Horizon Festival: Chatting with Justine Clarke
Play School veteran, ARIA-winning musician and childhood icon Justine Clarke brings her best hits to Horizon Festival! Georgia Beard chats with Justine about her love of performance before Everybody Roar! The Best of Justine Clarke lights up the Wonderland Spiegeltent.
Thinking back on your childhood, have you always been a performer?
I was always drawn to music and more particularly to the movie musicals I watched through my childhood. Music has always been a powerful influence in my life and a great form of expression and release.
What do you love most about being a children’s entertainer?
I love a few things about it: the unbridled joy and abandon children express through moving to music, the sound of a group of families singing together, the heckling, the walk outs, the rock-and-roll vibes – but with early nights!
Was there a moment where you knew children’s entertainment was the right path for you?
I didn’t really. This music had its own momentum. I owe that partly to my role on Play School and a little song called Watermelon…As soon as I heard people joining in, I knew it was a worthwhile and satisfying job. To be potentially the first live gig a child ever sees and hears is a great privilege.
Do you think you’ll always be on that path?
My artistic life tends to lead me rather than me leading it so, who knows? I’ll definitely only do it as long as I love it. That’s essential. Kids can spot a faker from a mile off.
Tell me about the process of creating your new album, Everybody Roar. What was it like revisiting classics and producing new songs?
It was the culmination of 15 years and 5 albums of original work. It felt good to look at it as a full body of work and ask which are the best 16 of 50 songs produced. And sentimental too because each album represented a different time in the life of my family. It was a very special time in my life. As for producing new songs, there’s one on the album called Here Comes A Merry Christmas which will be released as a book next year, so the music lives on in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I remember listening to your songs and watching you on Play School, and many of our readers do too. As you perform for kids at Horizon Festival, how does it feel to know your music is reaching multiple generations of Australians?
It can be shocking when I meet people in their late 20s who grew up watching me! But I also love it because we all remember the music and how it made us feel, and it’s lovely to be part of people’s childhoods in that way. I’m also surprised when I meet 4-year-old fans who have just discovered the music and love it. I love the longevity of it.
Why is live music such a valuable experience for kids?
Music is a language that we all understand. It’s universal. It’s primal and it reaches our hearts. To have a collective experience of live music, with incredible musicians providing that experience, it can be life changing. There are some kids out there who don’t know it yet but can speak the language of music too, and to think this show might be the key to unlocking that power is really exciting.
What do you love about seeing parents join in the song and dance?
I love it when it’s a shared experience for the whole family. Everyone comes ready to join in. I particularly love getting the dads to sing, they only need a bit of encouraging and they sound so good!
What can parents and kids expect for your show at Horizon Festival?
Think of it as a family jam. Good quality music at the right time of the day. All the songs you know and love, and some extras thrown in for fun.
Lastly, how do you like the Sunshine Coast?
I’m looking forward to the sunshine and the sun-shiny people!
Having recently released her “best of” album, Everybody Roar!, Justine and her three-piece band will groove their way through classics like ‘Watermelon’, ‘I Like to Sing’ and ‘Dinosaur Roar’, as well as new hits like ‘Everywhere’s a Dancefloor’ and ‘A Banana Is A Banana’. Joined by some of Sydney’s finest musicians, the opportunity to hear all of Justine’s favourites live and up-close is not to be missed. This show is recommended for children aged 10 years and under. Children 2 years and under come free.
Wonderland Spiegeltent, Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore / Kabi Kabi Country
- Tuesday 30 August, 10am
- Wednesday 31 August, 10am