At just 17 years old Odette, the powerful singer songwriter on the cusp of big things, was signed to a record deal in Australia and now, two years later, she’s taking on the rest of the world. Veering between spoken word and melodic, soulful vocals Odette seamlessly switches between genres and defies classification. Inspired by everything from jazz to soul, she writes songs that are deeply personal, allowing the listener into her world. And it’s one that we’re lucky to be invited into.
Growing up surrounded by Australian music and musicians definitely made me appreciate the process of being an artist alone and writing on their instrument. There is such an eclectic palette of musical styles and genres down here but I grew up listening to artists like Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke and Sarah Blasko. I really was influenced by these singer songwriters who, whilst all different, had the same emotional honesty in their writing. It was empowering to me, the idea of being alone onstage or at home, just me and my instrument singing about my experiences. I definitely think Australian singer-songwriters, especially women in this genre, have shaped my way of viewing and creating music as a whole.
I have so many. I remember when my mum first got me my upright piano and I still have it to this day. I wrote my first song on it called 'Best Friends' and it was honestly a banger! The second song I ever wrote was called 'I Walk Alone' and it's this big dramatic moment about feeling alone but having this fiery sense of purpose at the same time. I remember playing it for my primary school, I must have been around eight years old, and my peers were super supportive but they definitely thought I was an odd kid.
I guess songwriting for me is quite cathartic. I don't usually grasp the full concept of the song until after I've written it so usually I'm just listening back to songs and realising 'oh that's what that's about'. I think, like everyone, my understanding of myself is constantly shifting and changing but at least through my songs I can find some stability. If I ever feel like I've lost my sense of self I can listen back to what I've created and it helps me feel confident in knowing myself. The fact that I can put down on paper how I'm feeling and how I'm thinking sort of restores my faith in my ability to communicate my experiences.
I don't have a process really. The way I write is truly subject to change all the time. Usually I just sit at the piano and play some chords and try to write a song but honestly it's never a conscious thing. I have to be zoned all the way out and then I'll probably just start and finish a song. It can take five minutes, it can take three hours. The way I work is always changing.
Well probably that I'm an emotional mess! I'm just kidding, but in all seriousness my music is a way for me to process emotions, experiences and for me to communicate how I see things.
I hope my music conveys that to people, that I'm figuring out my life just like everyone else.