Audrey Powne is a prolific young musician with an already impressive list of career highlights. Known best as lead singer of Melbourne alt/RnB outfit Leisure Centre, Audrey also fronts genre-defying electronic duo Au Dré – a project with her long-time collaborator keyboardist/producer James Bowers.

Audrey’s work both as a trumpeter and vocalist has seen her perform with artists including Maceo Parker, Masta Ace, Vince Jones, Leroy Jones, Terence Blanchard and many more world-class musicians.

Audrey completed her Bachelor of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. She continued with Honours at Monash University, where she studied with trumpeters Eugene Ball, Paul Williamson and Scott Tinkler. In 2011 and at the age of just 21, Audrey was awarded the James Morrison Jazz Soloist prize in the Melbourne International Festival of Brass.

Drawn equally to American Jazz traditions and contemporary Australian improvised music, Audrey seeks to fuse these two worlds – capturing the tone and time feel she absorbed from the records of Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd and Roy Hargrove, and merging them with the experimental and inventive spirit of her Australian mentors.

As a vocalist, Audrey has been working professionally in Melbourne since her teens. She began as lead singer of Melbourne funk/neo-soul stalwarts The OMGs, which lead to the formation of Leisure Centre, (formerly The Do Yo Thangs) in 2011 with drummer/composer Hugh Rabiniovici.

The band quickly became an important part of the burgeoning Melbourne soul scene and was signed to local label Hope Street Records. In 2015, Audrey and close friend Pianist James Bowers launched electro/funk duo project Au Dré. The project allowed the pair, who had previously worked together extensively in a jazz context and as session musicians, to investigate their shared love of maximalist electronic music and 80s/90s Funk.

Au Dré has released two six-track EPs: self-titled Au Dré (2016) and More is More (2017). These releases have been combined into a special Japan territory only full-length album release on P-Vine records. Lead single from More is More “Cheap Champagne” was featured in coveted Spotify curated playlists New Music Fridays, Canada, and New Music Wednesdays, Japan.

Au Dré have performed extensively, including at Gaytimes Festival, Melbourne Music Week, Face the Music conference and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. They have gained a reputation as one of Melbourne’s most exciting, eclectic and unique live acts, with Audrey as a formidable vocalist and front woman who effortlessly picks up a trumpet mid song to deliver tight horn lines and soaring solos.

In 2018, Audrey released her first solo single “Flowers”, to ecstatic critical acclaim. Inspired by early Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye records, the song’s lush orchestral instrumentation shows Audrey’s more sensitive side as a vocalist and writer. “Flowers” tells a familiar story of naivety and the false promises of romance.

“Flowers” premiered on The AU Review and has received extensive airplay around the world including JazzFM in the UK, BBC Radio London and Triple JJJ in Australia.

“Flowers” currently sits as a new entry at number 21 on the UK soul charts, as of 13 September 2018. The track has been spear-headed by legendary tastemakers Jeff Young from Jazz FM UK and BBC Radio DJ Tony Blackburn: “Have a listen to this. What a song and what a voice. I love it.”

2018 sees Audrey preparing to release her debut solo EP, recorded in New York City at the Breeding Ground studio. The EP includes four new original songs, which sit somewhere between hip hop, jazz, soul and RnB. The recording features some of New York’s most talented musicians, including special guest vocalist Chris Turner on track “Believe”.

As Audrey’s darkest and most vulnerable project to date, the EP  features lush and layered vocal arrangements and soaring trumpet solos. The music strives to organically combine pop song melodies and arrangements with sophisticated jazz harmony and improvisation. A live video and EPK is set for release in late 2018, with the full EP to be released in early 2019.