It has been great to follow the journey of Tamworth songwriter Hattie Oates who is fast developing to be a formidable talent. Now she is back with new single Waste My Time which is an incredibly moving, emotive, personal song about heart break. Hattie answers a few questions about the single for Hi Fi Way.
Was it relief and excitement getting the new single out?
Absolutely! This one has been a long time coming – I wrote the first line around April last year, and it wasn’t until November that I actually finished it. There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes so it’s always a relief and very exciting once a single has been released.
What is the background behind the single?
This song is about that devastating feeling you get when ending a relationship, something we have all probably experienced. But then, you get to the other side, and suddenly see all the wasted time you spent stuck in the past with them, instead of just moving on.
How would you compare it sonically to some of your other music?
I have spent the last couple of years experimenting with my sound a lot. I’m a fan of such a broad range of music and so many different artists, like Amy Winehouse and Missy Higgins. One of the best parts about song writing is the ability to experiment with all these different combinations. Waste My Time is no exception, it’s a very passionate and personal ballad. I was careful with the production as well to make sure I didn’t lose any sensitivity while also injecting it with more emotion through the instrumentation.
Are there plans for more music this year?
I recorded four songs in early January with the intention of releasing them all over the course of this year. Waste My Time is the second of the four. In saying that though, I’ve been stuck with a lot of inspiration over the last couple of months so I am hoping to get back into the studio ASAP. You never know, my order of releases may look a little different.
Do new ideas come easily to you?
Through trying to write something on a page every day, good or bad, I’ve definitely noticed that coming up with new ideas is becoming easier and easier. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my music which can make the process a little longer! But I’m really leaning into just going with my gut, and trusting in what I write.
What makes a good song for you?
Truth. Whether it’s my truth or someone else’s, there is nothing better than hearing a song that has a lyric, a line or a feeling that is so relatable it feels as if it has literally been written about you. Sometimes music means playing a bit of a balancing act – maintaining a connection for me, but also creating a connection for others that they can apply to their own story.
Did you lose much momentum last year due to the pandemic?
The live music scene obviously came to a halt for a while. That definitely meant getting back into performing in front of a crowd took a bit of warming up after such a long time without it. But it did give me the time to focus on my writing and experimenting sonically. Also having that reality check gave me perspective on everything I was “usually” doing… there were some songs in that for sure.
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
Yes! So excited to get in front of some new crowds! I have some gigs locked in around Queensland over June/July, and I’m hoping to do some busking around Byron as well. I also plan on heading down South later in the year. Looking forward to it is an understatement!
What’s next for Hattie Oates?
Touring, releasing two more singles this year, and getting back into the studio!
Interview By Rob Lyon