2013 sees two very different Bowie’s looking to make headlines in the world of music. We have already heard about veteran David’s shock return to the music world. But another Bowie might not be on your radar just yet. Bowie Jane is no-holes-barred pop star in the making from Down Under. But Bowie Jane is not a typical Aussie starlet. She hasn’t appeared in Neighbours or Home and Away, she has in fact been performing to very different, much smaller audiences.
Moments before I ring the Australian singer in the early hours UK time in December, she has been in court, nervously wondering whether she would make this phone call. However Bowie wasn’t in the dock, instead she was living one half of her extraordinary double life. By day the 27 year old practices as a criminal lawyer, before transforming into a sexy, sassy and energetic pop star at night. It’s like a female version of Clarke Kent, just without the fear of Kryptonite.
“It’s very hard getting the balance, especially ahead of coming to the UK (in the spring). I’ve always performed, although when I studied it took a back seat, but the last few years it has gained some momentum. I kept song-writing all the time and now there is starting to be this cross over. Here (in Australia) I am not known as a performer under the same name, so it’s OK. But last year I was doing a trial and I was the junior barrister. The senior barrister was in charge and I sat in meetings knowing that I had to perform at the Australian Open nearby. I am there going ‘yep yep that will be fine’ – and then I would run down the road, change and appear on stage just hoping it wasn’t on TV!”
The conversation sparks images of a woman stripping from lawyers garbs into the pop-siren outfits that adorn her website in a phone box. The scene playing in my turns me into Alan Partridge momentarily and the interview could take a bad turn as I ask about making the most of the transformation
“Yeah ripping off my (lawyer) clothes on stage. That would be interesting”.
Slightly hot under the collar and trying to concentrate I press on to ask why she’s keen to break the UK music scene – and doesn’t she know about our weather?!
“I love UK pop, and I think my music fits well there. There’s a specific sound it has. I will be coming over a few times in 2013. I was there in July (2012) and when I returned home it was absolutely freezing and I couldn’t cope. It was funny though because when I returned back to work no one knew where I had been. Literally five days before I had been in a nightclub being introduced as Bowie Jane, and then there I am stood in a country court in front of the judge thinking ‘what’s my name’ and wondering have I left my black nail varnish on!”
Has no one recognised you from a gig in court?
“No not yet surprisingly actually. Sometimes I see people that I recognise but they don’t recognise me because my hair is different. I have a fringe on stage and I have no fringe in court and often it’s under a wig – so it’s hidden”
Will you have to choose between the two?
“I can’t wait to just be able to do the music full time, that’s my real passion. I just want to be on massive stages appearing before massive crowds. I don’t want to be doing the law. I don’t mind doing it but it is definitely my priority to get the music going.”
What music’s inspired you?
“I have always loved pop music, to the point that I would get teased at school for listening. Everyone would be listening to cool indie bands and I was listening to the charts.”
Is Kylie an inspiration for her music?
“Pop isn’t so prominent in Australia – not for home artists – really overseas artists. That happened to Kylie. People here started to give her credit when she started having success in the UK and then her following grew. Sia and Havana Brown have had more success abroad then in Australia too, so the markets very different. The festival scene here tends to be more indie, while on radio it’s a lot of international artists that get played.”
Bowie Jane’s assault on the UK really begins in earnest with her single Luv Bomb – a full on pop assault of your eardrums. Catchy in just the right way – the song packs a mighty punch
“The lyrics are about unrequited love. Perhaps when a friend makes a move on you when they have had a few drinks and you’ve made it clear you are not interested. And it real ruins the friendship. I have some ballads that I have written, but I wrote the songs thinking about being on stage and I wanted to be having fun and I want the audience to be having fun as well.”
It’s almost 2am, and I have to cut short our conversation, before I dare to mention cricket, barbeques or any more Aussie clichés. What’s clear from our chat is that despite this intriguing back story about her daytime job, Bowie Jane is not going to be distracted from her ambitions. She is a determined and hugely aware singer and I think the UK might just take to her refreshing charm. She arrives here for some gigs next month.