Stace Cadet & KLP chat their explosive follow-up single to Energy, People Happy
In a time without clubs, Stace Cadet and KLP put out one of the biggest dance music hits in Australia. Now, they make it two-from-two with a second.
There's something kind of ironic about how Stace Cadet and KLP are making some of the most exciting Australian dance music there is, at a time where fewer people can experience it than ever. Their last collaborative release together - Energy - was unveiled in the depths of lockdown last year, and their second single together - the today-arriving People Happy - arrives as another lockdown looms over Victoria, shutting clubs in the same way that lockdowns in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia have done the same in the last six months.
Nevertheless, club music has to live on, and Stace Cadet and KLP are proving that it's possible to still have club hits, even if much of the world can't dance to them in the venues they're so often inspired by. Energy was a somewhat unexpected success; a rare commercial cross-over that took Australian house music into the ARIA charts and the triple j Hottest 100 alike. Now, their next single together People Happy seems to make it two-from-two, capturing the same heights of dance music as the explosive Energy did before it.
From the get-go, it's apparent that People Happy aims to seek the same thrill as the single that came before. It's full of chanting vocals and rushing production, with thick-cut bass kicks hammering in amongst a flurry of melodies and joyful vocals. It's the type of care-free and light-hearted music that clubs need right now, capturing the euphoria of the dance floor and the feeling of pure ecstaticness that comes with feeling those 808s pound against your chest - there's nothing quite like it, and Stace Cadet and KLP are bringing it to life.
"We realised that we were coming out of a hard time in the dance community and it was time to shake it all off and just fucking dance and feel happy again," the pair say on the single, tapping into that feeling just mentioned. "We wanted to make a song that would make the people happy and bring joy!"
It's a feeling that both Stace Cadet and KLP are well-familiar with, too. A seasoned producer, Stace Cadet is someone we've been following for years now, exploring the depths of tech-house's grunge-y core through singles littering way back to 2016. Likewise with KLP too, whether it be as a triple j host constantly on-pulse to the country's dance music sphere - and its many, often-complex niches - or as a multi-hyphenate vocalist/producer/songwriter/champion herself, with a constant stream of music arriving even as she builds a family and does more things than we can seem to catch up on.
It's clear that People Happy is going to be yet another big hit, and it couldn't come to a better pair of dance music veterans that, for the last few years, have been slowly changing the face of Australian dance music across a variety of roles. Take a listen to the banger below, and read our interview with the pair below, as we catch up in the wake of Energy's success and look forwards into a new era of People Happy.
Howdy you two! Energy was obviously such a big hit for both you two, and for Australian house/club music as a whole. How did it feel having the song take off, and be such a representation for Australian club music on a commercial level?
KLP: For me I had gotten used to just releasing music and thinking, this is just what I do, this is my journey - I put out music and every little song goes a step further but maybe I’ll never have something that really hits hard. To have ENERGY connect with so many people - especially going through the start of covid etc was really such a blessing.
SC: Definitely a surreal experience. Much like Kristy I had the mentality of just keep working away at my music with the hope of one day connecting with a wider audience. There are no horizons in music. You never know if and when something is going to hit so it’s definitely been a great feeling to have Energy impact in the way it did.
Did the idea to write more music together come after the success of Energy, or was it something that came more naturally early on?
KLP: We’ve done so much collaboration before, not only through music, but Stace is this annoyingly talented guy that also does amazing graphic design haha. So he had been doing my artwork for years. So it was only natural to do more stuff and create another track that could give people the same ‘energy’ for lack of a better word :)
Can you tell us a bit about this single - People Happy - and its creation and themes?
KLP: It was one night back in May 2020 and I had been eating cheese and drinking cocktails in lockdown, I facetimed Stasi and we very loosely sang the idea together down the line not exactly knowing if it would eventuate into anything. The idea was literally - to write a song about being happy because everyone was so damn depressed at the time facing lockdowns and the pandemic. I’m generally a pretty positive person but I was finding my insides were so confused and weighed down as we faced so much uncertainty. I hated the idea there was nothing I could do to help or fix anything surrounding me so writing a song is the one piece of power we took in our hands!
Between People Happy and Energy, it’s clear you two have a musical connection that works. What is the thing that you both admire the most about each other’s work in the club music world?
KLP: For some reason, we just work well together - there’s no bullshit. We both take music very seriously but at the same time are happy to laugh and not be too precious about things.
SC: It’s rare you find someone that you connect with the way Kristy and I connect when writing music. There’s no ego or head butting. We genuinely get excited about each other's ideas and I think that makes for good musical chemistry. And she’s a legend which helps.
This song was obviously written in a time where club culture is quite minimal, and only just be-blooming again post-pandemic. Do you feel like this period without clubs has affected the work you two have been creating?
KLP: I think I’ve written/produced/made/consumed more club music in 2020 than ever before ahha! Maybe I was just craving it and couldn't get that satisfaction from dancefloors so had to make it?
SC: I think I personally just went into an adapt or die mentality. I could either sit there and do nothing and feel sorry for myself or use the time to learn / grow / write more. We will never know if having dance floors would have made Energy a ‘bigger song’ or not but either way I think everything worked out the way it was supposed to. Happy Days.
Kristy, you’ve obviously watched Australian club music grow and change in a lot of roles over the years. How do you see the health of it at the moment?
KLP: The music being made is solid as, and it’s really inspiring to watch so many Aussies have international success. At the same time, the club scene and general nightlife is alive... but boy oh boy does the current government make it damn hard for it to thrive. Not only on a national level, but as a NSW resident in particular, I’ve seen lockout laws and general licensing restrictions pretty much demolish the nightlife culture in NSW over the last few years. Now to have to try and make it through covid - it’s tough. I guess it goes to show how resilient creatives are and how much there is just a genuine desire and NEED for music/culture in the world and in people's lives. It’ll keep fighting through all the laws/restrictions/lockdowns.
Stace, we’ve been following you and working with you for a few years now, and we know that you’re partial to these bigger, bold house/tech production. Energy is the first time you’ve had a really song blow up to this level though; do you feel like the track’s success has changed how you write and produce at all?
SC: First of all, thanks for all your support over the years (Molly Happy represent) haha. In short, definitely. I come from a vocal / musical background and you can expect to be hearing more of that in my coming releases. Covid really gave me time to experiment and widen my production thinking. Energy definitely showed me what style of music I want to be making and playing in shows.
People Happy comes out a really exciting time for you both personally and musically. What’s planned for the rest of the year, as Australia’s dance music space continues to heal and evolve?
KLP: Shows shows shows! It’s been soooo good to have dancefloors making their way back and I can’t wait to go hard in the second half of 2021 playing a bunch around the country.
SC: I have just started a big tour around AUS / NZ (See you all there) so I’ll be on the road for the next few months and MORE MUSIC! Keep an ear out Clublings.