Words by Maria Wang
Multi-talented singer, song-writer, producer and triple j's House Party host KLP has released a new single, ‘Changes’ – a vibrant, funky dance-cut that you can't help but sing along to.
Between teaching song-writing to children in rural schools in the Northern Territory, and her national Mix Match tour, we managed to snatch KLP for a quick a chat over the phone.
Have listen to 'Changes' while reading our chat below, ahead of KLP's Sydney leg of her tour for Vivid tonight at the Sydney Tower Eye Project with Shantan Wantan Ichiban and Mowgli May. Snag the last of the tickets here!
Stoney Roads: Hey Kristy! Tell us, how have the first few shows of your tour been for you so far?
It has been so much fun! In Melbourne I had a crazy amount of guests jump up, I had Yeo, LANKS, a young artist who’s amazing called JANEVA, Vincent Sole, also Kult Kyss, just so many friends of mine and artists in their own right that got up and sang a song – it was really fun!
SR: So do you have different support artists or artists who you perform with for all the different shows of your tour?
So the whole idea of these shows, Mix Match, is exactly that – because I essentially DJ and everyone knows of me as a DJ especially because of Triple J but I also sing and song-write, and I wanted to start being able to sing in my sets and play the songs that I’ve been on. And I’ve been on so many songs either in my own music or songs I’ve been featured on – you know, say with Slumberjack or What So Not – that are kind of different styles of music and I wanted to play those styles as well. It’s a little bit of a DJ hybrid/live show. I DJ but then when I play one of my songs I also sing it. And it was the first time that I had done that and also had other people jumping up to sing, so I was a bit nervous but it really worked and everyone seemed to love it, so I’m excited to do it for the rest of the tour!
SR: As a songwriter for yourself and other people, what’s your production process in creating your music? Do you begin by focussing on the vocals more, or the instrumentals?
The main focus is that every song that I write has to be about something real that has happened to me. Writing for someone else, you can make stuff up or you talk to them about what’s going on in their life, but if it’s a song for me then it always comes from something that’s going on in my life and then every single track can be different. Sometimes it’s the idea that I start with, another time it’ll be the beat and then I get inspired and it’ll make me think ‘oh I should write about this thing that happened to me, or this one!’ – it’s always so different.
SR: So which way would you say it was for your newest single Changes?
Changes I wrote on a writing camp with two people I had probably literally met that day! And you get in a room and you just talk about ideas, I had this idea that I wanted to write about – about I change being the only constant. And sometimes I struggle to be ok with that because I like to have control over everything going on in my life, and sometimes you just can’t and you feel like things are spiralling out of your hands a little bit – but I guess this was my song to kind of be like, that’s ok to just lose control and let things go a little bit crazy every now and then.
SR: Wow! where was the writing camp anyway?
That was in Bali actually! As a song-writer it takes me to some pretty amazing places, either the Northern Territory where I am right now or Bali or all around the world – Sweden and London and America… it’s a pretty cool job!
SR: Totally! And as a songwriter, along with singer, presenter, DJ, producer… which one would you say you first started out as? Was it a pretty natural progression from one to another? And out of all your musical roles, what’s your favourite be in right now?
My favourite is always singing, and that’s what I started with. I grew up singing and that was always my main thing that I loved to do. And then song-writing probably came next, because my dad was a singer and a song-writer so I would see the stories he would tell when he was writing music and I would think, ‘I want to do that!’ I’ve always been into trying to turn real life into song. DJing kind of came later for me – I think a lot of people think it’s the other way around – I’ve been DJing for maybe 7 years now? And I was definitely singing a lot before then.
SR: Would you say Triple J and your role as a presenter has played a big part on highlighting your role as a DJ?
Yeah absolutely. And that’s maybe even been a little bit of struggle for me. The way I got the job on Triple J was from winning the Field Day competition, from uploading my own music that I produced and sang on and written for triple j unearthed, so they knew me as an artist, and then they contacted me and asked whether I wanted to do a gig on triple j to which I was like ‘of course I do! I love triple j’. But then the massive exposure from that means people don’t realise that I have a whole history ever since I was a teenager of doing music. So it’s been a little bit hard, but this year I started my own record label, which means I can do whatever I want and I can put out lots of music whenever I choose. And I think that will hopefully help! The more music I put out and actually be an artist, then the more people will understand it!
SR: Definitely! So do you have more tracks, or an EP or album coming out later this year? And will you be singing on most of them?
Yeah! So I’m not putting out an album just yet. For me, I just have so many singles I just want to put those out. And I’ve got two that I’ve already written that I love that I’ll definitely try put out this year, and see what else I can fit in!
You can catch KLP doing her thing at any of the following dates for the remainder of her Mix Match tour.
Fri 16th June - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Sat 17th June - Fat Controller, Adelaide
Sat 1st July - The Grand Hoitel, Wollongong
Fri 14th July -Grand Poobah, Hobart
Sat 15th July - Tapas Lounge Bar, Davenport
Fri 28th July -Mr Wolf, Canberra