Editor’s Note: Out of Nashville by way of Australia comes a duo that mixes country with some indie music, a touch of Americana and some folk music and that is Souly Us. Souly Us is composed of couple Kate Appleyard and Ben Mawdsley and this Friday, they will be releasing their new single entitled “Everything Has Changed”, which seems appropriate given the worldwide pandemic that all of us are experiencing. The Australian pair came to Nashville in 2018 and wrote some material and flew back to Australia in order to expand their fanbase. Their debut single entitled “Meant To Be” received significant airplay in Australia and took home a couple of awards, including “APRA AMCOS New Songwriter of the Year” from the Tamworth Songwriter’s Association in 2019.
In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Kate and Ben of Souly Us discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, what fans can expect from their “Everything Has Changed” single, and mental health awareness. Fans can find Souly Us at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Take us into the duo, how did you all get started?
Ben Mawdsley: Our duo formed in 2018. We first met when Kate was asked to be the lead singer in a band that I was a member of, playing lead guitar. It was challenging to get shows to play in the area we are from because many venues don’t have the room and also prefer background music, rather than a full band show. Becoming a duo together gave us both performance options which created more opportunity to perform. Our duo became popular and we were getting multiple shows every weekend. The band broke up but the duo continued. We fell in love.
And here we are! Haha We wanted to try writing our own original tunes together. Before we met we had done a little bit of songwriting on our own, but never together. Once we started writing together, we didn’t stop. It was so much fun. In just 12 months we released 3 singles, a 4 song EP, an album and 2 music videos.
Madness To Creation: So, Australia and Nashville, how do you combine both worlds and make it work?
Kate Appleyard: It is our dream to live, work and play in Nashville! It has been a dream of ours for years. And that dream was about to come true right before Covid-19 through a major spanner in the works!
It’s so wonderful being able to work with companies such as Publicity Nation who are so supportive of the music we make and make it incredibly easy to communicate from one country to another. It’s very exciting and we can’t wait to get back to Nashville!
Madness To Creation: Is country music popular in Australia or what is the scene like there?
Kate Appleyard: Every year the Tamworth Country Music Festival is held in the country music capital of Australia, Tamworth. This is the biggest event of the year for Australian Country Music where thousands of musicians, fans and industry personnel meet to celebrate the genre.
Madness To Creation: The song “Everything Has Changed” is certainly a cry for an awakening or an end to Covid-19, what is the toughest part of dealing with this?
Kate Appleyard: The toughest part of Covid-19 is not being able to travel and follow our dreams like we once planned. We felt so isolated and disappointed that the world had come to this. We had big plans to move to Nashville in 2020 and to tour our home country to promote our debut album release, ‘Alive’. The hardest part is having many of our hopes and dreams just whipped away from us.
- Fans can pre-save the “Everything Has Changed” single here.
Madness To Creation: How has it been handled your way?
Kate Appleyard: Through the duration of this pandemic until now, we have tried to perform live shows on facebook to keep our fans enjoying our music and to keep us rehearsing and performing for the fun of it. We get a huge buzz out of performing live and not being able to do this was hard. We have wrote many songs in lockdown, ‘Everything Has Changed’ being one of them!
Madness To Creation: What’s the first thing that you want to do when this is over?
Kate Appleyard: Hmmm… travel! This whole lockdown we have been isolated to our home town. We can’t wait to go on a road trip and to get away from the same old surroundings! As much as we love where we live, on the coast by the beach, it’s a great feeling when you can get away to see somewhere new!
Madness To Creation: How do you feel you two complement one another in your music and relationship?
Ben Mawdsley: I have written and produced all of the music that you hear in all of our songs released so far. Kate writes all of the lyrics and creates all of the stories. All drawn from real life experiences. This is how we have always written our music. Music is what brought us together. We share love and interest in music and we have so much fun creating it and performing it. It’s wonderful the places it has taken us and the experiences we have had through following our dream, and our passion.
Madness To Creation: We cover mental health awareness for Madness To Creation, how important is it to be supportive when one is down?
Kate Appleyard: There are certainly times in everyone’s life when they need to talk about what’s on their mind and the anxieties and pressures they are facing in their day to day life. It’s so important to listen and to be a support when someone is down. We have had our fair share of hardship in our lives, including losing my brother in a car accident when I was eighteen. This year marks ten years since he’s been gone, yet it still feels like yesterday. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are in the world. There will come a time you need a shoulder to cry on or a friend to have a deep and meaningful conversation with! A support network is so important. And just, be kind. You never know what others are going through.
Madness To Creation: What’s next for Souly Us and what would you like to add?
Kate Appleyard: We have a music video being released for ‘Everything Has Changed’, a few weeks after the single drops on December 11. This video has been directed and produced by us, entirely! We are so proud of it. We have more music we would like to release in 2021 and would love to get gigging as soon as we are able to! Fingers crossed restrictions ease in the coming weeks to months and we are able to go back to some ‘normality’. We can only hope!
And there you have it! Make sure that you pre-save the single for “Everything Has Changed” on your favorite digital streaming platform. Check out the music video for “Alive” by Souly Us below: