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15 minutes with Tyne-James Organ

WORDS BY TINA SUMMERS

Featuring some hard-hitting questions from ‘Dolly Magazine’.

24-year-old Wollongong-born singer Tyne-James Organ is your new winter heartthrob. He released his debut EP Persevere last year to national acclaim and this year he released his latest single ‘Hold Me Back’. It’s a gritty, powerful rock track inspired by the Me Too movement and Tyne’s recollection of an evening when a female friend of his was harassed and the pain it caused.

Tyne’s no stranger to difficult topics – his 2017 track ‘Watch You Go’ explored the death of his father in 2016. It also propelled Tyne into the limelight. We caught up with him to ask him the serious questions (plus some cute ones we stole from a Dolly Magazine Q&A).

So how have you been spending iso? 

Cleaning, cooking, restoring random bits of furniture and I learnt origami last week haha. Also found out I’m just as obsessed with Gerni-ing (not sure if that’s a word lol) as I am with hoovering. It’s insane. If you’ve not tried it, I highly suggest you do.

What have you been listening to?

Been listening to a bunch of stuff. Heaps of Miles Davis. Sycco is an artist from Bris I’ve been frothing and Adam Newling’s ‘Morning Breath’ blew me away when I first heard it.

Have you been getting creative and making new music, or is it a period for looking after yourself rather than focusing on productivity? 

At first, I couldn’t write a word or melody to save my life, so I just spent a lot of time focusing on my mental health. These times are very challenging for everyone right now and mental health has to be at the forefront for a lot of people. For me, I just like to be open and honest with that because I feel if I hide it from the world I’m hiding it from myself.

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s new to it?

That’s the one question I can never answer [laughs]. The other day I had the thought to create my own genre of music and call it ‘organic music’. Bit lame I know, but with a last name like mine, the options are minimal. But if that answer isn’t suitable, I would say a pop-rock vibe. Also, I like to explain my music to people as a genre you can dance and cry to at the same time.

Who are your musical heroes? 

My father is the most talented performer I will ever witness in my life.

Can you tell us a bit about ‘Hold Me Back’ and what inspired that track? 

Hold Me Back came after a night out with my friends in Melbourne and witnessing some horrible acts of sexual assault. I fucking hate it. It sent my mind crazy knowing men think this is okay. It’s fucking not. I couldn’t hold my tongue, so when I went into the studio with Chris Collins a few weeks later [and] we went down to Maroubra Beach [in Sydney], sat on a rock and the song just fell out. It’s time to step up and speak out.

‘Watch You Go’ is another example of you tackling difficult issues in your music – why do you think it’s important to explore difficult issues in your music?

I’m a fucking emotional train wreck. I’m young but I’ve seen and felt a lot in my time. I write from my heart. I only write about things I’ve seen, been through or understand. For me, my music is stories and chapters of my life. Good and bad. I’m just being as open and honest as I can. I just hope people can feel something from it.

Is making music therapeutic or cathartic for you?

Definitely both [laughs]. I go through so many waves when I’m writing. I may be writing about one topic, but a simple lyric can throw my mind into a completely different state of mind. I’m a big over-thinker. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. There are many things I struggle to articulate in conversation but can say more than I need to through my music, so that’s how I speak.

How does it feel performing tracks about deeply personal things in front of people? 

As weird as this may sound it feels fucking incredible. It’s the one moment where I feel so much less alone. I feel united with every single person in the room. We sing together. We become one. Sounds whack, but it’s euphoric for me. I feel my dad every time I sing ‘Watch You Go’. Little things like that make it all so special.

I read proceeds from sales/streams will go towards the White Ribbon Foundation. Can you tell us a bit about that foundation and why it’s so important to you?

This foundation is a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls. I don’t think I need to say much more, we all know it’s wrong! We MUST be the CHANGE and MAKE this STOP.

So, I found an article called 50 Questions to Ask A Boy on the Dolly Magazine website, and I wondered if you’d be open to answering the first 10 so that we can get to know you better? Here they are: 

What YouTube video always makes you laugh?

That singing one where the mum comes in and yells at the two daughters for not flushing the toilet.

What’s the lamest joke you’ve ever heard?

Any bloody why did the chicken cross the road joke.

What award do you think you’ll get at graduation? (Most likely to succeed, class clown etc) – okay, for this one, you can just tell us a funny high school story if you like.

My year 11 music teacher once sat me down and told me to quit music/songwriting/playing in bands because it would never take me anywhere in my life. Two years after I graduated my song became the fucking school bell. Who’s laughing now Ruth!?

What’s the weirdest/funniest/best text message you’ve ever received?

Are you sure you want to know that? Hehe.

What’s the worst hairstyle/haircut you’ve ever had to live with?

When I was 7 my mum bleached my hair. Cool idea. Bad result. Ended up getting a written note for my school which allowed me to wear a hat during class [laughs]. Safe to say I’ve not dyed it once since.

What posters do you have up in your room?

I used to have no walls visible in my room when I lived with my fam. It was poster city up there. I’m quite minimalistic now, but I have a sick Ian Sanderson print framed and a dope mirror!

Do you have a crush on a TV character?

In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a show and not fallen in love with a character. Currently watching Prison Break and Sarah has my heart.

How would you spend your ideal Saturday?

Sleeping and hanging with Nigel (my dog, but he lives in Wollongong with my mumma).

What’s the most-played song on your iPod? (Or Spotify lol)

Probably my shit. Safe to say I’ve got good taste hey 😉  Jokes, at the moment I’ve been pumping Shania Twain.

Would you prefer a day at the beach or movie marathon?

When I was younger the beach for sure, but now I’m a 24-year-old hermit that would happily hibernate in my room FOREVER.

Tyne-James Organ’s latest single ‘Hold Me Back’ is out now. 

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