Frida | FReeZA Artist of the Month | Youth Central

Five members of Frida posing at a table setting.
Five members of Frida posing at a table setting.

Frida is a soaring, dark beauty – as emotive, wild and framed by flowers as their legendary Mexican namesake. The very definition of dreamy, this eccentric six-piece is led by Eilish Gilligan, a whimsical flower child with the giant voice of a choirgirl possessed. We spoke to Eilish on the release day of their debut EP. Read more below!

Firstly, congratulations on releasing your debut EP! How does it feel to finally have it out there?

Thank you! It feels incredible. We are really, really proud of this collection of songs and I think the band would agree that it’s our most exciting release so far.

You’ve had an epic year! What were some of your highlights as a band?

Well a big one would definitely be returning to Singapore to play some shows! That was an amazing opportunity that we were very lucky to be given through The Push and Noise Singapore. On top of that, I gotta say releasing the EP as an independent band has been a pretty big step forward for us too.

Any epic escapades planned for 2017?

Not as yet – we’re hoping to do some interstate shows at least – but you know what? If you’d asked me that question at the end of 2015 regarding 2016 escapades, I would’ve have said there was absolutely nothing planned…and then we ended up in Singapore. So you never know!

Who’s been some of your favourite acts to share the stage with so far in general?

Oh my god. So many. As everyone knows Melbourne is a wonderful melting pot of artists and we’re very lucky to share the stage with the best of the best – but we always love playing with Tetrahedra, Alex Lahey, Darling James, Fan Girl, Frances Fox, Tali Mahoney and Alice Ivy…just to name a few…

When you’re not playing music together, what other things are you doing?

Umm…good question – we do play a lot of music…! I guess we’re working day jobs – music teaching, working at local labels and music PR companies – and listening to a bunch of music just for the fun of it. We’re very lucky to be able to call our passion our career, too, but you do have to be careful to segment work and pleasure very clearly.

What do you set out to achieve with your live performances and how do you feel when you’re performing on stage with a live audience?

There’s nothing like it – very cathartic and spiritual; I kind of revere it.  I read somewhere that when you play music or sing with a group of people, your body releases endorphins to reward you for connecting with others (because, back in cave people days, if you didn’t form relationships with those around you, you were dead meat). Those endorphins, the adrenaline, the connection with others: it’s a very special, unique experience.

How do you guys come up with your material? Care to take us through a typical songwriting process?

It really depends of every different song. A lot of the time one of us will bring in a song form, or at least some chords or a melody idea, and we will arrange it together as a group. It’s a very collaborative thing.

 What kinds of things do you all like writing songs about? What comes easiest to you?

Well, I (Eilish) write a lot of the lyrics so I guess I’m qualified to answer this on behalf of the group…I know that personally I like to write about things that have happened to me, or at least happened around me. I like to write lyrics that people can insert their own lives and situations into, and I want to make them feel something, you know? I think it all somehow goes back to that cathartic performative thing that I mentioned before.

Last question: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Maybe something you can share and pass on to other young bands trying to crack the music industry?

I don’t think anyone ever told this to me explicitly, but through observing the actions and experiences with people who are older and wiser than I am, I would say the greatest piece of advice I could offer to someone entering the music industry would be to know your worth. It is so important to believe not only in your talent – which is only a very small fraction of any equation that equals success – but in your intellect, instinct and ability to work hard. I feel like this is a particularly pertinent piece of advice for any young women entering the industry – it can be hard to be assertive and to stand your ground, but ultimately it is so, so worth it. Call me and we’ll talk it out over coffee.

Where can fans find out more about you and your upcoming shows?