In 2017, Didirri supported major Aussie musicians including Vance Joy, Tash Sultana, The Jezebels and Jack River, and released his stunning breakthrough single 'Jude'. This month, he premiered his latest track 'Formaldehyde' and announced a national tour of the same name. Things are getting big for the Melbourne-based musician.
With a name derived from an Aboriginal word, Dadirri, meaning 'the concept of inner deep listening and quiet still awareness', the artist connects with his listeners through deeply personal lyrics, thoughtful storytelling and a straight up lovely voice. Listening to his music a cathartic, crushingly beautiful experience. As worn as the phrase is, Didirri is truly 'on the rise' - one to watch.
We chatted Tina Fey, honesty on stage and recording his new EP with Didirri ahead of his WOMADelaide performances next month.
BNKR: Your Triple J Unearthed bio describes your music as ‘unapologetic storytelling’ – why is the storytelling element of music so important to you?
Didirri: It is the most fundamental element of music. Music is born from those unspoken truths. The feelings that seem self-evident and yet needs to be said in something better than words. Storytelling IS music, music IS storytelling. I give my audience a helping hand in understanding what my music has to say by having a ‘one-on-one’ chat before my music.
You’ve listed Tina Fey and Stephen Fry among your influences, which aren’t necessarily the most obvious choices for a musician – how do they influence your work?
Both Tina and Stephen got me through my teenage years. I mean this in that kind of sinister teenage, pretend you know them personally by using their first name way. I try very hard to respect language and manipulate it in a playful yet poignant way. Tina and Stephen do this in a most impressive way. It is important to be inspired by other mediums, it brings out the best in your work.
You performed to some packed crowds in 2017 – including BIGSOUND – and you’ve also made your debut headline appearances too. How does it feel when you see the audience connect with your music?
I must confess the first time I saw people singing my song I had a very strange reaction. I had no idea what to do. I was a deer in the headlights. I am becoming more in tune with the feeling however. It is amazing to see a group of people potentially feeling and thinking the same thoughts at the same time. That hive mind mentality is why live music will never die. In short, it feels incredible.
‘Jude’ is arguably your breakthrough track, and it deals with some issues very close to you – is it difficult exposing yourself like that to listeners?
It used to be difficult for me, to be honest. Now it is quite the opposite. I try not to hide much on stage because I feel like people would see straight through it. I know people can tell when I am touting some bullshit on stage. Honesty is the quickest way to people understanding where you’re at.
What artists are you listening to at the moment, and why do you connect with them
Re-obsessed with Bon Iver, 22, A Million has really changed my views on what is possible in an album.
You’re releasing your EP this year – how was the writing and recording process for you?
Writing and recording measurements has been an absolute pleasure. It feels like a very short labour of love, just me and Hayden Calnin in a cave. Whenever we need musical company or otherwise we invite people into the space. It has been an incredibly organic process - as much as that description has been overused, it’s the only way to explain the flow of a good musical project.
You’ve had a crazy busy couple of months with all your shows – how do you unwind?