Music

Interview

Melbourne duo Big Words share the songs that got them through 2020

Before they take over Melbourne's Palais Theatre stage for Together Again, we sat down with one half of Big Words, Will Scullin, to share the songs that got him through 2020.

Live events are returning to Melbourne stages, and thanks to Together Again at the Palais Theatre you’ve got a stack of great choices coming your way in January. Playing two shows in the special series – that sees you sitting onstage with some of your favourite artists while they perform – is Melbourne hip hop, indie duo Big Words.

Inspired by the likes of  Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Daniel Caesar and Khruangbin, Big Words combine big harmonies with a lush, heady mix of alt R&B, indie-pop, and soul.

Since being discovered busking by Ghostface Killah during Wu-Tang Clan’s 2016 Australian tour, Big Words have gone on to support the likes of Hobo Johnson and Tash Sultana and take the stage at some of our biggest festivals including Beyond The Valley, Grapevine Gathering, and Wildlands.

With live music off the cards for most of 2020, Big Words used the time to create, releasing their Cherry mixtape in September – an eclectic, 10-track journey made up of the discarded leftovers from their upcoming debut album.

Finally ready to return to the live stage in 2020, we sat down with Big Words’ Will Scullin to learn about some of the songs that got him through 2020.

Stevie Wonder – Think of Me As Your Soldier

2020 was the year of deep Stevie Wonder diving, this song is what RnB should feel like. As we move into album mode, sonically this has been a pivotal point of inspiration.

Feist – Now at Last

Along the same lines, we have Feist – in my opinion, one of the greatest female artists alive right now. Strongly under-appreciated by the pop world since her 2007 breakthrough album, she continues to write and produce some of the most tender and beautiful music on the planet.

Luiz Bonfa – Perdido De Amor

2020 was also a deep dive into Brazilian and Bossa Nova music. Luiz Bonfa is a guitar player that put out some absolutely phenomenal recordings in the ’70s and beyond. He sings in Portuguese but I have memorised every part of the melody, lyrics, and guitar parts. This song is very calming.

Prince – Do Yourself a Favour

Dug out from the B-Sides of the 1999 Deluxe album released in 2020, this song blew my mind completely wide open. It’s a tacky break-up song about ignoring your ex walking down the street, as the song progresses it gets nasty and Princey in the best way possible. The fact that this was a B-Side and unreleased makes you understand the genius of the alien that was Prince.

Stevie Wonder – Superwoman

Although we’ve already been to Stevie, this song was the first of my deep dive of 2020. Split into two parts, his melody work, Rhodes playing and lyrics here are totally superior to anything else I’ve heard this year (Even though it’s from 1972). The guitar tone and playing in the second half (Buzz Feiton) is an exceptional example of the perfect tone. Also, the use of the legendary T.O.N.T.O synth harmonising with Stevie at the end was totally revolutionary for the time and still is today. 10/10!

Big Words will perform as part of the Together Again concert series at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre on Thursday 14 January (two shows) and Friday 15 January (two shows). Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.au.