Salli Edwards is a singer-songwriter based in Melbourne, Australia. She’s a former journalist who wrote about wide-ranging topics from breaking news stories to entertainment and politics.
Her current passion is making music and her recently released solo debut titled “Revolving Doors” delves into the many facets of human relationships.
The music on her album spans various genres in keeping with Ms. Edwards inclination towards a smorgasbord of interests. There’s Santana’s “Samba Pati” swirl in the serpentine riffs that punctuate her deft acoustic guitar strumming in “Kayenta.” A Carole King vibe radiates from “Fool Moon” while “Damage” recalls the quiver in topnotch ‘70s divas like Melissa Manchester that sends goosebumps a-popping. In “Good Thing Going,” Salli essays a memorable throwback to sprightly ‘60s pop, with quivering slide guitars in her wake.
In the end, Salli is her own musician absorbing the influences of the records and bands she listened to as well as the music that soundtracked her stay in various parts of the world from Manila to Milan and San Francisco to Melbourne.
In an exchange of email messages with Soundstrip, singer-songwriter Salli Edwards reminisced about her experience living for a time in Manila thus: “Being Filipino, music is in my DNA! While I was growing up in Japan, I remember my family always had music playing at home. I grew up listening to the old crooners like Matt Monro, Nat King Cole, Perry Como and of course, Frank Sinatra, and even Japanese pop songs. We also listened to composers like Burt Bacharach and Henry Mancini at home, who are among my top favorites. I think Filipinos are very romantic when it comes to music – love songs are always a big hit!”
“Living in Manila made me appreciate the music that my family played at home while I was growing up. The songs I write are a product of all the things I have listened to in my lifetime. Hence, my style of music is hard to describe as it’s a mix of a lot of influences – indie, pop, folk, 60s pop, electronica and even jazz.”
The rising Fil-Australian phenomenon also shared the challenges in the production and release of her debut album, “Revolving Doors” in pandemic times. She elaborated, “When the pandemic hit and we had to go into lockdown here in Melbourne, essentially this meant that I couldn’t go into a studio to record the album or even meet with other musicians.
“I have used online recording studios before, and they presented a solution to my problem. I used an online recording service called Tunedly and had the privilege of having some of the best session musicians from all over the world play on the album. We were able to harness the power of technology and the internet to record the album from the comfort and safety of our homes and deliver a professional studio-quality product. Working on the album was also a bright spot for me last year while being in lockdown.”
The music scene around the world has been adversely impacted by the pandemic and Salli observed that the particular scene in her hometown is adapting to the new sensibilities brought on arguably by restrictions and lockdowns due to the pandemic.
She said, “We are very fortunate here in Melbourne to be in a position where we’ve had over three weeks of no community transmission (as I write this.) Restrictions have been gradually easing and live music is resuming, which is fantastic!
Melbourne has always had a vibrant music scene, which is one of the reasons I decided to move here years ago. A lot of my favorite Australian artists are also from Melbourne. Usually, there are bands playing everywhere, in nearly every pub in every street. When COVID hit, it was so sad as the vibe was gone, with restaurants, bars and music venues being closed. Now it’s great that it’s all coming back to life.
“I myself can’t wait to go to a gig soon, although I know it won’t look the same as before COVID. Venues have smaller numbers and it will be some time before we have acts from overseas come and tour. With the lifting of restrictions, I also hope to get a band together soon and perform the songs on the album live.
“While in lockdown last year, I wrote the song ‘Traces’ (the first single from the album) which was inspired by how things were unfolding all over the world as the virus was spreading. The song came out in just 15 minutes – I just had this strong need to express how I was feeling about the pandemic, being in lockdown, the uncertainty and fear we were all feeling and missing the freedom we had to do the things we love. (A lot of people have told me this is their favorite song on the album.) Writing this song and spending a lot of time at home made me decide to finally record the album, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years.”