Lady King

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

Gadigal Country (Sydney).

How did you first start playing music?

I started singing and playing the piano when I was 10 then picked up cello soon after. I was mostly studying classical music and playing in orchestras which I’m eternally grateful for but I found the strict parameters of classical music to be uninspiring so I studied sound and audio engineering after school whilst playing cello in a few local bands. It took some time for me to figure out my love for writing, performing and teaching music but I’m glad I got there..

What’s been happening recently?

I’ve been writing and working on a LADY KING record whilst teaching and performing in a bunch of different projects including Velvet Trip and EJ Worland. Staying busy (maybe too busy) and really enjoying collaborating with new people 🙂

Your latest single ‘Play It’ will be out on August 18, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

I’m a sucker for old soul records where stacked vocal harmonies, big arrangements and live instrumentation are non-negotiable like Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers and Al Green. I can’t hide the classical geek in me so I made a point of capturing big strings and harmonies. This track blends classic soul with a neo-soul twist similar to Raveena, Joy Crooks and Snoh Aalegra.

How did Play It come about?

I wrote this song a few years ago after I was slut shamed by a friend. The situation was made more difficult as this person had more feelings for me that I did not reciprocate. Rejection hit him deeply and as a result I was villainised. My sexual receipts were used to divide and pit my community against me. It took a while for me to come to terms with it all but through healing I realised that gender roles perpetuate harmful sexual double standards in society. Traditionally men are granted more sexual freedom than women and women are often penalised for being sexual so I wanted to highlight this issue and the effects this has on women. I also felt sorry for my friend for not being able to express his emotions in a healthy way so this song was how I processed it. I hope this song can open up conversations about sexual double standards and the damaging effects of slut shamming.

Where and when did you write/record/produce/master and who did you work with?

I recorded this song at Forces and Fury studios in Marrickville in 2020 before the pandemic and then covid put a pause on everything. Plans changed and the song landed in the hands of my dear friend Glenn Hopper (aka LEN20). Glenn is a seasoned multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer and has been doing incredible things, making sound beds and unique loops. In recent years Glenn has been working closely with Take a Day Trip, producing cuts for artists including Mary J Blige, Kid Cudi and Lil Nas X to name a few.

In the past year, Glenn and I have worked on producing and mixing the track. It’s been through many incarnations with lockdowns and life obstacles but we’ve managed to bring it together and I’m super proud of how it’s all come along.

How did you approach the recording process?

I usually track my songs live and then work with a producer adding layers and sound design etc. When this song was first recorded it featured horns but we eventually replaced them with strings from Lydia Swaries (violin), Ida Warhole (Harp) and myself on cello. The guitar solo worked seamlessly with the rest of the band but was in fact recorded from a separate session with the incredible Hilary Geddes (The Bouys) before I got the band (Midground) in the studio.

I sat with my friend IMI (Joseph Liddy and the Skeleton Horse) to write and record backing vocals and between the two of us we layered the vocal harmonies. Both IMI and I appreciate gospel and choirs which prompted the idea of more voices so I brought in Annalina and Ellen Mara to sing some harmonies before sending it off to Andrew Edgson (Studio 301) for Mastering. These wonderful collaborators each provide extra warmth and colour to the track and I’m inspired by all of them.

Any shows coming up?

I’ve got an exciting show at the end of the month at one of my favourite Sydney venues, Ramblin Rascal. Come through on the 27th of August. Did I mention it’s free?

Who are you listening to at the moment?

It’s always so hard to decide one – I like listening to a broad range of music from baroque to pop and everything in between but my top three artists this month Eddie Chacon, Francesca Fulmini and LOONY

What do you like to do away from music?

I love making food, playing pool and getting out – big nature fien.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2022 going into 2023?

Finishing this record. I’ve also got a bunch of shows lined up with a few tours to come and hopefully I’ll tick off my London dream and head over in 2023.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Roti from the Thai queens at the Marrickville markets and hanging out beach side by any shore that meets the ocean.


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