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Emerging Artist Of The Month: The Optimists

Our Emerging Artist of the Month for June will be making their Isle of Wight Festival Main Stage debut on Sunday (June 18) after winning this year's Wight Noize competition.

It hasn't been an easy road for The Optimists, who have been plugging away several years to reach this point.

With the springboard in sight, band members Aaron and Matt spoke to Isle of Wight Radio about why there's reason to be... optimistic about the future.

How excited are you to be playing on the Isle of Wight Festival Main Stage?

We didn't expect it, it's a total shock and a dream.

It was our sixth time doing the Wight Noize competition and everyone in the crowd at Strings seemed to want us to win - everyone was hugging each other and it was absolute chaos for two minutes.

It wasn't just us who wanted it, it was the fans as well - so people were chanting our name and going crazy. It seemed like some of them wanted it more than us!

How big of a launchpad can this be for the band?

Potentially massive, but it's a one-off opportunity and we've got to stay humble.

It'll provide a boost and will be a great marketing tool for future events.


Can we expect to hear any news songs or anything special when you open the Main Stage on Sunday?

Potentially... I guess people will have to come along to find out!


Did Beth Brookfield, last year’s Wight Noize winner, give you any advice?

We've been chatting to her about it and she was really excited for us.

She's told us a few bits about how the day goes and generally really supportive.

What can people expect when they see The Optimists live?

Lots of energy and quite possibly a few dad jokes!

Everyone will have a good time and enjoy themselves.

How did you get together as a band?

Matt: I was going around as a 17 year-old solo artist, Aaron rocked up to one of my gigs in Coburgs (in Ryde).

About six months went by and we got a bassist and a drummer and started rehearsing.

All of a sudden we'd got all these songs together and had our first gig within a couple of weeks.

Aaron: Matt did the perfect set, he didn't need anything, but I just told him a big fat lie and said 'you need a band!'

Credit: Day Rutherford.

Is there an album in the pipeline?

We released a single earlier this year and we will be announcing an EP very soon.

Tune into our socials to find out - it'll be coming out right after the IW Festival!


Do you plan to tour at all in the coming months or years?

We did a short taster tour back in February and want to do a 'Freshers' tour in September.

We've also got Lambretta Day in Ryde, EarsPeeled at Ventnor Fringe in July and a few other dates booked this summer.


Which other Isle of Wight musicians would you recommend people keep an eye out for?

Big T - there's not much going on for the Island's rap scene at the moment and to see someone really going for it is great.

Amy Joliffe, Jaded, Obscure Colours and Now Only are all worth checking out as well.

Matt (left) and Aaron in action.

How important has Platform One been to your development as musicians?

Matt: Even for our weekly schedule, we had those regular reheasals and just having that made it become a habit.

If it wasn't for Platform One we wouldn't have that drive.

Aaron: Everything I know in terms of music is from P1.


Do you think the likes of Jay Eatwell, Coach Party and Wet Leg making such a splash has added kudos to the local scene?

Definitely, when we played Falmouth they were all asking us to bring other Isle of Wight bands with us.

Whenever we play gigs on the mainland we become the centre of attention with people asking us about the Island.

Coach Party, Lauran Hibberd, Wet Leg, Plastic Mermaids and others are putting the Island onto the map.

Finally, how can people check out your live music or find anything online?

We're on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram and other socials.

That's the best place to find out about the latest Optimists news.

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