Missy Higgins Teams Up With The MSO For Her New National Tour

We chat with Missy Higgins about her massive orchestra tour headed to Melbourne and what she misses about her hometown.

As one of Australia’s most well-known and respected female singer/songwriters, Missy Higgins has had numerous number one hits, taken home nine ARIA Awards, and sold over a million albums.

She’s also a true blue (and we’re proud to say it) Melbournian. While her vigorous touring schedule and non-stop role as a new mother ensures she’s regularly without time to sit for a chin wag, we at Local Eyes were lucky enough to do just that.

Talking all things Melbourne, music, style and more, we were able to get a small glimpse into the talented mind and musings of one of Australia’s biggest music successes, plus an inside scoop of what we can expect when she kicks of her upcoming Orchestral Concert Series tour.

Working alongside up to 60 orchestral musicians is no easy feat, requiring precision timing and countless hours of rehearsal, and Missy admits that it can all be a little bit daunting.

‘I’m extremely nervous,” she tells us. “I’m such a rusty, loose player. I constantly make mistakes, laugh about it and start the song again, but you can’t do that with an orchestra behind you! So I’ll have to try to be much more professional than I usually am.’

While this isn’t the first time Missy’s been asked to collaborate in symphony shows, she’s shied away from the experience until now, admitting that fear can get the best of even the most experienced musicians.

‘I guess when I was younger I was just intimidated by the challenge of reworking my songs on that scale,” she says. “Then last year I got asked to do a show with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in this incredible outdoor location called Skyfields in the forest outside Devonport.’

‘I’ve always liked new challenges so I figured it was a perfect opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something different. It was an amazing experience. The songs came to life in new and unexpected ways when we introduced all those other instruments so I decided to try something similar this summer in other parts of Australia.’

‘I’m such a rusty, loose player. I constantly make mistakes, laugh about it and start the song again, but you can’t do that with an orchestra behind you!’

The tour is just the start for Higgins’ upcoming plans, which include launching a new album next year. Something we can’t wait to get our hands on.

‘I’ve been working on a new album so that’s my focus at the moment. The next six months will be recording, and getting that ready. There’s a lot that goes in to releasing a new album, so I’m gearing up for that,’ she says.

While Missy now lives a long way from her Melbourne home, we all know that the city never truly leaves you. We asked about all things quintessentially Melbourne and what she misses from home while on the road.

‘I love the breakfasts, and of course the coffee in Melbourne,’ she says. “There is also such a great creative scene. So many incredible artists, of all kinds, seem to live in Melbourne.’

We ask if she has a ‘go-to’ style of choice or a ‘superhero style’ stage outfit to kick up the confidence for show time.

‘No, I wish I did,’ she says. ‘I don’t feel very stylish when I perform. In fact, sometimes if I try to be too stylish, I end up having a bad show because I feel like I’m pretending to be someone else the whole time. That really works for some performers but not me.’

While it’s her modesty and down-to-Earth nature that makes her so approachable, we were keen to see what Missy recounted as her proudest moment as a musician.

“I am very proud of my last song, Oh Canada. I wrote that when my baby was very young in the small snippets of free time I had while he was sleeping.”

The song is inspired by the famous and haunting image of the young Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a Turkish beach, and tells the story of the family’s plight leaving Syria for Canada.

‘When I found out that the family of the young boy had heard the song and were very moved by it, that was a proud moment for me,’she tells us.

Her latest upcoming tour will see her perform many of her most loved songs as her band is merged with some of Australia’s leading orchestras. In Melbourne specifically, she’ll be partnering with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. We asked what fans can expect from her upcoming shows.

“Hearing my songs like they never have before,” she says. “That’s the most amazing thing for me, was that the orchestration gives my older songs new life. So fans will be hearings songs reimagined from all my albums, including some very new songs they won’t have heard.”

Missy Higgins Orchestral Concert Series runs across Australia throughout November & December 2016, with tickets available now from Ticketek. She’ll be performing in Melbourne on Sunday 27 November. Tickets begin from $99 + BF. For venue details and more information, visit www.missyhiggins.com.au.

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