Interview: Memphis LK
Hi Memphis, Welcome back, to start could you tell us a bit about ‘Speak Honestly’?
Hi! I made this song basically as a reminder to trust myself in times of doubt and uncertainty. It’s so easy to forget to listen to ourselves - what we really feel rather than what we think we should feel. So I guess the song is a simple message to be true to ourselves. To trust the wisdom and intuition inside us and let the most authentic versions of ourselves to come through.
The track is perhaps more ‘club orientated’ than your previous work, is this something that we can expect to see throughout the EP?
Ye!!! I’ve (maybe not so) secretly always wanted to explore a deeper, heavier club sound, and moving into my solo project felt like the perfect opportunity to do that. In saying that, it’s still really important to me to maintain a vulnerability and a rawness in contrast to the more house/techno/acid notes, so that’s also something I’ll be threading throughout the EP. Getting the balance of dank club vs expressive human is a really interesting and fun thing to play around with.
It’s been a while since you last released music (formerly Memphis was half of Saatsuma) could you tell us about what you’ve been doing in that time?
Ha.. well, let’s just say there’s pretty much an entire SAATSUMA EP that will never be released. Since it ended, I’ve just been going really hard on writing my solo EP. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more inspired or motivated or productive than I have felt for the past 6 months. It’s been massively challenging too, the self-doubt is REAL. But I’m in a place now where I’m feeling so clear and excited about the direction I’m going, and just wanna keep creating.
We’ve noticed both of your DJ names have (Memphis LK and Sharon Von Mueller) popped up at venues across the city, how influential has Djing been to your new sound, both under the lens of production and creatively?
Ahhh, Shaz. She was a good one! I think both djing and production have been equally as influential on each other for me. The first records I bought were all 80’s Chicago house and disco house, my sets would (and tbh still often do) always lean towards the housier tip because that’s always gave me the most buzz. There’s massive early house influence in my writing and production process. And it goes the other way, too. I’ve been exploring more breakbeat and garage in my writing recently and now that’s infiltrating my sets. It makes sense that the music I want to hear, create, play and perform are all one of the same.
Are there any particular artists who are inspiring you at the moment?
Omg just thinking about this made my heart flutter. Always and forever Four Tet. No comparison there. Some new and old favourites: Marie Davidson, Bicep, Floating Points, Avalon Emerson, Daniel Avery, Luke Vibert, Tirzah, Peggy Gou, Okay Kaya and serpentwithfeet.
The accompanying video clip might just be as compelling as the track itself, what’s the idea behind it?
The video is a really really special one to me, as it’s directed by my sister Maddy. Her partner Bryce was DOP and all my best friends star in it (and absolutely nail it). Here’s a directors comment which sums it up way better than I probably will:
"For a song with such simple, direct lyrics that are both evocative and powerful, we wanted to create something that was both visually pleasing and story strong. The repetition of the lyric “I want you to speak honestly”, is as much a cry to self as it is to anyone else, and we wanted to explore the inner turmoil that can happen to people, artists particularly, as they try to find out who they are.
Finding your true self is a process of discovering all sides of your being and accepting those different parts. In the video, Memphis eventually comes to realise that the people she’s trying to fit in with are actually extensions of her. Once she stops and connects within, she is able to embody a renewed sense of self acceptance and authenticity.”
And directed by your sister? You both seem to have a really strong relationship, what’s it been like working with her on this latest project?
She is my best friend, and I’m so lucky to be able to work with her on something that we’re both so passionate about and invested in. We’ve spent our whole lives creating together, so it only felt natural to get her on board to direct this video, particularly with it being such an intimate and personal subject matter. She is an incredible director, and her and Bryce were such great team. Maddy has always been so supportive of me in every way, and I’m so glad we got to collaborate together on this.
Let’s talk 2019. What are the plans for both your releases and performing live?
2019! I’m here for it! I’m finishing off the EP over the next month and then heading to LA in May/June to write some more. Before I go O/S I’ll do a launch show in Melbourne where I’ll be performing solo which is pretty daunting, but also really exciting. It’s always fun working out a new live show and how to best translate the studio recordings to a live setting. That’s pretty much all I can tell you at this point, but I can safely say that the EP is coming this year, and it’s gonna be hot.