Sometimes success can really blindside you and it can certainly take many forms, particularly with music. With one particular artist, success was thrust upon her in the form of a summer anthem, remixed and mastered by a 19 year old DJ from France, who decided to remix a song she sang and collaborated on many moons ago.
It can also come in the form of receiving text messages from friends abroad letting you know that they’ve heard your voice, and realising that overwhelming feeling of what success must truly mean.
This is exactly what happened to Kylie Auldist (known for her work as the frontwoman of local soul legends The Bamboos) whose collaboration with Australian outfit Cookin’ on 3 Burners – ‘This Girl’ – was recently picked up by young French hot shot Kungs and turned into a summer anthem that went absolutely massive, picking up number ones the world over. Now, we’ve had the chance to sit and have a chat with Kylie on what success means, jet setting around the world, and how passion will always come through music.
As with many creatives in terms of her initial involvement with music, creating art seemed to be something so ingrained. “It was innate, it was a born thing, I can’t stop it.” Kylie continues by pondering alternatives and perhaps considering a more viable career path. “Maybe I could go and learn to be an accountant or something… I’ve given my life to music, I can’t give my life to something else now.”
But, of course, the schedule eventually takes its toll, and with an expansive career within the industry, Kylie reflects. “I say no to friends’ weddings, I don’t turn up to most funerals, I don’t go to most birthday parties. I don’t get the chance to go out and see other bands play because I’m doing music all the time – that’s why festivals are so great”.
Success in the capacity that Kylie received was completely unexpected. Big-shot DJ Kungs took ‘This Girl’ and turned it into the hottest summer anthem hitting the European club circuit. But to Kylie, what does success really look like?
“I guess getting to go to Europe three times this year, even if it was just to sing three songs. The success of ‘This Girl’ has been a bit mental and I’ve gotten to do a lot of weird things. I flew to England for one night and sang three songs, actually I sang the same song twice. It’s bizarre”.
But despite the overnight nature of the success, Kylie is of course completely humble and grounded and still oh so in love with music. “I really think that success is doing what you love and being able to be paid for it and not have to slog it out doing something horrible, but still being able to see your family. I guess, I don’t try too hard to get too close to the flame, I didn’t want to get too far away from my family. I’ve never tried that hard, I never sought fame. I just want to do the best that I can, I want to sing the best that I can and make music the best that I can. I’m just not doing anything half-arsed”.
It’s quite easy, though, to stay humble and grounded with the Australia being almost unaware of her worldwide success. “I can still be really incognito here. I did a gig in Bendigo and there were about 36 people there. I’d just come straight from a nightclub in the UK where there’s a thousand kids screaming and trying to take their photo with me, and then you come here to Australia and they are just like ‘oh yeah whatever’”.
The reaction worldwide, from the fans’ perspective, is what really took Kylie by surprise. “People send me messages on Facebook, like people I’ve never even met as well. They’ll be in Amsterdam or strange places like the tip of Africa saying they can hear my voice. It’s crazy”.
In terms of where her career is taking her now, Kylie is about to embark on a national tour as part of the Bowie In Berlin tour, a tribute show directed by none other than composer and Bad Seeds/The Birthday Party guitarist Mick Harvey. The show marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of David Bowie and also pays homage to his Low album, which was released just one week after his 30th Birthday.
Kylie reflects on the experience, and the opportunities it’s presented. “This has forced me to listen to music which I wouldn’t have otherwise listened to. And it’s a musical adventure – it makes you grow up a bit. I’m excited about doing stuff with all of the people involved and I mean… imagine getting to sing at Hamer Hall – how cool is that!”.
It’s so wonderful to see someone so ingrained within the industry not only riding a true wave of success, but maintaining a sense of humble passion that can be so rare within the music industry today. Remixed or not, Kylie’s vocals are exquisite, someone who smiles through song and embraces every opportunity the world of creativity is willing to throw her way.
Catch Kylie as part of Mick Harvey’s Bowie In Berlin this January, as she and a host of other incredible singers pay tribute to the one and only David Bowie across the country – tickets on sale now.