Interview: Nampo shares his excellent taste in music and his penchant for Spring

Ballarat based artist Nampo has just released their latest EP, “Bus” with 5 songs to help you ease into Spring.

Nampo, the indie sensation hailing from Ballarat, is back with a fresh EP titled “Bus.” This five-track offering combines slow-rock and surfy Australiana vibes, providing the perfect soundtrack to ease into spring.

Intriguingly, the EP’s title, “Bus,” carries a unique backstory related to its lyrics and the artist’s past experiences. As Nampo takes the helm as a one-man band, his songwriting prowess shines through, evoking comparisons to Rex Orange County with his talky delivery and raw honesty.

Nampo EP 'Bus'

Nampo’s ability to infuse his music with an unmistakably Australian essence, from blissful harmonies to sun-soaked instrumentation, is a testament to his storytelling prowess.

Collaborations and production wizardry add depth to this release, promising a sonic journey that transcends boundaries. With a tantalising glimpse into Nampo’s creative process and influences, “Bus” sets the stage for what’s to come from this artist in the near future. Stay tuned for more, as Nampo’s musical journey continues to unfold.

Nampo EP 'Bus'

What is the concept behind your new EP? Where is the title “bus” come from?

I always like to have something new out in Spring. If you look at my back catalogue, you’ll see I always have a new release in or just before every Spring, be it an album, EP or just a single. The new season brings a new beginning, and Spring is a good season to have new music.

Having said that, I understand it will not be spring in Northern Hemisphere who receive the release at the same time, so they can have some new music for Fall I guess. Actually now that I think about it, these songs would also suit the Fall.

I chose the title “bus” as is it comes up in a couple of the songs lyrics. The 3rd song is called Last Bus Home. Also, I used to work in a bus depot.

So tell us about how these songs came about? And what or who was your inspiration?

The song “Last Bus Home”, I was rehearsing for a gig, it was about 2 days before the show. I was practising my set list and realised all the songs were quite depressing or sad. I realised I needed something upbeat in the set, so I quickly came up with an upbeat guitar riff and just put some “happier” lyrics down, with a happier sounding melody, if that makes sense.

At the gig, the song was well received, so I continued to work on it and now it is part of the EP when it was originally going to be a throw away song, like a filler for that gig only. Lyrically the song is about making something out of nothing, which effectively also, is how the song came about.

I decided recently to spend more time getting my songs complete to what I hope will be the final state of it before it is recorded and released, regardless of how long it may take. Cause once a song is out there, it is out there, there’s not much chance to change it after that.

With many of my previously released songs when I play them back now I think of changes like, “oh this line would work better or rhymes better’ or “oh maybe I should have added a second bridge after that chorus” etc. I think with these 5 songs, they were at their final stage before recording.

Inspiration wise, I guess anything that I have ever observed has influenced my song writing. I try to focus heavily on setting a scene and telling a story. 

I struggled with this a lot when I was younger and was never happy with my lyrics back then. I used to listen to Belle and Sebastian and how amazing they were at putting you in the song. Relatable lyrics that could almost make you cry and I’d would wonder, how do they do that? 

It’s not just the lyrics, its also about the chord structure, the beat and vocal melodies and bringing them all together into one story. Overtime with practise I believe I have reached a point where I am comfortable with my own song writing.

Two of my favourite songwriters who influenced me heavily are as mentioned Belle and Sebastian, also Angie Hart (from Frente). Angie is really good at putting great lyrics into a melody that suits the music, and you can probably see her style come out a bit in my music.

In the past you have been the main act of Nampo with some additional musician, is that the same with this release?

Yes, it’s always great to have friends play a part in your song. On this release I have for the first time utilised a Trombone player who plays on my song Pinoclean. Also, my partner had helped out with percussion on some of the tracks as well.

Jay from Chinese Brothers Studios in LA have done the mixing for this release. It was my first time to work with them and they were great. Jeremy from Chaddy Studios a local studio in Melbourne have done the mastering. They also did the mastering for my first album.

What can we look forward to from Nampo in the near future after this release?

I am half way through recording my 3rd album. Hoping for release sometime early 2024.


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