Eilish Gilligan is a unique talent. Alongside her burgeoning career as a solo artist and integral member of Melbourne alt-pop band Frida, Eilish works as a publicist at On The Map. Productive and prolific, she was introduced to music at a young age – her parents fostering her passion from the get go.
“When I was quite young and writing songs, my dad and I put our money together and we got a keyboard. I started doing open mic nights around my hometown and then, at that point I was kind of addicted. I haven’t looked back.
Furthering her journey as a singer and songwriter, Eilish started studying music at the Victorian College of The Arts. She met some of her future bandmates in that very course.
“I did interactive composition at VCA, and then I did honours in the same thing. I met all The Cactus Channel boys at VCA and that’s how we all started Friday. They all met at high school so it goes all the way back to then. “
That group ended up expanding and setting up a studio together.
“Henry from The Cactus Channel and Frida met the Plastic boys (who are all from New Zealand) at a Roy Morgan Research call centre. It turns out they were all incredible people and amazing musicians, so we became really good friends. Not long after, Frida started a rehearsal and recording studio space.. We share it with Plastic, The Cactus Channel, Karate Boogaloo and Alex Lahey. It’s been an amazing experience.”
With a strong interest in both music production and ‘behind the scenes’ elements, in 2015 Eilish reached out to a local publicity company offering to intern. It’s been an upward trajectory ever since.
“I entered a competition called Melbourne Music Bank and met Emily Cheung who runs On The Map PR through that. She was working for the bank doing the PR for the campaign. I emailed her after the whole competition was over and said, “Hey would you like an intern, because I would like to intern for you” and she said yes! I was an intern for a while and then Emily offered me a job. I’m still working there. It’s really awesome, I’ve learnt a lot. Emily is an incredible role model, and so is Fi who also works with me.”
Listen To The Full Chat Here:
A Curated Playlist:
Frida – Limbo
I think this track is quite representative of where we are as a band at the moment. The sound, lyrical content and narrative is there. I’m really proud of this song and I think you can really see what’s being described playing out in front of you. Or at least I can, because I know what it’s about. I’m really proud of how it came out – and that’s why I’ve chosen to share it.
Tetrahedra – Everything
Where can I even start? Number one, they’re really amazing people, beautiful people. Number 2, they’re incredible musicians. I aspire to be like them every single day of my life. They’re incredibly dynamic live – watching them is like watching some sort of controlled hurricane. It’s so magnetising, you just can’t look away. I love them. I think they’re going to go really far – that’s just my hot take. They’re just remarkable – you need to see them live to fully comprehend their musicianship.
Montaigne – Glorious Heights
Montaigne is the future of Australian music. Yep, that’s it.
Ainslie Wills – Hawaii
I love Ainslie so much. She was one of my mentors for honours last year at VCA. She was a real spiritual guide. She taught me how to use my voice in ways which I had not used it before – and it became an incredibly strong instrument / weapon. I’ve always done classical training and Ainslie was my first contemporary coach. She really opened my eyes and raised my soft palate. She is a lovely person, an incredibly hard worker and a very smart person. I look up to her endlessly. She’s an incredible songwriter too – that song is a force to be reckoned with. When that chorus hits, it’s spectacular.
Olympia – Self Talk
Speaking of mentors, Olympia (whose real name is Olivia) is my mentor from The Push. We got set up through The Squad program and I had my first meting with her a couple of weeks ago. She is an absolute queen. honestly, she was like ‘okay next time I see you you’re going to have 5 new songs and you’ve got to show me them’ and I was like wow, you’re amazing. That is exactly what I wanted, somebody telling me what to do and me just doing it. She is amazing and she knows what she’s doing to an absolute tee.