Townsville singer-songwriter, Colie is wrapping a big year in spectacular fashion releasing a beautiful new single today, ahead of a month-long East Coast tour that will see her headline her own shows, co-headline with some other up-and-comers; and support Alex Lahey in Townsville and Cairns.
The new track, Half of What You Are, has Colie tackling the disparity between masculine and feminine roles, which she says she has a unique perspective on having grown up with a twin brother.
“Children’s toys are a prime example of the disparity that occurs between genders,” Colie said.
“Girls are stereotypically given dolls, soft toys, pink, kitchen sets and boys are given action figures, fishing rods and bikes. From a very young age, girls are subliminally told that they are delicate, fine and nurturing and boys are told that they are strong, tough and adventurous.”
The deeply introspective track gives listeners an insight into Colie’s own upbringing and her disappointment at missing out on fishing trips that her brother was allowed to go on.
“As a child growing up in North Queensland, fishing was a huge part of my family. My grandparents had a wall in their house with photos hanging of everyone in the family who had caught a “big fish”. I remember really wanting my photo on that wall. It may seem silly, but as a small child, it was a big deal. The boys always went fishing, and it was almost a novelty when the girls went, so in turn, a lot harder to get my photo on the wall,” recalled Colie.
“Although this might seem so small in the grand scheme of things, it is only one tiny example of the disparity that can occur between genders. Gender roles are defined by society and these roles are placed upon us from the moment we are born, and it can definitely have lasting impacts on our identities. When I was a child, I don’t think I really understood why girls and boys were treated differently, as it is so embedded in society that it feels normal. It was only reflecting on this as an adult that I started to make sense of it all.”
In spite of this, Colie has been lucky to have role models who have encouraged her to follow her own path.
“I was lucky to have very strong women to look up to, who taught me that I can be strong too,” she said.
“I have definitely pursued career paths and interests that are not stereotypically ‘feminine’. I loved maths and science in high school and went on to study to become a pharmacist. Following on from that I am now a musician, festival director, lighting designer and business owner, working in an industry that for so long has been heavily male dominated.”
Colie has chosen to write and sing about her experiences in hopes of encouraging others – regardless of gender – to break from societal norms.
“I believe that everyone should be encouraged to be whoever and whatever they want to be. I think if the world is to truly to become a place of equality, we need to recognise that this disparity occurs from the moment we are born. Boys and girls face a blue vs pink reality before they can even say their first word.”
The latest track follows a long string of successes this year which has included being among the first to participate in QMusic’s Women in Music Mentorship; releasing a new EP, Bug on a Lamplight, in April; holding the third annual Neck of the Woods Festival; and receiving a Townsville Arts award, with partner Sam Wright, for the contribution to the local Arts scene.
Colie said she is looking forward to capping it all off with the tour.
“There are so many things that I am looking forward to about the tour! The highlight will definitely be joining Alex Lahey for the NQ leg of her tour in Townsville and Cairns. Alex is an artist that I really look up to for her honesty as a songwriter, so I am really looking forward to meeting her and opening for her shows.
“I am also looking forward to travelling with some really good friends, including Dan Baker who is touring his new album ‘Counting Paces in Tortoise Races’ and hitting the road with me!”
Colie’s Half of What You Are Tour begins in Ingham on 9 November and stops in Townsville on 22 November, 2019