What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
What made you go into music?
I was always surrounded by music. Music was the way my migrant family connected with themselves and their community. In music I found a way to articulate my feelings and experiences and find solidarity with others.
Who are your influences?
I grew up listening to old folk and blues standards sung by my dad – I was drawn to the more melancholic tunes that made me cry. An eclectic mix of 60’s folk, 70’s rock, 80’s pop, and 90’s brit pop formed the foundation of my recorded musical influences. I was inspired by strong female artists; Joan Armatrading, Joni Mitchell, The Topp Twins, Sinead O’Connor, PJ Harvey, Marianne Faithful . . . still am.
Are you signed?
Yes – with Flying Nun Records.
Your new single ‘Lacuna’ is out, tell us more about the single.
Lacuna is the space where something was or will be. Think of it like marrow in your bones. The song is about being open to and witnessing that which emerges. Songwriting is an opportunity to find agency, where experiences and life become transformed through story. We start to see ourselves as whole – imagine that which is already out there – searching for some way out and into ourselves.
What is the meaning behind the single?
There is strong loyalty to the secret; the social contract which binds us to the burden of the unsaid. There can be some comfort in avoiding the storm, beating one’s wings against the glass ceiling wondering why you cannot reach the sky. Yet flying is what we do. With the sum of our parts we embrace the full complexities of the whole … uneasy, unsteady and uncomfortable but united and inexorably present. I’m exploring that in Lacuna; Lacuna is the space for our full voice to emerge into.
Who did you work with on the single?
I wrote Lacuna. Dave Khan and Simon Gooding produced it and my band – Dave Khan, Kairin Canzek & Earl Robertson and I performed it.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing and recording process like?
I wrote Lacuna on the piano and Dave and I worked a bunch on pre-production of the song. He was instrumental in the bass line that underpins the song and Karin and Earl really hold down that groove on drums and bass. We took it down to Sublime when we were recording the album and I ended up chopping out the mid and outro section. Immediately Lacuna’s sound felt really emblematic of our live band sound and I’m super happy with the track.
We also see a music video for Lacuna, what was the creative process like?
Lola Fountain-Best and I had planned on filming a super 8 video whilst we were travelling in Queenstown. Unfortunately the super 8 broke right when we got to the location. I had fashioned wings out of wire and foliage that weren’t going to wait around another day so we borrowed a camera and went to work filming rogue amongst autumnal skies and a forest of sunflowers. The video is really a tale of exploration and transformation; a dance with our many selves.
We also will see your brand-new album ‘IRIS’ release on 1st October. Can you give us a teaser of what to expect and that the making process was like?
IRIS provided me an opportunity to speak my unspoken, to reflect what I have seen and experienced from within and to bear witness. These songs are a reminder of a map to a place we all know. They are a story of endless unrequited love and the hunt for tethering to a kindred spirit.
I wrote IRIS last year after the release of my last record and took the band down to Sublime Studios – which is a designation studio in the South Island of NZ – for two weeks of recording. The space we found at Sublime and the tight-knit connection that we held was intricately woven into the fabric of IRIS during the writing, production and recording process. In many ways IRIS is an extension of the work I did on ‘Reb Fountain’ – there’s similarities in the diversity of sounds and feels but I think we were able to stretch to the extremes more; both in my songwriting, the production and as a band. It also has a real band feel that underpins the sound and is emblematic of our live performances. I’m really excited to share it with you.
What else can we expect in 2021?
Well right now NZ is in lockdown so we’re all crossing fingers that it doesn’t last too long … Irrespective, IRIS, comes out on October 1st which is exciting and all going well, we have a national tour planned for Nov/Dec this year.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Making music, touring, writing
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
To stay connected, be present, own my space, value the audience .. and bring my capo