Interview: Essie Holt talks “Better For You,” and touring with LANKS & Tyne James-Organ

Melbourne’s Essie Holt is riding high, fresh of the launch of her newest single Better For You. We sat down to chat about Better for You and touring as a young performer. 

First off, congratulations on the success of your most recent single Better For You! What can you tell us about the process of bringing this single to life? (e.g. Where/how/when did you write it and who did you work with?

Thanks so much! I co-wrote “Better for You” around a year ago with Mark Zito (Fractures). I was living in Brunswick at the time and had the nicest little room at the front of the house as my writing space. As I began to develop my sound a little more I realised that the original production we had laid down initially needed to change, so we completely re-built the entire production song. I love the direction it ended up taking!

Was it any easier than some of your previous ones? Or did it still offer it’s own challenges?

In terms of production, I think I have a really clear vision for my sound now, so this song just took a bit of experimentation to get it to where I wanted it to be. I really love the process of trying new sounds and textures, so this was a lot of fun.

You’ve kept that real pop edge in “Better For Yo, but there seems to be new elements to the recording compared to your earlier singles, were you aiming to add new features? Or is it a natural part of the process?

Yeah I think so! I love pretty epic production in that I wanted it to feel big and lush. It was really fun to try some new synths for this one too.

Triple J has been a massive supporter of your songs, run us through what it feels like to be moved onto a rotation spot with the station?

I’m so beyond appreciative of the support triple j has given me this year. It’s really lovely to also recently get to meet some of the presenters personally and have a great chat about music. They’re the most passionate music lovers and the nicest people. Getting spot rotation on my last two singles has meant the world – especially because it’s helping connect my music to a bigger audience which is really cool.

With your own headline tour about to kick off what can we expect to see? Are we looking at a set list closer to what we could be expecting on an album?

I’m very excited! I’m currently working on my debut EP, and all of those songs are definitely in the set. I’m gonna be playing with my band and will also be doing a couple of songs solo and more stripped back. I want my shows to have moments where people can dance, and also moments where people stop and really feel something. That’s what music is all about to me.

How has it been to touring around with LANKS and Tyne James-organ on LANKS’ TwentySeven tour? Talk us through some of the highlights there.

Touring with LANKS and Tyne was honestly THE best fun! I learnt so much from watching Will perform each night – he’s one of the most talented musos and hardest workers I know. The Melbourne shows were particularly special for me as it was my first time getting to play at Northcote Social Club, which is one of my favourite venues. The Landsdowne in Sydney was also really special and it was so cool to have so many people come down early to watch our set.

Finally, a bit of a fun one. You’re running your own mini-festival and need to have five acts come on tour with you, who would you choose and why?

Oooh how good! My dream Aussie line up would consist of Megan Washington, Missy Higgins, Emma Louise, Gang of Youths and Paul Kelly. That would be pretty incredible I reckon!

Our thanks to Essie Holt for taking the time to chat with us. ”Better For You” is out now. For more about Essie Holt, head to her Facebook Page.

Photo Credit: Essie Holt Music on Facebook.

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