Over the course of three years, Tamworth songwriter Hattie Oates has flourished from being a seventeen year old buzz artist, to now being a formidable voice that has captured the attention of fans and industry alike. Hattie’s new single, High, sees her stepping further into new sonic territory as she plays with darker pop tones and explores the effects of sudden impulses. Hattie drops by and answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way.
Nice work on the single High, are you chuffed with how that turned out?
Thank you! Yes, absolutely. All the feedback I have received has been super positive, which is incredible. I have had this song recorded for a while, so it was really exciting to finally let everyone hear it.
What’s the story behind this song?
I wrote this song about that feeling you get when you have a new little crush and no matter how hard you try to ignore it, you can’t help the tingling butterflies in your belly! Especially when they catch you off guard and you feel like your heart is about to jump from your chest. That little adrenaline rush. That’s what gets you high!
Did you feel you were on to something special with this one?
Yeah for sure! I remember coming up with the opening guitar progression and knowing I had to put it to good use. I had so much inspiration at that time as well, and looking back, I think that’s why I had the whole song out and on the page in about two hours! Usually when that happens you know you have a good song on your hands…
What did you think when you played it back for the first time?
I wrote this song not long after my first experience in the studio and as soon as I had written it, I was already thinking of what I wanted the production to sound like. I found that so inspiring to just hear in my head the possibilities of what the finished product could be. It was also super helpful to have a sense of direction going into the studio, so that I could make the most of that time.
Is letting go of a song when it is finished the hardest thing to do?
I think it depends on the song and what it means to you personally. I know that with High that there was a long time between writing it, producing it, and then finally releasing it, which meant as an artist, whatever raw emotion was present when I wrote it had gone and I was left with a song that I was ready to let people make their own connection and story too. Sometimes I need that time to almost detach myself from the song and let it be whatever it needs to be for whoever is listening.
How are you navigating your way through the COVID-19 crisis?
I have actually really loved having time to just be with my family and write. For me personally, it gave me time to set up goals and strategies for the next twelve months and also time to reflect on the past twelve months. Which I think is so important in order to get where I want to go, with my music in particular!
Have you focused on or learnt a new skill during COVID-19?
I have tried cooking haha! Not sure what my family’s consensus is on the taste, but I had fun trying! But to be honest, I have actually improved with my song writing. I never classified myself as a prolific writer, so I enjoyed having the time to be more consistent and disciplined to just write something down every day.
What’s the first thing you want to do when restrictions are fully eased?
LIVE GIGS! As much as iso has been good for some things, I am soooo keen to perform in front of a crowd again. After all, that is the best thing about being a musician!
Is there an album in the works?
As soon as I can get back in the studio, I will! There is definitely a possibility of an album, but I think releasing singles is the best thing to do for me at the moment and hopefully in the near future some of those singles will be collated into a record 😉
Do you think the Hattie Oates sound has changed much?
I have had so much fun experimenting with new sounds and styles. Everything I do is obviously going to have my own twist on it, however, I am definitely not finished experimenting. I feel these days there isn’t as much importance on sticking to a certain sound or style, the demand for new music is huge so being able to appeal to various tastes is an exciting concept.
When you get the green light to tour what are you looking forward to most about touring Adelaide?
I’m not quite at the stage of touring just yet, however, Adelaide is absolutely on my checklist when the time comes! I love South Australia so much, every summer I go down to Robe (which is three hours south of Adelaide) and perform. South Aussies are always such fun… loud and rowdy, and I mean that as a compliment! That’s how we like it!
Interview By Rob Lyon