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up & comer : mary webb

Are you a musician? Are you in a band? Would you like to be featured as an Up & Comer on Lip? Email Zoya at [email protected]!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Adelaide, though now live in Melbourne. I have three older siblings, all of whom are amazing people and very creative. I love riding my bike. The only time of year I like better than summer is the moment when spring is about to arrive and you can suddenly smell sweet blossoms up and down the streets. That’s the best time for songwriting! My favourite drink is a good Gin & Tonic. It has the essential qualities I’d like my mind to have: strength, balance and clarity.

Tell us a bit about your journey as a musician so far.

I grew up surrounded by classical music and always wanted to sing. I started with choirs, then as I got older I also joined/formed a capella groups and started dabbling in jazz. I got quite involved in composition in late high school which I absolutely loved, then settled on ‘singer-songwriter’ and started teaching myself guitar a year or two out of high school. In 2008 I played one of my first gigs, at The Grace Emily in Adelaide, to about 5 people. I had no idea that one of these people was Pete Murray until he came up and had a chat with me after the show. He invited me to go and stay with him and his family up near Byron Bay and get some experience in the studio. So the following January my partner and I drove up and spent a week there relaxing, drinking, recording and trying to catch the goldfish in their pond! The tracks I recorded there were really useful over the next few years in getting gigs and developing my music career.

Describe your music for a new listener.

I think I’ve finally settled on a suitable genre, which is Folk, even though my music has hints of jazz, roots and even classical. The album I’ve just released, Forest Floor, has these beautiful cello lines through it (played by my brother Jonathan) which kind of give it a bit more of a classical feel, but then there’s some percussion too in a few songs which lean more towards roots. Folk is a broad enough genre that I feel like it sums it up well enough until you hear it for yourself!

Where would you like to see yourselves (as a musician) in two years time?

In two years time I’d like to have another album out, and I’d like to be making music sustainably. I’d love to be at the point where I can sell out shows in Melbourne and Adelaide, and be able to pull a reasonable crowd in other states as well. I’d like to be playing more festivals and collaborating with more people. I never want to get to the point where I’m just making the same music as always because ‘that’s what I do’. I want to be continually trying new things and challenging myself. I’m excited about that process over the next two years!

What’s the best gig you’ve been to recently?

I went to see The Swell Season which was incredible, but that was a couple of years ago now! Recently I played a gig in a warehouse in Brunswick which had some amazing local  artists and that was a great gig. Erik Parker & Citrus Jam both played – if you haven’t been to see either of these guys and you’re ever in Melbourne, check them out! Amazing, amazing musicians.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Someone gave me a piece of advice recently which I haven’t been that good at sticking to but it’s a good thing to aim for – do one thing that scares you every day!

You can check out more of Mary’s music at her website.

Image Credit : Ben Searcy

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