That full-on four years kicked off with Sultana rocketing to international fame after a video of the young multi-instrumentalist live-looping hit track Jungle cascaded into a platinum-selling EP, international attention, a ranking in the Triple J Hottest 100, and ARIA award-winning debut album Flow State.
Now, finally able to spend some time at home and take stock of life developments, Sultana is getting ready to bid farewell to the solo stage act (for now) and bring a band along to join the party on stage.
The announcement on Instagram in October that Sultana was “wrapping up” solo performances was greeted with both surprise and excitement.
“I blew up my management’s inbox when I posted that,” Sultana laughed.
But it’s a positive change which has set the 24-year-old performer on a positive course.
Solo shows, despite being fun and having become a drawcard of Sultana’s, are also draining.
When things go right, it’s great. When things go wrong, Sultana said, “you feel quite self-loathing”.
“I’m pretty hard on myself because I like to do things without mistakes and perform to what I think is my best effort, and sometimes you can’t get that,” Sultana said.
“Sometimes it’s just not in you that day, or that week.
“I feel like I’m pretty excited to share the stage to kind of lift up that feeling a little bit, inject some new life into me on the road and touring.
“I f—ing love being on stage and getting up in front of people; I would love to have a band hold it down so I could just f—ing go crowd surfing and s—.”
With the stage show will also likely come a new album; a follow-up to Flow State is in the works. This one, Sultana said, is “more soul, classic soul r’n’b”.
Once the band line-up is nailed down and practice sessions perfected, it’s back on the road for a tour of Europe and the UK.
For a musician who has spent so long performing solo, Sultana is buoyant about letting others in to share that space, positive about the potential it brings. In Sultana’s own words: “Keen for it.”
“I’m in a really strange transitional period at the moment, where I can see that everything is about to fully change,” Sultana said.
“And I’m keen for it, because that’s the point. You can’t be doing the same thing forever, and I don’t really want to.”
But for now it’s all about enjoying home with family, Sultana’s partner, their dog.
Sultana’s enjoying being (temporarily) out of the spotlight – “it’s been really nice to just get some normal life back” – and take time out to work on album No.2.
Whatever the future holds as Sultana embarks on that next musical stage, it’s welcomed with open arms and a positive mindset.
“It’s been strange, it’s been really hard, and it all kind of happened to me when I was quite young, so I feel like I missed out on being a bit of an adolescent, I felt like I had to go straight into being an adult really quickly,” Sultana said.
“But I wouldn’t have changed it … if I died tomorrow, I’d actually have done everything I wanted to do. I’ve achieved all of the things that are important to me and I’m keen for the next step.
“There’s moments when you’re not content, obviously. Because sometimes you can’t top the things that you’ve once done before. But that’s not really the point.
“I wouldn’t say that I want to be the type of artist who tries to write number-one hits; it’s not for me.
Cameron is the homepage editor for WAtoday.