Tanya Goltz on vulnerability and her powerful new music

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Tanya Goltz is an artist who liberates her audience. “Someone reached out to say that they resonated with it so strongly as it explained how they were feeling when they couldn’t find the words themselves” she shares with Happy.

Fresh off the release of her latest single Steal My Soul, and with a debut EP well in the works, singer-songwriter Tanya Goltz shows no signs of slowing down. With both Steal My Soul and fellow EP single Sketches (released in 2022) as evidence, Goltz’ musical mission on her upcoming project Pieces Of Me is abundantly clear. Deft in empowering lyricism and defiant in her confrontation of detractors, the singer’s latest single will reflects broader, equally anthemic themes of being one’s truest self. Ahead of the release of Pieces Of Me, we caught up with Tanya Goltz for a chat about her songwriting technique, women in Australian music, and the one moment when she “knew [she] had made significant progress on my self-acceptance journey.   

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HAPPY: Hey Tanya, thanks for having a chat with us! What are you looking forward to this week?

TANYA GOLTZ: I am celebrating my nephew’s 30th birthday this weekend. It’s been all systems go since the start of the year with the new release, so I am looking forward to some down time. And it’s also a bit surreal that he is turning 30. But my nephews and I are actually quite close in age as my brother, and I were born over 20 years apart.

HAPPY: Tell us about your suburb, what do you love/not love about where you live?

TANYA GOLTZ: I used to live 10 minutes away from Brisbane CBD but over time I gradually moved further and further away from the city and now home is a quiet leafy residential suburb 50kms out. I finally feel at home, after moving a lot when I was a teenager. The suburb is so peaceful, I can watch the stars from our backyard at night and you get the feeling of space even though we are in a residential area. It allows me to reconnect with what’s important, away from the influence of the daily hustle.

HAPPY: Do you think Women in Australian music are getting enough recognition, opportunity and support in this day and age?

TANYA GOLTZ: No, unfortunately, I don’t think that Women in Australian music are getting enough recognition and support. I was reading an article that identified that women represent approximately one third of all employed musicians in Australia, with the percentage even less for technical roles within the industry. I think there is an obvious difference in the number of female artists on festival line ups and also in those being played on major radio stations. I would encourage fans to think about how they can show their support for their favourite female artists. Things like; requesting them on the radio, buying their merch or attending a show. It is also great to see movements such as Rebel and Roar being established (founded by singer-songwriter Melody Moko and her manager Kaz Waters). Rebel and Roar is designed to support empowerment and change across the music industry. They can be found on Instagram and via their website: www.rebelandroar.com.au

HAPPY: The journey to self-acceptance and being yourself unapologetically is a hard and continuous one, what are some of the challenges and achievements that you experienced during this journey? And what helped you keep moving forward?

TANYA GOLTZ: The journey towards self-acceptance and being yourself is challenging and to be honest, I am not really sure if that challenge will ever completely disappear. I was bullied significantly throughout my childhood, which made a serious impact on my self-confidence as I grew into an adult. Music was always a part of our household, but I started singing, writing and gigging more consistently from the age of 9. And as I started to become more visible in the industry, I was met with additional judgement around my appearance and personal self from professionals and adults in that sector. But the further I delved into singing and songwriting, I was able to channel those feelings into my music and it has become especially therapeutic. Music helped me navigate those difficult years and in turn helped me connect with like-minded people. I knew that I had made significant progress on my self-acceptance journey, when I wrote “Steal My Soul” a few years ago after receiving some negative feedback aimed again at my personal self rather than my music or brand. And after writing the song I felt empowered and strong, rather than being critical of myself or angry about the feedback. The major motivator to move forward on my self- acceptance journey is the unconditional love and support I have around me, in particular from my husband and those few special friends that have now become family.

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HAPPY:  In the last piece Happy did on you, we shared your big list of Aussie female music legends! Who’s not on that list that you’d like to nod to as well? From any gender, decade or genre. Artists that just inspire you!

TANYA GOLTZ: One of the artists who is not on my curated playlist but is one of my biggest inspirations is Brandi Carlile. Brandi isn’t an Aussie but has had a huge impact on my development as an artist; being so impressive across vocals, songwriting and

performance in addition to presenting a diversity of genres from americana to folk rock, pop rock and alt country. Which I find particularly encouraging; as my own music doesn’t fit strongly into a genre, so it’s great to see that there are other artists out there that are successful doing the same thing. I love the way Brandi uses the lyrics, harmony, instrumentation and performance to create undeniable prosody in her songs. Some of my favourite tracks are Wasted, My Song, Broken Horses, This Time Tomorrow and Letter to the Past. I’m also a big fan of Diesel and have seen him live many times and his musicianship blows me away. When I first saw him play, he was using his Mini-Maton, and I just fell in love with it. So much so, that later on down the track my husband bought one for me as a gift.

HAPPY: Describe your writing and recording process.

TANYA GOLTZ: My approach to songwriting varies, generally I like to be structured and make time to write regardless of whether I feel inspired or not. But I also have moments where I wake up with an idea from a dream, or I have an interaction and feel inspired to channel my emotion into a song. At times I can be driving and think of a melody line or a lyric line and will record it for later. My phone has so many voice memos of random ideas! But it’s great to be able to access those if I ever feel blocked in one of my scheduled times. I will then demo any complete ideas and I am incredibly grateful to have some wonderfully talented friends that I met during my studies at JMC, who get on board with this process, and we throw ideas back and forward until we have a completed demo that I am happy with. In terms of the studio recording process, I remember still perfecting lyrics on the day I was recording my vocals. I think as a songwriter, you might not ever feel that a song is truly finished. But I am so proud of what I have to offer as my debut recording. I have been extremely blessed to work with my team, particularly my producers Steve James and Andrew Cochrane from Red Engine Recording. They are both so supportive but also direct and honest, which really allowed the songs to take shape in the best possible way.

HAPPY: When and where are your next gigs?

TANYA GOLTZ: I am booked for a run of corporate gigs at RACV Royal Pines at the Gold Coast in February and March. And I am currently finalizing a string of shows to promote the upcoming EP, so stay tuned for that! All gig dates will be on my website in the near future.

HAPPY:  If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

TANYA GOLTZ: I have done a lot of travelling so if I could go anywhere it would have to be somewhere I haven’t been but also somewhere I could escape this heat! Ancestors on my mother’s side originated from Ireland, so I would love to go there. I just adore winter, it’s my favourite time of year even though I grew up in Queensland.

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HAPPY: What would your ultimate day involve?

TANYA GOLTZ: My ultimate day would start with a strong latte in the sunshine, with some puppy play time. I have a 5-month-old mini dachshund named Jett and a 16-year-old mini foxie named Toto and I couldn’t imagine my days without them. A bit of yoga or some down time reading something new. A date with my husband, a visit to the beach and then some time to sing and write, would round out the day perfectly.

HAPPY: Which book or tv show are you currently watching?

TANYA GOLTZ: I am currently reading The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale. It is a modern psychological thriller and I have definitely had a few late nights not being able to put it down. But I can’t say that I am not completely biased, as Pip is a friend of mine who I met years ago at a music event, and we ended up writing a song together. But I would absolutely recommend this one, particularly if you are into modern thrillers and love a young, courageous but at times reckless protagonist.

HAPPY: What did you read last that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective?

TANYA GOLTZ: I recently read a quote from the book Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani that opened my eyes up to the limitations and consequences of waiting until

everything was “just right” before committing or taking a leap. Being raised as a perfectionist, the strong desire to achieve my standard of perfection while maintaining productivity has always proven challenging. And as such the quote “If you wait until everything lines up, it’s over” really resonated. As it’s been 10 months in between single releases and while I experienced some unforeseen setbacks that impacted the timeline, the drive to make everything perfect was a major player in holding up the process. So now moving forward instead of focusing on perfection, I aim to do the best I can, with the time I have and vow to take a leap, while being brave and consistent.

HAPPY: What’s something someone has said about your music that you’ll never forget?

TANYA GOLTZ: I will never forget a recent conversation I had about my music, where someone reached out to say that my new song Steal My Soul made them feel liberated. They went on to say that they resonated with it so strongly as it explained how they were feeling when they couldn’t find the words themselves. That is really the biggest compliment I could receive. Being able to write and perform a song that just might give someone a sense of peace or purpose, whether they find strength or connectedness or even just 3 minutes of happiness; is what I set out to achieve as a musician. Whether I connect with 1 or 100 people, that’s my definition of success.

HAPPY: Thanks so much for having a chat with us!

TANYA GOLTZ: My pleasure!

If you haven’t had a chance to embrace Steal My soul, then check it out below ASAP!

Interviewed by Olivia Adams.

Photos supplied.