Molly Contogeorge on inspiration and friends in drag
Since the release of her first EP ‘Cause ad Effect’ Molly Contogeorge has performed over 200 shows and won countless awards…
Molly Contogeorge comes from a family of musicians and performers, so it was no surprise when, at the age of 17 Molly released her first EP 'Cause and Effect' to critical acclaim. Since then, she has released another 2 EP's - Glasshouse Living (2011) and Dames (2013) - performed over 200 live shows on stages all around Australia, and international stages at SXSW and Romerías de Mayo World Festival of the Arts in Cuba, and has won numerous awards and featured in a variety of blogs and magazines.
Your album cover for your Dames EP is really clever, where did you get the idea for it?
Honestly? I just wanted to see my friends dressed up in drag. In fact, they might even don their wigs one more time for a video clip, but you didn’t hear it from me.
Some of your songs are quite soulful and insightful, for example “Brother” from your Dames EP. Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Funnily enough, “Brother” was actually penned by my Mum, Catherine McSoriley. She’s a singer and wordsmith in her own right. In fact, when I was a kid she released three albums independently over a six-year period, which means I spent a lot of time doing my homework in a recording studio. When it came time to record my EP Dames I was still one song short and felt I needed a good ballad to balance the overall tone of the EP. I was struggling to write that final track and just happened to flick through some of my Ma’s old demos. That’s when I stumbled across “Brother” and instantly fell in love with the jazzy feel and beautiful melodies. There was always a lot of Charles Mingus and Herbie Hancock playing around the house, so I’ve always loved those old-school jazz influences. The rest of the tracks on the EP arrived from a mix of real life experiences, fantasy and fiction and whatever I happened to be listening to at the time.
You mention that having parents who were both music teachers and performers influenced you greatly into pursuing a career in music?
To be or not to be, that is the question. Actually, I’m not sure that quote makes much sense in the context of my answer, but I loves me some Shake-a-speare. Without the influence of my parents, who knows what I might’ve done. I could’ve been an Astronaut, or a Neuro-surgeon, or plain old unemployed (wait, that sounds too much like a musician.) One thing’s for sure, I simply can’t imagine my life without music, especially when it’s all I’ve ever known.
If you weren't in music…
I’d be a trapeze artist. Ha, just kidding. The thought of swinging from an aerial apparatus in a leotard kinda makes me want to spew.
What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring musicians?
Ha, I think I still fit into the category of aspiring musician myself! This is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave me. “When all else fails” they said, “Just keep going.” You’ll have good days and you’ll have bad days and it’s during those crushing lows where you’ll begin to wonder why you ever thought you could make it in music. You’ll worry that you’ve wasted precious time (and money) on a go nowhere pursuit. But the thing is, like most careers, music doesn’t offer any guarantees. That’s something you have to accept right from the get go. Music is the mother of all ball-breakingly tough industries and it’s no harder on men than it is on women and whether you’re a solo singer/songwriter or the drummer in a Korean pop band, the road is just as long and the task is just as mighty. Along the way you’ll meet people who’ll delight in bringing you down. They’ll tell you you’re more likely to be eaten by a shark than to sustain a comfortable full-time career as a musician, but you’ll also meet people who absolutely love your music and will do anything to try and help you reach your goals. Hey, music may never put food on your table, but if it’s something you absolutely can’t live without, then that won’t matter. All you have to do is keep going.
- Gabriella Khouri
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Tour dates below:
Nov 3rd The Cruelty Free Festival, Sydney
Nov 9th Pure Pop Records, Melbourne
Nov * Café Camino, Ettalong
Nov * The Glass Onion Society, Gosford
Nov 29th, RAW at Wollongong Town Hall, Wollongong
Dec * The Front, Canberra
* = Dates to be confirmed.