Cutting her teeth as a singer-songwriter in tropical Cairns, Hannah Karydas relocated to Brisbane, and later, abroad to London, to pursue her musical career. The national tour of Hannah’s debut album, summerskin, culminated in her hometown last month under the stage alias, Eves Karydas. Her extensive fan base, growing industry accolade, and intoxicating electro-pop sound, firmly establishes Karydas as one of Australia’s soaring stars.
DUO: First up, congrats from all of us here in the North. On the cusp of a national tour for your first album, you are literally selling-out major venues!
Thank you! It’s very validating. You spend so long putting everything together. First of all writing songs, and then trying to build a rapport with people when you’re doing support tours. You suddenly get to see the connection people had with your music come back to you in a tangible way. I was supporting a band at The Corner just last year in Melbourne, and now I’m back there on my own tour! I’m just so stoked.
Photo by Michelle Pitiris
DUO: 2018 was a hyper-reel of success for you. You were interviewed by British Vogue, rose as triple j‘s 29th most played artist, and were the 16th biggest Aria Chart’s musician. How do you process so many achievements in such a short space of time?
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Last year was incredible; it was all so new to me, so it was easy to get swept up into feeling anxious and to also start comparing myself to others. But comparison stops you from being present. It all feels real the minute I stop and think, ‘I’m grateful for everything on my own journey.’ So I’ve been doing that; practising presence and gratitude to really soak it all in.
DUO: It’s been reported that your relocation to London in 2015 played a major role in the production of your new album; would you agree with that?
I followed through with my childhood dream to live in London because I felt I needed to put myself in a semi-challenging situation away from home comfort; in not only a culturally diverse place but also a very ambitious place. I had to grow as a person, become resilient, positive and focus on accomplishing goals. I would say that’s how my time in London played into my new album; the album is underlined by a sense of empowerment.
DUO: As the Magazine of the North, we’re pretty darn proud of the fact that you were born and raised in Cairns. Did growing up in North Queensland influence your development as a Musician?
Oh yes, one hundred per cent! Cairns has been a huge part of why I do what I do. My whole childhood was spent in Cairns and my oldest friends still live there. When I was 13, my parents took me to Mondo’s on The Water where they held a weekly Singer Songwriter night; that’s how I was first inspired to perform. From there, I played regularly at Mondo’s, on The Esplanade and at the Tanks Markets. Without those outlets, I’m not sure what would have happened. Cairns has a really supportive ecosystem for aspiring songwriters, which is so specific to the region. I really flourished because of that.
DUO: You’ve been incredibly busy in the lead-up to your tour; supporting The Wombats, playing the Falls Festival, and now touring with George Ezra! How do you keep your stamina and focus on-track?
Being on tour, you fall into the habit of takeaway food, and I really miss home-cooked meals. However, my mother’s a naturopath, so that helps, and I also try to eat well. I grew up in North Queensland, so being outdoors comes naturally to me and is a big part of maintaining my sanity. I try to spend time being active outside every day.
DUO: Okay, so let’s get down to business. When you’re home visiting family what will you request as your favourite home-cooked meal?
It would have to be my Papou’s fried fish. He would catch his own fish and fry it; I don’t know what he did with it, but it was the most delicious fish you’ve ever had. A lot of my Greek family lives around Innisfail; Mena Creek is where my Dad grew up and My Aunty and Uncle still live there. It’s beautiful country, full of fresh produce and good seafood.
DUO: I was fascinated to learn about your extra talent of synaesthesia; how does this quality impact your music? Do you see the sounds you create merging as complimentary colours?
It’s difficult to explain, but I truly believe everybody has a sense of it, because, colours reflect emotions in a way, and music taps into our emotions. If you could picture colour for a staccato string session versus the colour for a deep, baritone trombone sound; they’d be opposing colours, right? One would be a citrusy, piercing colour, the other a deeper and darker blue. There are sounds that share a certain shade to other songs that evoke a similar feeling. It definitely helps with my tones, ‘does this go with this,’ because, you know, certain colours don’t work together, right?