Where are you currently based?
How did you first start playing music?
I wrote my first song when I was about two, and although it was incoherent, that is the earliest documentation of me dabbling in music! I don’t remember ever making a conscious decision to pursue music. It feels like it was appointed to me and I had no say in the matter!
What have you been working on recently?
I’ve been working on tracks for my project and really fine-tuning my sound. I’ve been remotely collaborating for my project with other artists too, like ANGE and Charlotte Adelle from Sydney, and SKYE from Melbourne who are all my friends, which has been super cool. I’ve also been doing some virtual writing and producing for other people’s projects, which is one of my favourite things to do. It’s always an honour when someone invites me onboard with their art.
Your new single ‘How Come You Don’t Pick Up Your Phone’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this track?
If I’m writing for my own project I can only ever draw from personal experience, so every song is deeply embedded within events and realisations I’ve lived through. I found myself relying on other people to create a sense of worth (through the experience of desperately waiting to hear back from someone), and I wanted to explore this without straight up saying the conclusion I had come to. So the track is still in that pathetic space where you’re glued to your screen, and any semblance of self awareness hasn’t been achieved just yet! I was listening to heaps of 90s hip hop and R&B at the time, and I didn’t realise it but it was totally bleeding into my production and writing style: real angular, sassy hooks, big synth bass, that boom bap style beat… it all subconsciously ended up there!
How did you go about writing the track?
As the title would suggest, I was waiting for someone to hit me back! But I didn’t end up only writing about one particular experience, rather, I ended up noticing a pattern in the scenarios I was finding myself in. The song started with the hook, so the chorus was done first. I was hearing the chords and beat in my head. I knew I had the chromatic movement in the chords so when it got time to write the verses, I wanted to keep it pretty simple. The chorus explores this desperation I was talking about earlier but in the verses I go into more depth about why I was feeling this way and my own part in my negative feelings. The song was done pretty quickly and it stayed virtually in its original form, minus some production finessing!
Where and when did you record/produce and who with?
The song was written between Sydney and Melbourne, with the chorus popping in my head when I was alone in my hotel room on a writing trip. Once I got home I finished up the verses and produced the track up, a few months later re-doing the vocals and polishing the production. It was about a year ago when I was 17. I wrote and produced the track myself, but got heaps of feedback from friends in the industry.
How did you approach the recording sessions?
Honestly, I wasn’t putting too much pressure on the song, so it was pretty chill! I did them all by myself so I had no expectation to impress – I could mess up as much as I needed to. The rest of the instruments I tracked in my little home studio when I wrote the song or at like 1am when I was finessing the track.
What programs/instruments do you use to create music and record?
I produce on and have pledged my allegiance to Ableton, which is the first DAW I learned. I’ve played piano since I was 8 and picked up guitar at around 12, so those two instruments almost definitely make a cameo in my tracks. As of late I’ve been trying to get better at playing real groovy bass lines, so working on my bass skills is something I’ve been doing heaps. The drum programming is also obviously a super important part of my songs, if that can be referred to as an ‘instrument’ in and of itself!
How did you get into recording/production?
Like I mentioned before, music was always non-negotiable for me, and I always just thought everyone produced their own demos, so I think around the age 15 I decided I’d better start learning. It was kind of just troubleshooting and making track after track for a couple years until I felt decently confident, and now it’s a massive part of what I do!
You’re also working with hiphop singer Nardean, please tell us about this experience so far:
Nardean is a queen. Queen Nardean. We met at KLP’s Ricochet Songs writing camp in Newcastle, although we’re both from Western Sydney and we don’t live too far away from eachother! We’ve done a couple songs together and I’ve produced a couple of hers and it feels like a match made in heaven. Definitely super keen for what we’ve been working on to drop.
What do you like to do away from music?
If I’m honest, music occupies most of my time. But if I’m having some forced downtime, I love cooking vegan stuff and reading self help and non-fiction. In isolation I’ve also taken to doing yoga in the morning and playing dumb online games with my friends over zoom. So I’m loving that!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m still digesting Thundercat’s new album and Mac Miller’s latest albums. They’re two of my favourite artists and I seriously love everything they do. I adore a body of work and so I’m really taking my time with these releases. In terms of local artists, I’ve really been digging 18YOMAN and Vetta Borne at the moment, I think their grooves and subtle complexities are really sick. And I’ve always loved Milan Ring!
What’s planned for 2020?
I definitely think that now is more important than ever to create, and the worst thing we could do right now is to shut ourselves out from new releases and artistic magic. So keeping busy writing and producing, both for my own project and for other artists, and taking the time to really get everything perfect! I’m working on my debut EP at the minute and that’s going to take a lot of heart and soul until it feels intimately right, but I hope you can expect that from me this year!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
My favourite cuisine as of late is Mexican food, literally in any way shape or form. But I also love boujee chocolate and somewhat niche fruits like passionfruit and grapefruit. In terms of places to hang out, I love (and miss) just wandering around the inner suburbs of Sydney, finding cool parks and bars in places like Newtown and Enmore. That’s also where a lot of gigs were! But I also love chilling out in the botanical gardens and around the Rocks, because its super cool and tranquil and also right next to my uni. But right now, my room and home studio are treating me well!