Fatai is a Melbourne-based singer who after an amazing run on the first season of The Voice she signed a record deal with Mercury Records Australia. After two years with them, she has now gone on to a solo career releasing her debut album Purple in 2015. With such an interesting career we knew she was the perfect candidate to tell us about the world of aspiring for a Bucket List Life, this is what she had to say:
- Why does being a musician appeal to you so much?
I can’t help it! The desiring fire for music was birthed in me from the start and through space and time has only evolved and increased the more I paid attention to the truth that I was to be a musician in life!
- What’s been the most challenging obstacle you’ve faced in your career?
The music industry, just like any industry in the world, is an environment that is difficult to stay true to who you are without compromise.
One of the many reasons I gave up my contract with Universal and became independent was a decision that would release me to fly in the ways.
I was made to without other voices outside of the one voice my ears are in tune to (God) to sway me off my path!
Identity is everything to me and I wasn’t willing to surrender to the quick route to gain a quick fix and make a quick buck only to lose myself in the process, which by the way is so easy to give in to when the carrot dangles right in front of you! But the challenge is to be you in a world that wants you to be someone you are not meant to be.
It takes a lot of courage and boldness, something that will forever remain as a goal for me above music itself.
- What does the process of writing a song look like?
For me it looks like living! Every moment of life is constantly speaking to me and so I have made a discipline to always be writing instead of waiting for a time and place for words to come.
The moment I wake up to the sound of birds singing over me, to the moment I turn the tv on to the first advertisement that hits my eyes and ears with a cheesy message underline by a cheesy jingle, these human moments are just as much of a song to me as the love song about the boy I like or the sad ballad about losing someone. Just takes one moment that will gift me with one Idea that will birth and set the tone for a conversation about that one thing, that will birth one song, that can change one of many lives. From that very embryo, whether it’s a melody, a line or a guitar riff, will a story be built. And for me it manifests on anything I can get my hands on in that moment from napkins to paper bags, to the backs of receipts, to notebooks upon notebooks up more notebooks. Songs start with a seed of inspiration. The seed will tell you how to plant it and it will always be planted differently every time. My job as a writer is to listen and obey.
- When did you realise people were starting to engage in your music and what did that feel like?
After I wrote my first song when I was 13 and sung it in front of my singing class. The reaction was unanimous across the board and encouraged me to showcase my first original on different small stages to see if it could grow outside of these four walls. This moment was what inspired me to keep writing songs for people not to satisfy myself, although contentment was a by-product of the situation, ultimately to speak into people’s situation that was going through the same thing as me. A rich way of communicating universally through something as powerful as words, music and song gave me purpose in life and to this day the same purpose and goal have not changed!
- Do you think it’s becoming harder or easier to become a musician today?
I believe it’s becoming easier to be a musician today if you choose to see it that way. As an independent artist doing this full time, I am walking proof that you don’t need help or approval from anyone or any industry to validate your dreams and goals of being a musician. …and still bloody enjoy it! All you need is a belief in yourself and the right people around you to believe in you. With technology evolving at the speed that it currently is, these platforms are allowing for artists like me to expand and propel my music worldwide whilst still engaging so personally with my fans one on one like I could never have done had I believed that there was only one way, the traditional industry way. But it all depends on your WHY. Why you do you wanna be a musician? is it to make money to put food on the table for your family? Is it to make number 1 hits worldwide? is it to be famous? is it to be rich? or is it cause you love it and you can’t imagine doing anything else? or you want to inspire people and change lives? your WHY will navigate you in the direction you so wish for whether good or bad. Is being a musician difficult and unpredictable? yes! but what in life isn’t that way? there will always be a cost of some kind but you choose one purpose that is worth it all! There are so many creative ways you can do music these days where you can make good music that you want, keep your soul and sanity, have fun, and make enough money to live. Just gotta believe and get creative. I’m doing it!
- Three pieces of advice for people wanting to make a career out of music?
1 – DISCOVER YOU UNIQUE SOUND. It could be an obvious genre or a versatile mix of sounds or something completely new and unheard of. Evolve it, nurture it, challenge it, practise it, build it, be patient with it, love it, and strengthen it to become unshakable in a constantly changing industry. Your sound should be something the world will remember you for and be impacted by whether big or small. both ways just as significant and powerful as the other!.
2 – GET CREATIVE. There are multiple ways you can get your music out to the world on a small or next to no budget. From Youtube, to Facebook vids filmed on your iPhone, to collaborating with artist that don’t need a price on their time, to bedroom records done with cheap but good quality equipment, to house shows that people can volunteer to put their house up for, to buying a cheap camera and doing home photos shoots with a willing mate and editing it yourself, to countless more ways that you can create, travel and do music as a career without selling your soul, costing you unnecessary investments, oblivious contract signing, and the worst of them all, music becoming a empty chore or forced job and not something you are passionate about and do because you love and enjoy it.
3 – SURROUND YOURSELF WITH EAGLES. You NEEEEEEEED good people around you. you can’t possibly do this journey alone. You can’t possibly do this journey with negative energy around you. Gain a strong backbone of a solid and unshakeable support system with people who are going to build you up, encourage you and speak life into your journey. You will realise as you get further along, people wall fall off the track and the crowd around you will decrease to only a handful. Be discerning of characters. Know that there are 2 types of people that you will encounter. People who are only supposed to be in your life for a moment, and people who are meant to be there for the long haul. They are either there to steal or sow. Keep the sowers nice and close!
Finally, what’s next on your Bucket List?
Learn the native language of the island where my parents come from (Tongan)……….oh, and record my first freaken’ STUDIO ALBUM!
And that was the end of the interview, that was what our conversation with Fatai consisted off, we really appreciated her honesty and how deeply she went into telling us about her experience, if you want to follow up on any of her recent music you can see her Twitter profile: @fatai and if you want to keep up to date with all our FLUX NEWS interviews then please sign up to our newsletter.