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Check-in: Local Pop

Pinpointing the latest and greatest in local pop music

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Weekly updates


‘Check-in’ is a series of conversations between friends. This week we pinpoint the latest and greatest in local pop music with Minorfauna, Villette, Maribelle, Kimchi Princi, Kota Banks, Kllo, and Sophiegrophy.

 

You can follow the series here.

  • Photography by: Marc Ressang

01. MINORFAUNA

Who are you?

We’re Minorfauna, an R&B two piece based out of Melbourne.

Why did you start writing music?

We had both been writing, producing, and recording our own stuff for years but it was mutual friends that ended up bringing us together. We realised we had a bunch in common and started sending demos back and forth, which eventuated into some of the first material we put together.

Tell me the story behind your new song?

We wrote ‘2B‘ in a matter of hours. It came together really fast. Kyle was onto something already, and I caught some feels for a friend that I probably shouldn’t have, which was fuel for writing. The rest was just meant ‘2B’ I suppose.

What else are you working on atm?

We’ve got our debut EP coming out v soon called Myself. We have a few shows coming up too. Besides that, just working away on more material for the follow up to Myself.

02. VILLETTE

 

Who are you? I’m VILLETTE, singer-songwriter & producer (semi-retired DJ).

Why did you start writing music? It started as a way to express myself when I was really young in a way that was easy and healthy for me. I started taking interest in all aspects of music, from choir to drumline groups and musical theatre. I write music now because I love doing it and it’s the only thing I’m really really passionate about. I am in love with the art form!

Tell me about the story behind your new song. The story is about a girl feeling empowered by her night time job. It’s about taking complete control over a situation and a man, being proud and embracing my sexuality.

What else are you working on ATM? I have an EP in the works, as well as a couple new singles to drop soon.

03. Maribelle

 

Who are you? My name is Maribelle. I’m 22-years-old from Melbourne, Australia. I’m a singer/songwriter and producer. I run an independent record label called Crush Club Records.

Why did you start writing music? I grew up in a very musical family. My dad plays the guitar and both of my parents were head of a church choir so I’ve always been surrounded by music. I started writing music when I was about 13 years old – uploaded some original music to YouTube and kept writing from then on.

Tell me about the story behind your new song. ‘I’m A Mess Without You’ is the spiralling emotions of falling in love. I wrote the song about my current girlfriend and our early stages. It was my first time feeling something so strongly and not knowing how to handle it.

What else are you working on atm? I just recently came back from a writing trip in Bali, and I will also be going back to LA to write another single. I have so many songs in the bank that I could release, but I’m still waiting for that “this is the one” feeling. I’m also working with a few artists on my indie label Crush Club Records – about to drop some new singles from other artists very soon!

04. Kllo

 

Who are you? We are Kllo. Two cousins from Melbourne who make electronic pop music.

Why did you start writing music? We both started making music as a form of expression for ourselves, a way to let go of anything built up in us. We were both involved in different projects and were brought together by our mums who suggested we should try and write something together. The band formed very organically.

Tell me about the story behind your new song. ‘Potential’ was first written on a piano in our greenroom in Amsterdam before a show. We filmed a video of the chords to keep in mind for when we got back to our Airbnb. The direction we’re heading is a sound we haven’t really explored before. It’s a result of new found confidence and signifies a change in our writing approach. ‘Potential’ is about the hurt in being with a good person, where deep love is met but there’s a lack of compatibility. The potential seen, yet never met is what keeps the cycle going.

What else are you working on atm? We are working on the next single at the moment and then hopefully another album together by early next year.

05. Sophiegrophy

 

Who are you? I am Sophiegrophy.

Why did you start writing music? I started writing music because I was intrigued by not only the sound of music but also how music has the ability to change our emotions.

Tell me about the story behind your new song. The story behind my new song ‘Bag’ is all about having an alter ego and getting your bag $$$.

What else are you working on atm? I’m working on a new track at the moment, still haven’t decided on the title or the song but I’m pretty excited about it and cannot wait to release it.

06. Kota Banks

 

Who are you? My name is Kota Banks. I’m a 23-year-old Italo-Australian artist based in Sydney and I’m obsessed with weird-sounding pop music!

Why did you start writing music? I used to have lyrics and melodies bouncing around my head and they were so vivid that sometimes they’d keep me up at night. Songwriting became a release for me. It was a way that I could pull all the ideas out of my head and transform them from white noise to actual stories and emotions. Originally, I actually just wanted to sing. I only started songwriting at 18 which is fairly late, but I think ideas have a life of their own… they bugged me for years waiting for me to indulge them!

Tell me about the story behind your new song. Zoom was inspired by two things: a thrilling late night rendezvous last winter and afrobeat music. I wanted the song to sound like secrecy, adventure, euphoria and late nights. I loved the idea of throwing a colourful, detailed lyric across a really rhythmic beat because storytelling has always been so important to me. Dancing is also something I love at the moment so, with this song, I got the best of both worlds. Hopefully, it triggers all those things when you listen!

What else are you working on atm? I’ve been working on a mixtape with my label mate Swick since mid-2017. We’ve actually just finished it… it’s 10 songs and it’ll be out really soon. I’m so excited for people to hear it – the songs are like the eccentric but cool sisters of my released singles to date. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to make a pop record that is so unique sounding and that’s thanks to Swick.

07. Kimchi Princi

 

Who are you? I am Kimchi Princi. A self-fulfilling fantasy. Living in my own realm of wifi lyrics and acrylics.

Why did you start writing music? I was bored with uni and needed a way to put out the things I was feeling inside. I’ve always loved rhymes and writing poems this way. I figured performing them felt just as good as writing them (especially when you know the person they’re about is listening haha.)

Tell me about the story behind your new song. This song was birthed mutually with its producer, CORIN. We are great friends and, we are also Asian-Australians. We had spoken about race, white-assimilation and fetishisation before and how that had affected us growing up. I knew the track we would write together had to be about this. The concept for “Diaspora Doll” came into my head as a result. The song tells that story. I also wanted it to be about transcending assumptions people or society can place on you, so a lot of the energy of the lyrics and video come from this idea too. (“On a diet, don’t hide it – white boys for breakfast, you should try it.”)

What else are you working on atm? I’m working on a very exciting debut album with some of Australia’s most fabulous and experimental pioneers in club and pop music. Can’t wait to share it with you. Every ounce of my soul is going into this.