You hail from New Zealand, what has brought you to Melbourne?
I came to Melbourne for the Valve Sounds showcase at Section 8! It was dope. I played alongside Jade Zoe, Silent Jay, Baro and Nasty Mars. I come to Melbourne a bit, so I guess I go back and forth.
Where does your music fit in with the New Zealand music scene?
To be honest, I don’t think my music fits in with the New Zealand music scene, but that’s cool. There’s a new wave of music coming out of New Zealand that has a similar sound to mine and that’s exciting, but right now I don’t feel like it has a proper “spot” in the scene. Soon though!
Your tracks are ambient R’n’B with that loungey, smooth sort of sound and some experimental elements. What has inspired this?
I like minimal music, and have been inspired by bands like Portishead and WET. I also like full electronic music, being a Soundcloud baby – I was inspired by all of that too. So I guess I fit somewhere in the middle.
How do you feel about ‘smooth’ as a word to describe your sound? I’ve seen it thrown around a lot to describe your music.
(Laughs) Smooth is a cool word and sounds nice, so I’m not mad at it. I personally don’t feel that way when I’m making the music, but how people perceive the music will be different for each person. Smooth is much better than the word ‘trash’, so no complaints from me!
In your single ‘My Love’ you took a jazzier, more soulful direction. What inspired this kind of sound?
It started with the saxophone sample from a racal drumkit, that originally came from Omarion’s track ‘Sexplaylist’ (such a banger). I wrote the lyrics and the melody without thinking too much about it and it kind of just ended up that way. It was very organic.
As a producer yourself, what goes into deciding which producers to work with?
It tends to happen very organically. I’m friends with all the producers i’ve worked with, and for the most part its happened online through conversation and sharing work with each other. With my song ‘Beige’ – that was produced by one of my best friends Nitu, who lives in France. We consistently send each other music that we’re working on, and when he sent me that beat I just asked him if I could use it. I’m lucky to have creative friends that are amazingly talented people!
Do you think its important for artists to produce their own work as well, in terms of creativity?
It really depends, that’s such a loaded question and can be taken many ways. I think in this day and age, information is so readily available and learning how to produce music is pretty easy thanks to the internet and YouTube tutorials (except having a good ear and good taste, those things you can’t learn). Let’s say you’re a singer and/or a rapper with no production background. If you’re in the studio or working online with a producer to make a track, it would be much easier if you’re able to vocalise the elements you want added/changed to the beat. Nowadays, everyone is a rapper and a singer, and that’s not enough to kill it in the industry anymore. The market is over-saturated with rappers and singers so learning about production will make you stand out.
In this case, it’s much better to have production ability not only to help yourself, but also to make studio flow easier and more productive for everyone involved. As a producer, when I work with artists, I personally find it a little annoying when rappers/singers don’t know how to tell me what they don’t like or want changed within the track. It’s so easy nowadays to learn the basics of production and if you’re going to take your work as an artist seriously, I think it’s so important and vital these days to learn about production.
Your mixtape is due out this year, what can you tell me about that one in terms of sound progression and inspiration?
I think this mixtape has the same kind of theme as my earlier music, but this project allows me to go more in depth. This mixtape follows the end of an unhealthy, broken relationship and each song is a representation of a different mindset, or stage of the grieving process.
When can we expect the mixtape to drop?
Very very very soon!
Villette’s latest single ‘If You Go’ is out now and available on Spotify.