Tia Gostelow has achieved a lot in the Australian music scene, and she’s still in her teens. Moving to Brisbane in early 2018 at just 18 years old, Gostelow released her debut album Thick Skin in the same year to great success. Her single ‘Strangers’ has clocked over 3.2 million streams on Spotify, and the singer-songwriter has had the opportunity to tour with the likes of Frightened Rabbit and The Rubens. Last year, she performed a hauntingly gorgeous cover of Empire Of The Sun’s ‘We Are The People’ for triple j’s Like A Version.
We caught up with the artist during some downtime on her recent national album tour to chat about how she’s finding the traveling, her songwriting process, and plans for new music.
When asked about her day, she responds happily. “I had a sleep in, actually,” she laughs. “I’ve been watching ‘Big Mouth’ on Netflix.”
“I’m having such a good time,” she says about her headline tour. “I was really nervous for this tour, purely because it was like, the biggest tour that I’ve ever done on my own. But it’s actually really, really fun and I’m really enjoying it!”
The success of her debut has afforded her many cool opportunities, including playing Falls Festival last year.
“It was like, my first ever big touring festival, so it was obviously a whole new experience and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so fun,” she says. “It was hectic. It was like, a hectic five days – stopping and starting and going, and yeah, not much sleep, but it was so fun! I got to see a lot of really cool bands that I’m a fan of and meet people that I wouldn’t have usually met. It was amazing, it was so good!”.
As far as songwriting goes, her influences vary, with some of the artists who have inspired her in the past including Mumford & Sons and Ball Park Music (who she’s about to head on tour with). “Yeah, that’s so wild,” she says of joining Ball Park on the road. “I’m so excited for that tour, it’s gonna be huge!” But overall, her biggest influence is Melody Pool, who Gostelow says is “the reason that [she] started songwriting”.
The Brisbane-based artist also says she has plans for recording new music super soon.
“I’m actually recording a new single when I go to LA next month,” she says.
Speaking on the songwriting process itself, Gostelow says it’s been a while since she wrote solo, but that she has a method to it when she does. “I honestly haven’t written a song by myself in a very long time. But usually I will just sit down and I’ll write the chords as I’m writing the melody. I kind of just like, hum melodies and then see what words fit within that, and then I write the lyrics.”
“It’s just kind of like, a weird thing when you go from co-writing so much with other people, and then you have to come back and do it yourself,” she says. “I feel a bit lost at the moment with like, how to do it and what to do and I don’t know how to work things on my computer. I don’t know how to like, record stuff on that or use like, MIDI keyboards. So, I’m very limited with my guitar and I think that I just need to start teaching myself how to do all that stuff, and hopefully it’ll open some creative doors.”
The singer says that co-writing was something she had wanted to do for a long time, but it took the right collaborative experience to kick off her love of the process.
“I think it was just something that I’d always wanted to do but I was like, way too scared,” she says. “But then I had a friend of mine – Alex – I didn’t know him at the time but he’s become a really good friend of mine. I co-write with him quite a lot now. He got in touch with my management and said he was keen to do a co-write and then I went and did one with him and ever since then I’ve absolutely loved doing it! I love meeting new people and seeing what can come of two different brains.”
Tia Gostelow just wrapped up an Australian east coast tour. She will play The Hills Are Alive festival this month and will support Ball Park Music across the country on the Good Good Mood regional tour. Dates here.