Lola Scott and Sam McGovern are two of the bright stars on the Australian music scene. They were selected for the latest round of the Live Nation One’s To Watch program and were featured last week at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney for an exclusive industry showcase.
Lola hails from NSW’s Southern Highlands, and has been charming audiences since her breakout 2018 EP, ¼ Life Crisis. With a captivating blend of deam pop, grunge and incisive lyrics, she has rapidly earnt herself an enthusiastic and fervent fan base. With tracks such as “i wanted to call her but i’m tragic and she’s overseas (8 months)” she’s crafting catchy ear-worms that have you bopping and relating.
Sam McGovern is only 22 years old, and yet another talented singer/songwriter to emerge from Western Australia. He hit the ground running, with his debut track “Grow” being nominated for a WAM (Western Australian Music) Song Of The Year. His single “Memory” has already clocked up north of twenty million views across the various social media platforms.
To celebrate their appearance last week at the Oxford Art Factory, and as an opportunity to get to find out more about this talented pair, we put it to them to ask each other a bunch of questions. Read on!
Sam To Lola
1. Lola! I could’ve done the classic stalk of your profile to try get know you & ask related questions, but this seems like a better opportunity! Firstly, to the basics; When did this music journey start for you, was there an “epiphany” moment that inspired you to pursue this path? Why music?
I started playing guitar in a group class at lunchtimes when I was in year 2. We just played Em for a couple years. After that I made a few bands with friends (all with terrible names). I’ve known I was a songwriter since I was about 8. I’d always spend the time I was meant to be practicing guitar writing songs. I didn’t start my solo project until one day the bassist in my uni band heard a new song I’d written & told me I should keep it for myself. Sam is one of the best humans I’ve met.
2. If you could only choose one country in the world to play shows in for the rest of your life, where would it be & why?
Wow, that’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t think I’ve traveled enough to be able to make an educated decision but my first thought was the Netherlands.
3. What is one of your biggest career goals? One that almost really scares you because of the long road ahead to reach it… & how do you aspire to achieve it, what do you think the biggest challenge will be to get there?
I’d really love to play Tiny Desk. Maybe I should have shot bigger than that but I feel like that would be a big I’ve made it moment for me. I’ll just keep making & performing music until I get better at it.
4. What is your dream / idealistic comfort place to write your best songs?
I love going away to different locations for a week to work on full bodies of work rather than spread out singular days in studios. My last EP was mostly written & recorded in a church so that was pretty epic. I’ve also had a favorite writing session in the park near my house or writing in my bedroom with friends is very comfy.
5. If you had to sacrifice one string on every guitar FOREVER what string would it be?
I think the high E string so I wouldn’t feel a gap between the others & it’s usually the one to break anyways so I’ve had a little practice playing without one.
Lola to Sam
What’s the first song you learnt on guitar & who taught it to you?
It all started around 5 years old on a half size Yamaha classical guitar my parents got me for my birthday, the memory of my fingers being so clueless feels quite special, since it is now second nature for me. I then started “properly” learning the guitar during primary school, on a classical. My teacher was Mr Dodds – strangely enough I bumped into him on the light rail in Sydney a few weeks after moving here from WA, small world.
The first song Mr Dodds taught me was “the apache song”, It was the most simplest singular note classical song ever.I’m constantly reminded of the song from my Dad *Dad speaking to me like a baby* “Sammy play the apache song, play the apache song”, Im now 23, nothing has changed haha.The first actual song would have been “Flake” by Jack Johnson, I found a pretty rough video on my Ipod Shuffle of me playing it for the first time recently haha.
If you could pick any stage to play on in the world what would it be?
Just as a world traveler would strive to visit every country in the world, I’d love to view my music the same. It would be a dream to take my music to as many places as possible, I see it as my ticket to traveling the world. So – a goal to play every iconic & major venue that exists in the world. But, since your narrowing me down to just one… I’d have to pick these “4” hehe… either Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Red Rocks Amphitheater or sell out my hometown.. Optus Stadium.
What is an achievement that you are most proud of in your career so far (can be personal or sentimental)?
Honestly the work that is not out yet – the EP / Record that I have nearly completed. I’ve never felt more proud, confident & passionate about a body of work than this..
I’ve been quiet on the release side of things since “Memory” in November 2022. After being exposed to virality of some sort I really put my head down & started writing my best work yet. See I do appreciate my early songs / work for what they were at the time, they helped me transition to where I am today, but find it hard to accept people relating me to any sort of “Folk” music lately, as I have the unrevealed knowledge of the record that has been brewing behind the scenes & approaching release. Never felt more excited, this even beats the feeling of being allowed to go to the shops on my own for the first time when I was 8, so I know it’s good!
What is your favourite session you’ve ever done/ what’s your usual writing process (do you work with the same collaborators often or write solo)?
Looking up to the likes of John Mayer / Jack Johnson throughout my childhood – I’ve always admired an artist who really owns their songwriting & work, personally to me it feels more authentic, that the lyricism has come direct from their body & soul without influence from others. As a result of this – my process of writing is usually always by myself, I like to capitalize on those alone moments to derive my lyricism.
My best work has always been a result of solo writing, which I am really proud of. But in saying that – lately I have been dabbling writing with others, only ever in a duo situation though, “Memory” was my first experience co-writing, it definitely helps widen the mind to more ideas so I am being more open to this, it can only ever improve my writing that I do by myself in other times.
Recently I’ve written some amazing songs with Matt Gresham, Hein Cooper & Go-Jo, these 3 being some of my close friends, so then again – it seems familiarity helps me create my best songs.
What would be your dream guitar be or would it be a custom build… what parts would you make it from? (I want specifics on pickups and all that jazz)
Love this! I am a guitar nerd!
I’ve always been a huge Fender fan, obviously in relation to John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughn & a lot of other artists from that Bluesy scene who rock a stratocaster.
My dream guitar would be a 1964 Fender Stratocaster in Sunburst or Black, 100% original – parts, pickup’s and all. The smell of the nitrocellulose lacquer is hard to beat, that old vintage feel to the neck & the Velveteen Rabbit styled wear to the body.
In saying that – when I was 19 I worked my ass off lifeguarding at my local pool for 6 months straight to buy a replica of this guitar, since the proper one is around $60,000 & way out of my budget. I bought a 1964 Fender Stratocaster “custom shop” guitar from a store back home in WA. I visited the store around 30 times playing it for hours at a time before I walked out with it in my possesion, I was addicted and just had to have it. One day soon I will own the original though! <3