KLP on not fitting in, her own record label and being a certified boss

As a music consumer in Australia, it is pretty hard to escape KLP and her ubiquity. From her previous role as a DJ on Triple J for ‘House Party’, to her omnipresence on Australia’s festival scene, KLP has given herself every opportunity to deliver her music – on her terms – to the masses. And, so it happens, the masses fucking love it.

From her debut single and collaboration with Remi, ‘Recover’, to the anthemic ‘Back In The Room’, KLP (Kristy Lee Peters) has given us a wide myriad of different-sounding tunes and new jam ‘Changes’ is no exception. Being the first single KLP released on her own record label, ‘Changes’ signifies a lot of…well… changes in her life. We caught up with the singer/songwriter/producer/radio host/multi-instrumentalist/label head/complete boss of her own life about the significance of the new track, the new label and her thoughts on our music scene as it stands today.

Your new song’s called ‘Changes’ and holy moly it is a certified banger. I’m inclined to ask – were there any ~changes~ in how you approached the making of this track as opposed to previous releases? 

There are always changes going on… sometimes we don’t even notice it’s happening but it’s always going to be there. The song idea came from an experience I had on a song writing camp – I didn’t automatically feel like I fit in and it was driving me insane feeling like I had no control. So I wanted to somehow explore that in the track.

Obviously one huge change is that Changes is being released on your own record label!!! (Congrats, btw!) How have you found being a label head thus far?

It’s surprisingly easy for anyone that has a clear vision. I am very hands on and have a great team around me so the only real difference so far has been having to fund everything myself. But it’s actually incredibly empowering taking control of your own shit like that.

It seems increasingly common that artists and other music aficionados are starting up their own record labels (Maribelle’s Crush Club, Nic Kelly’s Night High etc.) Can you share any thoughts on why you think this is, if you think its true at all?

It can be a scary trap that artists fall into, where they feel it’s crucial to have a label to release their music, and also feel like they’re validated or connected to something. But it’s not the same as 10 years ago; with the internet and amazing resources like triple j unearthed – you really can do it yourself.

Of course, ‘Changes’ is about changes, which has been famously said to be the only constant in our lives. What changes exactly went down in KLP’s world to inspire this song? 

Having the guts to leave a major label and take control over my career was the standout, but other major ones for me recently have been dealing with how the dynamics of friends changes over time. Everyone grows up, grows apart… it’s inevitable and not a bad thing, but for me it was a little bit of a process to be ok with letting some things and friendships go. 

Melodically, ‘Changes’ is fucking massive. Doesn’t let up for one moment. In comparison, songs like ‘Recover’ are still bangers in their own right, but are a little more understated melodically. Did you think you needed a huge sound to match the theme of huge changes in your life? 

I actually don’t even think the sound of ‘Changes’ is that huge! Compared to my last singe ‘Back In The Room’ it’s actually way simpler. But I guess that’s the beauty of music, it’s so subjective and everyone can see or hear things their own way. 

You’re very much a multi-talented artist in the truest sense. Because you can do it all, is there a pressure to showcase everything you can do in one song? Is it difficult to pull back or do you not even think about it? 

I stopped caring a long time ago about that. – now I just focus on the one track. I feel I am bigger than 1 song so I’m pretty patient around the idea that I can showcase different sides to me in a number of songs.

We wanted to talk to you about the Aus music industry as a whole, as you’re a hugely respected player. As a fan and a consumer, the biggest take-away I get from the Australian music industry is that it’s one big happy family. Is that the truth? 

Haha! Yeah it’s pretty nice. Recently I’ve had such a family vibe at my shows on the MIX MATCH Tour. At a bunch of the cities I’ve had friends and amazing artists jump up and sing. The Kite String Tangle, Tigerilla, Asta, Thandi Phoenix, Lanks and so many more… it’s such a great vibe – almost like a house party where we all jam out together, sing and play and party. 

How instrumental has the support of other artists been in perpetuating your passion to create?

That’s an interesting one, I have definitely had a lot of collabs with other artists but I’ve always really felt like I have had to do my own pushing and shoving to get anywhere. There are some songs I’ve sung on and people would never even know it was me! That can be a little frustrating but I just try to lead by example and give any credit where credit is due with my own music. 

More specifically, how instrumental has the support of other women been in the same process?

Same as the above, I just try to lead by example and support as many men/women/friends as I can around me and hopefully that will encourage others to do the same. 

You’ve been hugely vocal about the under-representation of wom*n in festival lineups around the country, and in large the industry in general. Since the issue really came to light a few years ago, do you think you’re seeing an improvement? Or is the issue still being ignored?

There has been improvement for sure. You’ll see festivals that last year had minimal females now booking female headliners. Mad respect to them. Everyone just has to do the little things within their reach or power and they all add up to big change.

Finally, based on your accomplishments and experience as one of the country’s most exciting artists, what would you tell your younger self who is just wanting to make music?

Be kind, be patient, but go hard.

Words by JACKSON LANGFORD

READ MORE INTERVIEWS HERE

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One time Lana Del Rey pinched Jackson on the bum and therefore he's qualified to write about music.