Electronically infused three-piece Safia are another of Canberra’s best exports, set to entertain Friday, June 20, at Mojo’s Bar alongside Akouo and Kučka. Ahead of their trip, producer Ben Woolner spoke to TOM KITSON about their creative methods and how good things can happen when you least expect it.

Coming in open-minded and drawing on influences from their day to day surroundings, Ben Woolner says he and his band mates scour widely for inspiration.

“I’ll look online for electronic stuff generally,” he says. “We also listen to radio a lot, like community stations where you can come across new stuff.”

Drummer Michael Ball and Ben as the producer started the Safia project for fun with no intention of making it a big thing, having played in bands for years prior.

“We were playing in bands since, like, year six or seven and before Safia became what it is we had other band related things as our main focus,” he says. “We were pretty foreign to it and didn’t know what we were doing.

“Our aim is now to blend our more traditional song writing methods with electronic production, using what we’ve done in the past with sound engineering for bands.”

Winning a slot at the 2013 Groovin’ the Moo in Canberra set the trio on their path, thanks solely to internet-based exposure without even thinking about the PR side of things.

Now working on new music following up tunes like Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds and their remix of The Aston Shuffle’s Tear It Down, Ben says an album is definitely on the cards. “At the moment we’re writing a bunch of songs, just piling them up in between touring and shows,” he says. “We want to start looking towards an album once we’ve put out a few more singles.

Using a different process every time, Ben explains they might conventionally write the song on the piano to start with, and then take it to the studio to really put the ‘Safia’ stamp on it. “We try to take songs to a more unique, left-field place when we’re working together, regardless of how the idea came about,” he says. “We might try to make a song one way but then something can happen by accident, like an unintentional tempo change, which takes it in a new direction.”

Being a three piece and going by their output on Soundcloud, Safia could easily be thought of as a group of producers when in fact they are a band who uses software elements in production to distinguish their live show quite clearly from what they record in the studio.

“The live show is very different to what we put down in the studio, and we do our own stuff using all kinds of instrumentation to give it a different feel,” he says. “It might be surprising if people don’t know what we’re about because we like to add the live dynamics and each perform different roles in the setup.”


Safia play Mojo’s Bar alongside Akouo and Kučka, Friday, June 20

Get your tickets here.