When you were selected to play Bigsound, where were you?

I think I was at the airport, catching a flight to a show interstate.

Congratulations on your debut EP, No Hat No Play! Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the record?

Thank you! The record is about celebrating self-expression and challenging the notion that the older generation always knows better. It represents a growth in my confidence and maturity, when I learnt more about myself and a feeling of ease that came over me when I finally learnt to be myself.

What challenges did you face in the process of making and releasing the EP? In what way have you grown from those challenges?

One of the biggest challenging in making the record was obsessive intricacies and perfectionism. Starting a song is easy, but for me finishing a song is sometimes like wading through muddy water. Slow and steady, but excruciating.

I’m not sure I’ve grown out of this yet haha, but I am very aware of it, and have made promises to myself to make things simpler with my next project. I guess time will tell!

“Starting a song is easy, but for me finishing a song is sometimes like wading through muddy water. Slow and steady, but excruciating.”

What does ‘innovation in music’ mean to you?

Music that is ahead of the curve, music that pushes boundaries and introduces new ideas to the landscape. It’s a rare thing to find innovation in music these days.

Who do you think is leading innovation in your industry today? Why?

Technology mostly. In many ways, in its advancement, but also in the rebellion of this. If the same sounds and beats are accessible to everyone, music begins to sound very similar. Hence why producers now head out and make field recordings and find their own sounds. Innovation is often cyclical and a push against the norm - even if it means two steps forward and one step back.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?

Passion and love. Music is just fuel for the fire isn’t it?

What role does ‘fear’ play in your life? How does it affect you as a person as well as being an artist?

I think fear plays a fear in everybody’s life. However, fear is something that can ignite passion and encourage resistance and be a vehicle for change. As an artist, I recognise fears that have inhibited me, and how they could affect others - my fans, my friends. I try and find a way of writing music that faces those fears, and encourages people to stand up for what they believe in, and to ward off those things that attempt to tear them down.

Can you tell us about the name ‘Handsome’ and what it means to you? How did it come about?

There is an elegance and a romance about the word HANDSOME to me. It’s old timey and it is always something I have aspired to in my life - something I relate to more than ‘pretty’. I think that is the tomboy in me, or someone who celebrates gender fluidity. I also like the fact that a woman called HANDSOME can incite this question in the first place… it means that those who are listening, or who are intrigued have a moment to question gender norms, and there is a power in that. I also like the sound of the word HANDSOME when it is said out loud.

When was the last time you felt compassion for something/someone and why?

About 30 minutes ago. I have a puppy who is pretty much my daughter. Her name is River Phoenix and she looks like a little bear (she is a brown staffy). She has a funny manner and sometimes she can look a little sad. She has an intensity about her that I love so much, and it’s an incredible feeling to know an animal so well, from their eyes, to their ear movements. She was just sitting on the couch, looking a little sad. My heart cracks into a thousand pieces for her. Compassion may be an understatement. I gave her a little hug.

Quick-Fire Response! When you hear the word:

Patriarchy - A man made construct.

History - Or maybe Herstory? It reminds me of both the power and nonsense of language.

Plant-based - My band are both vegan. I often find it hard to remember what I can offer them for dinner or not.. I must get better at that.

Sex - Against a wall, or in the afternoon on the couch.

Privilege - When in the presence of my friends and family.

Sustainability - My herb garden.

Bravery - Power

Seriousness - Your face is all scrunched up. Sometimes a very necessary feeling.

Freedom - Connection is key and communication always gives you a freedom that you may not expect.

Home - Smell. My house smells different to other houses, and it smells so good to me. When I come off tour, and walk in the door it hits me so hard.

Lastly: Pay it Forward - Recommend a friend/acquaintance/hero to be featured in our next quarter and tell us why.

Kota Banks - I’m a fan. I think she is bringing some really powerful, confident and forward thinking pop to our ears, and I’m excited to learn more about her. I think there is more than meets the eye with Kota, and those types of people intrigue me.

Larissa Ryan