Astrid takes the next step

Oscar Rose and Astrid Armstrong. (Mike Dugale)

Matt Hewson

Though she has been singing most of her young life, Astrid Armstrong is embarking on a brand new chapter.

At the tender age of 16 the Geelong vocalist recently launched her first ensemble as a leader, the Astrid Armstrong Duo, accompanied by well-known local musician Oscar Rose on piano.

Having begun singing lessons when she was ten years old, one of Armstrong’s formative experiences was performing at Piano Bar with her singing school, Parallax Performing Arts, at age 11.

“(After I sang) I walked out into the crowd and connected with the audience, and I realised that this was what I wanted to do, pretty much for the rest of my life,” she said.

“That connection with every person in the audience and the connection I felt with the music as well, it was wonderful, an exhilarating feeling.

“I’m hoping to make it my career. It’s a joy, a passion, and I love everything about it.”

Since that performance Armstrong has focused on learning as much about her craft as possible, attending Wayne Jury’s Blues Boot Camp, the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society’s Youth in Blues and Women in Blues programs and received mentoring and vocal coaching from The Voice 2020 finalist Stellar Perry.

Connected by Piano Bar maestro Andy Pobjoy, Armstrong and Rose joined forces in January 2024 and have played a handful of gigs since.

Next weekend the duo will make their Geelong debut when they play the Barwon Club Sunday session on April 28, performing two sets from 4pm to 6.30pm with material ranging from classic soul to RnB, pop and yacht rock to jazz and blues.

Armstrong promised the gig would be “a good time”.

“It’s going to be a singalong and a lot of fun,” she said.

“That’s all I’ve ever wanted my gigs to be, for everyone to have a good time and enjoy watching and singing along with us.”