October : : Music Talks

We live in a strange era of pop music. Now, more than ever, music genres which were once considered subcultures are now considered cosmopolitan, changing the idea of ‘popular’ music completely. What rules the Billboard and APRA charts is no longer dictated by traditionally conceived pop music; the over-produced, ‘bubblegum’ aesthetic of early pop stars and girl and boy bands. Pop, it seems, is losing its hallmark superfluous nature, now more calculated than ever before.



October by Dexter Murray for WG


Cue October - the pop producer/musician from small-town Blenheim. She's been making waves with the recent release of the visuals to her song ‘Voids’ in late 2015. It's tumultuous, dark music that mixes slight ethereal overtones with a hint of sardonicism, hitting right to your core; achieving a beautiful juxtaposition of madness and purity to create a sound reminiscent of almost of Arca and FKA Twigs, but stuck in its own little dreamy world. It is this stark, revealing tone that is expected from her much-anticipated forthcoming E.P. ‘Switchblade’.


We caught up with Emma, the woman behind the moniker, in an attempt to un-shroud some of her beautiful mystery.



October by Dexter Murray for WG


What’s the most defining moment of your musical career so far?

2015 had a lot of firsts for me. I played my first live show, released my first music video for Voids, had my first radio interview with Radio NZ National. But the most defining moment of last year was probably having the opportunity to perform at the Others Way Festival up in Auckland. It was pretty insane to be named in the same lineup among the likes of Princess Chelsea, Silicon and Tiny Ruins.


If the readers only listen to one track by you, which track should they listen to?

My new track 'Switchblade' which will be out super soon.


What is your music’s defining characteristic?

The use of Phat synths. Abrasive, visceral, industrial - but very, very pop.


Who or what are your top five musical inspirations?

FKA Twigs, Grimes, Patti Smith, Soft Circle, Jim Morrison. The sound of construction sites inspire me, too.



October by Dexter Murray for WG


What is your opinion of the New Zealand music scene?

The NZ music is absolutely buzzing right now. There is such a DIY attitude among young people who just put in the time and effort to make their own shit. Everyone I've encountered is super supportive. It's a really cool family feel.


If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be and why?

I don't know... Like Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), or Jim Morrison if he was still alive. Or, like, Pierre Debusschere on a music video. That would be a dream come true.


Could you describe the creative process you typically use when making music?

It's always emotion based. I start off with a chord progression, and if it doesn't make me feel something physical in my stomach, or makes me feel empty or hungry then I trash it right away... (laughs) The hungry songs are the worst.


When I've for the right chords, I work on making percussive sounds, and fill in the rest of the production, then the lyrics come last - but are always the most important. They usually come from my poetry notebook.



October by Dexter Murray for WG


What is the next big plan for your music?

Shooting the music video for Switchblade. It's going to be very dark and creepy - I can't wait. Hopefully a few gigs in Auckland too. That would be rad.


If people took only one thing from your music, what would you want it to be?

That young people can do whatever the fuck they put their minds to. We're unstoppable if we want to be.


What does success look like to you?

Forging your own path and changing the game. I think pop is in a pretty terrible place at the moment and I wanna at least leave my mark on the industry. Musicianship needs to find its way back into pop.


Use one adjective to describe your music.


Catch October on the flipside, playing Chronophonium Festival on the 6th of February.


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