An Interview with Missy Higgins

Posted by on Dec 18, 2008 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on An Interview with Missy Higgins

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Warner Brother’s recording artist Missy Higgins. She was a pleasure to talk to and I highly recommend her to everyone who reads this.
She is from Australia and has recently relocated to Los Angeles to pursue music full time in America.

RC: Hello Missy. How are you?
MH: I’m good, Thanks.

RC: Your about to come to Chicago for the miracle on state street concert with Lifehouse, Sarah McLaughlin, and the Plain White T’s. Do you have a favorite memory of a previous trip to Chicago?

MH:  Last time I was in Chicago it was really beautiful…we had the day off and had the opportunity to walk around and see the amazing sites around the city. We had a picnic in the park.  I have played lots of very good shows in Chicago. As I was leaving Chicago the last time I passed through I remember thinking to myself that the show I had just played had one of the best audiences I had ever played for. Then again the audiences in Chicago are always amazing.

RC: What artists influenced you as a young artist?

MH:  I listened to lots of female jazz singers including: Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, and Natalie Cole. My biggest influence has always been my brother. He is 7 years older than me. I can remember going to watch him play as a family. He has really influenced me a lot and helped me to become the artist and songwriter I am today. Another big influence of mine is Sarah McLaughlin. She has always stayed true to herself and I admire that.

RC: What inspired you to write “On a clear night”
MH:  The experience of being on the road influenced me a lot. I started writing for “On a clear night” while I was recording “The Sound of White”.  I wrote half of the album in Australia and half of the album in the US.  I was able to pick and choose from many different avenues of inspiration because of it.

RC:  You have been touring in support of “On A Clear Night” for about 2 years now.  How has your perspective on life changed since the release of the album?

MH:  My perspective on life changes from hour to hour.  When I wrote the album…Especially the song “Steer” I was spending a lot of time on the beach in Australia and I realized a lot of things. I learned that it is important to trust your instincts as far as where your life should go.  I also realized the importance of following my heart.   After the time I spent on the beach, I became more solid in my opinions and more confident in sticking up for myself.

RC: How do the crowds in the US differ from crowds in Australia?
MH:  America is kind of like 50 countries rolled up into 1. Every state is totally different from the others. The population of Australia is equal to New York.  I feel like Americans listen better, and accept the artists.  In Australia you have to prove yourself in order to get their respect.  Your head is never going to get to big in Australia. In America it is easier to go off the rails.  Over here feeling accepted right away enables an artist to be themselves and helps them to feel that there is enough room to grow.

RC: I saw that you were part of the Australian live earth movement in 2007. I myself attended Live Earth in New York City. What is your favorite memory from being a part of something that big and historic was?
MH:  My favorite memory would be going on stage to sing with Crowded House on their last song. It was amazing to be in front of such a huge audience.

RC: Have you been writing a new album?

MH: There isn’t really a plan. I want to see how this album goes.  It seems to be growing on a steady basis. The audiences get bigger and I have been enjoying the shows more and more.

RC: Do you have a favorite city to play in the US?

MH: Chicago would be right up there. I recently went to Chicago to record  a song with Brian Deck . I was able to ride my bike that I store under the tour bus around the city and really truly embrace how beautiful and amazing Chicago is. New York is also one of my favorite cities.

RC: What advice do you have for young aspiring singer songwriter?

MH:  The most important thing you have to do is get it clear in your head. Figure out what you want out of your songwriting. Decide if you are doing it for yourself or if you want to make a career out of it. Do you want your songs on the radio and TV, or do you want a career of touring and seeing the world? After that, Just go for it. If it’s the fact that you love music and you don’t care where it goes. I think that’s great as well. There is less pressure for success when you know who you are and who you want to be.

RC:  What are some of your favorite memories from 2008?
MH:  I went back to Australia and did a film recently (musical). It was my first attempt at acting. It ended up being scary but a lot of fun. Another one of my favorite memories of this past year was moving to Los Angeles. It is great being based there and being able to pursue music as a career in the US. I enjoy not having to do international flights.  I love all the tours and the American audiences.

RC: Do you have any wishes or resolutions for the New Year, as we end 2008 and move into 2009?
MH:  I think one of my resolutions/goals for 2009 is to learn to meditate.  I want to be able to slow down, step back and embrace the moment.  My mind is constantly racing.  I want to be able to appreciate my day and be present and in the moment.  I feel like I am going through a really amazing time in my life and I want to be able to appreciate.

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