Kate Elsworth is an Australian born singer, songwriter and DJ who's currently in Miami catching up on some rest before ramping up for WMC like the rest of us. Alex Fish caught up up with this talented young lady to ask her a bit about what she's been up to, how she creates the records she does with production partner Exacta and what lies ahead for 2012. Along the way she disclosed a passion for budget airlines, spoke about her dream endorsement deal and hinted at the piece of mind that accompanies accomodations in close proximity to airports. Oh yeah, she's also a model who's graced the pages of FHM so if words aren't your thing, we're confident this piece is still worth "reading."
Your sound is very decidedly big room house music, with melodic builds and breakdowns, often complimented by vocals. As this music receives an increasingly warm welcome stateside, have you noticed a change in the energy in your shows in the US? Absolutely! The electronic/house music scene is definitely evolving stateside! The energy here is amazing!! I must say it's a great place to play, as the response can be overwhelming! Many artists have crossed over to the mainstream these days and perhaps more young people are becoming more interested in what house music capitalizes on which is the hook and beat rather than the lyrics. Having said that, as a songwriter, I feel like lyrics are still the most important feature of any song. A hook is essential for me, and a bangin' beat is what captures me first, but I find lyrically you can captivate the audience by the way you express yourself through your voice. I like taking a different approach of stating the obvious if you know what I mean. Personally I dislike anything too generic. So a big room set with some dirty bass lines and a few twisted lyrics is my idea of a good night. Guaranteed to get a few people frothing ;)
It seems you got your start writing and singing with some jazz bands. How would you compare the experience of creating music with a band to working with your partner DJ Exacta? Much easier!! Im coordinating one person as opposed to four! I love it. The work I do with Brian (Exacta) is my most expressive. We don't conform to any particular style or do what's "hot right now," we just write how we feel. As an artist this is vital for me as this is now a project I feel like I am 100% myself right through to the beat, lyric and hook. Working in a band was great, at times it was a little more complicated in a good way. I'm happy to have experienced both. I felt like I needed to do something a little more adventurous. Playing my music around the world to a couple of thousand people, at 5am, to a crowd that's generally pretty "loved up", has fulfilled that.
From the looks of your calendar, you've been traveling quite a bit. How has touring impacted your ability to work on music? Do you only work on records when you're in the same place or do you take advantage of services like dropbox to collaborate from afar? Exacta is the only guy I seem to work well with in the Studio. I spend a bit of time in NY every year where he is based and we hibernate in the studio and get creative. Dropbox is definitely my new best mate. Working with the likes of Dirty South and Thomas Gold obviously gets a little tricky as the touring schedules between us is difficult to coordinate. I usually get beats sent to me and I record my ideas on Ableton or Garageband and send them back. I can write any time of the day. I can't plan on when though, as my best ideas usually come out when I'm doing something random. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)
What are some other artists you've been pleased to work with or are currently working with? I've got some great collaborations coming up. Might keep them secret though ;)
What have been some of your favorite parties to play over the last year? What stands out as something you must do again soon? I loved playing at LIV Miami and Amnesia Ibiza. The crowd was amazing on both occasions. Actually i just played in Mexico City and that was amazing too. I've been fortunate enough to play around the world. Every venue has been a different experience and holds its own special qualities. I have the attention span of a fly so to be in a different city every other day keeps everything fresh and exciting.
What's your favorite hotel and airline? Easy Jet and any hotel located next to the airport. Its all about the serenity.
I've been considering starting a career as an attractive female vocalist/DJ. What are some pro tips on how to be taken seriously and not get harassed at every turn? Where a gimp suit whenever possible. When you talk about DJing get deep and talk about how you run the risk of getting DVT when using USB's and even though you might not make much sense just look like you know what you're talking about by throwing in a few strong expressions and the odd hair flick.
What brand would be a dream sponsorship for you? Durex. Definitely makes more sense now that I'm an international DJ. ;)
"Called an Affair" seems to straddle the big room sound with sultry vocals coupled with chugging tech house, how did this track come about? When you're working with Exacta, does the beat come first, or do you start riffing on some lyrics or vocal melodies and then it comes from there? This particular idea came from a very random bass line Exacta created which I loved the minute I heard it. Most of the lyrics were completed when I sang the melody idea over the beat the first time and then we just sat down and fine tuned the rest of it. It all happened very quickly which is usually a good sign. I don't like to spend too much time on a song. Needs to flow.
The video has a very refined look, who shot it and when? The Director is a brilliant photographer called Uzo Oleh. He has a very exceptional eye and I've always been a fan of his work. We shot it a few months ago.
How is Miami treating you? Where can we catch you performing during WMC? Miami has been wonderful. Looking forward to the next two weeks. The choice of music to listen to is remarkable and I'm desperate to hear some good proper, dirty, filth. I am very excited to be performing at the wonderful Thomas Gold's party at Mynt on the 24th of March. This is going to be the first time our tracks "Alive" and "Eyes Wide Open" are performed live. We've had a lot of requests to do this and I'm pretty excited to be performing as opposed to DJing. We have some special guests playing that night too so should be a rockin' party!
Your most recent promo mix opens with a rather naughty question…we have, have you? Oh thats disgusting...