In the 15 quick minutes we had on the final afternoon of BIGSOUND, Deena Lynch swept me away in her truly captivating storytelling. A self-made musician throwing herself entirely into the deep end of the spectrum but now floats head and shoulders over the rest with the impending release of her third studio album. I learnt a little something about myself in my conversation with Deena. Maybe you will too…
Tell us a little about yourself, Deena.
Deena [Lynch]: I’m Deena. I’ve got a Taiwanese mum and an Australian dad. I came to Australian when I was 7 and didn’t start music until I was 19. I took to music when my best friend passed away and I took to music as a completely random outlet. I was in that mind frame of preservation, so I went over to the States and told everyone I was backpacking for 6 months. But, little did they know, at the moment, I stayed in the one place where I recorded my first album.
It was just 12 tracks but I thought, “Well, 12 tracks is basically an album. Why not make a CD?” When I came home and presented this album to everyone, no one had any idea that I could sing or play guitar. For an album with no promotion or real backing behind it, it went really well. A lot of people bought and then were asking if I was going to play a gig. I thought, “No way! Gigs aren’t for me, that’s crazy!” After about 2 or 3 months I played my first show in Melbourne. I enjoyed playing live so much and just went crazy on touring.
Until about last year where wrote some new songs and recorded the second album which was released at the start of this year. I’ve really thrown myself in the deep end with music. Loving it and working it toward another single release at the end of this month.
Why do think music stuck to you as apposed to some other creative outlet?
Deena: Up until the age of 19 I was much more into the visual side of art; graphic design and drawing. I suppose that creative spark was always in me but I was always very, very reserved and shy. I mean, I still am, but it’s taken me a lot of gigging to coax me out of my shell. When my friend passed away I must have had this seismic shift and decided to go in a very different catharsis.
That first record of yours must be very personal one. Was it difficult to document what you wanted to say?
Deena: It was extremely personal but it was just me recording these song for the sake of recording them because I just wanted them preserved. I never had in mind my artistry or sound I was trying to achieve. If you listen through the whole thing, it’s this eclectic mix of whatever I felt like doing. There was no vision.
When the second album came out at the start of this year, it was a monumental shift in sound. There was a 2 year gap between records and that’s been time for me to explore my artistry and develop who I am as a musician because I haven’t had the time to that.
Was it difficult or scary playing your first gig?
Deena: So scary! I actually played my first gig in America while I was recording that album. I just invited the friends I had made during my time there and we put together a little show just for me. I was so shy to the point that I don’t even think I played guitar. I was sitting on a chair facing away from people with my band members standing and facing the audience. I even had a music stand with all my lyrics on there because I just wasn’t confident enough to know all my music.
You’ve played a lot in the Asian provinces. Do you feel like you music has made a better connection over there?
Deena: I don’t think so. Asia is such a massive place and the places that I’ve gigged at has nothing to do with my culture or my upbringing. It just so happens that my fan base is pretty widespread from Australia to around the world. I’ve done a lot more in Malaysia and Indonesia while not even being able to speak their languages. Over there, the people are so supportive and appreciative of music. They’re afraid of telling you if you suck or if they’ve had a cathartic experience while listening to your music.
Let’s move to some quickfire questions. Dream merch table item?
Deena: A Deena action figure!
Your go to karaoke jam?
Deena: Celine Dion! It’s not so much a secret but it’s definitely a guilty pleasure. I actually did my very first karaoke session about a month back and performed Celine Dion. Have to say, highlight of my music career has been winning the $50 voucher from the karaoke bar for my rendition of Celine Dion’s classics!
Deena: Dancing. I shred the dance floor. It’s like a car crash… You can’t look away.
Deena’s new single ‘Turpentine’ is currently on high rotation on Rabbit Radio.