As a band what do you think your greatest achievement was from 2016?
2016 was unexpectedly huge. A really spesh moment was finding out our BIGSOUND application had been successful and heading to Brisbane with the full band to perform interstate for the first time and having heaps of lols and gags. Another big one was playing at Paradise, one of my favourite festivals. The atmosphere of the festival and the beautiful supportive crowd was hugely humbling, and it was definitely one of the strongest and most enjoyable sets we played last year.
Where does the name 'SAATSUMA' come from and how did the band come to formation?
A satsuma is a type of citrus fruit similar to a mandarin. I also recently discovered satsuma plum jam which is really yum. The double ‘A’ in SAATSUMA is a cute tribute to my mum Kaarin cos she’s always been my number 1 fan and biggest supporter. Thanks Mum <3
The project began as a studio collaboration between myself, Cesar Rodrigues and Joel Ma back in 2015. We used to get together every few weeks and make demos with no real intention of what we wanted the project to become. Since deciding to take it the project of the studio into the IRL world, Cesar and I have taken it on as a duo project and now write and produce everything together. We perform live as a five-piece band with Maddy Kelly, Lachlan Stuckey and Andrew Congues. It’s a fun as fam.
On that, 2017 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for SAATSUMA, you've recently been announced to play at the annual St. Kilda festival as well as The Hills are Alive. Could you shed some light on what else is to come from this year?
We recently released ‘Isolate’ which is the first single off our upcoming album. We’re going on our first ever headline tour (!!!) next month to launch the single and are also releasing an accompanying video in the next couple of weeks. The video involves much moisture. After the tour, we’re basically just hunkering down to finish off the album which is set to be released later this year. V exciting times.
The team at Figaro can't wait for your debut album, what can we expect from your first release and when will we be able to get a hold of it?
I’m going to try and keep my cool here and just say that it’s going to be a collection of dark, dreamy, emotional bangers with just the right amount of sweetness and moisture. You will be able to hold it in your hands or stream it on the interwebs in approx six months time.
Recently you've uploaded snippets of your music making process to social media, run us through how a SAATSUMA track comes to life?
Cesar and I recently moved into our own studio in Brunswick and it’s been so great having our own dank space to go and make stuff whenever we want. The process is different every time, sometimes Cesar will have a chord progression, or I’ll have a beat or a melody, and we’ll just build on the idea from there. We have a shared dropbox which we throw ideas into so that when we get together in the studio we can just go through all the ideas and pick one. When we write it’s a super collaborative process, we’ve got a great flow in the studio and are pretty much always on the same page which is kind of amazing.
The bands sound is rather unique, As a band do you draw inspiration from certain genres or artists or does every member bring something a little bit different to the table?
Omg I don’t even know where to begin. There’s so much ~inspo~ everywhere. Since I was young I’ve been constantly influenced and inspired by female artists and producers like Bjork, Aretha Franklin, Kylie, Macy Gray, Vika & Linda Bull, Grimes, Missy Elliot and Erykah Badu. For production and beat-making inspo my favs are Nicolas Jaar, Four Tet, J-Dilla, FKA Twigs and Flying Lotus. Recently Cez and I have been listening to/drawing inspo from Solange, Fortunes, Fatima Yamaha, No Name, Princess Nokia, Frank Ocean, The Internet… I could *literally* go on forever.
Finally, as a band who are some of the artists you'd dream to collaborate with and why?
We’d love to do some local collabs. Fortunes, Harvey Sutherland, GL, Huntly, Roland Tings, Habits, Rat & Co and Sui Zhen are on our secret list which is not so secret anymore. If any of you are reading this hit us up. Let’s make a thing.
Thanks for having a chat with us SAATSUMA, we can't wait to see more from you this year!