Member Spotlight: Interview with Brayden Sibbald
Brayden Sibbald is a Dunsborough-based songwriter and producer, who combines multilayered electronic soundscapes with authentic folk-driven songwriting. His talents were quickly noticed, taking out the Outstanding Regional Category in the 2019 WAM Song of the Year Awards and being booked to play a number of festivals across WA.
Having just released his latest track ‘Thin Air’ we had a chat with Brayden about his Song of the Year win, living in regional WA and got some insights into his songwriting process.
Looking back over the last year, which achievement/s or moment/s are you proudest of?
I released my last single ‘Compass’ under Danny Harleys’ (The Kite String Tangle) label Exist. Recordings and did a national tour for that which was awesome, I played a bunch of cool shows like Yalls Summer Fest and won a WAM Song of the Year award! I’m really proud of the current EP I’m working on (which’Thin Air’ is from) and can’t wait to release it!
I’ve read in a few interviews that you are inspired by the local surroundings of your hometown Dunsborough, what about it inspires you?
I get inspired being around more natural and quiet surroundings. I do quite a bit of writing at the beach. It’s also pretty isolated so it’s easy to spend a lot of time writing.
What is one piece of advice you can share to aspiring regional musicians that you wish you had known when starting out?
You have to put yourself out there! Try and play as many shows as you can. Meet other musicians and create a support network. Be the best you can be at the moment, and make sure you have something recorded.
How has your approach to songwriting evolved over the years?
Lyrically I used to write in a really cryptic way so that no one really knew what I was saying – but I realised that if people can’t understand any of it then it’s really hard for them to connect with it. Now I write in a more clear way – still like veiling some things though! I also used to write all my songs with guitar and vocals but lately, I’ve been starting with the beat which I’m finding is working well. I like mixing it up and experimenting with different techniques to keep new ideas flowing.
What’s your best tips for getting through the pesky ol’ songwriters’ block?
Just try to write something and work through until you’ve finished it. It’s probably not going to be great but if you do it enough times you’ll eventually get back on track. When I have periods where I find it hard to write it feels like a hard slog and everything sounds bad but I find if you push through sometimes I’ll listen back a few weeks later and think hey that’s actually really cool! Also, it’s important to take breaks and not put too much pressure on yourself – it’s super easy to get burned out and give yourself songwriters block.
Your track ‘Compass’ only took a couple of days to record, mix and master – was your new track ‘Thin Air’ just as easy?
‘Thin Air’ was actually a really hard one – compared to ‘Compass’ which was very similar to the demo I started with. For ‘Thin Air’ we went through a number of different versions as we felt they weren’t sitting right and I rewrote all the lyrics 3 or 4 times to try and suit. Once we felt like we nailed the direction we wanted to go in it was pretty quick from there.
What was working with Matt Gio at Rada Studios like?
Awesome! Working with Matt is so easy – he’s so great to work with, he’s such a nice guy and always has some crazy good ideas.
Did his influence/legendaryness have any impact or change in the way the song was recorded?
Yeah definitely! Since we rewrote it so many times we didn’t use any stuff I’d done at home so it was all in the studio. He had so many good ideas for this song and really helped shape it into the finished product.
Winning awards isn’t your only connection with WAM, last year you were part of the WAM Schools program showcasing local artists in schools across WA to inspire and empower the next generation of musicians and fans, what was that experience like?
It was great! That kind of stuff is always really rewarding – I think even if I could inspire one person it makes it all worth it.
What WA acts are on your Spotify playlist at the moment?
Spacey Jane are killing it at the moment! Also GAZEY and Noah Dillon.