Another Friday night, another seriously great conversation. You don’t get anyone much nicer and truthful than Tourist. He’s had an incredible 2016 and there’s no doubt 2017 is going to be even stronger. Before his arrival into Australia next week for Laneway Festival, I had the opportunity to get to know him a little better. We even have a bet on his track ‘Run’ for the Hottest 100. Let’s see who ends up buying who a schooner!

We are two and a bit weeks into 2017. How’s it treating you so far?
It’s good! I’ve had quite a productive 2017. I was working quite a lot last year and now I’m ready to put something new out. I’ve had a productive beginning of the month and I’m very aware that the world is going to change drastically, so I want to get a piece of music out before he kills everyone.

I love that. Keep everyone’s spirits lifted. I’m very excited that you’re coming to Laneway. For someone who hasn’t seen your live show yet, what can we expect?
Basically, it’s kind of like pole dancing. I’m joking [laughs]. It’s my music, some nice lights, and hopefully the music sounds different like louder, longer and more interesting. I just want to build tension in the crowd. I enjoy playing live.

Have you heard of the triple j Hottest 100 by any chance?
I have yes!

Okay great! Well, I just want to let you know that you made my Top 10 tracks for 2016 and I wanted to say thank you for releasing such an epic song. You actually made my Top 3 for 2016, so kudos.
Oh wow. Thank you so much. It’s quite a big deal out there isn’t it? That’s a real honour, so thank you.

You’re going to be in Brisbane for Australia Day. Have you experienced an Australia Day in Australia before?
No, I haven’t.

Do you know what you’re about to get into?
I don’t and I’m really excited cause the last time I was in Australia I had so much fun. The people there are great, and the young people there are just the best! I know Australia Day is a big deal. That’s when they announce the Hottest 100 right?

Yeah! I’m predicting that ‘Run’ will make the Top 15, but I’m secretly hoping it makes the Top 10.
Nooooo! [laughs] I’m gonna make a bet with you on this one. I bet you one schooner it doesn’t get in there.

Hey, at least you got one quality schooner right here in Melbourne!
Exactly! Okay, so if I’m right then you buy me a drink, and if I’m wrong I buy you a drink.
That’s a fair trade. I’m gonna hold you to that!

So, after Laneway you’re heading to Coachella. I’m so freakin’ jealous!
Yeah it’s gonna be good. I’m very lucky. Coachella is great fun; it’s a great honour to play there.

You’re so nice! I feel like you’re a very humble, down to earth guy.
Um no, it’s all just part of the persona. I pretend I’m really humble but I can be really annoying [laughs].

You’ve done some serious collabs in your career but I died when I saw you worked with JONES!
You know JONES!!!!!

Yes! I’m obsessed with her new album. I need her to come to Australia.
Wow! Not a lot of people know I worked with her. She’s very talented. She kind of reminds me of Sade. She’s amazing, very cool.

Is there potential for you guys to collaborate further and perhaps have her feature on one of your tracks?
Yeah that’s the idea. Hopefully our schedules collide. I love her new stuff too; it’s amazing.

There’s a big event coming up next month for you. You’re turning the dirty 30 as we say down under!
Yes! That’s right.

How are you going to celebrate?
Actually, I’m still going to be in Australia on my 30th. I’ve got a week in Melbourne after Laneway so I’m really lucky to be in Melbourne on my 30th. One of my best mates from London, his fiancé is from Melbourne and they’re actually getting married on my 30th birthday, so I’m gonna be there.

What can we expect then from 30-year-old Tourist in 2017/18?
Good question. Either I’ll be joyously happy cause I’ll be revelling in my age or, I’ll be slightly darker I don’t know? We’ll see! But, there’ll definitely be more music. I feel good at my age. I feel like I know who I am and I feel very inspired.

That’s all you can ask for in this lifetime. Now to end, I’d like to do a few funsies with your song titles, just to get to know you a little better.

‘Run’ – Are you a fit person? Do you like to exercise?
I actually do. I just gave up smoking last year. It’s like when you’re 29 you have to really go for it, especially when all my favourite people are dying. Now I’ve boringly replaced smoking with running, but it’s good for my head. I like it. I don’t like going to the gym though; it’s full of weirdos. It’s not good for the soul.

‘To Have You Back’ – If you could have dinner with someone who has sadly died, who would it be and why?
It’d be Bowie, he’s easily my favourite. Why? Because he’s Bowie [laughs]. He’s a wonderful weirdo. That’s the best thing about him.

‘Waves’ – Do you know how to you surf?
I was born in London but when I was seven we moved to Cornwall, a seaside town, and as a child I would go surfing so yes, I do know how to surf. Rick Rubin is also a keen surfer. That’s who I wanna be when I’m like 70.

‘Holding On’ – What is one of your most prized possessions?
I’d say my memories. It may sound stupid but that ultimately is what you possess. That, and my iPad [laughs].

‘Too Late’ – When were you late for something that you really shouldn’t have been late for?
When you tour as a musician you become super on time, well either you don’t or you do, and I’m actually quite punctual cause I know the implication of missing a flight. I used to be far less punctual than I am now but having a tour manager pushed into me has made me very dad-like with punctuality. I’m not often late so I can’t remember the last thing I was late for. Oooh I forgot to set an alarm for breakfast with my mum the other day and I pretended there was traffic. Now my mum’s gonna hate me but the truth has come out.

‘Wait’ – Are you an action kinda guy or do you sit around and wait for an opportunity to makes its way into your lap?
I’m more the first; I tend to be like let’s get on with things, which is a good and bad thing. Sometimes I just clean my entire flat just because I need to and that’s really annoying [laughs].

Aussie fans can catch Tourist around the country over the next few weeks – see all dates below and then click the artwork for more ticketing information!

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author: Kara Bertoncini