We’re excited to announce that the next two artists to be highlighted as part of Apple Music’s Up Next Local series are RONA. And Telenova

Apple Music’s Up Next Local series is dedicated to identifying and showcasing up and coming talent across Australia and New Zealand, hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world.

Telenova are a pop music trio hailing from Melbourne, Victoria made up of lead vocalist, writer and filmmaker Angeline Armstrong, and multi-instrumentalists and producers Edward Quinn and Joshua Moriarty. They were formed by  by Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla at an APRA SongHubs writing camp in 2020.

The band have had remarkable success with their singles ‘Bones’ and ‘Tranquilise’. Bones is a haunting single that mixes chilling lyrics with percussive instruments.

“It reminded me of this feeling I’ve had of being so trapped inside my own head, my own skin and bones,” said singer Angeline Armstrong about Bones. “We started to envision this elaborate narrative of melancholia and longing, a girl trapped in her own bones… her own disillusionment.”

Australian electronica outfit RONA. has released their debut single ‘Closure’ earlier this year. The single was written in Naarm reveals that the lyrics reference her connection to the land.

“Closure’ was written at a time when I began to reflect on how important it is to slow down, and be connected to place, to Country and community. The monologue from Helena speaks to looking after Country so it looks after us,” RONA. said.

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We spoke to both RONA. And Telenova as part of our Apple Music Up Next Local series to get their thoughts on everything from the global pandemic to the driving force behind their music and much more.


Check out ‘Closure’ by Rona.:

RONA. artist page on Apple Music.

What is one thing that has helped keep you going during the global pandemic?
Being on Country. When lockdowns were happening across the east coast of this continent, I spent as much time as I could back in the Central Desert. To First Nations people Country is everything, it’s the land, seas, skies, waterways and relationships between things. Being grounded in Country, and centering the sounds of Country in the music I created over the past couple of years has kept me strong when the world was in chaos.
Take us through how you developed your music style?
My sound continues to develop from what I’m influenced by. When I first moved to Naarm (Melbourne), I was moved by the electronic scene and the different cultures that are expressed across the city. I started buying synths and tinkering with analogue gear. After many hours and years of creating I started to figure out what felt right. The challenge has been how to express storylines in an audio landscape that are connected to who I am and where I come from. For me, music is about narrative and storytelling and my sound embeds this through sonic moments connected to place.
Tell us about your latest single; how it started, what it’s about, and anything else you’d like to share about it. 
My latest single ‘Feel it Too’ was written when I was in Naarm (Melbourne). I was inspired by one of those serendipitous moments where everything lines up perfectly. When you meet someone who matches your energy and you’re drawn in by a moment of connection. I came home from a night out and started playing the bass hook and drums over a voice note I recorded on the drive home. The song grew from there. I worked with my friend Bonny Scott to develop the music video, which brought together First Nations dancers from across Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and was an absolute joy to work on. The young people involved in the clip had so much fun, and for many of them it was the first time they’d been in front of a camera.
Why do you make music? What’s your great big ‘why’?
I make music to tell stories and share narratives that are respond to my journey in life. Music was one of the first forms of cultural exchange and expression in First Nations communities. Since time immemorial it’s been a foundation for connecting and creating space for us to share knowledge. Through music, I’m sharing parts of myself and my journey in life, embedding storylines and moments that connect us to people and place.
What’s something that you’re really excited about right now?
I’m so excited to be out and about DJ’ing across this continent. The music that I have released was written quite a while ago, and to hear how audiences respond and connect to the songs this EP is incredibly humbling and moving. I’m playing Falls Festival this coming summer and can’t wait to share my music at the festival!
If we gained access to a few songs you have on repeat at the moment, what would we find?
The Shake Up – Dameeeela
Gore – Reflex Blue
Inner Focus – Space Ghost

What’s something your fans don’t know about you, but you want to share with them?
Outside of Music I’m the CEO at Common Ground, a First Nations led not-for-profit working with mob across this continent to shape a society that centres First Nations people by amplifying knowledge, cultures and stories.
What does Apple Music’s support through Up Next mean to you?
It’s incredible to have support from platforms like this to amplify my music and my story.


Check out ‘Tranquilize’ by Telenova:

Telenova artist page on Apple Music.

What is one thing that has helped keep you going during the global pandemic?
To be honest, turning all that spare time towards songwriting and creating really kept us going as a band during the pandemic! Obviously that was a mix of in-person and sort of creating separate elements when we couldn’t meet altogether. But writing a body of work knowing that one day we were going to record and then perform live gave me a lot of hope and direction.
Take us through how you developed your music style?
We all come from pretty different musical backgrounds and tastes – there’s a real mismatch of classic rock and roll, alt folk, indie rock, alt electronica and hip hop influences across our different musical tastes and I think that variety comes into play in the music we create together as a band. It’s sort of got elements of all those worlds. Because of that diversity of what we all brought to the table in that first songwriting session we ever did (where we wrote Tranquilize, actually!) the musical style was sort of just there from the start. We never intentionally set out to “develop our style”. It was pretty innate.
What do you see as your secret weapon when it comes to your music?
I think the collaborative nature of the whole band, and the “trio” element makes it a really smooth and enjoyable process. There’s no ego. There’s only three of us, so there’s always a majority vote on any creative crossroads or disagreements. We all know our lane and we all respect each other’s musical giftings and experience – Ed’s Dr Dope with the cool beats and production flair, Josh is the chords man and plays every instrument, and I’m usually spearheading lyrical narrative and vocal melody and the visual aesthetic.
Tell us about your latest single; how it started, what it’s about, and anything else you’d like to share about it. 
Josh put the skeleton of the instrumental together on this one – and Ed and I fell in love with it immediately and so we continued to flesh it all out together. There was something so intriguing and somewhat inviting, but also haunting, about the organ chords at the start of the song coupled with that super cool laid back groove. It was kind of hip hop and kind of gothic at the same time. That inspired the bridge lyrics ‘slowly pull me into your dark Cathedral / promise that you’ll hold me.’ It started off as a song about being so ‘haunted’ by the love of someone you just can’t get enough of, but someone who is really no good for you. I’m a big romantic gothic literature fan (nerd alert) so I reckon my early love of novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were at play in terms of lyrical influences. The funny thing is that as Josh and I started really nutting out the lyrics, the ‘lover’ in the story took on a more sinister nature and more of a metaphorical role. We realised the ‘lover’ wasn’t necessarily a person – but could be anything that promised you the world, but plunged you into suffering instead. For both of us, the song is really more about addiction than a tragic love story.
‘Sell my soul for a glimpse of beauty / I feel it bloom in my arms / But now the fantasy withers slowly losing all it’s charms’… Josh is pretty open about his relationship with alcohol in his past, and so we were drawing on a lot of those experiences in painting the picture of this metaphorical ‘lover’ drawing you in, and then bleeding you dry. I was tapping into some dark places I’d been with social media addiction – it’s such a seemingly flippant and harmless thing of our times, but I reckon that’s what makes it so dangerous, seriously. It sucks the life out of you and makes you hate people. What’s flippant about that.
‘Give my blood for a taste of heaven / But now it’s bleeding me dry / I see the light in a fleeting moment till it blinds my eyes’. 
Getting Styalz in on this for some additional production and melodic flair was super fun – he helped us reshape the chorus melody to have a bit more pop flair and punch to it. Which I think formed a really interesting contrast to the super literary lyrics. I remember doing the bridge vocals in the studio and Styalz just laughing and going ‘woah. These lyrics are pretty intense lol’.
What are five attributes you think an artist needs to have in order to have career longevity in this music industry?
That question is really tough to answer because we haven’t had career longevity, but speaking with those who have, I think it’s usually patience. And having trust in your team to guide you in the right direction. You need to be aligned with your management, label and booking agent etc. to have any shot of getting the music youre making / message you’re sending out there. So you probably also need great communication skills with the people behind the scenes too. But yeah, tough question to answer because we’re only just releasing our second EP. But I assume that’s what you need!
Why do you make music? What’s your great big ‘why’?
I think for me it’s just because I still have ideas and sketches of pieces floating around in my mind at all times. I just feel like I have to get them out or I’ll go crazy. I also dunno what else to do with my time that gives me the same kinda buzz so there is goes. It’s like a sick little addiction and obsession really, all focus and attention on a piece of music for however longs it takes to get it completed and then the taste and flavour is exhausted so you move on to the next. I’ve done it this long so why stop now really.
What’s something that you’re really excited about right now?
I think getting this next group of songs out to people and playing a run of Australian festivals at the end of the year. It feels like we’ve already got such an open minded and thoughtful audience, so seeing how they react to this new batch of songs excites us. Also playing the new ones live at festivals and seeing which ones translate will be interesting.
If we gained access to a few songs you have on repeat at the moment, what would we find?
Kendrick Lamar feat. Sampha – Father Time
Pusha T feat Kanye West – Dreamin Of The Past
Harvey Sutherland feat sos – Type A
Felivand – Butterfly Wings
Pearl Charles – Givin’ It Up
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
What’s something your fans don’t know about you, but you want to share with them?
I was a bad ass roller blader as a kid, kinda desperate to get back into it actually, I think it could maybe be cool again??
What does Apple Music’s support through Up Next mean to you?
It’s an honour to join an incredible list of amazing artists who have featured on Up Next over the years.  We’re grateful for being selected by the editorial team and for being given a platform to share our music far and wide with Apple Music users across the country.

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