Leading into this year’s Eurovision: Australia Decides, Sydney based artist Montaigne has found herself as one of the top favourites to take out the competition with her song, Don’t Break Me. We spoke to Montaigne on the eve of the national selection on how her participation came about, and how she shares her message through music.
Activism and Music
It’s no secret that Montaigne is passionate about many issues facing our society, whether it’s climate change or women’s and queer issues. We have seen it come through her music, most notably her song ‘Ready’ which she describes as ‘an anthem for activists’ however rather than purely focusing on getting her message across through music, she puts a strong focus on being a ‘good citizen and activist’ in her everyday life.
She describes why these issues are close to her heart, saying ‘It’s directly applicable to my life. Me existing as I do as a queer woman adds to the cultural dialogue. I don’t have to necessarily speak about it in my music – I just had to exist for that to be enriched.’
Given the recent bushfire crisis, Montaigne has been vocal on her stance on climate change, but prefers to use her status as a public figure to share these messages, saying she is ‘not good at putting activistic things overtly into music.’
Taking back creative control
Montaigne was asked to participate in Eurovision: Australia Decides in 2019, however she had been sent a song from the SBS portal, and quite bluntly, she said ‘I didn’t like the song, so this year they asked me again, and said I could have creative control.’
She worked with the songwriting duo DNA on her song, Don’t Break Me, and enjoyed the partnership due to the fact that they were fast songwriters, and so is she.
She also described the songwriting experience as emotional, saying ‘Songwriting sessions tend to be like therapy sessions. In order to get to the heart of what you want to write, you need to be able to talk about it.’
the favourite to win?
We asked Montaigne how she is feeling knowing that he is one of the hot favourites to win the competition and represent Australia at Eurovision, and she is aware of what’s happening around her thanks to her Grandma!
‘My Grandma sends me things all the time. I don’t really feel the pressure – and if I do I’m not wearing it. It’s all subconscious. I get out there and I do the best I can. If i don’t do well I don’t do well, but if I do, people’s perceptions are correct!’
Australia Decides 2020 will take place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on the 8th of February. The show will be broadcasted live on SBS from 7:30PM AEST, and will also be live streamed via SBS Australia’s Facebook from 9:30AM GMT.