KLP and Dena Amy interview each other to celebrate KLP's debut album, Giver
The interview-on-interview comes following the release of KLP's debut album, which features long-time friend Dena Amy.
KLP and Dena Amy have a lot in common. They're both multi-disciplinaries within the artistic space, whether it's through working as a radio host on triple j (like KLP) or finding her feet as an actress and model before turning to music (like Dena Amy); they're both pushing our house music scene into new, unexplored directions with some of their best music to-date; and more generally speaking, they're both amongst the top of the class when it comes to Australia's electronic scene and the bounty of talent it holds, consistently one-upping themselves as they go.
It should be no surprise then, that KLP's debut album Giver not just features a track with Dena Amy, but that it's also the album's highlight moment, with a slick house beat and one of the year's catchiest electronic hooks giving an empowering moment that encapsulates the brilliance of the larger record. It's a big moment for KLP too, as she moves into album territory after years of cutting her craft through singles, remixes and EPs; now grappling at a larger format that gives her the room to move and flex her production versatility, something she most certainly takes advantage of amongst the album's 12 tracks.
Worked alongside a close-knit group of collaborators and friends, Giver swerves between the many pockets of KLP's sound and the over-arching dance music backbone it roots itself in, flexing her production prowess as it goes. At times, the record moves into the heavy-hitting, tech-leaning side of KLP's sound - Heater, for example, highlights the complexities of making a house single both catchy yet club-centric - while elsewhere, like on the Ed Holloway and Nick Atkinson-assisted Ghost, KLP's grasp on the pop world blossoms, moving more-so into a songwriting space as she goes.
The latter, her increasing presence as a go-to songwriter and vocalist, is an important moment for KLP that shines across the album's duration, but none more-so than the album's closing track Until I Find You. It's a reflective moment that sees KLP go within herself to open up, enlisting close friends and family members to aid in the vocals as she soundtracks her journey into becoming a mother - a turbulent, complex moment for anyone experiencing it at the first time, let alone one so in the public eye, in the midst of writing an album no less.
Here, to celebrate the album's release, we've got KLP and Dena Amy interviewing each other, breaking down the creation of the record and its release, DJing, and the changing club space between Australia and international waters. Grab the record HERE, then dive in:
Dena Amy interviews KLP:
Dena - Your debut album release, what motivated you to work on an album? What do you want listeners to take away from the album?
KLP - I think writing music is just such a constant for me so I was always writing, but I had never put it all together in album format so it was time to do that. I feel like in the past I had released music but as separate songs or an EP - there was never enough constancy in the styles. What music do I make? What do I play at my shows etc? So an album was a way to put all of that together and really make a statement as an artist. Hopefully, that’s what people take away from it! They see me as an artist first and foremost.
Dena - You worked with some writers on the album from all over the world, where was this album written and who with?
KLP - I set off on a writing trip around the world stopping in Stockholm, Berlin and London writing with strangers every day. It’s a strange but awesome process if you’re willing to go with the flow and be adaptable. You know that not every session is going to result in a song you like or use but you can somehow learn from even the bad ones. At the end of the few weeks, I had a collection of tracks that I then took back home to Sydney and finished in my sweatbox of a studio in Sydney.
Dena - Your debut album is called 'Giver'. What does 'Giver' mean to you?
KLP - It all ties back to a line from the song GIVER on the album (which you know too well haha!) where the lyric says “If you can’t deliver then you’re not the right giver”. It’s all about owning who you are, your power, what you deserve. Not being afraid to stand up for that - but also understanding not everyone is the right match to meet you halfway.
Dena - Your new single of the same name which features me (!) is all about empowerment and getting what you deserve. Where did the inspo for this track come from?
KLP - Yes exactly!! All the songs on the record are inspired by real-life situations for me. I think I had been trying to stand up for some things in my life and at times people can see that as demanding or asking too much - but I sat there and thought about it and realised “nope, I am 100% confident that what I am asking is valid and I know I am worthy of what I ask”. I was then ok to stand up for it but also understand that I can’t control how others react.
Dena - What is your favourite song from the album? Is this too hard to pick?
KLP - Arghhh yeah too hard to pick! They are all favourites for different reasons. And each time you write something, the most current song is generally then the favourite.
Dena - Some people might not know but you also organise the incredible initiative Ricochet - including Ricochet Songs and Ricochet Ball - what motivates you in music? What have you been working on lately?
KLP - Ricochet is all about being able to pass on energy to others - deflect negativity and reflect positivity. I was a bit frustrated a few years ago at certain things I saw happening - it can be overwhelming because you sit there and go “argh I can’t change that, it’s too big for me to make a difference”. But then I realised I just needed to start within my reach. So I couldn’t change things out of my control, but I could create new situations and spaces that made people feel empowered and strong inside to out. The more people I could help to feel like that, then the more that will eventually ricochet on to others and then the world will hopefully be full of more happy and kind people! It’s all finished for 2019 so I am looking for funding for 2020 to do more of the same because it’s such an effective model.
Dena - I think you’re superhuman so tell me, how did you manage to write an album while pregnant and having a baby?
KLP - It was hard! But it also kept me sane and focused. I pushed through the rough parts in my pregnancy because I had creative energy flowing out of me and I was setting myself goals. I time manage a LOT. I had to (and still have to) cut out everything that takes up time that isn’t absolutely necessary. I had to get good at saying NO to things and staying focused on the things I had in front of me to do. I also had (and still have) a lot of help around me. My partner is great and meets me halfway on everything and I have great friends, family and a nanny that assist me as well. I’ve worked my butt off to build up a good network around me!
KLP interviews Dena Amy:
KLP - You’re a triple threat - you dance, sing, act… what came first?
Dena - Why thank you techno Mum, dancing came first, I was 3 years old when I first hit the stage in my tutu.
KLP - Do you have a favourite of all of those sides to you as a performer?
Dena - I don’t play favourites I love all my babies equally. Art is Art.
KLP - How did you get into DJing? When I first started I played all types of music (hip hop, dance, rock etc) did you start out playing something else until you found your sound?
Dena - I got hold of a pioneer controller and taught myself in my bedroom when I was about 16. I always had an obsession with obscure and interesting music from the things I would choreograph dances to, I loved tribal music and even disco, but I was always mixing house and dance music, my ears loved anything with a beat and percussions from a young age.
KLP - You’re about to set off on a run of shows around Australia - do you have any favourite places to play here?
Dena - I am playing a few festivals I have never played before like Lost Paradise in Sydney and The Ice Cream Factory in Perth so that should be fun. I am also really keen to get back to Fiji for Your Paradise it's my favourite.. island, surf, sun and good tunes all week.. what more could a girl want.
KLP - How does Australia compare to when you’ve played overseas?
Dena - Aussies know how to party and get a dancefloor started that's for sure, I have always had amazingly supportive crowds here so I am so grateful they show up early and stay late. I really enjoy touring Australia and I love that they embrace my music and my crazy sets and basically go on whatever journey I take them on.
KLP - Thank you for lending me your stunning vocals for GIVER - what does being a GIVER mean to you? Why did that song connect with you?
Dena - Thank you for bringing me on board. Being a GIVER to me means being an adult. It means giving someone or yourself the time and respect they/you deserve. I connected to the song on many levels, for a long time in my career and personal life I put up with TAKERS... and after many lessons and a lot of work I now only surround myself with Givers. People who empower me, support and nurture me and make time for me, but I had to learn my self worth in order to know what I deserved... Life is too short for games, be a giver.
KLP - I see on your Instagram you’re always doing the coolest projects - recently it looked like you were in a race car or something? What are you up to?!!
Dena - Hahaha, a race car? Close - it was actually a fighter jet! That makes me laugh, I have had a really busy year. I just wrapped shooting a romantic comedy in Sydney about a month ago and now I am filming an action movie in Queensland, I'm not allowed to announce the project but stay tuned... I WIN THE RACE ;) haha
KLP - I am so into ‘Jol’ - when can we hear new Dena Amy originals?
Dena - Thank you, it's a special song to me. I am waiting to release my EP next year, I am really excited about it as I have been sitting on what I think is “gold” for a while now, but due to my acting schedule I haven’t had time to finish them perfectly but once they are ready I can’t wait for the world to hear them… I sent them to you last week so I know you’ve heard a sneak peek hahaha. It's a bit of a juggling act between, filming, getting in the studio and touring but I am working my butt off and loving every minute of the creative process- so stay tuned, I promise some good stuff is incoming- I’m just waiting till it's perfecto!
KLP Tour Dates:
15th November - Uni Bar, Hobart
17th November - SOHO @ Fox Hotel, Brisbane
23rd November - Old Man’s, Bali
1st December - Daniel San Rooftop, Manly
7th December - Newcastle Hotel, Newcastle
21st December - Otherwise, Townsville
24th December - Leftbank Hotel, Perth
31st December - Watsons Bay Hotel, Vaucluse
31st December - Florida Beach Bar, Terrigal
11th January 2020 - TUSK, Wollongong
18th January 2020 - Winxx, Coffs Harbour
31st January 2020 - Lula Inn, Auckland
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