By PATRICK CAMPBELL.
19 years old, toured the world, releasing a debut album, and still finding time to skateboard and be generally cool: SOAK is one person you won’t want to forget. We had a chat with her during her whirlwind tour of Australasia.
Born and living in Northern Ireland, Bridie Monds-Watson, AKA SOAK had travelled a long way to be in her Sydney hotel room when I spoke to her, but she sounded chirpy and excited for the days ahead.
Coming to the end of the Australian leg of her tour, Watson was going to spend the day skating around Sydney on a borrowed penny board before she got on a plane to Auckland. This is the life that the 19-year-old has become accustomed to very quickly, as she prepares for the release of her debut album Before We Forget How To Dream.
For Watson, getting used to the new lifestyle is all part of being in this industry at such a young age: “When you’re so young and surrounded by the older people, you have to grow up fast and learn to live like an adult.”
The pint-sized performer is indeed mature, calm and always cool. Whether she’s in the studio or at a gig, you can rest assured that SOAK is one chill person who doesn’t act like a teenager at all.
I was introduced to her music by her label boss, who described her as someone who “loves skateboarding and is totally rad.”
Many would assume that’s not the best way to sell her music, but really there’s no way you can translate how great her music is without just playing it. When you do play it, you won’t stop. All her songs are written about real life events, anything that makes her feel a strong enough reaction.
However, the artist follows no formula when creating a song. “It all just depends… Sometimes I’ll write a guitar line and go from there, other times I’ll have lyrics set out and take them into the studio.”
Listening to the track Blud, you get a feel for just how amazing Watson is. Her voice is layered and her lyrics are emotionally vulnerable, unlike anyone else of her age.
Telling the story of the song at her show here, Bridie revealed that the song was written when she was just 14, whilst her parents were fighting.
Lyrically, it is mature beyond her years now, as a 19-year-old, let alone as a 14-year-old. Other tracks, like Sea Creatures and B a Nobody are just as deep and well thought out. Whether she’s alone or with a full band, you can only focus on Watson when she performs.
When recording the new album, Watson found that there was something exciting about adding instrumentation to newer songs, seeing them evolve. This also prompted the artist to think about how she could create videos for these songs. “I enjoy making videos. I think it’s good to have a visual representation of a song, and it helps put across a new aspect.”
Before We Forget How To Dream seems to have a distinct theme, and is filled with emotional songs. When I asked about the weirdest dream she’s ever had, Bridie was more light-hearted than anything: “Probably when I was led down a lane in the garden by an old lady… It sounds worse than it was really.”
My final question for Watson was what advice she had for any young singers, and she was quick with a response: “It sounds so cliché, but it’s so true: Just be yourself. It’s so important in this industry.”
Following this chat, and the performance I witnessed, I have come away in awe of SOAK. Humble, talented and above all passionate, youth is no problem for Bridie Watson, who is set to blaze a bright trail around the world as she unleashes an incredible debut album on the world.
SOAK’s debut album: Before We Forget How To Dream is out now via The Label.SHARE THIS POST...