Had you flirted with the idea of pursuing music professionally since you were first introduced to the piano, or have you only recently thought about it?
I’ve always wanted to pursue music professionally. It was my first love from the moment I began singing in church as a child and piano lessons when I was five-years-old. I feel incredibly lucky that I have a job that I love so much.
Why did you switch from acting to music? Is music more satisfying?
I’ve always been doing both the music and acting. It’s just that my acting career really took off in a major show when I was very young, while my first experience of the actual music industry wasn’t one that I enjoyed. This made my music take more of a backseat as a hobby, but I was always still writing and playing. I’m really happy that I’m now letting the music come to the forefront – although I’m still juggling it with my current TV role in BBC’s Waterloo Road.
What was it like working with Simon Cowell?
It was such a long time ago but he was such a total gent. I didn’t really enjoy the experience of working with a major label, but the best thing about it was that I made friends with Simon’s producer, Nigel Wright who I’ve stayed friends with for 15 years, and he’s just produced my debut album Fairytales.
You admitted you parted with BMG due to the control they wished to exert over you and your music. Do you think you’re better off for it?
When you are an independent artist you have complete creative control and I really am quite a control freak. I have song on my album called My Way Only, which tells you as much as you need to know about my ability to let anyone else take control.
Your demo was a huge success based only on your fan base and the internet. How do you think the advent of the technological age is contributing to independent music production and reception?
I think Twitter and Facebook is entirely fundamental for independent artists to build a relationship with fans and to get their music heard. We don’t have big marketing budgets so without social media, having a career would be much more difficult.
You’re performing in the Sydney Mardi Gras. What are you most excited for?
I was actually in Sydney Mardi Gras seven years ago and I remember looking out thinking, ‘Wow this is amazing’. So to be coming out to play is actually incredible. I also haven’t had a chance to play in sunshine so that’ll be nice.
You were named G3 Magazine’s Lesbian Icon Of The Year. How does that feel in times when same sex marriage is at the forefront of Australian politics and society?
When Lip Service first aired I found a lot of the attention quite difficult. The show was such a massive deal for so many, and as the only out actress in the show, did feel a slight burden of responsibility. But as soon as I realised how much my visibility meant to people, I just felt so honoured to represent them. I have learned to take it a bit more in my stride and I feel proud to be in such things as The Independent on Sunday’s Pink List and G3 Magazine‘s lesbian icon of the year.
BY TAMARA VOGL