INTERVIEW: chatting with emo-pop queen AViVA
Bold, bombastic and irresistibly catchy; Sydney/LA emo-popper AViVA is a one-woman dynamo who will ensare your eardrums with her bewitching beats and ass-kicking attitude that has seen her light up the stages this year at Canberra's Groovin' The Moo and more recently alongside bustling rockers Tonight Alive.
It takes a brave soul to stand up and defy the norm, but this fiery artist isn't just in this for the shock value; in fact; AViVA's on the warpath to annihilate expectations and audiences alike, armed with slinky, pumping tunes and some incisive lyricism.
AViVA's most recent track 'BRN' has been burning up the airwaves of late, a trend not completely out of the ordinary for an artist who has clocked up over 24 million streams across all platforms since October last year. And as she catches her breath after her most recent touring adventures, The Soundcheck grabbed AViVA for a chat to talk tunes, touring and her go-to playlist right now. Interview below.
TIANA SPETER: Firstly, thank you so much for chatting! You seem to be having quite an incredible 2018 so far, with a heap of tours and some brand new music…has it all been a blur so far, or have you been able to really take it all in?
AViVA: Thanks, yeah it’s been a pretty full on start to the year. My first single GRRRLS came out on Halloween in October and it’s all been rolling since then. I defiantly have been able to take it in. Everything that happens has my touch on it, so you really need to be present and mindful all the time!
TIANA: Speaking of new music, your new track ‘BRN’ is a sassy and silky middle finger to anyone who judges other people for being themselves. Do you remember a defining moment when you realised you could unapologetically be yourself? Were you an outsider growing up?
AViVA: Yeah. It’s a pretty big statement and I love that people are being so positive in their response to the song. There never was a moment, but I do remember year 10 at school being a year in which I really begun to just be me and see ya later to anyone who didn’t like that. I’ve always been a bit of an outsider, I remember ‘quirky’ being a common adjective people used to use to describe me. It pissed me off then, cause I could't understand why people couldn’t just accept me for being different but I learnt pretty quick that everyone loves to box people. I’m happy being an outsider. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
TIANA: Recently you’ve been warming up the crowds alongside Between You & Me and Tonight Alive – how’d the tour go?
AViVA: The tour went fantastically!! Tonight Alive are such an amazing band to watch live and Jenna is a beautiful soul. I’m really lucky to have this experience playing with such talented group of musicians!
AVIVA IN ACTION ONSTAGE FOR THE TONIGHT ALIVE TOUR - PHOTO BY MITCH CHAMBERLAIN
TIANA: And also, earlier this year you were up onstage at Groovin’ The Moo in Canberra – tell us a bit about that experience, was it insane? We’ve heard nothing but glowing reports….
AViVA: It was a great experience! It was so illuminating to see such a huge production and how it’s run. I loved every minute!
TIANA: In terms of crowds and venues, do you have a particular preference between performing at these huge festivals and shows, or do you like a more intimate setting?
AViVA: I couldn’t pick. Both have such a different feel to them. I love the ability to really connect with an audience in a more intimate show. But in saying that, nothing beats the feeling of a huge stage and the ability to ‘spread my wings’ so to speak.
TIANA: And I believe you spend a lot of your time both in Sydney and LA – aside from the cultural differences, what do you find is the most significant difference between the two places? Do you feel more at home at one over the other?
AViVA: I love LA because it is so vibrant and alive and there is so much music happening there. I love Sydney because it’s my home, my family and friends are here. And the Bush. I love the Bush. That’s the downfall of LA, smog and a distinct lack of nature. Like most things pros and cons for both!
TIANA: You’re really crafting a name for yourself with this feisty, bombastic indie/emo pop, or whatever you’d like to call it! But what music did you actually grow up listening to? Was it always this energetic poppin' and rockin'' kind of stuff?
AViVA: I grew up listening to everything! All the people around me listened to different stuff- from Frank Sinatra, Lena Horn to The Smiths and Kate Bush... I wanted to absorb all the music I was surrounded with. I was going to symphony concerts at the opera house when I was 3! It really comes back to the feelings the music can induce for me... Gymnopedie no.1 by Eric Satie makes me feel just as much as This Is How I Disappear by MCR!
TIANA: And you’ve had your fair share of awesome tours already, but do you have a bucket list band/act you would love to tour with?
AViVA: I would LOVE to tour with TØP that’s a total life goal!!
TIANA: Ok picture this – you’re stranded on a desert island and you can only bring one album with you. What is it and why?
AViVA: The Swiss Family Robinson audiobook so I can get some hot tips on living on a deserted island!
TIANA: To start to wrap things up – you’re a bit of an emo punk queen, what tunes would you put on your ultimate playlist?
AViVA: One of my go to playlists has some of these killers on it!
TIANA: And finally, despite the insane success you’ve already had this year – what’s next for AViVA for 2018?
AViVA: I am LOVING this year but there is so much to come! More singles are going to released, and my debut novel SELF/LESS which is the start of the series I’m writing to accompany the songs. Every song, each artwork, all the film clips- it’s all tied together and the threads are going to be slowly released through the books!!
TIANA: Thank you so much for your time!
AViVA: Thanks Tiana!
'BRN' IS OUT NOW VIA ALL THE USUAL MUSIC SUSPECTS - MORE INFO BELOW!
BY TIANA SPETER