The ShareSpace: Week 1 Solos

Ranking all seven acts, from first to last

Hannah Waddell. (image: The ShareSpace)

The ShareSpace is Sony Music Australia’s new webseries essentially replacing The X Factor. A bunch of YouTubers move into a house together, collab, and chuck their songs on the internet, and whoever has the most interactions at the end is the winner.

Each week we’re going to recap the performances, and rank them from first to last. That’s based solely on the performances; it doesn’t take into account anything from the Daily Shows.

If anyone from the show is reading this, please know that the feedback below is all completely honest, and aims to be constructive (because shredding people chasing their dream is just mean).

So, on day one, everyone had to do one solo performance. They were just kinda thrown in the deep end, and many of them were clearly still excited about being there and meeting everybody, so I guess these performances are more of an indication of how easily they can overcome all the nerves and excitement, and focus on the task at hand. From the top:

#1: Hannah Waddell

At first, I thought the most brilliant thing about this was the vocal. But then — and I don’t know whether this was Hannah’s idea, or a producer’s idea, but it was someone’s idea — but the way that throbbing bassline appears underneath the chorus is inspired. It takes what was a nice, relatively polite, piano ballad interpretation of Friends, and adds an urgency and neediness to the song, which a song about desperately wanting to be around your ex needs. A clear winner for Week 1.

#2: Damielou
(You Drive Me) Crazy

Damielou has done a brilliant job of completely reinterpreting what was a banger of a Britney song as a soulful acoustic ballad, and playing to her strengths. You can picture her with her guitar, playing this alone in her bedroom, pining over whoever’s driving her crazy. And that range is ridiculous.

#3: Jessica Jade
Versace On The Floor

This seems pretty similar to the original on a musical level, with the exception that it’s gender flipped, but the genius bit here is where she’s changed the line from the man’s perspective of “I love that dress but you won’t need it anymore” to her perspective of “I love this dress but I won’t need it anymore”. It’s subtle, but the effects are significant; rather than making the song about all the things Bruno’s going to do to her, and about how much of a womaniser he is, it’s now about all the things she agrees to do with him. That helps position Jessica as someone who is strong, independent, smart, and in control, and makes perfect sense given she’s inspired by R&B artists like Lauryn Hill. Excellent decision. There were a few moments where she struggles to hold one note and her voice wobbles a little bit, but, y’know, she’ll work on that.

#4: Tayla Mae
Pursuit of Happiness

The level of control she has over her voice is really something. She makes that song look easy, but that is a hard song to sing. It doesn’t have the same attitude as the original, though, which is always going to happen when it’s a Kid Cudi and MGMT song. It’s good, but it feels a bit too polite, and I don’t feel like this is the best way to showcase Tayla’s voice or personality.

#5: Take Two

So, I first heard their cover of this on Spotify, and something about it felt awkward, and then I switched to YouTube to see what was going on. Watching the playback of this, they seem nervous. Uncomfortable. They occasionally glance at the camera. It really doesn’t look like they’re connecting with the song. The song is about wanting to kill yourself because you feel your life is awful, and then begging someone not to kill themselves, and about how they should stay alive. If you’re singing those words, you need to connect with the meaning of the song. You need to look like you mean what you’re singing. That doesn’t mean “act desperate”. It means get yourself emotionally to a place where you feel that, and then feel it as you sing it. There’s a lot they’re doing right — they’re getting the timing on each other’s backing vocals spot on, for instance — but it still feels a bit colour-by-numbers.

From the Daily Shows, these guys are wildly creative, and really funny — so they’d really benefit from using some of that creativity in their next release.

#6: Tai
I Like Me Better

Vocally, it’s good, but it really could have done with taking some more risks — for the time being, it’s just forgettable. Nothing about this stands out or makes me want to know more about Tai. That doesn’t mean Tai is bad, or that the song is bad. It just sounds like when you go to iTunes and you search for a song and then rather than giving you the original song it recommends the All-Stars Karaoke Tribute version, and you go, “no, I don’t want that one, I want the (insert artist here) one”. Tai needs to do something to stand out to make people care about what he does musically. On top of that, on watching the playback, he really doesn’t look like he’s connecting with the song; you can see him thinking about the bit he’s going to sing next. Tai needs some work, but The ShareSpace is a great place to develop.

#7: Zachary Staines

It feels like Zachary is falling in the same hole Take Two and Tai fell in earlier. The song is about someone checking out your lover, and you’re right there in front of them, and it looks like you’re lover’s on the verge of leaving you for this rando — there’s a level of attitude that has to come with that. You’re turning ready to face this guy, like you’re gonna tell ’em to back the hell off, and… you’re grinning at the camera. It just felt cheesy. It’s also a bloody difficult song to sing, and Nick Jonas has an amazing voice, so it feels like the song falls flat. Pick a song that means something to you. That’s what’s going to help you get across the line.

Zach is quite strong behind the scenes as a music producer — he says he’s been producing music since he was 12 — and I feel like once he settles in to the show, and gets comfy, he’s going to improve a lot.

There’s so much potential here, which makes the remaining 24 days of the show really exciting. There’s so much room to grow and develop as artists. Bring on next week.

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