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Karl ‘The Lyrical’ Smith

Gold Coast musician and gamer.

He’s the local musician who has been on the scene for quite some time now, delighting people with his unique tunes and upbeat energy. These days though, Karl “The Lyrical” Smith is more than a musician, he’s also a Podcaster and Gamer and on Sunday March 15th he’ll be hosting Pop & Play – a supercharged festival of eSports and music in a celebration of Asian pop culture –  at HOTA (Home of the Arts).

We sat down for a chat with Karl about his career thus far and the transition from Karl Smith to The Lyrical.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve only been a Gold Coast local since 2018 but have fallen deeply in love with it very quickly. I have always had a beautiful relationship with the Coast through my music as well.

What do you love most about living here?
I mean, if having such easy access to some of the world’s greatest beaches isn’t enough of an answer, what about being part of the awesome musical and creative community that just keeps growing here?

Talk to us about your transition from Karl Smith to The Lyrical…
“The Lyrical” has been my “performance name” since before the busking days in Fortitude Valley, as far back as the early 2000’s. Back in our hip-hop crew days, a fellow rapper, Day Know, jokingly dubbed me “The Lyrical Shaman” once… and (most of) it stuck. I’ve been trying to live up to the expectations of the name ever since and I love the challenge.

You grew up in the Solomon Islands, how has your childhood impacted the music you make today?
So much of my original music (and even the covers I choose to play) is still influenced by early years in the islands. And not just the traditional music of the islands, but also, and arguably more so, the dated pop music and Disney songs we were exposed to well after the rest of the world was done with it haha!

What can we expect from your upcoming event at HOTA?
I will actually be hosting POP & PLAY! I’ll be running around and hopefully not making a fool of myself while getting absorbed by the colourful and entertaining events on display and guiding you all along for the ride!

You’re also a podcaster and a gamer, what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?
I have always deeply loved gaming. It has inspired much of my life and has helped me through more than any other medium, be it music to books to movies. Gaming had always been the place I go to, not just to escape, but to rebuild. Next time we meet in person, just look at my arm tattoo and you might understand the journey a touch more…

From where do you find inspiration?
See above! Haha! But, as cliché as it is, everywhere. I’ll be reading a random book and come across a beautiful quote and run to my desk to turn the concept into a song. You just never know. I try to stay open to being inspired by anything.

What else is in the works for 2020?
I have several tours around Australia with my music as “The Lyrical” and looking to record more music. In the gaming world, I will be heading over to Comicon in San Diego in July for a sneaky personal peek to finally see and report back what that is all about. Callan (my Game Train Podcast co-host) and I also have a LOT more planned for our Twitch streaming and podcasting adventures in 2020 so watch this space!

What advice do you have for someone looking to create a career in the performance arts?
I am definitely not old or wise enough to give advice to anyone except to say that if I could, I would 100% do it all again. The seven years of busking, the slow burn with venues and the friendships and connections through both music and video game worlds. They have moulded me into a performer and person I am proud of. So I guess, do that?

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Coffee spot:
Jac + Eileen’s (Palm Beach) There is legit: No. Better. Coffee.
Cafe for breakfast: So many great spots around but I always just end up back at Jac & Eileen’s… they have books and everything!!
Restaurant for dinner: Burgster (Palm Beach)
How does your weekend usually look? I’m usually anywhere between Airlie Beach and Yamba doing a live show. And if not, I’m streaming on Twitch at home playing video games with a network of other legends and having a blast!

Caitlin Verrall

She’s the local lass about to take the fashion world by storm and we are pretty thrilled about it.

We sat down for a chat with Caitlin Verrall about her label The Weft and the release of her stunning second collection, Outliers.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
It would be close to 12 years now. I moved to the Gold Coast to study design in my early 20s and now it’s home. I worked in London for a couple of years in between but you can’t beat our lifestyle.

What do you love most about living here?
I love the laid-back and friendly nature of Gold Coasters, and the enterprising nature behind many of us who choose to live here for the lifestyle balance. I also love the access we have to endless beaches and camping spots as you head south, and that Brisbane is only up the road.

Tell us about your fashion label The Weft?
The Weft was born out of a need for beautiful, unassuming clothing. I love subtle, enduring and well-crafted pieces, so everything is designed with this in mind. I work mainly with a monotone palette and use all natural fabrics. The designs are clean and minimal, so pieces can be worn on their own or as a compliment. We just released our second collection, Outliers, which offers everything from the classic Smith ‘90s Dress to the statement Ithica Wrap Dress. It’s a beautiful range of timeless, laid-back silhouettes, with matching separates emerging for the first time.

How did it come about?
I spent more than 10 years working for global brands which produced large ranges of clothing several times throughout the year. While it was great exposure, my heart was in creating pieces that transcend seasonal cycles and become personal favourites.

I had designs bouncing around in my head and sketchpad and was excited (and also a little nervous) to finally release my first range, Essential Eccentric. A small collection of carefully curated designs, it really set the tone for The Weft with a great response from across Australia and even some orders from overseas.

What does the brand name mean?
In weaving, the weft is passed over and under the warp to turn thread or yarn into woven fabric. I once heard San Francisco described as a place with an ‘eccentric weft’ – a destination for dreamers and misfits and for those who like to sit at the edge of the continent and look even further west. This phrasing really resonated with me with something special woven into each piece from The Weft.

From where do you draw inspiration?
All around me. It changes daily. I’m a visual person – beautiful photographs inspire me. Ceramics are really inspiring me at the moment (and you can probably tell if you follow The Weft on Instagram). Generally, people doing something unique or new is always inspiring. It pushes you to do the same, to do better.

What’s your favourite piece in the current collection?
The Smith Cigarette Pant would have to be my favourite from Outliers. I’m very much a comfort dresser, so these pants are perfect. They’re tailored and cut from a soft, fluid linen blend. They can be worn with some slides and a tank and also dressed up with a pair of heels. Versatility in a garment is key for me. The Smith Pant and Shirt have been popular in this collection.

Any advice for someone wanting to start their own fashion label?
It feels strange offering advice, but I can say the market is busy and you have to establish trust. I think it is important to have authenticity and a clear purpose. And quality pieces that are thoughtfully designed.

What’s in the works for 2020 for you?
Outliers is our focus at the moment, but we are also planning a new collection for release later this year.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast:
Paddock Bakery is still my favourite breakfast jaunt.
Coffee spot: BSKT is within walking distance from home, but I’ll happily grab a coffee from anywhere – especially if I tag along for a morning surf check with my partner.
Restaurant for dinner: I love restaurants with share plates or tapas – Light Years is a new favourite.
How does your weekend usually look? It’s a little different these days with a 5-month-old. We’re up early to make a coffee and head over the road for an ocean swim and some sun. We often drive south to Kingscliff for lunch or a picnic at Talle Creek with friends. We love a weekend away too – we just got back from camping near Brooms Head.

Constanza Goeppinger

She’s the local lass creating stunning artwork that you’re going to need to hang in your home. Her inspiration comes from vintage photographs and same to be honest.

We sat down for a chat with Constanza about her advice for anyone wanting to get started in a creative career and how her illustration career came about.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I lived on the Gold Coast for five years but I’ve been living at Cabarita Beach for the last two.

What do you love most about living here?
I love the beach and the relaxed lifestyle the Gold Coast offers. I come from a big city so it was a nice change of pace.

Tell us about your path to becoming an artist…
I originally studied a Bachelor of Business in Chile, but after some time I realised it wasn’t my passion so I decided to go back to school and study a short course in Graphic Design. I loved it! After I graduated I started doing small jobs with wedding invitations, I started doing more drawings and bought an iPad and never stopped drawing. After a few months I started getting jobs as an illustrator and now I do it as a full-time job!

How would you describe the work you create?
My work is very feminine and colourful.

What’s your favourite thing to illustrate?
Women, flowers and fashion.

From where do you find inspiration for your work?
I get inspiration through editorial fashion photographs or vintage photographs.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to start a creative career?
Be patient and persevere. It’s hard at the beginning but if you work hard and put your work out there, whether it’s through social media or by showing your work face to face, people eventually will start noticing.

Where can we buy your art?
I have an online shop through my website www.constanzag.com.au and sometimes I go to the Village Markets in Burleigh Heads.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Cafe or breakfast: Baked at Ancora
Coffee spot: Riff Raff in Cabarita Beach, or Espresso Moto in Cooly
Restaurant for dinner: Greenhouse Canteen in Coolangatta
How does your weekend usually look: I usually spend it in Cabarita, at the beach.

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