Turin is growing ever closer, and the line-up for Eurovision 2022 is quickly being confirmed. Australia is next to choose their act, with Eurovision – Australia Decides just around the corner! This Saturday February 26th at 8.30pm AEDT (10.30am CET), 11 acts will take to the stage, and artists are busily preparing themselves for their live performances.
In the lead-up to the show, we caught up with pop chanteuse Charley, and learnt about her song, her journey with mental health issues and her innate ability to harmonise.
Thank you for joining us today, Charley! What inspired you to participate in Australia Decides? Were you a Eurovision fan before the opportunity for Australia Decides popped up?
My family has always loved Eurovision and I slowly grew into it because of that, but every time they watched it I was working, so I couldn’t fully get invested with them or go to the parties they held. But then my team submitted my song to Australia Decides and [SBS] were like “Yeah…” (shrugs). But then my publicist sent another one to them and they were like “Yes! This is it!” When they told me they sent that other song to them, I was like “Oh my god, this all makes sense.” I never knew when I was gonna release [“I Suck At Being Lonely”]. It really needed a moment, because it’s such a dramatic and important song to me, so this kind of gives it its own life. It all just happened, it was coincidence – or something that was meant to be.
You come from a very musical family. What’s your first memory of music?
Singing with my sister. She grew up doing musicals, and I grew up doing musicals as well, and I would just copy her. I was talking to my mum yesterday and she said the first time she remembers me really loving music, my sister was learning a song for a musical and I just started harmonising over her. I was like 4 or 5. And she remembers turning to me and being like (shocked face)!
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your music before?
It’s very honest, it’s melodic, I feel like a lot of it is driven by my voice, it’s dramatic. It’s such a tough question because I feel like my music is a range of different genres and whatever I’m feeling on the day of writing. It’s very dramatic on every spectrum! (laughs)
You’ve previously said your second single, “Arizona”, tackles themes of mental illness, which is such a brave thing to speak out about. Do you have any advice for people out there going through similar experiences?
Especially with depression and anxiety, I think you just have to keep going. It’s such a tough thing to live through and sometimes you forget that you’re actually really deep in it, so honestly the best way is to keep going, keep moving, get out of the house and push yourself to do things, because what people say won’t help you – it’s what you say to yourself and how you push yourself to get out there.
You’re experienced in competition, having served some huge performances on The Voice Australia, twice! Do you think that’s been good preparation for Australia Decides?
I did The Voice 5 and 6 years ago, so it’s coming into it again and being like “Oh, okay… camera this and camera that!” (laughs) I feel like I’m diving straight into it again to be honest. I feel pretty fresh but I’m excited. I just want to feel the song and get grounded in that so I don’t get nervous.
Can you give us a quick insight into your staging concept?
I don’t know how much I can say, but there’s a lot of lighting going on. It’s mostly about the dress, and myself.
What is your favourite lyric in the song?
“I suck at being lonely” is one of my favourites because it’s so true. The second verse – “I don’t even know how I still feel so much. All these stupid boys, they can’t fill your void” – the whole thing’s very fresh to me again because it was the 4th time when I wrote the song, and now it’s been the 7th time that we’ve broken up, which was really recent so I’m going through it all again.
Have you listened to the other artists’ songs? Which are your favourites, and who do you think is your biggest competition?
I love all of them actually, I was blasting Paulini’s song yesterday in my room with my manager. (sings) We are one! (laughs) I don’t want to see it as a competition. I think it’s just fun going up there and doing Eurovision.
Thank you so much for your time, and best of luck for the national final!
Charley will perform fourth at Saturday’s show with her entry, “I Suck At Being Lonely”. You can watch the show live here!