To celebrate the release of my latest release, Best Shot (out now on all platforms), I've put together a mini interview series called the 'Supernova Series'. Its purpose is to celebrate the worlds musicians, artists, healers and communicators by shining a light on their resilient nature and their incredible power to get up everyday and push boundaries. Just by staying true to who they are and understanding their knowing; their purpose in life. I hope to help keep important conversations alive by spreading their stories far and wide. I aim to spread love around by providing a space for everyone to express themselves and feel free to be like, "I'm here and I love what I'm doing and no one's gonna stop me doing what I love the most".
I'll be adding more beautiful faces to this series over the coming weeks!
My name is Kerryn Fields, I'm a folk & country artist from New Zealand living in Melbourne.
I've had a few ah-hah moments, but the most powerful is probably in this last year as covid hit and I realised this is what I do, what I am born to do, what I do best. To be with people, to connect, to share stories and create music, to inspire and to love loudly, no matter what challenges me along the way I discovered that even a global pandemic hasn't stopped me touring, performing, writing and releasing a new record.
My biggest fear is wondering if I am relevant, if I matter enough to an audience to do this for a living and not just for me. As I live with a chronic illness I'm constantly challenged by my physical ability to tour and perform and the commitment to my health and wellbeing that takes priority above all else. Should I be pushing this hard? Could someone else do this, is what I create really worth the time and energy? Should I be choosing to work in an industry that ultimately means I'll probably die younger and still broke?
The answer arrives when I'm experiencing hardship or need support, my community and fanbase have always had my back, in the darkest times I've never had to look far to get what I need to keep going which is what ultimately makes the decision for me. Yes, what I'm doing is needed, yes what I have to offer is a part of something bigger than just my own hopes and goals. Yes, what I'm doing is worth it through and through because the people engaging with me are profoundly impacted by what I have to share, and how I share it.
I stand on the shoulders of every Queer artist, every Womxn, every troubadour, poet and healer before me. I see their challenges, the roads they paved for mine to be easier, and the roads I now pave for the future generations to come. I see myself as a part of everything that has ever been and ever will be. That to me is my daily 'aha' moment as an artist at this place in time.
My name is Dani. Born and raised in Aus, with a Lebanese origin, and I’m a whole bunch of different things, depending on the day. The only constant, however, is music - singing, piano-ing, guitar-ing, songwriting, performing, touring, recording, arranging for full band shows, collaborating, promoting, marketing, graphic designing, videography-ing, photograph-ing, editing, blah blah. The list goes on. Being an artist requires us to wear many hats, as you know, Max!
Outside of music I’m studying a Master of teaching - I love to teach.
My ah-ha moment this year has been the “Why”. Why do I do music? Why do I do this? I’ve had to re-centre, reframe, re-evaluate. My goal is to create art, work with wonderful humans, and to enjoy the process. If I get to see the world and pay my bills whilst doing so, that’s a bonus.
Realising that has changed my world. I highly encourage anyone out there who is questioning this, to stop and remember why they do what they do. I knew that if I couldn’t find my “Why”, then I’d have to leave music behind. So glad I didn’t.
My name is Seb Szabo, I’m an indie folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne.
I’ve undergone a number of challenges in the last couple of years that ultimately steeled my belief that my voice as a songwriter would matter, and in 2018 my ah-hah moments arrived in the eye of that storm.
That year, within the same week, my university band, into which I had placed an unyielding faith and all my dreams for musical success, had collapsed under acrimonious circumstances, and my long-distance relationship had also ended without warning on the streets of Newtown in Sydney.
In the subsequent months I had to decide what kind of person and artist I wanted to be, especially coming to the end of my university years. My faith in the pursuit of music as a dream had been shaken, and my self-confidence had been shaken further given the personal conflicts within both of those situations.
And so I had two ah-ha moments - the first was in Santorini in Greece, where I listened to Gang of Youths' “The Heart Is A Muscle” on a run across the island. Some magical combination of a new and powerful song, and a beautiful, unfamiliar landscape was incredibly inspirational. It told me that there was a new chapter somewhere out there, an opportunity for reinvention with new sounds, and the future’s uncertainty brought possibility rather than fear. All of a sudden that band’s furious and fresh sound helped me believe my dreams were still possible, just perhaps taking a different shape than what I had previously imagined. I then wrote my song “Postcard” on that trip, which was a completely new style of writing for me at the time, which helped fuel that optimism further.
The second was in Wilson’s Prom shortly after, on a camping trip with friends. On my mum’s recommendation, I’d brought along Bruce Springsteen’s memoir “Born to Run” to read. That book changed my life. The writing was so poetic, detailed and empathetic, as if it were from a compassionate friend, and his account of his early struggles to make it as an artist with nothing but his guitar, work ethic and faith in himself was incredibly inspirational. I had never wanted to become a solo artist, but Springsteen showed me a path towards it. He had managed to craft a career as an individual storyteller without compromising an epic vision, with his band as collaborators alongside him. Rather than an egoistic pursuit, the Springsteen ‘solo artist’ experience felt selfless and inclusive. Reading that book helped shape my new idea of the kind of artist I wanted to become.
Life is full of opportunities, like glowing exit signs on a freeway. Some might take you directly to where you want to go, some might be dead ends, some might take you to better places you never expected. In my darkest moments of uncertainty, what conquers the fear of the unknown for me (aside from a message about a song I’ve written, or a great gig, or the support of my loved ones) are the little signs from the universe, like a song or a book coming along at the right moment, to let me know to keep pursuing my deepest passions, that I am understood, that my voice and the things I believe in carry weight. That’s what music has always done for me, and that’s what I hope to do for others, too.
BETH PARDOE (AUNTY MOJO)
My name is Beth Pardoe and I’m an English born New Zealander living in Melbourne. I’m trying to be the best for the world.
Where I grew up in New Zealand, every older inspirational and loving woman is known as Aunty. We therfore had lots of Aunty's. Wonderful ladies that we could go to when we needed to talk to someone who would listen without judgment. I see mojo as our inner life force. Hence, the name for my project, Aunty Mojo.
Aunty Mojo came about in early 2016, when I developed a healthy eating, exercise and coaching program aimed at wonderful women over 50 years of age. Arrogantly, I thought I was going to save the world. When I started to meet women, I realised that they are as perfect as they believe themselves to be and so didn’t need to be saved by anyone. I returned to my corporate work in risk management and suppressed the kookiness waiting to bust out of me. But you can’t keep a good kooky down and, in August 2019, I attended a neurolinguistic programming course run through The Coaching Room. This course was incredible, blew my mind and gave me my biggest life aha moment yet.
The aha moment went like this. From day one of an eight day course, we were told that on day eight, we would have to sit a big exam. If we couldn’t pass the exam, then we didn’t get the certificate. I was definitely going to pass that exam and probably ace it, if not be top in the class. I knew this because that was the story of my life. I had to be the best at everything. Nothing less than perfection would do. If I couldn’t be perfect at something, then I would quit. Which really meant I did a lot of quitting. There was much said about the exam and what questions were likely to be in it. We were strongly advised every day of the course to study hard. On the last day, I canceled dinner plans so that I could study all night. At 9 o’clock on exam day, we were told to put our books down and be quiet and to get ready for the big exam. Our tutor then said there was one more thing he needed from us before we were allowed to sit the exam. As we had all worked so hard, we were to walk up the front and put the score that we deserved and thought we would get on the whiteboard against our names. I don’t have a big head but I knew that I would probably get 19 or 20 out of 20. But to be a little bit modest, I put 15 as my score. Others in the class followed suit and the scores ranged from 12 to 20. Once we had all put our expected scores up, we picked up pens, waiting to receive the exam paper. At this point the tutor said to us, “there is no exam. The score that you gave yourself is the score that you got for the course and you’ve all passed. Congratulations!” There were 25 students attending that day. 24 of them laughed with relief. And one started sobbing. Racking, racking sobs, to the point that I couldn’t speak for the next 2 1/2 hours. You see, it wasn’t the fact that I didn’t get top of the class. It was the fact that, in the scheme of things, the score didn’t matter at all. All those other times when I hadn’t gone out with friends, instead staying home to study. The times that I had worried or lost friends because they had gotten more than me in an exam meant nothing. I realise then that you don’t have to be the best in the world, just the best for the world.
Enter Aunty Mojo and her message of the four M’s.
Always remember Me: love yourself first
Mutual respect: Be kind to each other and treat people like you’d like to be treated.
Life is aMazing: Enjoy every day. And;
Maximise your Mojo.
This message has encouraged me to write books for both adults and children, an entire album of songs, videos and even make toys for you to enjoy. Along this journey, I have met the most incredible and inspirational people and I love them all for their help and support. I’m not trying to be the world’s best ventriloquist, author or singer. But I believe in the MMMM message so much that I want to spread it around the world. It’s not a new message, but I think we all need a reminder from time to time.