Alana Wilkinson was born into a family bursting at the seams with talent. Growing up in what she describes as a “very loud” household in Seaford, Melbourne, the young artist inherited a steadfast instinct to pick up an instrument and experiment with her vocal cords.
The daughter of a singer (her mother) and a keyboard player (her father), Wilkinson remembers her parents
helping her with music homework rather than maths equations when she’d return home from school.
A little unconventional? Perhaps. But in speaking with Wilkinson and learning of her desire to make a career for herself in music, it’s clear her quirky upbringing has played a significant role in her development as an artist.
“I grew up in the most musical family,” she says.
“There really weren’t any other options. I was in a band with a few friends but I kind of always wanted to play solo acoustic and be weird – that way you have a lot more freedom and you don’t need to march to anyone else’s drum.”
The rising star – who has been compared to the likes of Courtney Barnett and Emma Louise – says she can’t pigeonhole herself into a singular genre.
A self-proclaimed “mixed bag of lollies”, Wilkinson looks to other artists for inspiration when trying to put pen to paper during the song-writing process.
“I like the genre singer songwriter,” Wilkinson laughs.
“I find myself drawn to so many musical genres – they influence my writing so much and I never know what song I’m going to end up writing.
“I’m always listening and exploring, not only with new artists but going through and finding those golden, musical nuggets from way back when.”
The curious songwriter attempts to be relatable, honest and poetic in each piece of music she releases.
A naturally gifted storyteller, Wilkinson isn’t afraid to start awkward and delicate conversations.
“I guess I really like to uncover the things that make us all human, things people don’t necessarily talk about.
I have songs about when you have a kinky dream about your friend and don’t know what to do with those feelings. I have tributes to loved ones, songs about getting to know someone… it really depends on what story I’m trying to tell.”
Wilkinson’s sophomore release, Partner In Crime, evokes a deep sense of nostalgia and adolescent bliss as she pays homage to her childhood best friend who passed a few years ago.
A poignant testament to the friendship Wilkinson shared with Amy, the song was recently produced into a video clip by Honeycomb Productions.
“We (Wilkinson and Amy) were just little mischief makers. We got up to all sorts of things. The song is about looking back on the time we had as kids – it’s like a little time capsule for me,” she says.
“I get to remember her every time I sing that song in the fun, childhood sense – and that’s the picture it’s painted for me.”
Wilkinson, who will support ARIAwinning artist Clare Bowditch at this year’s Low Light Queenscliff, says she’s excited to be getting back to Queenscliff after having performed at last year’s Queenscliff Music Festival.
Alana Wilkinson will be performing at Low Light Queenscliff on Friday June 21 at Queenscliff Town Hall. Tickets on sale now via lowlightqueenscliff.com.au.