Growing up swimming with dolphins and singing to them has undoubtedly influenced 18-year-old songstress Matilda Pearl’s musicality and aesthetic as an artist. Her dad’s family have owned and operated Sorrento’s Polperro Dolphin Swims for more than 30 years. As a result of spending her formative years on Polperro, swimming in Port Phillip and learning about the coastal ecosystem, Matilda has a deep connection to the sea and strong environmental values. While she has a heart and mind for the big issues, it’s bringing joy through her pop and dance music that has her world turning right now.
Matilda describes her music style as ‘mermaid meets disco ball’. “It’s a mix of growing up on the Peninsula and also growing up in musical theatre, a glittery and aquatic combination,” she says.
Finding her singing voice at a young age, Matilda starred in many school musicals and this ignited dreams of making it big on Broadway. Her direction twisted and turned as she explored her talents, learning to play saxophone and landing herself roles singing in Victorian Opera productions. Her love of dance and disco eventually rose to the top, seeing Matilda write, record and produce her own songs and videos. The young talent’s influences include Deee-Lite, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Dua Lipa, Boney M, and Jamiroquai.
For a taste of Matilda’s vibe, tune into her single Soak, a song she wrote, recorded and produced at home in isolation last year, complete with video clip. The fun mermaid coastal theme, catchy lyrics and bopping bassline will have you up and dancing away the pandemic blues. Reviewed as her ‘breakthrough single’, Soak brought a bigger fanbase to Matilda’s music and along with it her signing to the record label Sweat It Out, UNIFIED management, Lonely Lands booking agency, and Sweat It Out and Kobalt on a publishing front. “You can learn so much being an independent artist, but it is tiring wearing all the hats. So now that I have a team around me I’m enjoying being able to focus on my songwriting and developing myself as an artist.”
Matilda was all set to launch her single Linger at the end of July when an extended lockdown rained on that electro-pop parade. The gig has been rescheduled to next month, but in the meantime you can check out Linger on all streaming platforms. Peninsula music mate JAMO will be supporting along with Melbourne’s Elle Murphy. “What’s great about the music industry in Australia is people are so willing to collaborate,” says Matilda. “It isn’t a competition; it’s all about reaching out to people and connecting.”
When she was at school, a careers teacher suggested Matilda needed to find a “realistic” career. “I started looking into speech pathology and then thought if I put all my energy into plan B, it takes away from putting my energy into finding success with my music.”
Her belief and commitment are paying off, with her singles popping up in all the right places – including MTV, Rage, and JJJ Unearthed. Seems that being a pop star is a realistic career after all. Follow Matilda on Instagram @matilda_pearl, TikTok @matildapearl and Facebook @matildapearlmusic, and catch her single launch at Northcote Social Club on October 14. For tickets, go to www.northcotesocialclub.com