Get To Know Carla Wehbe & Her New Single 'You Make Me Sick'
Having just released her new single and wrapped up her debut headline shows, we catch up with the Sydney-based singer-songwriter on the rise
2020 seems like a lot longer than three years ago, with all the lockdowns and restrictions now a distant memory, meaning gigs and touring are more or less “back to normal”. A particularly difficult time for emerging artists who wished to establish themselves on the live stage, one such artist in this situation was Sydney’s Carla Wehbe, who we first met back in September 2020.
Since then, Carla has thankfully been able to hone her skills on the live stage, having recently played SXSW Sydney and supported The Chicks as well as playing a string of her own east coast headline shows. She’s also released a string of singles that are racking up streams, culminating in her most recent EP Jupiter and Mars back in March of this year.
She’s also just released her latest single, the 80s-synth-pop inspired sounds of You Make Me Sick, a catchy cut that sees Wehbe’s lyrics delivering a cathartic, relatable ode to anxiety and toxic relationships.
With all this going on, we caught up with Carla to find out how life has changed since 2020, live shows including her debut headline slots, what makes her sick and more!
It’s been a couple of years since we last caught up - how has your career changed since the release of your debut EP back in 2020?
My life has changed dramatically since the release of my first EP! Back in 2020. I’m now signed to Warner, Music and I have released another EP and a number of singles. I’m about to release my clothing brand which I have been working on for the last five years and I’ve played a bunch of shows since then which has been so much fun, and I have the most amazing supportive fanbase, so I’m really grateful for everything that’s happened in the last few years.
Back in 2020 you told us “I want people to feel like they’re part of the story, like it’s their story too. I want them to listen to the music and know that it was written from a place of truth, and openness to share in hopes of bringing people together” which was a really beautiful perspective. Has this philosophy changed or evolved at all since then?
I actually still feel the same about that statement! I feel like my fans do feel like they’re part of the journey and it’s their journey too. I try to keep them involved as much as I can, and in regards to the songs and their messages, I get so many people telling me how much they relate to the music and I think it’s just because I write from honest emotions and don’t try to tell people how to feel. I present a feeling and allow them to take what they need from it. i had an 80 year old woman come up to me and tell me she related to my song about being an introvert which was really cool to hear!
How is it feeling six months on from the release of your sophomore EP, JUPITER AND MARS?
It feels great! It's the best feeling playing the songs at shows and having people screaming the words with you. It's also a body of work I'm super proud of musically and visually, so it’s a nice accomplishment to have it out in the world.
Congrats on your new single 'You Make Me Sick' - how did this one come to be?
Thank you! I had a couple of sessions with Kon Kersting up in Brisbane, and You Make Me Sick was the first song we wrote together. I had been experiencing some anxiety at the time and wanted to write about that but didn’t want to make it super obvious, so I wrote it to sound like I was singing to someone I absolutely hate. i like that it’s a little vague and people don’t really know what it’s about unless i tell them, it lets them think of something or someone that makes them sick which is more fun haha.
What are some things that make you sick and tips to deal with it?
I have a lot of food allergies, so I can’t have gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar, almonds, mushrooms (the list goes on). So I just avoid all of those things like the plague. Even numbers also make me sick, I can't stand them, and I'll do everything in my power to make things odd haha.
How has your debut headline Australian tour been going?
My shows have been incredible so far, the fact that people would buy a ticket and spend their own money to come and watch me sing my little songs on stage I will never understand but I’m eternally grateful for. Performing is probably my favourite part of the job, so I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I’m getting.
What was it like supporting The Chicks?
I'm still pinching myself over the fact that I opened for The Chicks. They were the biggest stages I’ve played so far, the most amount of people, and the girls were so sweet. It was also my band's first shows together so it was a very special tour that I’ll never forget.
Do you have any other surprises up your sleeve before the year is out?
No surprises, but I have been working on a lot of new music to share next year so I’m very excited for that.
What have you been listening to lately?
I don’t listen to much music which usually surprises people, but the last song I did listen to was ‘Honey (are you coming?)’ by Måneskin.