Uncovering Future Soul Artist Inês Identity

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Hailing from Sydney, future soul artist Inês was born in Portugal and raised in Sydney’s Inner West. As a child, her mother’s love of poetry, Brazilian samba, American Jazz and the profound, melancholic moods of the haunting solo female singers of Fado began shaping her own musical experience. Her latest offering ‘The Vessel’ EP, showcases Inês in a stunning light, a vulnerable masterpiece of emotions stimulating all senses.

We sit down with Inês and chat about her latest single ‘Hands’, what it’s like touring with Matt Corby and finding her identity through music.

You just released 'Hands' could you tell us more about it?

I wrote it for my partner to basically pay tribute to him for putting up with all of my shitty behaviours. (Laughs)  I describe my mood swings and bouts of self doubt as being in a deep dark well. We all struggle with our mental health and navigating ourselves out of dark places, he was able to climb into the well with me and sit in it with me until I was ready to be helped out. I wanted the sound to be something that would charge our intimacy and get us back to our more physical connection. I have a tendency to over analyse and get stuck in my head, sometimes you just need to look at the bigger picture, get out into an open space where there is more room to move and really feel all the things, he brings me back to that, quiet smart that one.

Who are your favourite Aussie artists at the moment?

Vulture St Tape Gang, Kaiit, 18yearold Man, Broken Mountain, Grown Ocean, Godtet, Milan, Natalie Slade, Ngaiire, Left Projects, Bree Tranter, Timberwolf, Stella Donnelly, Clever Austin, there’s so much great music in Oz, I could go on... 

You've toured with some pretty big artists' before including Matt Corby, how does it feel to get out on your own?

I’ve been playing in bands for a long time now, so it’s always been a collaboration, even with my ‘solo’ project. I’m working very closely with my musicians, so I don’t really feel like I’m on my own you know? It always feels great to release something out into the wild; something that you’ve been nurturing, something you’ve put a lot of time and care into. Part of the thrill is that it will have a life of its own, separate from you and your influence. I hope my little songs do okay out there in the big wide world. 

You also dropped your debut EP, how did the concept come about?

At major turning points in my life my body has seemingly broken down in one way or another. When I fucked up my back at 16, I couldn’t dance anymore and had to reassess my identity. I lost my voice completely at 25 and had to go through it again. My body, my mode of transport through life, the tool I use to express myself outside of my own sense of consciousness was always being tested and so I confronted it. I wanted to focus in on the individual parts that represented aspects of my identity and assign metaphors to them. Being told by various partners that I can’t cut my ‘Hair’ because it’s what makes me sexy or trying to develop intimate relationships without being allowed to touch them with my ‘Hands’ were a few themes I explored. I also wanted to reject the idea that love is always represented as a beating heart or a broken heart, love for me is in the Lungs, the Lashes, the Hands. 

You've been in the music industry for a while, why did it take so long to drop your EP?

I always wanted to do a ‘body’ of work based on the Vessel and some songs just hadn’t happened to me yet. I hadn’t gone through whatever it was I needed to go through to inspire the work. The first song I ever released was called Lungs, that was technically part of The Vessel, back in 2014, over the last few years I’ve just been happy to let them come out when they flow out, so here they are. 

What stimulates your soul?

Nature, I have to be in the garden or a park or the bush, trees are amazing. I also I need to be near the ocean, getting in the water is the reset, that stimulates me. Good, warm, long, conversation, it doesn’t have to be deep just connected and present, and a hearty pasta. I wanna say gnocchi with gorgonzola and truffle, but really anything that is filling and strong flavoured that you can share.