Coming to America

Artist: Missy Higgins
Published: 2008-03-24

When I spoke to Aussie songstress Missy Higgins she was readying herself for her New York stop on her North American tour after just finishing a successful gig in Toronto at Canadian Music Week. Higgins gushed that she loved Toronto, even in spite of the fact that she touched down the day after one of the city’s biggest snowstorms, she said, “It was a snow wonderland.”

Though her star is most definitely rising on this continent, back in her home country of Australia she’s already a bona fide star. Her debut album The Sound of White went nine times platinum and spent seven weeks at number one, it also took home five ARIA Awards (That’s the Aussie version of the Grammys or Junos) including “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for her first single “Scar”.

In North America, her sophomore album On A Clear Night hit record stores in February (it’s been out in Australia since last year) and she’s back to touring the smaller venues and doing tons of promotion. Though she’s far from home and starting over on a new continent she feels good about her North American reception, “audiences are much more willing to make you feel at home.”

In fact, she’s so committed to gaining a North American audience that she’s moved here, “I felt like I really needed to base myself here,” she says of her new L.A. home, “I’m geographically trying to work this album in the US…I’m basing myself here until the end of this album’s time.”

So far the move seems to be going well. Moving to tinsletown has scored her single “Where I Stood” a spot on various popular American TV shows including One Tree Hill, Smallville and Grey’s Anatomy. She’s also mounted a headlining tour of venues around the continent.

The big move to L.A. wasn’t only because of her commitment to her North American fans, but because of her commitment to making this a greener planet, “I’m trying to make touring environmentally friendly,” she says. By moving to North America for the time being she’s able to cut down on flights, and the tour bus that she’s been riding across the continent in is powered by bio diesel, a type of natural fuel that cuts down on the emissions that a vehicle produces.

Other environmental efforts like ensuring venues are run with renewable power and that things are generally organic are other little efforts she makes sure to do. “People make careers now on helping people make tours greener,” she tells me, “[an environmentally sustainable tour] is not really that out of this world.”

Though she’s enjoying her career as a singer-songwriter she keeps it all in perspective, “I’m going to keep writing songs and if it happens that I get my songs together to get an album, I will [put one out],” she says. But she also mentions that in spite of her successes, after this album she’d like to take a breather, “I’d like to be able to stand still.” She says, “I’d really like to keep friendships going and have my pantry stocked.” But she’s in no rush, “I’m having a ball. I’m in a really great place right now in my life and in my career.”

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Writer: Michelle Garcia

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