Chatterbox: Au Dré

Hey, tell us a bit about yourself?

We are Au Dré, a duo from Melbourne, Australia lead by Songwriter/Trumpeter/Vocalist Audrey Powne and Keyboardist Producer James Bowers A.K.A. JamBau. We met studying Jazz at university on Trumpet and Piano respectively and played together in a number of different projects where we were brought together by a shared love of late 80s/early 90s Funk, Boogie and New Jack Swing from artists like Cameo, Chaka Kahn, Donald Blackman and Herbie Hancock.

We were also both mildly obsessed with contemporary maximalists electronica from artists like Pomrad Hudson Mohawke and Knower. Both of us knew we wanted to make some sort of electronic music which hailed the funk/boogie artists we loved and decided to pool our skills as songwriter (Audrey) and producer (James) to make our first self titled EP in 2015. Now the collaboration has blossomed into a beautiful friendship which involves not only making music but dog sitting, glitter, in jokes and as Audrey constantly reminds James when she’s wasted “You’re one of my best friends”

Where did the new single come from?

I (Audrey) wrote Lines in one day. It’s heavily inspired by Chaka Kahn as I was working really hard at the time practicing singing some licks Chaka uses which was the inspiration for the vocal hook “li-i-i-i-nes” in the chorus. I was also really getting into the Anderson Paak and Mac Miller Track Dang! and a re-work of These Walls, Kendrick Lamar by producer Moss Kena. Both of these tracks fuse together old funk elements bass/synth sounds, keys parts etc with more contemporary drum sounds of modern RnB production.

Something I really love about these tracks and a lot of Anderson Paak.’s new record is the way he changes up the verses, rather than just following the first one slightly for the second the second verse is kind of it’s own entity and the melody sits on the border of rapping and singing. I had a lot of lyrical content I wanted to get out and I wanted the structure of “Lines” to continually build (like a party) and change so verse 1, verse 2 and the outro all have different harmonic/melodic content. James then bought his genius to the track using make shift “soundscape” sounds for the intro like pouring red wine into a pot glass and flicking a coaster.

Lyrically the track is about friendship more specifically friends with benefits situations, (no reference to that horrendous Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman movie.) I think we all have one of those friendships thats based in flirting and there is always sort of a chance that one night… if you’re both inebriated enough something might happen! It’s a tricky little situation fun but a bit scary and I think it really is about reading between the lines because you’re friends it’s too risky to say out right “I’m into you” so hints and signs are everything!

Is there more content in the pipeline?

This single is the first track from our forthcoming sophomore EP which will be out later this year. Our first EP was pretty old school with lots of 80s references and sounds but our new EP is starting to sound a lot more contemporary although there is still a heavy influence of 80s/early 90s funk. We love making music together and both tend to get excited about the same music. For example love it or hate it (we disagree constantly) but it was a very exciting day for us when the new Bruno Mars album came out and track 8 (Finesse) was straight up New Jack Swing… we know what we love and we just want to stay true to that and keep making funky music.

What’s on the horizon for you?

At the moment we’re doing a bunch of gigs and festivals in Australia and working on finishing our new EP. We’re starting to find our audience of dedicated funk/soul fans around the world particularly in the US/UK and Japan so we’re hoping to get ourselves over seas and start doing some shows overseas. We just wanna play gigs, this music is made for a party and we want to start taking that party all over the world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s