‘It has been quite a big year…’ says Helen Croome sweetly. Croome is better known as Gossling and indeed, it has been a big year. ‘Every now and then I sit down with a little book and write down all the things that we’ve achieved and look back over it and get excited,’ she adds.
Gossling’s fast-building popularity can be attributed to many things; perhaps her guest spot on rapper, 360’s, Boys Like You which received considerable ARIA chart success or her Triple J hit, I Was Young. It could even be attributed to her unique and distinct sound or that catchy Woolworth’s commercial that she loaned her vocals to, ‘Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…’ In any case, this humble, talented, Melbourne musician still finds it all a little bit surreal.
‘It’s still odd when people have heard of me, I find it weird, but I don’t really take it on too much. It’s not like I sit around and go, “oh yeah! I got lots of fans on Facebook now” or something like that,’ she says with a little chuckle.
Gossling’s main aim isn’t necessarily stardom, but rather just getting her music out there and recognised and listened to by as many people as possible.
‘When people enjoy my music and every time someone writes a nice comment on Facebook or whatever it’s a real buzz,’ she says.
Croome’s ambition has always been music; she studied music at university and majored in film composition but quickly realised that it was an incredibly hard career to break in to, one that seemed harder than singing and song writing, which is the avenue she chose instead.
‘It’s down to who you know and luck … and not always what skills you have or your knowledge,’ she explains, talking about the film industry, ‘So I thought, “I’ll be a singer-songwriter then and come back to the film composition stuff later on when I’ve matured a bit and made some connections”.’
Gossling has no delusions about how hard it is to find success in the industry that she is currently pursuing though.
‘There’s just so many people wanting to do this and there’s just not many spots… I think you can go to any bar on any night in Melbourne and see live music, and it’s incredible live music but there’s just five people in a bar,’ she laments.
Despite this, Gossling feels motivated and inspired by the abundance of musicians in the local Melbourne music community. She doesn’t feel as though there is too much competitiveness but rather a sense of camaraderie.
‘There [are] lots of people trying to do this and we’re all part of a community. We are all going for the same things. Melbourne as a city has a good support base for musos and you kinda stick together and help each other out with gigs,’ she says.
She knows more about the musician that she isn’t than the musician that she is; she is reluctant to pigeon-hole herself in to any particular genre of music, though hints that she considers herself to have a country vibe to her sound, but refrains from labelling herself as such in case of causing offence to country musicians.
‘Someone recently described my music as goth/country, I really liked that and thought that was interesting, but I always just say I’m folk/pop. If I say I’m folk, I’m not traditional folk, it’s just so broad,’ she says.
She is the type of artist who, even though she enjoys collaborations, feels that her music is best connected to her when she’s penned it herself.
‘Wild Love was the first track that I’d co-written with anyone, which was a good experience. I collaborated with Dann Hume on that one,’ Gossling explains, ‘Co-writing with other people gets my creative juices flowing and then I can come back and write in my own space too.’
She is currently busy writing songs for a new album that she hopes will be released some time next year.
‘I just feel that there’s something in my brain that doesn’t let me connect with a lyric if I’ve co-written it, I just don’t feel as honest or as genuine,’ she says.
Gossling is playing at the Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts & Music Festival over the New Year. It is a festival that, unlike others, pays great attention to Eco-Living and sustainability.
‘I played at Peats Ridge two years ago when I was a solo act and it was one of the first festivals I played at. It was such an awesome experience. It’s kind of small and [you] feel all in it together. The organisers are amazing and we were really stoked when they said we could come back this year,’ she says.
She enjoys the landscape of the festival, taking place in the heart of Glenworth Valley, just a short distance from Sydney and says she can’t wait to perform.
‘I have the full band with me, I think we are doing a 45 minute set, and I’m going to hopefully be debuting some songs from the album that I’m writing, I’ll be playing music from all three of my EP’s and a couple of covers thrown in!’
By Jessica Teni
Peat’s Ridge Festival takes place 29th Dec – 1st January. Tickets are available from the website.
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