Asha Jefferies Discusses QMA Finalist Nomination
In the lead up to the upcoming Queensland Music Awards, we spoke to Asha Jefferies about being a finalist in the Singer-Songwriter/Folk category.
After a whirlwind 2019, supporting The Jezabels and City and Colour, Asha has kicked off 2020 with a bang, playing alongside Megan Washington, Matt Corby, Ngaiire and The Kite String Tangle to raise money for those who were affected by the devastating bushfires this past summer. To add to that, Asha has been announced as a Singer-Songwriter/Folk finalist for her track ‘Bad Kisser’ at this years QMA’s. A song which she says is about how ‘an awkward kiss embraced me through a pool of uncertainty and mild tragedy last year.’
The Creative Issue: What does being nominated for a QMA represent to you and your work?
Asha Jefferies: It represents a time and opportunity to celebrate making music that I enjoy and that other people do too!
TCI: What was your reaction when you found out you were nominated for your award?
AJ: I was about to go for a swim in the creek one morning – It made me feel super proud of myself for persisting to make art that I like and grateful that there is an organisation like QMusic that acknowledges songwriters!
TCI: What is your favourite part about being involved with Queensland’s music community?
AJ: The Queensland music community is always growing and changing, but I love how it always feels small and supportive at the same time.
TCI: Can you describe the creative forces and inspirations behind your work?
AJ: I wrote ‘Bad Kisser’ about humiliation, courage and growing up.
TCI: What are your plans looking forward to in the coming year?
AJ: I’m touring with Josh Pyke in March/April and focusing on recording the next body of work!
TCI: Would you be open to working with another QMA nominee and if there is what about them and their work really grabs your attention?
AJ: I adore Jaguar Jonze‘s music so much, it is the best kind of haunting country-pop-rock. We met a couple of years ago and both went to an APRA songhubs songwriting camp last year but didn’t end up being assigned to write in the same group! So close but one day!!
TCI: What are your best tips for dealing with nerves when it comes to performing?
AJ: Recently I’ve been getting exceptionally claustrophobic and nervous before getting on stage. Then some sort of gear in my head just changes and I become so present when I walk on. Listen to yourself, be present and trust that everything will flow!
TCI: Brisbane is fast becoming a music hotspot to perform in. What are the best venues you’ve played at or where would you like to play the most?
AJ: I always love the intimate setting of Black Bear Lodge. The Triffid is a favourite of mine too! And I got to play the Riverstage for the first time last year with City and Colour. I’d love to perform at the Fortitude Music Hall that the Queensland Music Awards are held at this year!
TCI: Given the Schools category at the QMA’s, What would be your best tip for young musicians?
AJ: Create art that you love and focus on that – don’t try or let any outside sources tell you that you need to change to fit a mould. Diversity and authenticity is a priority.
TCI: What’s one thing that you would like to see come out of the Queensland music scene?
AJ: I’d love to see more inclusive spaces for all age venues, more live music during the day and a more open and experimental way of how we experience live performance.
What: 2020 Queensland Music Awards
Where: The Fortitude Music Hall (Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley)
When: Tuesday 3 March 2020 @ 6pm
How Much: $77.95 + b/f ($57.95 for QMusic Members)
Website: link to website
More Info: 18+, Smart Casual Dress