An Interview with Sydney Pop Artist Voh

Words: Olivia Adams
Artist: Voh
Photos: Olivia & Voh

“We had a rule in our house. You’re not allowed to tell someone to stop singing…that was the rule because it’s self-expression”


Walking up to Voh’s house, this rule of self-expression became vividly apparent. A garage door opened and I was greeted by musical instruments, colourful walls and creative people. Voh has lived above this warehouse since she was 10 with her family. In this abode of creativity where the walls don’t reach the ceilings, they have all let their creativity flow without barriers.

“I have a very musical family” is an understatement coming from Voh who has frequent post-dinner family jams. I was even privileged enough to hear an unreleased track that Voh collaborated on with her mum. With a family like this, it’s easy to see how her favourite memories as a kid were just sitting around in this studio with her mother as she painted and played Eminem and ’70s classics. “My parents never had your conventional full time job where they worked nine to five. I didn’t grow up with that example” she expressed to me.

I could hear and see that Vohs mum was one of her greatest inspirations. Voh’s mother has art splatted on canvases all over the warehouse and Voh and I chatted in her studio surrounded by art supplies and finished and unfinished projects. “One of the things I want to do in my lifetime is write a book about her art…I could talk about her forever” she told me when we first sat down. Her mum experienced her mid-life crisis before Voh was born and went part-time as a lawyer to pursue her art career and has always nurtured the idea of valuing your inner voice.


Voh struggled with the idea of creating a persona for her music because she didn’t believe she fit with her upbeat songs. She was visualising this pop star and that felt far removed from her identity. Her mother convinced Voh to accept her authentic self and release her music as herself. “This is you, you’re a very positive person Violet” Voh recalled her mother reminding her of her electric energy. Once Voh started writing and releasing, it hit her that she had to scrap the character because there was a pop star in her and she embodied the beauty of being multifaceted.


What helps Voh fight off these insecurities that come up as an artist, is the idea that her music is all about giving. “To me, you need to take the ego out, because it’s not about me, it’s about the potential to give to other people” she reiterated to me. Hearing that people listen to her music on their hot girl walks and having moments of joy on stage with ecstatic audiences gives her a long-lasting high.

Her music journey came later but she already had this strong connection to expressing herself. When she was pondering what she wanted to do with her life, she was drawn back to the strong feeling she embraces when she hears music. “ …it just fills my whole mind…and it can cause the most interesting nuanced feeling.” She told me the physical feeling of exhaling while singing is such a relief that she’s always loved. “Since we were little, we had a rule in our house. You’re not allowed to tell someone to stop singing…unless someone’s tone deaf or trying to sleep …but you know that that was the rule because it’s self-expression… It’s not something that should be quiet”. She admits there’s a horrid video of her out there scream singing but having that freedom to be bad motivated her to keep going and create the songs she has.


“I find this question hard” Voh responded when I asked her who were her biggest influences on her latest EP V.POP. “I just kinda do whatever comes out…it’s hard to know where that comes from”. As a stan for pop music, Voh advocates that people who think they’re above pop need to get a grip because there’s a reason it attracts people. The feel-good energy of pop music unites generations together in catchy fun choruses, so if you’re anti-pop, you might be a Grinch or stuck in 2013. Voh shared with me her love for female pop artists such as Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, Charlie XCX and Billie Eilish. On the train to see Voh, I was listening to her EP and shared that immediately after I had the urge to listen to Miley Cyrus. “That makes me so happy. I love her and I also love her attitude” Voh exclaimed. We briefly dove into the shameless performance that Miley was giving at the Grammy’s, which female artists ruled this year. Voh expressed that Miley was giving some serious Tina Turner vibes and that ‘…people can only benefit from dropping their inhibitions and be open to showing their quirks and being imperfect.” In recent years female artists are coming into the spotlight and owning the music industry, expressing themselves freely and sweeping up amazing achievements.

Speaking of achievements, Voh has rounded up a few of her own. Her first single Away, landed on Triple J Unearthed as the track of the day which led to a play on Triple J. In addition, My Kind Of Bad was added to Sydney’s Hip-hop and R&B radio station, Qaeda. Voh seems very grateful and aware of how hard it is to land radio plays due to the gatekeeping nature of big stations. A big thing that blows her away is having people message her because they hear her tracks in stores like Myer, Apple and even at the Gym.


Voh created some visual videos for each song on the EP. “Can I just say it’s like birthing a child…five times. Music videos are a lot of work but I love… it’s the most immersive format. you’ve got music, which in itself is already so immersive. But then you’ve got visuals and working with so many different people”. Her mum and dad are both often behind the scenes with her music videos, with her dad filming and her mum directing. Voh took me over to the painting that stars as the location for her music video Away. Her mother, who used to be a muralist described to me the Renaissance fresco technique she used to glaze popping prehistoric futuristic surfaces. “Mum has all these visions. She was like, you’re going to be pretending you’re sliding down a volcano…I’ll do a painting. And I’m like, no Mom, that can’t happen. But then we like did some tests. She did the painting. I went in front of a green screen, and then it was happening. And then it happened. then it was on MTV Asia”. Vohs is obviously in awe of how her family comes together in support to utilise their skills and make magic on a budget.

Although she loves to eat up life, Voh is getting rather full. With another EP on the horizen, and the ambition to perform more, Voh has an exciting year ahead.