INTERVIEW: Banoffee

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BANOFFEE has had a huge year in 2014, with the Melbourne singer/producer releasing her glistening 5 track EP to much fanfare, embarking on her first US tour, gigging Australia wide and even launching her own ice cream flavour.

2015 will see her grace the stage at Sugar Mountain, Golden Plains and across the US again but before she gets carried away with her soon to be stardom I caught up with her for a quick chat on New Years Eve at Beyond The Valley festival on Phillip Island:

Great set today, I loved the cover of DRAKE’s Marvins Room you worked into your set. Will we see hip hop become more incorporated into your sound in the new year?

I listen to a lot of hip hop, so I think it definitely influences my writing, but I’m not sure how capable I would be writing a hip hop track or writing my own I think there are always influences in there whether it be the type of drum sample I’m using or a certain rhythm.

You did have a little bit of a rap and you can sing so you could be like the Australian Drake..

Oh my god, that’d be the dream.

You always seem to be wearing some cool stuff and your dancers had some cool outfits. You’ve changed out of your stage clothes and you’re still looking pretty groovy, do you feel like fashion is an important part of your act or your identity?

I think fashion is a big part of my life yeah, not in the way that I want to look good all the time but that I want to have fun with what I wear and I think there’s a lot of creativity and amazing artwork being shown and expressed through clothing and I like to sort of showcase that as well. I really enjoy wearing silly things and like layering things up so I guess playing on stage is another chance for me to play dress ups which is fun.

You did a sunglasses ad for POMS about a week ago, how did that come about? Are you interested in doing more stuff like that?

I like doing collaborations with brands, I’ve always hoped to be able to have a line or do something in fashion at some point but its always been secondary to my passion for music. With POMS I really love Adriana who runs it and she came up with the idea of me doing the video and being part of launching those sunglasses and I just wanted to support an Australian brand, I really like supporting independent designers and it was just a lot of fun, she was just like ‘ hey can we get you to stand in front of a green screen and dance around with blow up toys’ and I was like ‘yeah, I can definitely do that’.

Have you thought about using that footage for a music video?

I’ve actually only seen what is up there but I’m sure they have a lot of footage they could use against me

You dance a lot on stage and you even had backup dancers on stage today, is that something you want to develop more? Are you interested in choreography at all?

Yeah, I love dance and I also just love having a good boogie, I’m not someone who could do a big dance routine or something but I would like to work towards being able to do that. Being a solo artist sometimes you can get a little bit lonely up on a big stage so it was really nice today having some people up there with me and it’s a good way to just change things up and I think a lot of my songs have a lot of visual aspects to them you know I’ve made sure I release a lot of my music with clips and I want people to feel like my music is interactive and I think having dancers helps with that as well.

You played a couple new songs in your set today, do you have a release planned coming up soon?

Yeah, I have a single coming up in the next couple months and I’m just heading in to some recording sessions over January and February, hopefully you’ll hear from me by March or April. I’ve been working on something for a while I’m just very picky so I’ve been making something throwing it out making something throwing it out.

So there’s a lot of B-Sides and rarities out there?

Yep, there’ll definitely be something coming early this year.

No album?

I’ve decided against an album, I feel like the way I’m writing at the moment is so sporadic if I was to commit to an album I feel like id be limiting the sort of musical opportunities I’m grabbing at the moment. I’m going from one genre to another really quickly, I’m getting excited with one sample and working with that then playing a different instrument. I don’t want to commit to the marriage of an album just yet. I want to be able to do 5 tracks, make them work together and then see how I’m feeling and how the next EP is going to sound like. So at the moment I’m into short releases I think.

This time last year I don’t think you’d even played a festival and now you seem to be on all the best line-ups, how different is it preparing for a festival versus bar or club shows?

Its really different, I would still say I’m a bit of a festival student, what works on a big stage compared to with an intimate audience. But Its really enjoyable because everyone seems to be already in a really good mood and willing to accept it and there’s no like wander ins everyone’s chosen to be there. Definitely as an artist who has a lot of intimate pieces, intimate songs, it can be quite a hard crowd to pull sometimes so I’m learning how to keep peoples attentions.

Are you gonna build up to a bigger stage show with the dancers maybe part of that?

Yeah maybe, I think that’d be fun. I definitely know for sugar mountain in January I’m gonna be having some more dancers and a bit more of an interactive performance so I think for some of the bigger stage opportunities that I have it’d be fun to get other people involved.

It’s new years eve, what was 2014 all about for you?

2014 was EPIC, 2014 was all about learning and meeting new creatives for me. I went over to America for part of the year and worked with a crazy amount of people and I think 2013 was all clean slates, making things throwing it out, so I feel like I’ve come a long way.

And what’s 2015 going to be all about?

Next year is gonna be, hopefully about releasing. I”m hoping to have 2 or 3 releases next year and lots of travelling. I’ve got a couple of overseas festivals and some recording overseas to go as well as some national tours so I think its gonna be a good year. I’m excited for it.

Can you tell us about who you’re recording with overseas?

I can tell you some people, i’ve been doing a lot with the PENTHOUSE PENTHOUSE crew and PROMNITE who are part of a production company called Team Supreme who work with DJEMBE DJEMBE and a bunch of other people so they’re a bit of fun, a bit dancer. I’ve also been doing some work with Genius who is actually a new Zealand boy who’s living in Brisbane but hes actually over in the states and some stuff with JACUZZI who just came down here last year so im playing around with a couple different people.

Do you prefer working within the local scene or with people overseas?

I most prefer working with friends and working closely with people, but I think its important that you’re still co-writing and listening to other people and helping them with their stuff and getting feedback for yours and I think that’s the best way to create. Just constantly sharing ideas and talking to people.

Nice to meet you and hopefully well see you a lot next year!

Words by Alex Whitney

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