Demi Louise is a 20-year-old, unsigned, singer-songwriter from Australia who is making her mark on the music world. From touring with Kodaline, to winning the Australian Songwriters Association Pop Song Of The Year award, Demi’s voice is being heard around the globe. I caught up with Demi in a recent email interview, and we chatted about her inspirations, career on YouTube, what she ate for breakfast, and more!
A Perfect Playlist: How would you describe your sound?
Demi Louise: I describe my sound as folk/pop. My music is acoustic-based and something you can listen to on a Sunday walk.
APP: I love your debut single, “Ruins.” Tell me a little bit about it. What’s the story behind the song?
Demi: Thank you so much! “Ruins” is written about my grandparents’ relationships. Both my grandfathers were diagnosed with Dementia at the end of 2013, and it was a really hard time for my family. The concept of “Ruins” came about because it felt like a symbol of what was happening to their minds and the relationships being affected by it.
You love someone your whole life and watching their minds crumble as they become less of themselves is a hard thing, but beautiful at the same time (like ruins are) where you can elicit a whole new love in a relationship because of it.
So that’s what “Ruins” is about. The lyrics ‘we were in love once you know’ is about my grandfathers’ memories of knowing they were in love once and even though they may not always recognize that now, they always remember that the love they shared with my grandmothers was greater than any other–even amongst all the confusion.
APP: Tell me what it was like opening for Gabrielle Aplin & Kodaline last July! Kodaline is one of my favorite bands. So cool you got to hang out with them.
Demi: Ah it was amazing, as you can imagine! I got to perform with Gabrielle Aplin through an online competition she was running, which was amazing. She’s so lovely and the show was the biggest I have ever done–over 2,000 people was crazy! And such a prestigious venue as well…Nottingham Rock City.
Kodaline I got to meet through one of my YouTube covers–and it was SO amazing. The show was sold out at Whelan’s in Dublin and the venue was so Irish. It was so fun! Kodaline are incredible live. It was so great meeting them and just hanging out after the show, too.
APP: What’s it like being a young, up-and-coming musical artist in Australia? Was it difficult to get started? Tell me a bit about how your career in music took off.
Demi: It’s so fun! I just love every second of life, and I’m so lucky to have the experiences I have had. Australia is a long way away from the rest of the world, but I love that there is a turning focus on our industry at the moment. It makes it a special place to be a part of.
I started my music career really organically, to be honest. I began writing songs as soon as I started learning guitar. I never played covers… it was always about writing. I had always written poetry, so it was a natural progression when I started learning guitar. Then my parents encouraged me to go and start playing open mics– from there I started to get bookings, and then I started doing the whole YouTube thing!
I was really lucky when my manager came on board at the end of 2013–he has truly changed my life and it’s hard to believe we have only been working together for a year. Before that I really had no idea what to do in order to move forward in the industry, but now I feel more confident and I’m constantly learning!
APP: Who were your influences when you were younger, and who are they now?
Demi: When I was younger, my mum and dad always had music on, but neither of them are musicians. Mum was really into country, so maybe that’s where I got songwriting from. I think Colbie Caillat was who I listened to a lot when I was 16 and when I started playing guitar. So she shaped my sound a bit to start with!
My influences now are so broad. I listen to so much music. I love the singer-songwriter scene, and listen to a lot of Ed Sheeran, James Bay, Hozier, etc. But I love pop, too. I just try and explore all those avenues.
APP: What has been your greatest achievement so far?
Demi: I would say my greatest achievement would be the song that I co-wrote on the APRA-AMCOS Songhub with Joe Killington and Neil Athale. It’s called “Rivers Run To Red.” It was my first ever cover, and it was released by Charley-Ann who won the German Voice. It also won me my first award at the Australian Songwriters Association. It got Pop Song of the Year which was INSANE!
APP: Are there any women in the music industry that really inspire you?
Demi: Yes! To be completely honest, Taylor Swift has to be one of THE most inspiring women in the industry. She has an open nature in all aspects of herself as I do (she writes songs about real-life situations) and she has a team around her who completely understand what she is trying to accomplish. I believe it’s because she knows how to communicate with people to take control of what she is doing. She hasn’t been taken in a direction that isn’t convincing, and that is very powerful for a woman in this industry. I think she’s great.
APP: I love your acoustic EP, “Songs From My Bedroom.” What’s your favorite song off that album?
Demi: I would say probably “Mood For Love,” purely because of the reaction I get when I play it–people seem to really like it. And even though I feel like I have grown up 10000000% since I wrote that song, there is something about it that is so simple. I can remember writing it so vividly. (Right: Demi with singer & YouTube star Troye Sivan.)
APP: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Demi: Smoothie with banana, cacao, almond milk, dates and spirulina!
APP: Who was your first celebrity crush?
APP: Favorite candy/dessert from when you were a kid?
Demi: It was, and always will be…chocolate.