September 2017 Featured Artist: Anna Smyrk
Melting Pot puts the spotlight on artists within the community that are doing something special.
Adorable folk-pop songstress, Anna Smyrk, opens up about her long experience in the music industry, performing as a front-woman for ‘Anna Smyrk and the Appetites,’ and more recently establishing her solo career. Learning, challenges, her future journey and the very different life experiences that have led her to where she is today.
Smyrk is no stranger to the Melting Pot community, having performed at numerous Songwriters in the Round shows – sometimes armed with a keyboard and other times just her acoustic guitar – and also being involved in the short-lived Livestock project with her band, Anna Smyrk and The Appetites.
If you’re thinking you haven’t seen her name around for a while, you’d be right. Anna has been busy dedicating her time to community development work overseas for the past few years, but often pops back for a show or two throughout the year to remind the Melbourne music scene just what she is capable of creating.
Having had a wealth of experience and a long history of performance and recording around Melbourne, Anna speaks about a learning process that is always evolving, ringing true to the old adage: ‘you never stop learning’.
“I feel like I’m just learning stuff all the time, trying new things a lot and figuring out better ways of doing music – especially on the side of… doing my own bookings and promotion – there’s a lot to learn there,”
Being a success as a DIY musician takes a lot of time and effort, sometimes for very little reward, which poses challenges to the process and can breed a ‘second-guessing’ kind of approach at times.
“That can present challenges as well, but it means I get to learn a lot at the same time,”
The amount of publicity, radio appearances and airplay that Smyrk is able to achieve almost entirely off her own bat is a huge testament to understanding her various roles within her own music landscape, as someone who has really championed that DIY approach over recent times.
There is time away from music as well, as Anna Smyrk has been stationed overseas for the last few years.
“I’ve been back and forth between Melbourne, Australia, and living overseas – first in Cambodia and, most recently in the Solomon Islands,” she explains “I’ve been doing development work in those two places in the Arts sector and in the Health sector,”
“It’s kind of hard to juggle the two things at times,” Smyrk recalls, in speaking about music versus work whilst she’s been overseas, “On the other hand, I feel like that when I’m away from home it’s a really rich time fof songwriting… I’m thinking of it as a bit of a seasonal thing at the moment, I’m overseas for chunks of time and then, the times when I’m back in Australia is the time when I can put a lot of energy into music,”
Smyrk has recently been touring nationally with her new single & video for ‘House of Straw,’ which she explains is a bit of a celebration for the release.
She’s still keeping her music at a constant, planning to record and release some new material towards next year.
“Lots of new songs have come out of the last few years, so I’m really keen to record some of those. They should all be coming out some time next year.”
Unfortunately, Anna’s national tour has since wrapped up, but you can catch all her tunes over at her Facebook page which is linked below. For the full video interview, and a live version of Anna Smyrk’s song ‘House of Straw’, click on the videos below.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsJosh Forner
Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.
Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.
He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.
Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.