We sat down with Homegrown talent, Phil Bartlett, to talk all things music, life and kangaroo stew!
Phil is no stranger to the stage, with a busy solo career, as well as being a member of Indigenous rockers, The Bartlett Brothers. Growing up in the Pilbara and the Kimberley, they regularly perform and tour around WA with a number of awards to their name, including the Too Solid Awards, WA Music Industry, NAIDOC, and Next Best Thing.
Welcome, Phil. We’re pumped to have you as our first performer on the Homegrown lineup!
How did you get your start as a musician?
I was very fortunate to be brought up in two musical families. My mother taught me how to sing at an early age, and by the age of twelve, when first attending High school in Port Hedland, my music teacher inspired me to learn and play guitar. I guess I caught the music bug, and after that, I just couldn’t stop!
How would you describe your music?
My original music is from my stories, deep within. I always try to write tunes that people can relate to. I hope to inspire people with my songs, which have been described by others as soulful, catchy, uplifting and melodic.
Who is your musical idol? Is there anyone who inspires you or influences your sound?
I have many! Bryan Adams, Gary Moore, Archie Roach, Troy Cassar-Daley, Johnny Albert and Kevin Ferguson just to name a few. I have also been inspired by many musos I have worked with over the years.
If you could invite three musicians to dinner, who would they be and what would you serve?
Bryan Adams for sure, Sir Tom Jones, and Angus Young from AC/DC. I would serve them my Kangaroo Tail stew, Phil Bartlett style!
What is the one venue or event you would love to perform at and why?
AFL Grand Final, Madison Square Garden or RAC Arena in front of a packed house full of local fans from my home town, while supporting a famous group or band – now that would be cool!
What are your career highlights so far?
I have too many! I’ve done some really cool gigs, but I find the intimate gigs are usually good because the crowd really get into what you are doing, and they appreciate the stories through song. I’ve won a few song writing awards with my late brother, Jay Bee. Also working with WAM as the Indigenous Officer for three years. I enjoy helping other with their own music. I get a real buzz out of that!
What is your favourite thing about working in the WA music industry?
The connections, relationships, and friends you make.
What are your career goals as a musician?
Get my music heard, but really just earn a decent living and to continue playing for the love of it!
What advice would you give to other aspiring musicians?
From experience I would say don’t go overboard with the logistics of getting out there. Sometimes we put so much effort into this, that sometimes we forget why we started in the first place, which was for the love and enjoyment. Be humble, be professional, have good gear, be creative and learn as much as you can from other artists.