparazzi and my band was happening!

I love your quote – “If my path can change just one person’s outlook to life and help them to realise, to follow their dreams and to appreciate every moment of life, then I’m doing what I’m mean’t to be doing.” Was there a certain lightbulb moment where it all just clicked for you?

Yes, three years ago I lost both of my daughters and my ex-husband in a car crash.Life just kinda spun outta control for a while there. I lost sense of self and had to re-build myself again. I feel like I need to share my story to wake people up to appreciate what they have and not take things for granted. I can do this through my songs and my shows. I enjoy inspiring others around me to follow their passions and have fun with their life.

You’ve had comparisons to the likes of Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers, Sarah Blasko, and Norah Jones, so, to wrap things up, which one would be your ultimate jam partner, and what song would you do?

Hmmm, ‘The special two’ by Missy Higgins ….she is a very clever songwriter and I just love her style..

Thanks, Felicity. Have a great album launch at Black Bunny Restaurant on Oct 31 (ooooohhh… Halloweeeeeen).

Catch Felicity Burdett at Black Bunny Restaurant on October 31. For more dates, head to her website, www.felicityburdett.com

‘The Lion Within’ is now available for purchase/download via iTunes here.

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