Photography: Jessica Gwyneth
Named after an Aboriginal meditation practice, Didirri creates relaxing and thought-provoking music. The Australian solo artist's upcoming debut album Measurements is a collection of heartfelt songs and musical stories with charming melodies that explore his own morality, contemplations and personal realisations, as well as the boundaries within the world around him.
Ahead of sound-checking for his second ever London show in Dalston’s very own Servant Jazz Quarters, we caught up with the breakthrough singer-songwriter to chat about his upcoming album release, knitting and The Simpsons.
Didirri with 'I Can't Get Last Night Out of my Head' from his latest EP, Measurements
Hey Didirri! What comes first, music or lyrics?
It’s pretty varied. Usually with a lyric or an idea.
How did you write 'I Can’t Get Last Night Out of my Head'?
That one kind of wrote itself, at the same time. It was more of a reaction to a good night; I wrote it the next morning. I had some sexual health issues for two years of my life that meant I couldn’t be intimate with anyone – then I was with a partner and was cured by my doctor. I could feel stuff again, had a night with my partner, went off to London the next day and wrote it there. It was one of those moments where you didn’t know what you’ve missed, if that makes sense.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
I’ve been making music forever, for my whole life. The first song I properly wrote was like a breakup song, I guess – but I was writing with people before I was writing on my own, so it’s hard to tell.
How have you reacted to hearing your song out in the wild?
I’ve been in a few taxis and it’s come on the radio once or twice in Australia. I’m always a little bit proud! It’s cool to achieve things that you work hard at! It’s a shock still that people are interested. I’ve been making music for so long and to have it explode like this has been really cool.
Who was the first musician you remember seeing live?
I remember going to the Port Fairy Folk Festival... Maybe Paul Kelly who is a pretty big in Australia but not anywhere else. He’s like our version of Bob Dylan.
Are you into any Melbourne based bands at the minute?
There’s a band called Zoë Fox and The Rocket Clocks, China Beach, Totally Mild. I really like Angie McMahon, she’s a really good songwriter.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
Maggie Roses or Blake Mills.
Can you tell us a little bit about the first band shirt you ever owned?
The first band shirt I ever had was Tim Minchin, which is hilarious. I bought his shirt and a tea towel and that’s why I make tea towels with my lyrics on them.
And what top have you got on now?
This is a band shirt by Max Quinn – and it’s a response to Daniel Johnson’s album Hi How Are You?. It says “Good Thanks.”
There’s a picture of you knitting on your Instagram! What’s the last thing you knitted?
Knitting is a kind of meditation for me. When you do something repetitive with constant achievement, that’s what it is for me. I like knitting beanies, because you can get them done in one plane ride.
Do you make them for your friends?
Yeah. And I have one that has a D on it, but it’s covered up by the fold.
No, it’s good. I don’t want a big D on my head!
What’s the best thing about touring?
The more you do it, the more you feel like you’re going home to wherever you’re going. You make friends everywhere and it’s really cool.
What else are you doing in the U.K. while you’re here?
Doing a few videos, playing a whole bunch of shows, I did the Great Escape Festival in Brighton and I’m going to be doing some writing while I’m here, which is going to be really fun. I’m writing for an album at the moment, but I’ve got a lot of songs so it could be a few.
Can you tell us a little bit about your debut EP, Measurements?
It’s been a long time in the making. I started creating it in my room and it’s just grown and grown to something that’s now a world release, which is bizarre to me. My songs are something for me to live by, words of advice or warnings and golden rules for myself.
Do you have any words of warnings for your listeners?
I think that recently, people have been obsessed with taking care of themselves, which is excellent – but don’t forget once you’ve found some stability to take care of other people.
And just because, who’s your favourite Simpsons character?
Good question. I like Hans Moleman, I think he’s hilarious. And Paul McCartney whenever he’s in it... But Troy McClure really takes the cake. There are so many good characters. I love that Ralph quote, “The doctor said I wouldn’t have so many nosebleeds if I kept my finger outta there!” I like Homer, all the time he’s accidentally smart or really profound, but he’s just an idiot.
Join Didirri on tour, as he plays in Australia, New Zealand and Europe this Autumn. Tour dates here.
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