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The Melbourne songstress delivers one of her most poignant tracks yet, accompanied by a smooth new visual.

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Following up from a stellar run in 2021, Melbourne pop anomaly ASHWARYA has just shared the hypnotic new video for her latest single, ‘FLARE’.  The video drop also marks the track being added officially to her acclaimed debut EP Nocturnal Hours.

“I feel like the video for FLARE perfectly encapsulates that dream-like feeling in the song with a lil splash of drama and tension,” says ASHWARYA. The ethereal video was directed by Charles Buxton-Leslie and styled by local designer Jaida the Creator, who put together ASHWARYA’s incredible outfit, and upcycled piece which was originally a thrifted bed comforter.

In celebration of the new track and video, we caught ASHWARYA to find out more about her creative process and her year so far.

Hey Ashwarya, can you tell us a bit about writing your new single ‘FLARE’?
It pretty much started from the guitar section that you hear at the start of the song that carries through the verses. Jarrad Rogers, Lucian Blombkamp and I were just jamming on ideas in the studio until that guitar melody Lucian brought in, really inspired me to write to it. Jarrad then created that dream-like piano section for the chorus that just tied in the whole song together. The post-chorus section was originally going to be the bridge, but it sounded so cool, we brought it forward and played around with the structure. I guess maybe for some people, it’s unexpected, but I think it just works really, really well – makes each section stand out even more. The song came together pretty quickly, well, at least in comparison to my other tracks. 

What themes did you want to explore with this track, and how does it differ from your earlier releases?
With FLARE, I wanted to play with the push and pull of emotions, to suppress them vs letting go of them, especially towards the people I love. I tried to interpret that conflict played out in the song. I guess that’s why there is quite a contrast throughout the song with the tensive verses and the soaring chorus. I wanted the chorus to feel like an emotional release with, ‘let it go, lose it all, let me fall’, being my favourite line, referring to that release, like – hey! Now I can finally feel all the weight being lifted.

I think FLARE more so ties in with my other releases. I’ve always tried to explore how I navigate my emotions through various experiences as honestly as possible and that’s what I have aimed to convey throughout this body of work, being Nocturnal Hours.

The visuals came out sick, what was the process of putting the video together like?
Thank you! Another lockdown shoot at home, produced remotely, with my friend Charles (Charles Buxton-Leslie) directing it over zoom. We just jammed on ideas and had a lot of facetime calls discussing how we wanted the tone and feel of the video to look like. I had a lil set up in the living room at home with the help of my family with a red backdrop, VHS cams and of course can’t forget the vaseline for the lens, which created that dream-like blur that you see throughout the video. Also, a massive thanks to Naarm based designer Jaida the Creator, who designed my outfit which was an upcycled (originally a thrifted bed comforter) piece. And big shoutout to David Tse for killing it on the edit. 

How has this year been for you? I’m sure there have been challenges with lockdowns. What’s been helping to get you through?
Yeah, it’s definitely been a tough year both mentally and physically, as I’m sure a lot of artists have experienced the same. As draining as it’s been, I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by a great team of people who have shown me so much love. Shoutout to my family and friends for being the best support system too. I also think just constantly creating in lockdown has kept me distracted, but I’m looking forward to things opening up this week and hopefully just feeling more stimulated. 

Who are some other local artists on your radar at the moment?
So much amazing, amazing local talent and currently I’ve really been loving ROYBOY, Daine, SAHXL & Chris Lanzon. All very different but I’m really enjoying what each artist is doing in their own lane and keen to hear more.

Lastly, what are your plans for the rest of the year and some goals for 2022?
I’ve already been doing so for a hot minute but continuing to make more music for my next project and, of course, collaborating with other musicians. I got some gigs coming up – NYE on The Hill is gonna be mad, been so deprived of live music and I’m really excited to finally be back on a stage again. That’s a big goal for 2022 – a shit tonne of live shows. I think this body of work being Nocturnal Hours will feel so full circle when performed live for people and the music was really meant for it. Plus, I’m so keen to have a chance to meet the people who have connected with the music so far.

Follow ASHWARYA here for more and check out the video for FLARE above.

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