After wowing audiences with her eccentric debut single and video Greenhouse in 2020, Montana Sharp is back with her breath taking new single Power, a layered theatrical pop track about the pros and cons of wielding emotional power as a woman in a romantic relationship. Montana Sharp has also collaborated once again with Majella Productions (Maddy Jane, Julia Stone, Ecca Vandal) to create an epic music video to accompany Power, inspired by the one and only Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland. With a background in classical piano since early childhood and studying pop voice at Monash University, this highly trained, highly skilled musician has managed to marry complex chord structures and motifs found in classical music with modern pop song writing conventions, and the result is incredibly captivating, catchy music. Montana answers some questions about the single.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of the single?
Delicious. Like when you eat something spicy and it burns but it’s enjoyable – it’s stressful in the most fulfilling way! The support has been beautiful and very heart-warming though. It’s soppy but I am very thankful for every bit of it, big or small.
Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
Actually, no – (does that sound conceited?) It was motivating as hell, and far more joyous than challenging. For me, the studio is the most cathartic and peaceful place. The creative process was very freeing. Mixing was challenging because I kept adding parts in as the months went on, and I’m sure that made my producer’s job very difficult, but he was very patient with me.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Rich, Lustrous, Epic, Classic, cinematic- makes you feel like the main character. It’s Bond meets Disney. Yet, I also have a lot of songs where the sound is very raw, vulnerable and sweet – so I guess my music has a very contrasting duality (just like me!).
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
Probably my Dad (don’t cry Dad). He studied classical piano and then played a lot of the Melb jazz clubs in the late 80s and 90s. I’ve been a terrible sleeper since I emerged from the womb, so Dad used to play piano for me as a newborn bub every night to help me sleep. He started me on piano lessons when I was seven and sat with me through all my tantrums about practicing my scales all the way through till I was eighteen. There’s a trope within the Jewish community that all parents want their kids to be doctors and lawyers, but I lucked out with parents who couldn’t have been more encouraging for me to pursue music as a career (even though Mum STILL thinks I could be a lawyer.. Not gonna happen.)Best piece of advice you have been given? “What you are able to accomplish under pressure speaks FOR your skill set, not against it.” My uni teacher – Gerald Marko.
What is the Montana Sharp life story?
Born during the heatwave of ‘97. Came out the womb with a full head of black hair and apparently very long legs for a new born. I started talking at age one, but shuffled on my bum, instead of crawling and Mum says that speaks to my nature of taking my time to strategize before I make a move. I watched a Disney movie a day, and gave my dummies/pacifiers to the fairies when I was five. I was the third in my grade to learn how to read but my legs and arms were too long for me so I tripped all the time, and was also shit at maths and sports. My brother Blake was born in 2002. I started piano and ballet when I was seven (so I could learn coordination), but ballet only stuck around for a short time.
We got our beautiful golden retriever Bingo in 2006, and he’s still with us. I moved schools for high school in 2009 and the performing Arts facilities were out of this world, so I endeavoured to get involved. I was a piano player, but I wasn’t much of a singer – so I started taking lessons and fell in love with singing. I was definitely the weird, passionate artsy girl in high-school. Wanting to thrive and get involved in singing and acting dominated my teenage years. I started writing songs at University, those were the best years of my life – I had the best time and made the best friends, but finishing Uni was actually very good for my growth as I had to learn to propel my own projects without educational guidance. Now I’m a still-clumsy, passionate, artsy 24 year old who perhaps will always bum-shuffle through life, but with a bit more confidence and maturity under my belt.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
I would love to, Corona permitting. I think European audiences would really get around all the theatrics I’ve got going on.
What’s next for Montana Sharp?
Probably a nap. Nah – I’ve got some gigs lined up, an EP to finish and a new one to start, the rest is going to be a surprise for you and me both.
Interview By Rob Lyon