Aislinn Sharp: The Unsung Hero Of Supporting Local Musicians

Published in Music  
Australian singer-songwriter, Aislinn Sharp's newest single is titled 'Unsung Hero'. Australian singer-songwriter, Aislinn Sharp's newest single is titled 'Unsung Hero'.

Not only is Aislinn Sharp a registered psychologist and R U OK Ambassador, her catchy brand of dance-pop is uplifting listeners nationwide as she continues her mission to empower music lovers everywhere with her newest single, 'Unsung Hero'.

The floor is yours; tell us about your new single 'Unsung Hero'?
I can't wait for people to hear my new dance-pop track 'Unsung Hero'. I think it touches on a relatable theme for many in 2020; telling a story about the paradox and experience of living close to people, yet feeling alone until an unsung hero reaches out bringing kindness and support.

With its yearning and alluring mood, I'd describe 'Unsung Hero' as curious as it sets the scene for exploring new connections and possibilities.

You released the song on Ausmusic T-Shirt Day; was there a special significance to that?
As a musician, R U OK Ambassador and registered psychologist, I'm passionate about supporting Ausmusic T-Shirt Day (20 November). It's a chance to wear your favourite Ausmusic T-shirt and help raise funds for those working in the music industry who are doing it really tough.

Many artists, crew, and music workers have lost their jobs and income this year due to the current health pandemic, and the future is anything but certain. As a result, demand for Support Act's Crisis Relief and Mental Health & Wellbeing Services has never been greater.

The video clip for 'Unsung Hero' features Brisbane parkour athlete Brodie Pawson and your local The Big Issue vendor, Greg C; what message does the video promote?
People might remember Brodie from competing on 'Australian Ninja Warrior' last year with his identical twin brother, Dylan Pawson.

Brodie plays the role of the 'unsung hero' in this video, and in one particular scene buys a copy of The Big Issue magazine from my wonderful 'real life' street vendor, Greg C. I created this storyline in my video to help promote the song's theme of doing random acts of kindness, and to encourage and inspire others to do the same.


How was the response to your earlier 2020 single 'Matter', which you released on R U OK Day?
The response to 'Matter' has been amazing. Many people have reached out to say they've really appreciated hearing my personal R U OK story behind writing 'Matter', and that the song's message has resonated and connected with them.

It was fantastic collaborating with QUT Vox Pop (QUT's university choir) and QUT staff and students who sung and recorded 'Matter' as a virtual choir video to celebrate R U OK Day.

As a bonus, this collaborative project led to me receiving the HSE Recognition Award in the Health & Wellness category from the Queensland University of Technology, which I did not expect. I'm very thankful for this recognition, and being able to use the power of music to shine a positive light on the importance of mental health in our community.

Further, I'm excited to be collaborating with a very special group in Melbourne, Choir of Hard Knocks, who are currently learning to sing and perform 'Matter' as a virtual choir. I'm looking forward to sharing more details about this project in the coming months. 


What's the status of other new Aislinn Sharp songs… are you working towards an EP or album release in 2021?
In 2021, I'll be continuing to release more new songs with my Melbourne producer Pat Gabriel, also known as PattyBoomba.

We've been creating music for over three and a half years, and doing so completely online. I think Patty and I work well as a music team, and soon we'll have completed enough songs to release an EP or album, which is exciting.

You're also launching a TikTok account to promote 'Unsung Hero'; firstly, are you a fan of the platform; secondly, what type of content can your fans expect to see?
There have been many surprises in 2020, and for me one of them includes starting my own TikTok account.

Last year I think TikTok was probably better known in Australia by primary schoolers, but now this year with COVID, it has evolved into a dynamic platform where anyone can express themselves through short dance, music, lip-sync, and comedy videos.

To launch my TikTok account, I'll be releasing some cool choreography by Wanida Serce from Mad Dance House, who has created a short dance routine to 'Unsung Hero'.

This is a project I came up with during COVID lockdown to help people connect with my music. I would love people to get involved and have fun learning, recording, and posting their own 'Unsung Hero' dance routines onto their social media pages. Please remember to tag me!

@aislinnsharp

NEW DANCE to my song Unsung Hero!! ? Tag me & use the hashtag ##UnsungHeroChallenge in your dance videos ?##ForYou##fyp##dance##dancechallenge##follow

♬ original sound - Aislinn Sharp

You're a registered psychologist as well as a R U OK Ambassador; where does your passion for helping musicians with mental health spring from?
I'm motivated to help musicians with mental health from my own experiences studying music.

As a music student, I noticed it was normal to receive technical support with learning a creative skill like performing or composing. However, like an athlete being able to consult with a sport psychologist, musicians did not seem to have access to the same psychological support for dealing with normal occupational stressors like performance anxiety.

As a music student, I found it was a taboo subject, and even seen as a weakness to talk about performance anxiety, and I really wanted to change this culture to be more open, accepting, and supportive of musicians and mental health.

Fast forward to today, I'm now a registered psychologist who works with musicians. I have developed and facilitated workshops at the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) to help musicians learn how to manage performance anxiety.

Part of this process is sharing the powerful 'R U OK?' message that it's okay to talk about performance anxiety, to make space for uncomfortable feelings, and to receive support as needed.

Also as an R U OK Ambassador, part of my work and vision is to help create a more psychologically safe culture, not only for musicians, but for all Australians; to share the message that it's okay to talk about mental health and seek support when needed.

If anyone is struggling to find help, I'd recommend visiting the R U OK website for a list of support services, or contacting your doctor or local health centre for professional support.

You posted on Facebook that parkruns will be able to recommence in QLD for the first time since the pandemic hit (at the end of November); how important is regular exercise to maintaining a healthy outlook on life?
Firstly I love running and parkrun, and can't wait for it to safely return.

For me, my love of parkrun is not just about valuing its promotion of regular physical exercise. Parkrun is also a positive and inclusive community, which welcomes everyone to come along, either to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate at their free, weekly events held across Australia, and around the world.

Many people are aware of research that highlights the strong link between mental health and physical health. So just as I'm an advocate for taking care of our mental health, I'm also passionate about regular exercise such as running, or doing whatever physical activity you enjoy.

Exercise can help us maintain better physical health, especially when managed alongside other life factors such as eating and sleeping well. I think it's important to holistically care for both our mind and body to help improve our overall quality of life.

What's your favourite type of app at the moment?
As a songwriter, I really enjoy using a piano app on my phone to play and write music. For example, when I'm out having a coffee. I love the fun and freedom of having a mini piano keyboard available at my fingertips at any time or place to help capture my creative ideas when they happen.

What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be your mentor?
After recently feeling inspired reading 'Start With Why', I would love to have the book's author, Simon Sinek, as my mentor.

To give you some background, 'Start With Why' explains how great leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs inspired others with what Sinek calls 'The Golden Circle'. It's a framework for moving organisations and businesses past knowing what they do and how they do it, to asking the more important question – why? Why do we do what we do?

First on a personal note when I think back to myself as a kid, I think I was born 'why?'! Second as a musician and psychologist, it would be amazing to be mentored by Simon and engage his expertise in understanding my 'why?' more behind what and how I do, both personally and professionally.

As Simon will only choose to mentor someone if it's a reciprocal relationship, I hope I could also facilitate learning as a mentor for Simon. I think mentor-to-mentor relationships can be great if both people mutually feel inspired learning and supporting one another. I would highly recommend reading Simon's book to learn more.

If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why?
I would say London after recently being attracted to buying a photography book on this fabulous city. Flicking through the pages of iconic images such as Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, I felt happy being transported back to London. So maybe when international travel resumes, "Hello London!".

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