Ahead of two major music festivals, Thelma Plum found the time to chat to Grok about musical inspirations, break-ups and her personal identity.
Tell me about how your latest single, Not Angry Anymore, came about?
I wrote Not Angry Anymore after I broke up with my last boyfriend, who I was just so in love with. We had a beautiful, loving relationship, for the most part [Laughs]. I guess, after the breakup, you start to hold a lot of resentment, or you can build up a sort of resentment towards the other person. It took me a bit of time and a bit of reflection to understand that it wasn’t all on him and that I didn’t want to hold onto that anger anymore.
I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to.
Yeah, well I hope so [Laughs].
I loved the music video, it fit the so song perfectly. How was it working with Claudia Dallimore?
Oh my god, amazing. She’s just fantastic; she’s so good at her job and she makes working really enjoyable. She shoots predominantly women as well, which is great. She makes a really safe space, so I really liked it.
Where do you typically draw your inspiration from?
So many different things I guess, you know obviously love or heartbreak. With the last EP, I wrote it when I was 19, so it was a little while ago. I think now I’m ready to share a different part of me that isn’t just those love songs, it’s more of a reflection of how I feel being an Aboriginal woman in this country and how that felt growing up. I sing a lot about growing up, so a lot of the inspiration I draw now is from those experiences as an Aboriginal woman, which is something I hadn’t yet felt ready to share.
So, it’s been five years since the release of your last EP, Monsters, has your creative process changed over the years?
Yeah for sure. With this album, there was one before it that nearly came out and nearly happened, and there were some songs that were a couple years old. When it was time to record them, I was in such a different space, and with the music I release, I want it to be a reflection of who I am now, and I would like for it to show that I’ve grown as an artist and as a person. I guess with what I spoke about before, being more willing to share my experiences, so my vision has changed a lot in that way.
Is it difficult sharing something so personal for you with the public?
Yeah for sure, but it’s like, I’m a huge oversharer. I share way too much [Laughs]. I need to get a little bit better at that.
I guess music’s one good way to go about that.
Yeah, it really is. There’s something so therapeutic for me, in I guess a selfish way, to share things through my music and open up in that way. It’s vulnerable as hell, especially when other people are involved when you’re talking about lovers or people in your life and songs that are about certain things and times. It brings back memories, for not just me but other people as well. It can be nerve-racking, knowing that I might potentially make someone feel a certain way with what I’m sharing.
Do you typically warn people when they’re going to be featured in one of your songs or just let them figure it out?
No never [Laughs]. Unless you’ve really wronged me, then you can find out on the radio like everyone else [Laughs]. I think it’s really important to be aware as an artist of some of the things you might share, because we share so much and sometimes people might think that’s none of your business, but when I’m inspired by something, I’ll want to write about it, but I am very mindful of making sure that everybody is safe and protected.
Your single, Clumsy Love has been a massive success. Was this something you expected?
No! Because I hadn’t released music in so long, I was so nervous that I would come back and no one would want to listen to me. You know you have all those negative thoughts, but I also worked so hard on this song, and I’m really proud of that. I still didn’t expect it, but I am so happy.
Are you excited to be touring with Groovin the Moo?
I am! I’m so excited, crazy excited.
I also saw that you were announced in the Splendour line up!
It is, it’s pretty wild. These are both two festivals that have been huge career goals for me, so I’m really, really happy.
Do you prefer playing festivals over your private shows? I can imagine they’re very different experiences.
Yeah, they’re just so different. I couldn’t really choose, because there’s something so special about playing at a festival and seeing such a big crowd watching you, and it’s a bit like you’re on a holiday or on an island, somewhere really isolated, and just in that moment. And there’s always such good energy. But intimate shows are also really special, I think that they can be great, but I’ll let you know after these two festivals [Laughs].
Can we expect the release of your new album soon?
Yes, you can! So, it’s coming out in the next couple of months, so maybe by the Groovin shows there might be a new single out from it.
Thelma Plum will be heading to Bunbury for Groovin the Moo festival on May 11.