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Adelaide chanteuse MANE – aka Paige Renee Court – has been quite a stir lately with her debut EP House of Horror, which includes her haunting, alluring single, Bitter. To celebrate she’s gearing up to head on tour throughout July. But before she does, we caught up with Paige to talk bluesy approach to electronica, pseudonyms and songwriting.
HAPPY: Hey Paige, congrats on your new EP! Tell us a bit about the making of it; how does it differ from your past efforts?
MANE: I went in to record this EP back in May 2015, I had such a fun time recording it and was really open minded with the production of it. This EP is quite different to my previous single I released back in 2014 production-wise. I think I was just ready to change things up a bit with this EP and I’m glad I did as I feel I really found my sound in the process.
HAPPY: I’ve noticed a real blues element to your songwriting that sets you apart from other songwriters, where does that come from?
MANE: I listen to artist like Sarah Blasko, Meg Mac, Regina Spektor & Norah Jones who all have bluesey elements in their music so I guess there are some subtle influences there. It just sort of eventuates within the melodies of my songs when I write them so I like to keep those tones in there and combine it with a more pop element in regards to the production.
HAPPY: So what’s your process when it comes to writing – do you do much or is it all at home?
MANE: For the most part I write them with my guitar, but I’m always keeping production in mind while doing so. Other times I’ll actually write the song as a poem at first and then put it to music, I find my lyrics are much better if I do it this way.
HAPPY: Your songs seem very personal and revealing, is it difficult to express so much in your writing?
MANE: It can be at times, but it can also be really healing. It’s good to be able to talk about things, but that can also be difficult. Fortunately one of the perks of being a songwriter is you can write about whatever life throws at you and tell it in the form of a song and sometimes it’s easier to express things that way.
HAPPY: Who and what influenced you to pursue music?
MANE: Music has always been quite a large part of my identity, I started learning piano and violin when I was quite young but it wasn’t until I was about 16 that I decided to pursue it as a career. I don’t really have a particular person who inspired me to do so, it was just something I always knew I wanted to do.
HAPPY: Who inspires you now? Besides hose you’ve mentioned are there any Aussie artists you really love?
MANE: I have a few muso friends who are doing well at the moment and it’s always exciting to see your mates hard work pay off and that is something that really keeps me going. But some well-established Aussie artist like Thelma Plum, Boy and Bear, Meg Mac, Paul Kelly and Missy Higgins are just a few favourites of mine that you’ll often find on my playlists!
HAPPY: As an expressive form, what does playing live mean to you?
MANE: I feel it’s the most rewarding part of being a musician, particularly for the House of Horror tour coming up. A lot of hard work and time goes into planning a release so being able to perform to a crowd who is there to celebrate music that you have worked tirelessly on is like the tip of the iceberg! The best.
HAPPY: What are your goals in music?
To keep working my way through, hopefully gaining new listeners along the way and scoring exciting opportunities.
HAPPY: What is the story behind MANE and how does using a moniker effect your musical persona?
MANE: I was contemplating changing my artist name for quite some time, and MANE was the name I was sitting on. I like being able to perform under a moniker, I feel like it’s more exciting. When I would perform live before the name change I never liked to introduce my songs and the story behind them but now I feel more open to, I guess it’s a bit of a confidence thing too!
HAPPY: Finally, what’s next for MANE?
MANE: Hoping to tour a little later in the year and head over to Perth, Tassie and Brisbane.
You can catch Mane at the following shows:
Friday 15 July, The Bluebee Room, Adelaide
Friday 24 July, Whole Lotta Love, Melbourne
Friday 29 July, The Newsagency, Sydney
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