SAFIA on humble beginnings, perfectionism and celebrating their new album

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Canberra band SAFIA dropped by Build Series Sydney for a chat. Photo: Build Series Sydney.

Canberra dance floor darlings SAFIA swung by Build Series Sydney to chat with host Danny Clayton about their humble beginnings, being perfectionists and how they’re going to celebrate the release of their new album.

The electro-pop trio - made up of Ben Woolner, Michael Bell and Harry Sayers - opened up about getting their start back in 2012 after winning a competition to play at Aussie music festival Groovin the Moo.

“We had no idea what we were doing,” Ben said.

“We had, like, two songs and we had to write extra to fill out the set,” he revealed.

Returning to the same festival three short years later - fresh from featuring on fellow Canberra outfit Peking Duk's ARIA top 10 single, "Take Me Over" - felt pretty good.

“That was the point when everything was coming together,” Ben said.

Since then, SAFIA’s debut album, Internal, 2016 has peaked at number two on the ARIA Charts and the boys have supported US band Twenty One Pilots 2017 stadium tour.

Story’s start or end?

Ben reveals that their sophomore release, titled Story’s Start Or End, has been a “long time coming.”

“It feels like we started it ages ago, and now we’re almost detached from it as we finished a few months ago,” he added.

“I’m personally really proud of it. It’s the most authentic thing we’ve done so far,” he said.

All three members admit that they’re perfectionists when it comes to songwriting and occasionally find it hard to let things go.

So how do they resolve their creative differences? “Boxing,” Michael joked.

The band is about to embark on a headline tour of Australia and New Zealand and have very high hopes when it comes to staging and production - think lasers and holograms.

“We’re very ambitious until we give our management an aneurysm,” Ben laughed.

Laidback lads

For now, SAFIA are still chasing the ‘we made it’ feeling - in fact, they admit that they don’t even know what it is.

“The fact that we can make music and do what we love with our three best friends is insane,” Ben said.

The boys’ plans for celebrating their album release are pretty low key, too.

“Probably just some wine and cheese to be honest,” said Harry.

Story’s Start Or End is out on August 9.

Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at

Want more lifestyle and celebrity news? Follow Yahoo Lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.