She may have notched up more than 520,000 views in four months with her new single Zombie Barbie on YouTube, but 24-year-old Adelaide musician Levitika can’t seem to attract the attention of Australian radio stations.
Levitika has been writing her own songs since she was 13.
“I’ve always loved music for as long as I can remember and I have always really liked in particular rock or alternative rock music,” she said.
After studying singing and playing piano through school, a chance meeting with record producers at Halls Gap in Victoria saw her lift to a semi-professional level.
The groups were on a walking path to a waterfall when one of the producers commented that she looked like an artist they worked with.
“I was like ‘that’s interesting because I am a musician’,” Levitika said.
She sent the producers a sample and was soon added to their list of artists.
“I did one song when I was quite young and then I really started getting into it again only quite recently,” she said.
In the four months since Levitika has been focussing purely on her music career she has begun co-writing and producing songs with Jeff Blue of Linkin Park, Macy Gray, Limp Biskit and Korn fame.
Levitika lists her own musical influences as Linkin Park, Slip Knot and Three Days Grace, and now finds herself being compared to the likes of Marilyn Manson and Pink.
“I’m really flattered by that, I love Marilyn Manson, he’s one of my favourite artists,” she said.
With three songs added to her YouTube channel, Levitika has collectively attracted almost 550,000 views and listens to her songs Spider, Black Rain and Zombie Barbie.
But it has been after travelling to the United States to film her video clip with Nima Nabili Rad and Ciaran Jordan that her career has begun to take-off.
“The countries that seem to be engaging the most are the USA and Europe,” she said.
She has also received airplay on radio stations in Scotland and across the United States, but is struggling to gain traction at home.
“Australia doesn’t seem to have any radio stations that cater towards rock music — there is triple j, which I think is great, but I haven’t been able to get anything on them,” Levitika said.
Although she is listed as an artist with the Australian Performing Rights Association, Levitika thinks it may be because she has not been able to be signed to a major record company that radio stations may not be interested in airing her song.
“As far as I know you have to be on a [record company] label to get airplay on a lot of radio stations here,” she said.
With no current interest in signing her to a major label, Levitika said she was happy to keep trying and would not change to conform to mainstream standards.
“Be who you are or don’t do it at all,” she said.
“I would rather do what I love, do what I feel passionate about, than sell my soul and be something that I am not.”
Zombie Barbie explained
Although it may seem like a catchy rock-pop tune on the surface, Levitika said there was a deep, underlying message to her song.
“It’s about society being superficial and turning us into this certain ideal person and it’s about saying screw that concept,” she said.
“It’s saying that people should be free to be who they are and express themselves in the way that they want to express themselves and that’s something that I feel very strongly about.”
Levitika will perform live after Adelaide’s Zombie Walk on October 10.