Speaking to someone who calls Australian Idol her “awkward teenage phase”, and Australian rapper Illy “like an older brother”, Brooke Addamo behind Owl Eyes is ridiculously humble about herself and how far she has come since she was seventeen. The other day I had a chat with her about everything from fashion to Australian Idol to great places to hit on Oxford St.
Having just released and toured with her EP Nightswim, Brooke's music career looks like it has taken a big step forward, with a remix EP Nightmixes featuring The Aston Shuffle, Collarbones and California's Girrafage recently released. Despite the blur of career-changing events, Brooke comes across as not only passionate about her own career but supporting artists in other creative fields. “I love supporting Australian designers because I feel like, I mean with music as well, but we have such great creative people here and because we're on the other side of the world we kind of have to create our own 'cool' in music and in fashion. There's so many great things coming out, Emma Mulholland is a great designer...I just think there are so many inspiring people in Australia.”
Speaking of Emma Mulholland, we had a little excited chat over a store called EstateOfMind on Oxford St. “It's so wacky in there I love it!...I like shopping and I like Paddington, I like all the vintage stores on Crown (street)” She said her favourite show of the tour was at our very own Oxford Art Factory, which us Sydney-siders know is one of the coolest venues of the area “I love Oxford Art Factory, it always has such great sound and lights...They make it easy for artists and they have great lighting and a lot of venues don't really have that and you have to bring in all this stuff and it becomes really expensive...It's really nice when a venue just cares about the quality of the show.”
Despite being at the opposite end of the spectrum musically, Brooke is a huge admirer of Aussie Hip Hop artist Illy, who she worked with for his very popular single “It Can Wait ft. Owl Eyes”. “I never realised it would be as big as it was...I really appreciate Illy as an artist because he works so hard, and he's always thinking and he's always creating and he knows exactly who he is, what kind of artist he is. He knows the limitations that Aussie Hip Hop has, but he really goes with it and tries to create and break boundaries...He's become like a big brother to me now, every few months he always checks in on me, like “How ya goin', how ya feelin', how's your music?” ".
If you looked up “Brooke Addamo” on YouTube you'd probably find a 17 year old girl singing covers of Natasha Bedingfield on Australian Idol. Look up "Owl Eyes" and you'll find a confident girl in her twenties with over 100,000 views for her eery music videos. “You know, Australian Idol is what it is, but it was kind of like my awkward teenage phase screened on TV. I was a teenager, I didn't know what I was doing, I was like “Cool, I can sing, let's do this”, and now it's on Youtube forever, so whatever, it is what it is. It's been so long, I mean after that I didn't kind of ride off it because I knew that's not what I wanted to do, I didn't want to be an ex-reality TV star... I waited it out for a year or so and just wrote music and hung out with producers.” “As you grow, your music is going to grow with you....I wanted to make an EP a lot more established and show who I am as an artist... I really tried to make it feel a lot more grown-up, because I feel a lot more grown-up.”
So what did the girl with a passion for wacky clothing and upcoming designers wear to Halloween this year? “I dressed as Frida Kahlo,” she giggles, “I put the monobrow on and all...My boyfriend, he doesn't like dressing up as much as I do. He was like 'I'll just put some blood on a t-shirt', I was like 'Damnit!'. I love dressing up so much.”
By Martina Calvi