SAFIA talks THIS THAT & the new album

Recently, Canberra has produced some of the finest when it comes to music, one of those including SAFIA. Though after hearing their material for a matter of years, they have finally released their debut album Internal, focusing on their journey within the music industry and maintaining relationships in the process.

With their national tour starting later in the month, one of the stops includes Newcastle’s This That Festival. Chris Daniel chats to the voice behind the electronic trio, Ben Woolner about the album and what we may expect during their visit.

How does it feel to finally have the album out there as a finished product?

It’s absolutely crazy, too surreal in fact, so it’s a little hard to know how to feel at the moment. What we have has been sitting in our possession for so long, and it’s just good to know that people are finally beginning to hear it.The craziest part, even for us, is that it feels like we have been doing this forever, releasing singles and establishing ourselves, so being our first album, it’s pretty crazy.

The craziest part, even for us, is that it feels like we have been doing this forever, releasing singles and establishing ourselves, so being our first album, it’s pretty crazy.

What would you say is the creative force behind SAFIA that makes you so different?

I really don’t know. In Canberra, it is really unrestricted. There is no real scene because it’s so much smaller, meaning that the creative community is also much smaller. We don’t have cool parties to go to all the time, so we just sit back and write music. That being said, everyone is really supportive of each other.

So it’s really independent I’m assuming?

Well yeah, there’s no real industry, which is nice in my mind. We like coming back to some form of normality. As much as I love the bigger cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, there’s always so much happening. With all the amazing artists centralized there, everyone gets to hear each other’s music. For us being a little more isolated, it means that we don’t necessarily hear as much stuff, so we aren’t as influenced.

Back to the album, there seems to be a link between some of the songs. Notably, Over You and My Love Is Gone. Does this album have a bit of a personal feel to it?

Oh yes definitely, there’s a personal touch to everything that we write about. Over You and My Love Is Gone aren’t super connected, but they both look into the relationship side of things. Over You is about getting over someone sexually, whereas My Love Is Gone stems more towards maintaining that balance between the music industry and relationships. There is a similar thread between most of the tracks, but it is more of a comment on social issues. Then again, some songs are purely just storytelling through a different perspective.

So music is a way of releasing emotions for you?

Definitely. I like to keep things vague. I give lyrics an old school meaning so people can interpret them themselves. There’s a basic theme within the lyrics as I said, but they aren’t super literal meaning range of different things. I create very visual lyrics, putting together words that roll around different scenes.

Was there an overall collective theme behind the album, or is it a collection of songs you have acquired over time?

There wasn’t an overriding theme lyrically. Since the songs have been written over such a long period of time, it explores our journey as musicians. When we looked back at what we had recorded when we first thought about releasing the album, we didn’t think it would work. Some songs were written too far apart and they were too different, but there was something weird in the way we were writing that brought them together. So, in the end, there was a similar stain. So we took those and made it a cohesive journey from start to finish, whilst still making sure that the songs were super diverse and different.

Your national tour starts later this month, one of those stops being Newcastle’s This That Festival. Is there anything new and exciting or completely different we can expect from SAFIA?

I’m hoping we can bring as much from our show production from the tour as possible. It’s always been so easy to pick our sets for festivals, because we have had such a limited amount of songs out in the world, but now it is going to be a lot harder. After doing a bit of our tour we will be able to gauge which songs are connecting with the people the most. We do have a few surprises in our sets that we are working on at the moment and a few different versions of things that we have done in the past, a couple of sneaky covers here and there too. So yeah hopefully we can bring as much of our production as possible because that just adds a whole new element to the show.

THIS THAT: Line-up

























THIS THAT: Tickets

WHEN: Sat 5th NOV

NOTE: This is an 18+ event

Members presale on sale Tuesday 9th AUGUST

General Public on sale Thursday 11th AUGUST

1st Release: $109.90+bf

2nd Release: $119.90+bf

ALL THAT {vip}: $159.90

Click here for vip tix inclusions:

Supported by triple j & Newcastle Council.