An A+ Melbourne band, Fulton Street is Smooth, Smart and Sophisticated. The purple Vinyl spins throughout the day, filling the lazy Sunday with a rich ambience. This band is beyond an emerging band of young musicians, as the finished quality of their sound begs disbelief.
FULTON STREET interview with Shannen Wick; Lead Singer.
I started Fulton Street in 2012 with our drummer, Daniel. We studied Indonesian language together at Monash Univeristy, and it wasn’t until we were forced to work together on a group assignment that we both discovered we had a passion for music. After smashing an oral exam, we decided to start a band. We placed ads up all around campus, asking for anyone to join our soul/funk outfit. It was another 6 months before we had found a crew that was committed to our idea of writing and performing originals. Soon, we were being booked for gigs but we didn’t have a band name. Our then saxophonist, Hanna suggested that we name ourselves Fulton Street – the name of the street we rehearsed on every Monday night for about 4 years.
We’ve been influenced for many years now by the sounds of Daptone Records – Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, Budos Band, etc. Recently, we’ve discovered the amazing artists coming out of Colemine Records too. Locally, our musical heroes include: The Bamboos, Cookin’ On 3 Burners, The Putbacks and The Meltdown. We’re very lucky to have worked with and even been taught by some of these local legends!
Both sides of my family are claiming I get my voice from them, haha. My whole family loves to sing. We have a couple of guitarists in the family too. Music has always been apart of my life ever since I can remember, but apart from my great-uncle, no one has pursued a career in music – except for me.
‘Check Yourself’ was written during the US elections, 2016. At the time, I was seeing and hearing a lot about migrant family separation, and the disturbing impact of displacement and alienation faced by those affected children. Jamie and I wanted to write a song, urging future generations to take complete ownership of their race, skin colour, religious beliefs, etc. We wanted to challenge everyone to let go of their judgments for a better future.
I feel that young people are not often listened to and are often underrepresented. If you think about the current political climate, how many young voices do you see or hear? It’s a shame – I think young people have a lot to offer in terms of fresh new ideas, and helping us move forward in this ever-changing world.
We’re super happy with the release! We’ve learnt a lot from our first ‘soul baby’ and Ivan Khatchoyan (Cookin’ On 3 Burners, The Traffic) was an amazing mentor and producer throughout the whole process. Our next single has already been tracked, but that won’t be released for a little while yet. We’re still enjoying the ride that ‘Problems & Pain’ is taking us on.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? MP
It’s crazy how fast the last 6 years have gone! I’m hoping that in 5 years time, Fulton Street will still be playing, continuing to develop our sound and stage performance, writing and releasing music, and touring!
What are some of the challenges that you have faced? MP
I manage Fulton Street. I book our gigs. I write our songs. I’m also the front lady. I never studied Business, Events or Music. So, there are always new challenges I’m faced with in the running of the band! But it’s all a big learning curve, and I am a huge believer in that you ‘learn by doing.’ The guys are always supportive. Thankfully, we also have a lot of musician friends and mentors who have guided us and given us advice when we’ve needed it!
Fulton Street is quite a large group. There can be anywhere between 7 to 12 people involved in our live shows. We all juggle study, work, rehearsal and other gig commitments. But at the end of the day, we all make the band our priority, and I think that’s why we work so well. We’re in a niche little market in terms of the soul/funk scene. There’s not a huge demand for it. But at the end of the day, if we write music with a positive social message and give our 110% onstage, people will take notice.
Are you planning a tour, local or o/seas?MP
We’d love to do a regional and interstate tour, so hopefully we can get that happening in the next few months. I think our long-term goal would be to head overseas for recording and touring.
You played Fed Square on New Years, how did that come about and what was the night like? MP
Multicultural Arts Victoria contacted us about playing Federation Square for New Years Eve, 2017. The atmosphere on that night was incredible. We’d finish playing a song and the cheers from the audience would just wash over the stage in waves. It is definitely a show and NYE we’ll never forget.
by April Forward.
New Album Problems & Pain