Thursday, 23 August 2012

Question time - who is Shelly Hughes?

Today's Question Time guest is the wonderful Shelly Hughes.  Shelly and I met at Summersong Music Camp a few years ago.  It was the first time for both of us.  We helped each other:  I could remember everyone's name and Shelly gave me joy just by being near her!  It seemed like a fair exchange.

Shelly is an incredible singer who puts her heart and soul into her performance.  See her if you have the chance.  She's just released an album which is on high rotation on my playlist.  I'm sure you'll enjoy meeting her.

1.    Who is Shelly Hughes?
Sheesh. Hard one’s first eh? Just a girl. One of the millions of girls. A very blessed and thankful girl, given a loving family, found wonderful friends, with a self proclaimed foot-in-mouth disease and general thirst for water… and lemonade.
A singer, and a songwriter, a singing teacher and a brain-stormer. I’m also pretty good at napping.

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your music?
 In everything and in nothing; but mainly in talking or thinking to myself to find myself traipsing across a delicate bunch of words that form a space in my mind of which I can’t let go. So I try to create its story further.
I had a million imaginary friends as a child, not just the one, but a school and a bus ride of them. My playful chitchats with them still play in my mind today as talking out things, issues, problems, wishes and dreams.
I take these musings press record on something and sit beside an instrument, a guitar or a piano or the bass player I think I am in my mind. I imagine singing my little family of words, as I’d want to sing them to a listener, considering emphasis, accent, tone and melody. And I go forth and hope I can find the music to sit around this skeleton perfectly.

3. You've just released an album.  What was the best thing about producing it?
 Having achieved it. Knowing I set a goal, worked towards it, and achieved it. And being proud of the result. I don’t know if it’s egotistical to say I like it, but I do. I’m glad I didn’t put all that energy into it to only hide it away on a back shelf… which I’ve done before. Of this album, I am proud. (Ed: I don't think it's egotistical.  There's nothing wrong with being happy with your work!)
4. What's your favourite word?
Penchant or ginger.
5. If you could play any musical instrument in the world what would you choose?  Why?
The drums.  The sheer perfect posture, ambidextrous, multi limbed, endless possibility groove of it all.

6. If you could script your dying words, what would they be?
I love you whumpet.
7. What gets your hanky in a twist?
Nuclear reactors, Coal Seam Gas, dickheads, people who are cruel to their pets, the cotton bag of plastic bags hanging in my pantry that I don’t know what to do with, and people who steal your thongs off the beach.
8. What's your musical ambition?
 To record an awesome album that I’m proud of, release it with a cool Record Label, tour and travel, live and love and spread a bit of happiness in the world.

9. What are you reading? 
“Sea Otters Gambolling in the wild, wild surf” by John Bennett.
I’m trying to find the bit that made me drool with laughter on a train somewhere in Europe years ago.

10. Finish this sentence, "If I wasn't making music I'd be...."
… probably a lot better at my day job.
11.  Where can readers buy your album? See you perform?
Head yourself over to and fill your cart up with an array of amazing music.
Of course, put my album “Where The Owl Was” in there first and then maybe pop in a touch of ‘Harry Manx’, ‘Kingfisha’, definitely ‘Kooii’, possibly a ‘Sara Tindley’, some ‘FyahWalk’ for your Sunday afternoons and maybe a little ‘Nano Stern’ for something different. There’s too many to name, they’re all so good.
You’ll get all your birthday and Christmas shopping done for the year and probably be the coolest person in your town.
You can see my band and I perform at the Mullumbimby Music Festival in November 2012, as well as around the Brisbane – Byron Bay area most of the time by checking out the Gigs page on my website at
We’re planning a little mosey down Sydney/Melbourne way in September 2012 so hop on my mailing list via my website and I’ll send you the nicest spam you can receive.
Thanks divacultura :)

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