What was the first song you learnt? Comes a Time

What’s your favourite memory of your early musical life? First memories are of listening to my Dad's records when I was about 3 or 4 when we lived in Los Angeles. He had a fantastic collection of jazz and classical music. My earliest memory is of hearing Brazil 66 with all those awesome, cool tunes like The Girl From Ipanema. It was playing in the living room after I had gone to bed. I imagined that my Mom and Dad were dancing together. That music is so romantic.

What made you want to play music in the first place? Probably because of all the music I heard when I was young. There was always music playing in our house and my dad would be transported. Maybe I thought if I made beautiful music too, my Dad would be happy. Also, my mother was a singer in a doo-wop group with her sisters, they were called The Starr Sisters. They traveled a lot and supported people like Sammy Davis Junior. She had the most beautiful voice.

How old were you when you started playing? I started singing a lot and making up little songs when I was 4. I have recordings to prove it! Then I got a guitar for Christmas when I was 11. A few years later I started picking it up and working out the chords to Beatles and Neil Young songs. Because I knew the songs so well, it was easy to learn the chords from the chord books. I was also in a fantastic choir from 7 til 13. That's where I learned everything I know about harmonies.

Who were your music heroes/idols back then? Who are they now? My first musical love was Elton John, I was obsessed. The Beatles were always up there too, since I was little. Then I got into prog rock, bands like Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc...the Doors, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, the blues, all of that iconic stuff. Then a boyfriend turned me onto the Pixies, all the Flying Nun bands and American indy music and my life changed. Even though I was brought up on all the classic, amazing musicians that were in the mainstream, I realized that there is a whole other world of creative expression that isn't necessarily about how well you play your instrument or sing...it's about freedom and truth and fun as well! I still listen to all that music and there isn't much that comes along to top it. However, of the newer generation of musos out there, a few of my faves are Will Oldham, Joanna Newsom, Tame Impala.

What was the name of your first band? I actually can't remember but the first song we did was called 'Turquoise is a Crazy Day' 


Jodi Phillis is a singer-songwriter and composer and a member of Australian band, The Clouds.