Where are you currently based?
I’m currently based down in Cape Paterson which is a tiny town on the Bass Coast in Victoria. I’m back making music in my little hometown which is an interesting turn of events. But it’s quiet and scenic and beautiful and was actually a huge reason I was able to finish the album!
How did Kids At Midnight form?
I’d been playing as a folk artist around the traps for a little while in the 2010s but I was really curious about the electro scene popping up! I met a lovely guy who was producing electro pop style and we started working together, just mucking around but going up with awesome stuff. We became best mates, we made a few songs and actually signed to ‘Vulture’ in France Alan Braxe’s label but then he wanted to pursue other things and so I was solo again and I thought, ‘Well Jane, you’d better learn to produce then!’ So I did. I started from square one again and slowly slowly the Kids At Midnight you hear now was born!
What’s been happening recently?
I released my debut album ‘All I Ever Wanted Was Your Love’ on Friday so the last few months has been pretty intense album stuff. Actually physically finishing the songs, working on the artwork with my brother, taking the photos for it with my cousin. And now in iso down the coast watching lots of Jersey Shore!
Your track ‘Boys Like You’ was featured as the finale song on Netflix sync ‘Never Have I Ever’ seen by 40 million households, how did this come about and how has the response been since?
Oh the response has been beyond my wildest dreams! It was such a mind explosion watching my song play in the background of this huge teen moment and it being a Mindy Kaling show was it for me. I am a huge fan of her work on The Office and The Mindy Project, she’s an hilarious comedic writer. How did it come about? Nobody believes me when I tell them but I literally woke up to two urgent emails from music supervisors for NBC Universal in the US saying they loved ‘Boys Like You’ and could they use it in Mindy Kaling’s new ‘coming of age’ tv series and I was like ‘this is a hoax… when are they going to ask me to put my credit card details in’ lol But it was for real and I immediately said ‘100% YES!’
What influenced the sound and songwriting for ‘Boys Like You’?
I’m hugely influenced by the 80s pop sound. So I really wanted a dreamy but upbeat song reminiscent of Whitney Houstons ‘How Will I Know?’ that sort of thing. And lyric wise it is all directly from my experiences in high school. Crushes, embarrassing moments, the boy who told me to shut up in maths class because I was answering all the questions and they couldn’t get a look in. All that really can make you run home from the bus crying. But then you look back and realise, I’ll never hide myself waiting for a boy like you again. And that embarrassingly personal teen angst and self discovery connected with people which is really lovely.
How do you usually go about writing and recording?
Sometimes I’ll be playing some chords on my guitar and just mumble along a melody in gibberish and then I’ll translate that to Ableton and build the track from there. Sometimes I start inside Ableton but it’s usually the same way, chords first, mumble a melody in gibberish, clear away the gibberish and start to tell a story and see what happens!
What programs/instruments do you use?
My basic set up is Ableton Live on my Mac and a midi keyboard, with my mic and any analogue instruments running through my UA Apollo Twin Duo. Sometimes I’ll add my electric guitar for an 80s guitar solo, sometimes there’s a tambourine in the background, sometimes I’ll bang a drum pad, sometimes my acoustic guitar…whatever is lying around!
Boys Like You has hit over one million streams this week, massive! What’s been happening as a result?
I’m so thankful for ‘Never Have I Ever’ for sharing my music with the world, it’s meant that in the week I released my album one of its tracks hit a million streams on Spotify, which means that all these gorgeous new fans can hear a bunch of other songs just like ‘Boys Like You’. It’s been a crazy ride! I’ve gained so many new fans from Latin America which is so cool. My biggest city of fans is actually New York and I just had my album on a billboard about the Time Square Subway station… that is the biggest thing ever!
Please tell us about what it’s like writing, recording and producing a whole album as a solo artist and how you learnt the skills to complete such an incredible feat:
It is a hard slog lol but it is so incredibly rewarding! I won’t lie and say it’s this serene experience, there are times you run across problems and you can’t get anyone to fix them because YOU have to fix them. Or there are times you have to comp your vocals but you just can’t get a take where you’re pronouncing a word the right way so you take your Producer hat off and put your Singer hat back on and it’s like off, on, off, on, off, on… it can really mess with your head! But in the end you have a body of work you have entirely created yourself and it represents you in the truest sense possible, and that’s worth all the times you want to throw your computer off the balcony.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to Chromatica because Gaga is god and I’m also listening to Folklore because the excitement and the pedigree behind the album was spellbinding. I like to balance mad choreography with some forrest introspection. In the bath I listen to the Garden State soundtrack!
What do you like to do away from music?
I love to dance. I teach and choreograph (but obviously I’m not doing that at the moment) and I DJ and run parties too (but obviously I’m not doing that at the moment either) But during this time I’ve been loving going back to writing, I’ve been a bit obsessed with rom coms and sitcoms so I’m writing a rom com screenplay.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020?
I’ve just ordered some fancy new cables (wow) to clean up my system (I had a crackle I couldn’t find towards the end of making ‘All I Ever Wanted Was Your Love’) So when they arrive (hooray how exciting is waiting for your post at the moment! I check the Australia Post app more than Twitter) I’ll actually start working on my next releases! I’m hoping I’ll be writing for other artists too so that’s exciting!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
My favourite food is… uh, everything! But who can go past their Mums Spag Bol lol But I’m really missing the eggplant chips and a nice crisp wine in the beer garden at The EC in Brunswick, a rose with ice in it spinning Katy Perry at The Carlon, or a Hendricks on ice spinning my party night at The Stone Hotel in Fitzroy.