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MEET: Paris Irwin

Brisbane indie-pop up and comer, and winner of a mentoring session with Gold Coast Producer Paces, Paris Irwin is getting noticed for her dreamy ethereal vocals and composition on triple j Unearthed track Mute Me.

Receiving high appraisal from triple j’s Executive Producer Tommy Faith, “When you've got a voice like yours you might as well record it twice.” She’s set to make her formal debut later this year with singles Art, Critical and Dark Tourist.

We sit down and chat with Paris ahead of her one-on-one session with Paces to get the low-down on composing from personal experiences, how Industry Connect is helping to amplify her career, and her debut release Art, out this May.

​Tell us about yourself, where are you from, how'd you got into music, how long have you been playing piano for etc.

I was born and raised in Brisbane and I’ve been immersed in music my whole life. I come from a family of musicians who have always made it their priority to surround me in beautiful songs and artistry. From being dragged along to my Mum’s gigs to making sure we were seeing the best musicals in town; my musical education has been pretty thorough. My Mother herself is an exquisite composer as well as a professional pianist and flautist so I’ve always had a very sincere appreciation for classical music, which is what pioneered most of my training. I began piano lessons when I was six and then the cello when I was about eight. Shortly thereafter I was in every choir, dance and musical theatre group I could juggle, which then continued into my high school years, where I began receiving solo vocal training.

I’ve always found composing to be super cathartic and to be honest I don’t really know a life without it. Music is really fundamental to me.

PARIS IRWIN
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Your song 'Mute Me' was put up last year on Unearthed, what's the story behind it?

Mute Me comes from a place of angst and anxiety that I think every individual is faced with at one point in their life. The idea that you just want to be able to mute your own thoughts in order to get some peace of mind is sadly pretty universal. It also tackles the idea of having closure for your demons. In order to grow from adversity sometimes you have to accept that whatever you’ve experienced is now a part of you, and to move on from it you have to acknowledge that. “Cryptic curses crowd my bones, scars I’ll parade until I’m old” blatantly addresses this idea. 

When I compose, I tend to write in character so most of the time the stories I’m telling aren’t actually about me. However, Mute Me was definitely written from a more personal place then a lot of my other music.

What are your plans for this year?

This year I have a bunch of really exciting projects set for release that I’m super keen for people to hear. I am so proud of every single song and I can’t wait to finally be able to share them with everyone. I’m releasing a cover that’s dedicated to my Dad, so [to say] it’s special to me is an understatement. Then shortly after that I’ll be releasing my first formal original single Art, which should hopefully be out in May. 2019 is the year of hectic singles and hopefully more amazing collaborations.

How'd you hear about Industry Connect?

I follow Paces on Instagram as I’m a fan of his music and he posted about it on his story. I thought it looked interesting, so I investigated further and discovered the program.

Why did you decide to come along to Industry Connect?

I’m a big believer in utilising the resources available to you, so in my opinion not taking advantage of great initiatives like Industry Connect would just be unwise. I also love any opportunity to network and meet new people. It’s really interesting going to those kinds of events because you get to experience all sorts of eclectic personalities that only music attracts.

Registrations are now open for QMusic’s free professional development series Industry Connect, set to kick off in April, in partnership with venues and councils in Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Cairns. Once on board, 2019 Industry Connect participants will be in the running to receive a personalised PR and digital distribution package from GYROstream and the opportunity to attend a three-day songwriting retreat at Heliport Studios on the Sunshine Coast. The QMusic donor community will also fund five Industry Connect participants to attend BIGSOUND Festival 3-6 September, to further their networks and learn from some of the best minds around the globe. The bursary includes delegate passes, flights to Brisbane and accommodation.

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