The distinctive sound of New Zealand rocker, Ladyhawke, transformed a Tuesday afternoon at JBTV into a whirlwind of passionate rock and roll. Now based in L.A. and rising quickly as a female powerhouse, her musical roots tell a more modest and homegrown story. In her exclusive pre-interview with JBTV, she describes days of posting homemade demos to MySpace and practicing on her step-dad’s instruments set up their front living room.
Ladyhawke shared five songs with the JBTV crowd including her hit My Delirium from her debut album. She described her inspiration for this song to be simply jet-lagged exhaustion and homesickness. She also performed The River, a song influenced by the myriad of beautiful rivers in her hometown, which she said she often felt drawn to in her youth. A Love Song and Magic touched on the realities of maintaining relationships, whether it be over time or distance.
Her songs’ inspiration shine clearly through her performances, but it all begins in the studio, where she says she always starts with a clean slate. Inspiration comes from simply messing around, having fun, and “seeing colors,” she says. “For this album I was seeing very bright colors, very uplifting and happy”.
She discussed her struggle of balancing life and music, and described herself as someone who “can’t sit still”, referring to her constant moves from continent to continent. In an upbeat track off her recent album, Let It Roll she opens up about the importance of not dwelling on things in order to keep moving forward as an artist and person.
While the Ladyhawke image is strong and unique, she says it is difficult for a female to gain their own identity as a songwriter and musician, citing incidents where people have asked her who writes her music for her or mistakes her for a band rather than a solo artist. She advises other female artists to speak up for themselves and stand their ground, “Don’t be timid, don’t sit back, say what you want”.