How do you deal with writers block? The advice I was given which I still use is that when you have a creative block, work on your craft from a more technical angle. Eventually the flow of creativity comes back as your life introduces inspiring changes. The key is to keep the muscle of making strong even when you are not tapped into a surge of inspiration. But I think there are so many things to try also; like making something in a completely new way, maybe even a new medium. This might unlock something.
Melbourne has particularly come to be known for independent underground cultures and scenes. As a teenager, how did you find, navigate and feel comfortable in these spaces? To be honest I was a bit of a reclusive eccentric as a teenager. I had a friend fam, for sure but was not really immersed in big scenes. I came out of my shell more in my twenties. That being said, i was part one little scene of bedroom producers. A friend and I put on these little house shows (as in in peoples houses), where we would invite unknown artists we found on MySpace to perform. Alberts Basement Eventually became a record label. The first release was a compilation of live recordings from house shows. I hand painted 200 vinyl covers. I would have been 16.
Can you talk about Arthur Russell and the effect he’s had on your process? One thing that is so inspiring about the Arthur Russel of body of work, is that it feels so uncontrived (sic). Like he would have made it even if know one was listening (a lot of no one heard till he passed away. I think the Artist Tirzah gives this same feeling of authenticity. The album Devotion from 2018 was my favourite release, and in these hyped up times i think part of that was how much it wasn’t pushed and overly marketed. Maybe how all this influences me, is in the way it aids me to trust that you need to be creative from a place that is not overly influenced by how it will be received.
You seem to exude vulnerability with sure-footedness, assertiveness and grace. How has that strength helped you navigate life and music? I don’t know how to not be vulnerable. Honestly it is a lot of work and emotion sometimes. But i think that is my true state, we all have a mode that we exalt from – and that just happens to be mine. When you are being yourself (even if that’s a hot mess, or whatever) you will come off sure footed.
How would you describe your personal style and where do you draw from and assimilate influences? I think my style like most things emerges with a life of its own – just based on where I have been and the company I have been keeping. I have always been un afraid to express myself with style. I was a big fan of W<, Christian Lacroix and others growing up. I could often be found in pretty over the top looks. I guess it has just carried on from that. I really like to do my own version of classic styles too, and mix high quality items with $2 shop finds.
Did your folks ever regale you with stories about the Crystal Ballroom crowd in 80’s St Kilda and how the scenes diverged in the 90’s? Their fashion work would have morphed and changed no doubt. Lots of stories from that era yes! I think their style as designers shifted from a sort of Art school post punk high fashion feeling to a more Rave – techno – sci fi style. And then went more street wear towards the end. They always kept interesting themes of Ancient meets future and jamboree of textile techniques.
Do you have a favourite late night food haunt in L.A? I am a Taurus so late night food haunts are V important to me haha. I definitely have quite a few spots for different areas. One of my favs is in K-town called Dan Sung Sa. It has a really fun atmosphere and super yummy, and open till 4am.
What do you think your future self will remember about you now? I have heard that %50 of what we remember didn’t happen. We remember things in a way that confirms the narrative we are telling ourselves. I wonder what narrative will have taken shape by then.
How do you see yourself living in 30 years time? I don’t know for sure, but whatever it is – I hope that I am doing with Bob Ross level grace and positivity. ASMR included of course.
Considering the fast development of machine learning, do you see if or when there’s a time A.I will outstrip humans emotionally in creative mediums? I don’t think of creativity and art as something that can really be overtaken by Ai. I think It would be very interesting to see what that life form would present as art absolutely. But I think in that scenario of a not so distant future with fully fledged Ai – It would also be food for thought for the organic humans. Maybe they could collaborate.
Finally, any words of advice for anyone looking to pursue Music as a carreer path? My advice would be to build a network of friends to work with. Help each other and round each other out – Everyone has different strengths and qualities. I think if a group of people work together off their own steam and be clever about it, they can bypass management and labels and all that. That way everyone involved in the business is involved in the art too.
Photography & Art Direction FAINT
Interview Sunday Frances
Stylist Georgie Gifford
Hair and Make Up Artist Andi Coventon
Shot at Big Bang Studio, Melbourne