Interview :: Brous
November 23rd 2011
Nick La Rosa
Your average 20 something spends their days trawling Pedestrian for a job, meeting up with friends to discuss last night’s horrifyingly graphic episode of Attenborough’s Frozen Planet and dusting ourselves off after a big night on too many Pickleback shots at the Flinders.
Not Sophia Brous. The 24-year old over-achieving Melbournian has long walked the halls of jazz, training and studying at Boston’s New England Conservatory, directing the Melbourne Jazz Festival since 2009 and hosting her own radio show on Melbourne community radio station Triple R. But that’s just her other other resume. Ms Brous has vocally featured on tunes by the likes of Cut Copy, Jens Lekman, Augie March and is now surrounding herself with the most talented of the Melbourne scene; her band members include peeps from Pikelet, Ned Collette + Wirewalker and Lost Animal. Now the multi-award winning young vocal wunderkind has lost the first name and has unleashed an EP of her own, self-titled and self-written, and co-produced by legendary Aussie producer Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Silverchair, The Panics).
Brous is shimmying her way around the country with her new EP in paw and took time out to have a chat to us about Gil Askey, Zouk music and the dirty p-word…
FBi: So kicking off, I’ve heard your love of music came from your family. How did they influence you and the music you make?
Brous: I grew up in a house where music was just always there, whether it was playing on the radio or a record, or going to see a show each week. I just always understood music to be something I could be involved with. It's been a rose-honeyed ride ever since.
You made your stage debut performing with Motown legend Gil Askey. How did this happen? Amazing! Tell me more!
When I was about 15 I had begun sitting in at clubs and singing with different musicians. I went to see Gil play one night and someone must have told him about me because about twenty minutes into his set he asked into the microphone if 'the young singer could come to the stage' and called me up. We played a blues number, I almost levitated off the stage
Your music is self-described as an uncompromising vision for pop. Do you think artists are less scared of being labeled ‘pop’ these days?
I think the colloquial use of the word 'pop' today isn't necessarily indicative of what 'pop-ular' music has actually been over the past sixty years… it's now has as a kind CD megastore category function as opposed to actually seeking to describe the music. I don't know whether I make pop music, I like what I like I guess… big melodies, colourful arrangements, polka etc.
You've also touted your tunes as being under the genre of 'Zouk'. What exactly is Zouk?
I believe Zouk is a music originating from the Caribbean… I wouldn't necessarily say Brous is Zouk-like though it was listed on the Brous Myspace page as one of those 'Sounds like' descriptors… me no Zouky.
Your music has been heralded as inspired by 50s film soundtracks, which films or directors/composers in particular are your favourites?
I like scores written by Sven Libaek, John Sangster, classic soundtracks by Krystof Komeda, Dick Hymen, Riz Ortolani, Nino Rota, Morricone, Henry Mancini… it's a wellspring, the more time you have, the more you find…