Jasmine Phull might be pint-sized in body, but she certainly isn't in character. The poster girl for DIY, she's put together a magazine, Profile Pub,
and now a festival in the space of just 12 months. We’ve been bleating on about all the great stuff she’s been doing, so with Razzmatazz Festival
just around the corner she clued us in on the whole deal.
You conceived Profile Pub as a way to meet people you admired, what’s the story behind the street festival?
Same thing, different platform. I wanted to meet dope people and learn new skills and I’d already ‘conquered’ the magazine world (I use that word loosely and am obviously being facetious). I guess I’m about making opportunities rather than finding them. I’d say you’ve got a much greater success rate that way [smiley face]. Sometimes it’s harder to convince people of your ‘value’ especially when you are impatient and newish to the ‘circle’. I’ve worked on both sides of the world and people are cliquey no matter the hemisphere. Plus putting ’founder of a festival‘ on your CV is the bomb diggity.
What drew you to the name ‘Razzmatazz’ for the festival?
Names are always so subjective; they will always cause a divide. I didn’t want to lose too much sleep over the titular but I still wanted it represent me. I swiftly avoided names such as The Northside Festival and instead I called a friend. Surround yourself with those more amazing than yourself and you’ll never need a lifeline. My friend Jo calls me Razz, she suggested Razzmatazz and it stuck. It’s zany, awkward and nonchalant all at the same time. Also it’s a name that sticks to the tongue.
What’s been the biggest challenge in putting together the festival?
The council. Finding out that they’d rejected my application a week and a half before Razzmatazz was meant to occur. Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster that was... Fortunately I met with the director as well as three board members and presented my case. Picture this: four elderly gents and myself – head held high, chest out… JOKE. And now we’re here, so all I can say is that I conquered the shit outta that meeting. My own personal challenge is that I’m a control freak. It’s as much of a curse as it is a blessing. At the beginning I tried to do Razzmatazz with a few others but it didn’t work. You need to be steadfast in anything you do and if you’re more comfortable and confident taking the bull by the balls and going solo, then do it - don’t sacrifice creative control. I work hard so I can afford to rely on my own bank account. Mo’ money, mo’ freedom. The only bad thing about going solo is that in times of hardship there’s no one else that can really share the burden. Though, as with any of my projects, my friends are my soundboards. If you see them working behind the bar on Sunday tell them they are effing awesome, also my family are so amazing.
What’s going to be your next move post-Razzmatazz?
People keep alluding to the “next Razzmatazz”. All I see is the Razzmatazz taking over Elliot Street, Fitzroy
on Sunday 15 April
. That street won’t know what hit it. I’ve managed to tackle a publication and a festival in the span of one year, so who knows what’s around the corner? I can’t wait for the hoedown that is Razzmatazz this Sunday. Come say hey.
You’ve handpicked the bands for the day. Could you take us through each band and why you chose them?
ZOMG. Have you heard them? They will immediately woo you with their Phoenix-like sound, but it’s their head-bopping, pop tunes that’ll have your feet moving in every which way. I really, really look forward to their EP release. Hurry upppppppp.
I wanted to curate a varied lineup that would hopefully expel any indie stigmas that are attached to the Fitzroy location. Like-minded people gravitate. That’s it. Screw that South VS hipster North malarkey (rant over). M-Phazes was the first act to get back to me. I was over the moon. He’s Australian and he creates hip hop but – and I hate to create labels – he doesn’t carry that Australian hip hop sound that so many people seem to scurry away from. His music has awesome instrumental and his MC-ing merely compliments it. He appeals to more than just the Aussie hip hop crowd.
Love these guys. Best thing about this festival, and any project I take on, is the people. I’ve seen this trio out and about quite a bit and have also seen them play a bunch of times. They have so much energy and they bring such a different sound and vibe to Melbourne’s ears. You think you’ve heard it all and then BAM - Scotdrakula screech into the microphone, sweat seeping from their pores. Also they look awesome on stage, which is always a plus. My sound engineer Joe Fairburn had also worked with them before I hired him. Great people always mix in the same circles.
I saw them at Laneway festival and they are awesome. The quartet doesn’t carry that typical indie rock look. Their outfits aren’t the main priority but their onstage antics and the music they collectively create are. We voyaged to their Yarraville Mansion for the photo shoot and they were totally up for it. It involved a one-man stage, a slightly murky swimming pool, a giant chicken coop, a couple of bunnies, the highest kitten I’ve ever met and a zebra throw for the wall, which had me in awe. Their music and who they are is one and the same.
I, A Man:
I, A Man have been reaching such crazy heights of late. They just supported the UK’s Bombay Bicycle Club and had their EP launch only a month before that. They kind of remind me of one of my fave US bands Local Natives, yet they’re Australian enough without sounding like Matt Corby (thank God). I love their acoustics and love their writing. Their manager Sarah Guppy was actually one of the featured few in the debut issue of my mag Profile Pub. Like I said, connections all over the place.
Electric Sea Spider:
Jim is a legend. He’s so unaffected and all about his sound. He’s another artist that needs to bring out an LP, or at least an EP, ASAP. I’ve listened to his Soundcloud more times than I can count. Everyone will tell you he sounds like that whole Fly-Lo crew, but I’d say the UK’s Gold Panda. Meanwhile, Electric Sea Spider lives with Wooshie! Now that is what I call cool. During the photo shoot all we could hear was music falling out of the womb. Is that gross?
Razzmatazz Street Festival is this Sunday 15 April on Elliot Street in Fitzroy. You can stay in the loop by following Jasmine's movements via Razz's Stream of Consciousness
or by joining her Facebook pages for Profile Pub