David caught up with the dreamy beat makers Willow Beats before their EP launch tour, to talk awkward family conversations and the secret behind their next -level sound. Spoiler Alert: get an insight into what you missed out on since you didn’t go to one of their gigs (you know who you are). Here’s to more shows and more brilliant music so we can live in this pool of sweet trance just a little longer.
Our incredible illustration is by Felicity Gardner. She creates picture books for young people and for those who are young at heart. Check out her stuff here!
Happy: Since winning a spot on the Parklife bill through Triple J, you’re now pretty much festival veterans. How was your experience at Hong Kong’s Clockenflap Festival?
WB: Clockenflap was amazing. It was shocking and thrilling that anyone at all came to our show; we ended up having a couple thousand people. We also saw some traditional opera, which was enchanting.
Happy: The uncle-niece combination is a pretty rare one, although the age gap isn’t as big as it might seem. How did the collaboration come about?
WB: It happened very organically. Our family is super musical. Everyone in the family sings together and plays instruments. We have played together since I could walk. Narayana started making beats and asked me to improvise over it which we loved and became our first song. It started because we loved making music together and never thought anyone would hear it.
Happy: Has there been any awkward conversations rejecting other family members?
Yes! Once we started getting success everyone tried to join. My grandma wants to play banjo in WB and my mum wants to be a backup dancer. It’s been so awkward….
Happy: After a quiet 7 months or so, newly dropped single Merewif got some serious online attention within a few days. How do you react to the response?
WB: With happiness and surprise.
Happy: Merewif is spiritual, fantastical and deep in every sense. Is there something behind the title?
WB: Merewif is an old English word for mermaid. We love the mystery of the deep sea and the magic and power it yields. Merewif is as deep as you will let it take you…
Happy: Your Alchemy EP was massive, and Merewif serves as a taster for another upcoming EP. What can we expect from it, and is there an LP on the horizon?
WB: Expect lots of water, songs positively dripping. Lots of nature scattered throughout. Tales of bravery and cowardice. Songs about remedies and destruction.
Happy: You’ve signed on with Pilerats Records for this one, whereas Alchemy was self-released. Does this change much of your processes, or end result?
WB: No, not at all. We made this EP before any of that happened so it was the same deal – foamed up laundry room and annoying the hell out of our housemates. We love our DIY.
Happy: Your impressive production and composition appears to have stepped up even further. It is a conscious effort or a by-product of your experience?
WB: Experience I suppose. We have learned so much along this crazy ride about song writing and what Willow Beats is. Our sound feels more fully formed this time around.
Happy: You’re on the road across Australia during August, do you have anything special planned for those shows? Can we expect to see you around the traps as more big festival line-ups loom?
WB: We have been working hard on making the show more visually interesting. Narayana has remixed a bunch of the songs to make them fresh and we will be playing a few songs from the new EP. Come and see for yourself!
Happy: What makes you happy?
WB: Buying 50 cent clothes. My ducks. Rap music makes me feel powerful. Living in a beautiful area makes me feel like existing is enough. Blues understands my heartache. Writing songs give my experiences purpose. Painting helps me lose myself and gives me a break from my thoughts. Those moments when you recognise a divine power guiding you – all the love I am blessed with.
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