AMPA Backstage with Gaia Scarf
(AMPA BMus Student, Trimester 2)
Check out first year AMPA student Gaia Scarf, who recently won Best New Artist at the AMPA Awards Night, with her original “Where the Heart is”. Gaia is a contemporary singer, songwriter and guitarist from the Blue Mountains.
I sat down with Gaia to talk about composing, performing and life at the ACADEMY OF MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS.
How long have you been studying at AMPA and what do you like about it?
I finished my first semester at the end of last year, 2013. I felt like I came into one big, dysfunctional family lunch on my first day. Everyone knows everyone and it's just one big, happy, crazy family really, that's what I loved best. And the fact that everyone is so supportive and encouraging of everyone else makes it so much easier to excel.
What inspires you? What makes you want to sit down and write a song?
I love watching live music. Seeing other musicians share their music sparks so much motivation in me, I think that's probably my strongest source of inspiration. But I write a lot of poetry, which is a lot easier for me than writing a song, so it's great to find a concept that I love, write a poem about it and morph it into music if I can.
Tell me about your favourite artists and musicians.
I have too many to even list. Paramore is my ultimate favourite band. But I'll also go crazy about anything from The Story So Far to Keaton Henson to Beyonce to The Beatles.
You recently won Best New Artist at the AMPA Awards Night.
How did it feel to win the award in your first semester at AMPA?
I think that was the biggest shock of my life. I remember listening to the nominees being read out on stage and settling further into my seat thinking that there was no way I'd get the award. So, yeah, it felt pretty amazing hearing my name called out, especially when I was up against some of the most amazing musicians I've ever met. Huge confidence boost, wow!
What’s been a stand out in your music career so far?
Because I cover so many songs and release them on Youtube, rarely there is the special occasion that the artist actually sees and acknowledges my cover. It's happened a few times to me, sometimes by people I really look up to. But I think when Vic Fuentes, singer of Pierce The Veil, told me that I was a better sing than him on my Youtube page, that was probably the highlight of my life. Screamed for about 3 hours.
What’s your dream as a musician?
I would love to just make a name for myself. I can't wait to get a collection of originals together and finally make an album. Also, the idea of people singing along to my own songs is so unbelievably exciting.
If you could play with any musician (past/present/dead/alive) who it would be and why?
I'd kill to sing with Hayley Williams. Paramore as a band has changed my perspective on life and some of their lyrics have helped me so much (as lame as that sounds). To be able to perform with them would change my life forever!