Interview: Pinkiscool's Meteoric Rise From School to Sony
From writing songs at the age of fifteen to being signed to Sony Music last December, pinkiscool has already had a wild ride and I have no doubt this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Sydney multi-instrumentalist released an anthemic single ‘Lose My Mind’ last month after working with Aria Award winning producer Adrian Breakspear (Gang Of Youths). This following on from his 2019 single ‘Monday' which garnered almost half a million streams on Spotify.
“The lyrics of 'Lose My Mind' explore the irony of happiness as a destination, something we are conditioned to believe we ‘arrive at’. When in reality, like everything, happiness comes and goes in stages. The song also focuses on the idea of imperfection; in the self, love, relationships, and the general idea of the human condition.”
In our chat his open mindedness and humility really shone through talking about defying gender norms, embracing authenticity and striving for his dreams.
What inspired the name pinkiscool?
I went to a private boys’ school and the culture behind masculinity there and the way it was dealt with was really toxic. As a kind of lol, because I was friends with everyone and had no bad blood between any of the jocks or the cool kids, I made my Instagram handle pinkiscool to **** with everybody and it kind of stuck. Some of my friends started calling me that and when I started doing music, people would start using the name in emails and other things, so it just kind of happened naturally. It was rooted in this idea of toxic masculinity to begin with but has now become more about not being afraid to be yourself and not caring about what other people think.
Who are your biggest influences?
The 1975 is a huge one. Twenty One Pilots is another one - the detail that goes into their lyrics and the way they record stuff, even down to putting little reverse things in some songs that fans will reverse which ends up as a link to a website or something. You can just dive so deep into it and I have so much respect for that. Apart from that, I listen to so much music there's no particular band or artist that I'm like, that's who I wanna be. Anyone who is doing their own thing authentically at a really high level I have so much respect for.
When did you know making music was what you wanted to do?
I've been making music since I was about fifteen. I started off making really heavy electronic stuff on my laptop in class. Then when I was seventeen, I was lucky enough to play a festival. After I played the small ten, I went to sit by the main stage as I had a backstage pass, watching all these acts I really liked. Then the promoter of the festival came up to me and was like, 'there's equipment running late for British India or something and we have forty five minutes from the main stage. I need you to get up there and play right now' and I was like 'what?' So I went up there and played a set for the first time, which happened to be in front of ten thousand people and I was crowd surfing too! It was definitely around that time where I thought if I can write stuff that's authentic and then play it to this many people, have this much fun and connect with people on these platforms as a job, why would I wanna do anything else?
Tell us about your journey from when you first started song writing to being signed to Sony.
While I was DJing, I was also in a rock band. We used to do covers and originals of Arctic Monkeys and Chilli Peppers and stuff like that. That's when I learnt really interesting song structures and cool voicings on guitar and how to really write. My mentor at school Rob taught me so much and from there my band and I would skip a full day of school and go to the music lab. I started writing and producing most of the stuff for the band and we'd play it. I started writing more for myself and wrote this song called ‘Monday’ just as i was coming out of school. I put it up on triple j unearthed and this amazing human called Tommy Jackson at Sony found it and called me. He was like this is really cool, you should redo it properly in a studio and put it back up. I was like alright and I re-did it and now it has half a million streams which is ridiculous. Then Tommy put me in all these sessions and writing camps over a year and I literally wrote hundreds of songs. Finally, at the end of last year I was signed!
Where do you get song writing inspiration from and what do you like to write about?
Relationships is a part of it obviously - that's always gonna be something that anyone can write about because everyone goes through it. Although this year I have tried to avoid writing about it because it's just so interesting what you go to when you're not writing a 'I miss you' type song. You get really interesting concepts. For example, I have this song about mental health and suicide, which will be on the EP coming out next year. I'm really excited to push that message and spread awareness regarding this issue. There's so many great charities and institutions in Australia that help with that and I'm really fortunate to have friends in the music industry who have similar values. Honestly, there's so much you can write about. It's just about finding whatever is most genuine.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I genuinely don't know but I will say if I’m able to do music as a job and not have to do anything else, then I will be very happy. Even if I can afford a small apartment in the city, then I'm good. Literally that’s all that matters.
I want to tour at some point, maybe internationally. That would be amazing to travel with my music. The idea of connecting people through one similar thing at that kind of scale is so cool to me. Having all these people that don't know each other come together in different countries to bond over something that you've created is just so amazing.
What can we expect from you in 2021?
The plan is to drop an EP. Hopefully everyone will like my music and if it's doing well enough, I would love to do a support tour with someone cool. I share management with Peking Duk so maybe someone like that. Hopefully I'll be able to play all this new music live and in person because I’ve literally never done that before under this project. I want to get more people listening and connecting more people through my music.
It was an absolute pleasure chatting with you pinkiscool. Can't wait to hear the upcoming EP and we wish you every success in the future because you deserve it!