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René Le Feuvre

Gold Coast musician.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved to the Gold Coast in 2015 when I was 17 to pursue AFL football with the Gold Coast Suns Academy.
What do you love most about living here?
I used to live on a farm an hour south of Townsville, so the beach was a huge thing for me. I learnt how to surf and love the coffee culture here too.
Talk to us about the vibe of your music?
My music is a singer/songwriter, folk, pop vibe. My favourite artists are Ben Howard and Ed Sheeran, both for their writing styles and talents. I really appreciate someone who can capture an audience with simply themselves and their guitar, which is why when I perform I never use a backing track but rather my loop pedal which I use live at every gig.
How long have you been a musician and is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I grew up in a very musical family, everyone plays something and sings. I’ve taught myself how to play guitar since I was twelve, but didn’t start singing until I auditioned for my school musical in Year 11 because I was always too scared, especially being “a footy boy”. When I first moved here, I had a lot of trouble finding decent people to live with (and have some crazy stories about this), but I was literally broke, so I started doing busking on the weekends to make some cash. This ended up being my main income as I was training at an elite level for football and studying full-time at uni as well, so I had no time to work a regular job. Cararra Markets literally saved my life every week letting me busk there on Sundays.
From where do you find inspiration for your tunes?
So in terms of inspiration, I find a lot of the above hardships I’ve faced have influenced my songwriting. It’s like a documentation of my feelings and experiences I guess, and I try to share it in a way that is relatable to others.
What’s your favourite thing about making music? 
My favourite thing is sharing my music with someone and having an impact on them. Just like how a DJ can make the crowd move and have a good time, my music is for people to listen to when they’re not feeling their best, have a lot of stress on them or have gone through a hard season. My first single title “Here for you”, kinda sums up my intentions and brand. It’s my way of giving back.
Tell us about your latest single, Foxes, what can we expect from it?
Foxes is an upbeat song about young spontaneous love. It will be the first track on my EP which I’m releasing mid-late this year when I get back from the United States, where I’ll be performing it at SXSW in Austin, Texas! Should get some good traction from that!
Where can we catch you performing around the Coast?
You can catch me here there and everywhere, but my regular at the moment is The Journal Cafe every second Sunday. I also perform at weddings and private events!
Any advice for young musicians wanting to make a career out of music?
Don’t be afraid to share your art and your gifts. Understand that not everyone is going to like and listen to your music, but this doesn’t mean it’s bad. Find your niche and work your ass off, it doesn’t happen overnight. 
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Coffee spot: Canteen Coffee
Cafe for breakfast: Double Barrel Kitchen
Restaurant for dinner: Gemelli’s Broadbeach and Etsu
How does your weekend usually look: Breakfast at cafe’s, usually two gigs and lately, a full day in the studio. And some training.

Double Barrel Kitchen opens fresh, new waterfront space

It’s not very often we get to bring you news from Benowa but today is a day that we do Gold Coasters and it’s very good news indeed.

The lucky suburb is the brand new custodian of Double Barrel Kitchen & Bar 2.0 and that’s certainly something to celebrate.

Found on Sunland’s new Marina Concourse (opposite RACV Royal Pines Resort) and overlooking the lake, the newbie is stunning, all bright and airy with huge overhanging lights, a community-style table in the centre and an arched bar where you may perch on leather stools and gaze lovingly at the perfection of it all.

Water views and a breezy outdoor area complete the picture and it all comes together to create a setting you will absolutely want to spend all your spare time in.

If you’ve visited Double Barrel Kitchen & Bar’s first venue in Miami you’ll know they’re all about breakfast, lunch and coffee and in particular, tasty dishes you aren’t likely to sample anywhere else.

The breakfast and lunch menus are both extensive so we’ll chat about a few highlights that you should absolutely taste ASAP.

Starting with breakfast, the most important meal of the day as they say. There’s a bakery section which is SO GREAT and it’s filled with croissants and bagels and banana bread and all the very best things.

There’s a bowl section including bowls of the granola, Acai, spring oats and warm greens varieties plus all the breaky classics you know and love.

Our most favourite section though is the DBK Essentials section because it’s filled with things like Cauliflower Cheese and Corn Fritters, Brekkie Terrine and Apple & Rosella Country Pie for dessert. So good.

When lunchtime rolls around there are entrees like Jar Set Pork Rillets, tacos and arancini, mains like Truffle Mushroom Risotto and King Prawn Angel Hair pasta and Chicken Spatchcock with a blue cheese puree that we are now in love with.

There are also gourmet burgers including a Pork Belly Bahn that’s one of the very best we’ve ever tried (by far).

Drinks-wise there are milkshakes (best), smoothies, coffee by Supreme Roasters and of course a selection of alcoholic beverages including everyone’s fave sparkling tipple Moet & Chandon. Love you.

All perfect for a laidback morning of indulging in delicious goodies while overlooking the water and laughing with the gals.

If you’re looking for us, that’s exactly where we’ll be.

LOCATION: Shop 5/11 Marina Concourse, Benowa
HOURS: Open daily from 6am

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Karl ‘The Lyrical’ Smith

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!

Matt Okine

He’s one of Australia’s most beloved performers; a comedian, author and actor, and he’s coming to the Gold Coast for GC Laughs Festival on Sunday March 21st.

We sat down for a chat with Matt about what he’s excited most to do while he’s on the Coast and how one juggles doing all of the epic things he does, while also being a new Dad.

What do you love most about visiting the Gold Coast?
The beach, the sun, the surf, but also the food. I love sitting in Rick Shores on a sunny day, eating a bug roll and looking up along the beach towards the high-rises of Surfers. Followed by a session at one of the local taprooms. There is seriously no better spot in Australia to spend an afternoon eating and drinking.

What can we expect from your GC Laughs Festival show ’Solo Diner’?
Most people only know me from the radio, or TV, so they’re always surprised when they see me do a full-length stand-up show. This is where it all started for me. I guess this year’s show is about the journey from being the solo diner on tour to being the person requesting a high chair and boiling water to heat breast milk in the restaurant. It’s about lying on first dates. Its about crime podcasts and bird seed thieves. It’s about birthing classes and finding a good parking spot when your partner is 10cm dilated. It’s about all those things and more. It’s hard to explain a stand-up show! It’s about everything and nothing at the same time.

You recently wrote and starred in hit TV series, The Other Guy, can you talk to us about the premise of that and how it all came to fruition?
The Other Guy started as a stand-up show that actually won the Director’s Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The stand-up show was based on the breakdown of a relationship that had happened in my life, and we made the TV show into a fictionalised version of what happens in the aftermath of a breakdown. You see my nude butt in it quite a lot though, so if brown peaches ain’t your thing, then stay away.

Is writing a TV show something you’ve always wanted to do?
Absolutely. When I was growing up I was obsessed with Seinfeld. He’s part of the reason I even wanted to become a stand-up. TV is hard work though. On the radio, you can look like crap for your whole shift and nobody knows. But on TV, that pimple or that bald patch is forever.

You also hosted a cooking show… is cooking a passion of yours and what are your favourite dishes to cook?
I think cooking and joke-telling are pretty closely related. It really comes down to creating things that you hope other people will enjoy. Whenever I’m not performing or writing, I’m eating or thinking about food. As we speak, I’m in Adelaide at the food markets, trying to digest a huge pork roll that I just bought. I think I’ve eaten half a kilo of crackling.

Oh you also wrote a novel, talk to us about that…
My novel, Being Black n Chicken & Chips, is about a twelve-year-old boy, trying to start high school while his Mum dies of cancer. It’s based on my very first award-winning stand-up show of the same name, and I wrote the book whilst my partner was pregnant. One of the most incredible things I’ve ever been able to do is dedicate it to my daughter, Sofia. That’s the very first page of the book, but it was the last thing I wrote. All the struggling I went through to create and actually type a story became worthwhile when I realised that it’s ultimately a way for my daughter to connect with the grandmother she’ll never get to meet. I’m really proud of it.

How does one juggle all of the things you do?
Just do it. I know I stole that motto off Nike, but seriously, you just have to do it. There would be times where I would be writing late into the night and waking up at 4am to be on set by sunrise. You just have to block all the negative voices out in your head, and focus on what’s the most important thing in the moment. Stop worrying about the mountain, just worry about where to put your foot next.

If you had to choose one of the above as your greatest passion, which would you choose?
Being a good Dad.

From where do you find inspiration for your work?
Trying to find inspiration is like trying to find a partner. The more desperate you become, the more likely you’ll be going home alone (without a joke/story/etc). I try to just live my life and hope that I bump into inspiration when I’m out shopping, or catching the bus, or drunk in a bar somewhere.

Anything you’re super excited to do on the Gold Coast while you’re here?
Drinking wine and eating bug rolls at Rick Shores. I better wait ‘til the day after my gig though…

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