Katie Stelmanis, face of Austra, has been tipped as the next big musical thing to come out of Canada. Based in Toronto, the most unique and multi talented musician and singer is making waves internationally. She may openly call herself queer and lesbian, but she is far from a one trick pony. She holds her own on her talent, but the pink card sure hasn't hurt her campaigning. Ms Stelmanis shares some of her story with our readership...
Probed about what's more famous - her real name or the group's, she doesn't mince her words..."I think I'm much more well known for the band name Austra, everywhere".
While the world is only really just now being splashed by her pink-ish risque music, Katie first played around with music at the tender age of 10, and considers she went pro at 19-ish.
She snatched a huge break in the industry after doing the SXSX in 2010. Just 6 months later a Domino deal fell into her colourful lap.
The self starter finds motivation in doing what she loves. Music is her lust, or at least a big part of it. She shares "I guess music is the biggest thing in my life. I've always studied it, done it, and that keeps me going."
Readers down under in Australia will be delighted, if not in ecstasy, with the news that Katie and her girlfriend fellow performers will be doing a live performance or three in late 2011 if they get their own way.
Katie has mixed feelings about press coverage, despite the vast majority being very kind to the sensual musical sensation. Just prior to speaking with us she had conducted an interview with Australia's Triple J radio station. She's careful not too get to caught up in the hype and believing her own headlines. In a bold and somewhat gutsy soundwave she told us "I don't pay too much attention to media or press as I think it can be dangerous to do so."
The invariable question of musical influences came up. Not to our surprise Ms S disclosed "Kate Bush is a big one for sure. Also Nine Inch Nails, Bjork and Nina Simone."
At this stage she produces her own music, but not the music videos, but one gets the strong feeling she wields a lot of clout on the set and the overall end product.
"I pretty much take full ownership of everything. I've never worked with a producer before. I didn't choreograph it. Self produced musically. I don't play a role with the music videos. I find other artists that I admire and get along with, and understand, and if we get along and make a connection we can collaborate", she said confidently.
Readers, if you like their sound, hold on to your pants or significant other when you lap up their music video delights. They take you on a trip, one that you may not have journeyed before, but fear not - its lots of fun, sexy and adventurous. 'Lose It' has got to be their overall best effort in music video land. You've got rocket launches, spaced out monkeys, sexy legs and even a bloody... and we mean bloooody, nose bleed. The blood coming out of the nasal region might have just as well come from down there. Whispers in the office of "drug culture themes" were overheard, but the upcoming queen bee of pink music only just touched on this, sharing that things are open to "interpretation", and started telling a feasible story of "Saving the world".
On the sexy 'Lose It' she elaborated with "I filmed it with director M Blash. We made a treatment, we liked the treatment, it made sense but it made no sense. It's open to interpretation. There's a strong theme of missiles, and saving the world. Yeah, its open to interpretation. The idea behind it was that I was saving the world from a missile."
The proud lesbian sensation plays up her beliefs and preferences in her unmistakable 'Young And Gay' number. With some gentle encouragement and probing she goes with "Yeah, I identify as lesbian."
No stranger to pretty decent press, one of her most recent print achievements was with Vanity Fair, in the 'Vanity Show' page no less, and what a spread it was... the favorite of her hand picked Toronto photographer friend.
She's quite the spiritual being, with her namesake coming from the goddess of light in Latvian mythology. On the question of star signs, she didn't hesitate with "Yes, I'm definitely a true Gemini."
Sharing her passion is something she holds dear to her heart and making the fans feel good is paramount to her being.
"I've always enjoyed music. Escapism, meditate, to feel good, to feel something, to listen... to escape. I hope they listen to the music and have a similar escapism feeling themselves."
When she's not doing music, the musical up and coming talent enjoys her wine.
Austra is a unique breed of animal and her singing voice is likely her most unique attribute, followed by her eye opening music videos.
If you have enjoyed Austra already you know how blessed you are, and if not, go on...treat, tantalise and titillate yourself, and give her CD a spin.
Austra official website