Alex the Astronaut and Dylan Alcott have shared an interview they conducted with each other last month, in which the singer-songwriter and Paralympian discuss their disabilities.
- READ MORE: Alex The Astronaut: “I’ll tell stories as truthfully as I can – but every truth is relative”
It comes after Alex the Astronaut (real name Alexandra Lynn) explored her autism diagnosis on the single ‘Octopus’ back in March. Lifted from her forthcoming second album, ‘How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater’, it’s an uplifting guitar-pop earworm about rejecting the notion that one must fit into the world around them.
Former wheelchair tennis champion Alcott, meanwhile, has been a staunch advocate for people with disabilities for years. He launched the country’s first and only fully accessible music festival, Ability Fest, in 2018. Last year’s edition featured Lynn herself on the bill, along with Confidence Man, Nina Las Vegas, Peking Duk, Lastlings, KYE and more.
Throughout their conversation, Lynn and Alcott discuss a range of topics related to disability, including representation and accessibility for people with disabilities within the music industry. Watch below:
“When you talk about it, you normalise it, which makes more people understand that it is okay to have a disability,” Alcott explains during the video.
Lynn later adds: “I started to see people’s reaction to it and I was like, ‘Whoa, people don’t really like talking about this.’ I think I knew that would happen, but I didn’t quite realise how uncomfortable people are talking about disabilities, that they just don’t want to engage because they think they’ll say the wrong thing or whatever.”
Speaking about writing ‘Octopus’, Lynn said: “I have all of these things that make me really cool – I shouldn’t be embarrassed because I can’t do one other thing. I should be proud of myself and understand what I can contribute to the world, and not that I’ve got a deficit. That I’ve got something that I can give.”
Later on, Lynn asks Alcott why he wanted to launch Ability Fest. “I’m lucky that, I used to go to Falls, go to Splendour with you, crowd surf, get pushed up the hill. I could do it, I had great friends. But for a lot of people with high levels of disability or not as many mates as I had, they don’t get the opportunity to do that. And how beautiful’s music? Imagine never experiencing it.
“We wanted to… create that space for people who don’t normally get it,” he added. “We wanted to inspire more artists with disabilities to get out there and believe if they actually play music, they’ll get a gig.”
Lynn’s new album, ‘How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater’, is set to arrive on July 22 via Warner Music Australia. The follow-up to her 2020 debut, ‘The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing’, it was produced by Lynn along with Ball Park Music‘s Sam Cromack, Daniel Hanson and Dean Hanson. Along with ‘Octopus’, it will feature previous singles ‘Growing Up’ and ‘Airport’.
“I’d written a couple songs that were far more vulnerable than anything I’d done before, and I started to see that I needed to keep being that vulnerable if I wanted to make something that contributed to the world,” Lynn explained when announcing the album back in March.
“I like to write songs that have a purpose to them – so even if it felt uncomfortable sometimes I had to tell myself, ‘Let’s just keep swimming.'”