Casual and friendly in conversation, it’s no surprise when singer Karise Eden says she enjoys a laid-back chat with punters after shows.
“I love getting to see the fans, meeting everyone one-on-one and getting feedback about what I'm doing,” she said from her home in south-east Queensland.
“Always after a gig I'll stand up on-stage and say, 'just give me ten minutes, I'll go have my little smoke and then I'll come back out, sign some stuff and say G’day’.
“I love doing that. I love that connection with the people and keeping it real... I'm just a normal person, and I like to talk and have a yarn as much as anybody else. That’s my favourite bit (of touring).”
Eden, 26, will be taking that distinctive voice on the road again as she tours in support of Born To Fight, her first album in four years.
On the album, she wanted to make music that showcased her passion for blues, rock and even power ballads.
“I’ve always been singing sad soul songs and I thought, just for once, there’s another side of my personality that’s never been shown on camera, my off-screen sass and who I am as a person, and that’s a lot of what poured into this album,” she said.
Experiencing a case of writer’s block and seeking a stronger work-home life balance with her young son, she was initially skeptical about receiving submissions from other songwriters.
“I was like, ‘I’m a writer, I don't know if I’m into this idea of singing someone else's songs’,” she said.
“But I eventually came around, found some fantastic music and I decided to take it in my stride."
This process taught her valuable lessons about songwriting, and inspired her to persevere and write material that may appear in the future.
Ultimately though, as the performer she’s the one who has to sell the new tracks on-stage on a nightly basis.
“I was the one picking the songs, and I’ll never sing a song unless I can relate to it,” she said.
“For me as a singer, I’m a very honest, no bullshit sort of a person and people pick up on that in interviews and stuff.
“Some might say I’m drifting into a rockier world with some of the songs, which may be a bit foreign (to some fans), but hey, I’m an artist and it's all about shifting, changing and moulding.”
The winner of the inaugural season of The Voice, Eden’s debut album My Journey debuted at No.1 on the ARIA Albums Chart and held that top spot for six weeks, eventually reaching double platinum sales.
It was the biggest selling album for a local artist in 2012 and broke ARIA Chart records - delivering four of the top five songs on the ARIA singles chart in the same week.
Although grateful for the platform The Voice afforded, and still performing songs from that era of her career live, after several years she’s largely “sick of talking about it”.
For all her success, Eden is also aware that some listeners may never give her music a chance given her television talent show pedigree.
“I even get flak for it now, but whatever,” she laughed. “I don’t really care, I'll just keep singing.
“People will come (to the gigs) or people won't, and that doesn't bother me. But I'll keep fighting for it, because I love being a musician and I love doing what I do.”
-Karise Eden will perform at Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul on Thursday, March 7. Tickets are available here.
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