Salli Edwards: Singer songwriter
As a journalist, Salli Edwards wrote about newsworthy subjects: crime, politics, celebrities. Now, she is writing – and singing – from closer to her own heart. But don’t expect the same old songs about heartbreak and relationships. When it comes to her music, Salli could easily be singing about darker themes, as she would be about love and a sunny day in April.
“Relationships, and even human experiences for that matter, are dynamic. They’re never linear. I like songs that peel the layers and approach them from different tangents, as you would a news story. Like a song about a breakup doesn’t have to be the usual ‘I’m so heartbroken’ angle. There are so many ways that emotion can manifest itself. It’s like taking a snapshot of a situation and writing from there."
The Filipino-Australian singer-songwriter was born in Tokyo, Japan and lived in Canberra, Manila, San Francisco and Milan before finally settling in Melbourne, Australia. Last year, she recorded and released her debut album Revolving Doors while in lockdown. It features the pandemic-inspired single 'Traces.'
Living a life anchored by music, Salli began performing in the US as part of a duo called ‘High Drama’ and then started writing her own songs not long after.
“I wrote my first song when I was living in San Francisco. At the time, we were doing covers mostly. Even though I loved the songs we were performing, I felt none of them adequately reflected or expressed my own experiences. So I ended up writing my own songs to express what I was feeling at the time and things I could relate to.”
Salli's musical influences are as diverse as the many countries and communities she has lived in or travelled to. Her songs capture pieces of places, people and fragments of moments. It is unsurprising then that she translated this into performing live with her guitar long before she recorded an album. Moving back to Australia, she fronted the band Beautiful Lucy's Room in Canberra before eventually settling in Melbourne.
“I've moved around and lived in many different places, but music has been the one constant thing in my life. While my songs are quite personal, I also like them to be universal so that other people can relate to them. It means a lot to me when people say how much they could relate to my songs, how the lyrics reflected how they were feeling.”
Salli names among her primary influences female singer-songwriters such as Aimee Mann, Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Stevie Nicks, Sharon van Etten, Ingrid Michaelson and Beth Orton.
“There’s a certain intelligence and depth to their songs, but at the same time a lot of raw emotion. I love how they write with such unabashed passion and honesty. They’re really writing about things that everyone – not just women – can relate to but more eloquently than the average person.”
Among Salli's other eclectic musical influences include Burt Bacharach, Sergio Mendes, Francoise Hardy, '60s folk, '80s pop, electronica, shoegaze and even traditional jazz. Her debut album Revolving Doors is admittedly (or even quite deliberately) a 'grab bag of different styles' and was described by Beat Magazine as 'genre-spanning.'
“I often feel stumped when people ask me what kind of music I do. Because all of my different influences come out in my music, that makes it really hard to define. But I guess that also makes it unique. I don't really like to pigeonhole myself as just focusing on one genre or style.”
These diverse musical influences and her varied cultural connections provide the perfect backdrop for the profound storytelling of her lyrics - based on her own life experiences and observations of life.
“Many of the songs in this album have been written over many years, in many different parts of the world. They are pages ripped from my journal, an amalgamation of life experiences and things I have observed and read about, or imagined.”
Listen to the album now!