Little did Delta Goodrem know in 2003 as she stormed the Australian and international charts with her debut album Innocent Eyes, what a life changing impact she was having on a young teen from Auburn in Sydney. Blown away by Goodrem’s music, Frances Castley wanted to emulate her. She credits this early introduction to music for providing the “much needed soul therapy” she needed throughout her teenage years.
“I think Delta epitomised who I wanted to be when I grew up. She was an amazing singer and great pianist and I idolised this. I loved to sing and play piano. I used to imagine myself being like her. I also found her music to be so pure and authentic which is something that to this day I still cherish. I endeavour to deliver music that is pure and authentic to me. Her music makes me feel things and that’s what I want my music to do.”
What do you mean when you say that it provided much needed soul therapy in your teens?
“I had a complicated upbringing. My mum had an abusive boyfriend for many years who was a drug user and in and out of jail a lot. I remember a lot of pain and struggle that I had to watch my mum go through, which was also painful for me. By my teens this man was finally no longer a part of our lives, but my mum owned two Thai restaurants one of which I ran by myself. I found myself dealing with pain from my past manifesting itself through depression, and also running a restaurant full time while also being in high school which comes with a set of its own issues. Music was my only outlet. At first I just kept it to myself, but when YouTube came about I saw it as a good opportunity to see if I was any good.”
Was it hard to make the cross from performing to people on YouTube to your live performances?
“ I don’t remember it being too hard. My first live performances were in high school in music class then at assembly. I think I had gained enough confidence through the feedback that I got from YouTube. It gave me enough courage to get in front of my peers. It was nerve-wracking for sure, but exciting.”
You have a new single out called: Don’t Get It. Can you tell us about this?
“This song has been in the works for a couple of years. It’s about a certain relationship that brought out all my insecurities. I suffered a lot throughout this relationship and didn’t know how or if I could end it. I would use justifications for staying in the relationship like… well, if it’s not you that brings out all this pain in me, then someone else surely will, so what’s the point in leaving? We ended up being in limbo for many years (in fact still are) too scared to leave, but too much in pain to stay and commit and would constantly bring me back to the question… I don’t get it, are we together or not? My next project will be an EP”
Pearls of wisdom from your journey so far?
“When I first started my originals project 2 years ago I started a crowd-funding campaign to help with the production of my first EP and also to go to the States. I asked for $4500 and had 2 months to raise the money. Toward the end of the campaign, on the last day I had only reached about 86% and really wasn’t sure if I’d make it to the end (if I didn’t make it, I wouldn’t get any donations at all). In the very last hour I saw that I had exceeded my asking price by $300. Of course a lot of people had left it to the last minute to donate but also, one person had donated $500. I had to ask him if it was an accident. It wasn’t. He told me a couple of years back I was playing in a dingy bar to just him and the bartender and he was staying in the hotel above the pub and was going through a rough period of his life. My music that night gave him relief even if it was just for the night. I was amazed and shocked because I succinctly remember that gig, and remember feeling so insignificant and hating that I was playing to no one. It just goes to show that the impact that you make in this world is more than you’ll ever know.”