Having amassed over 50 million streams globally, including 2 x Gold singles in their native Australia, ARIA nominated 3-piece SAFIA gave us the first taste of new music for 2018 with brand new single ‘Freakin’ Out’.
The tune saw the band return to an anthemic, groove-heavy sound with a warped quirky tone. Read our chat with the trio, where we talk about their new single and loads more.
Valarie – Welcome, SAFIA. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
SAFIA – Thank you, It’s a pleasure to be here.
Valarie – Consisting of members Ben Woolner, Michael Bell & Harry Sayers, SAFIA is being described as the most in-demand Australian indie band currently, how would you describe yourselves & where did the name originate?
SAFIA – Who has described us as that? That’s very kind of them indeed. I would describe ourselves as some sort of left of centre electronic pop band I guess. I usually find it hard to pigeon hole ourselves into any one box though and that’s what I like so much about the project. SAFIA means ‘pure’ or ‘purity’ in arabic, to be honest I cant remember exactly why we settled on that name, if we knew the project was going to be mildly successful we probably would’ve put a little bit more thought into it.
Valarie – As seen as an up & coming new talent, what surprises are in store for the year?
SAFIA – We’ve been writing a lot currently & we’ve been experimenting with & exploring all the different facets of our musical capabilities. We’re also re-building our live show, it’s going to be a lot of work but we’re excited to see where the end result takes us.
Valarie – Your latest single “Freakin’ Out” has made waves since it’s release. Any plans for new music being released this year?
SAFIA – Thank you, that song has always been a favourite of ours so we’re glad people seem to be enjoying it. We’re planning to put out a few more singles this year that’s for sure.
Valarie – Your debut album, Internal, was released in 2016. Are there any new albums, EP’s, etc coming out soon?
SAFIA – Yes, we’ve got a lot of songs in the work at the moment intended for a larger body of work so people can definitely expect a lot more music this year & next.
Valarie – You’ve worked with some pretty impressive heavyweights including Peking Duck’s “Take Me Over” & Alison Wonderland’s “Take it to Reality”. Are there are collaborations in the works?
SAFIA – Thank you, we’ve been pretty lucky to be able to work with a lot of incredible artists over the years. In terms of future collaborations there’s nothing set in stone at the moment but we’re definitely open to see what opportunities arise in the coming months, so not ruling anything out just yet.
Valarie – Having toured extensively around Australia, any plans for a tour outside of Australia?
SAFIA – Yeah we’ve toured around Australia a lot that’s for sure. We are definitely planning to start touring outside Australia soon, we’ve just been taking our time to get things a little more organised this time around because last time I think we rushed things a bit. We just want to make sure we can bring over the best show we possibly can before we tour overseas again.
Valarie – What other surprises we can look forward to in 2018? Any news you would like to share.
SAFIA – With each release this year we are trying to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones a little bit. We’ve been experimenting with ways we can do things differently this time around. Some of these things include putting ourselves to the front in film clips (something we haven’t done much of before), exploring ways to tie in new technologies into each release (i.e VR film clips/games) & show casing more of our skill set live.
Valarie – Top 5 artists that we should be on the lookout for?
SAFIA – I’m sure you guys are probably around most of these artists already but these are some new artists that I’ve recently discovered that have really inspired me.
– Moses Sumney
– No Mono
– Willaris. K
– Alice Ivy
– Genesis Owusu
Valarie – Choose one of the following in this rapid fire quiz.
Bologna sandwich or Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich? Bologna sandwich
SD Card or USB Flashdrive? SD Card
Country music or Pop music? Pop music
Hulu or Netflix? Netflix
Cake or Cupcakes? Cake
Aussie Rules or Soccer? Soccer
Melbourne or Sydney? Melbourne
Lamingtons or Pavlova? Pavlova
Top bunk or bottom bunk? Bottom Bunk
Driver or Passenger? Passenger
Valarie – If there was any superhero powers you could have, what would they be & why?
SAFIA – If I had to choose a superpower I’d choose the ability to control plastic (kind of like Magneto from X-men). I would then use this power to extract all the plastic from the oceans & then condense all that matter into a singular mass small enough to be sent into space on a direct collision course with the sun.
Valarie – If you weren’t musicians, would career would you choose?
SAFIA – Well, as a kid I always wanted to be a cricketer but it’s probably a bit late to do that now. I think If I had to choose I’d probably start another business using the experience I’ve gained from running a band, aside from that I’d also love to study a science. However, music is my true passion so I know regardless of whether it’s my main source of income or not i’ll always be doing it.