Known for her raw, haunting quality of voice and captivating song writing Penelope Austin has released her new pop single ‘Gem’. Written and recorded in Los Angeles on her most recent trip, ‘Gem’ is currently the song being used for the TV sync for Channel 7’s longstanding Australian drama series Home & Away. The statuesque blonde co-wrote ‘Gem’ with US songwriter/producer Denny White (Michael Brun, Fedde Le Grand & Tiesto) with additional production from Melbourne vocal producer Simon Cohen who produced Justin Bieber’s #1 Global hit ‘Love Yourself’.
“Gem is a track about self empowerment, “ says Penelope. “A realisation of a moment in time where I held the power over someone’s heart, instead of the reverse. I had control in its entirety, liberating. I remember being in an uber enroute to the studio in LA to pen this track and collaborate with some exceptional writers after being at a SongHubs Songwriting Camp for the week. I was nervous about my lyrical content.. The week prior I was writing very emotive lyrics, drawing upon my past so I was concerned that emotionally I had exhausted writing content and new ideas. However Gem came about so easily, as soon as I stepped into the writing room the song virtually wrote itself..”
Born in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Austin wrote her first song at fifteen with a guitar stolen from her high school. The process began pretty simply: “I would sit throughout the night and much into the morning singing and writing exactly what was going on in there. It was music for no one.. It was my release.”
It was the year her mother passed and the young singer went to America for the first time: Oklahoma a desolate heartland rich with strange sounds on the radio and alien landscapes. Travel marked the years that followed and Austin continued to compose, her guitar rambling with her through the US, South America, Africa and Indonesia.
The way Austin tells it life is a like a diary where the pages fall into art. Her process is organic: “I write differently, I’m not sure that I have a pattern”. Naturally, I have a guitar – but what’s strange to me is that neither of the vocals/strings comes first. It’s almost 99% of the time simultaneous, like its already been written somewhere else first and I’m playing it for the first time. I must have a massive vault. There are occasions where a melody will come to me and I just sing the full song in one go. I tend not to have a page where I scratch ideas out.”
Now signed to Island Records/Universal Music Australia Austin has had success on iTunes with several tracks reaching platinum downloads including ‘Don’t Rescue Me’ and co-writes from various Australian artists. Penelope has also had success with co-writes including Tina Arena’s ‘Reset’ album having written ‘Reset All’, ‘Let Me In’ and ‘I Want To Love You’ and recent features / cowrites / toplines with internationally acclaimed artists such as Empire Of The Sun & Peking Duk.
In less than 3 years, Austin has become a global force in the world of TV and Film syncs including placements on Channel 7 (Underwater, Winter) and US channels HBO and SoHo. She co-wrote for the Channel 7 Drama, ‘A Place To Call Home’ which was re-produced by Ivan Gough, Jebu and Walden to become the club anthem, ‘Home’, which was released internationally hitting the top of the charts throughout Europe and being playlisted on Pete Tong’s show for BBC Radio 1 UK. Penelope was also hand chosen as the Australian artist to write and perform a song with US Producer and Filmmaker JJ Abrams for the Star Trek Into Darkness film.