Alice Ivy’s soul and funk-infused music is incredibly unique. Recording her own performance, and then sampling it alongside electronic production is a technique she discussed with us alongside her influences, tour highlights and surprisingly hopeful collaborations with Missy Elliot.
Your music incorporates electronic elements and soul, often working in samples and live instrumentation. Are there any major inspirations in your sound, including artists or works?
I have always loved soul artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Etta James, and then I got into sampling artists such as J Dilla, Onra and the Avalanches. I have always wanted to play music like that, and after seeing Bonobo live a couple of years ago I realised I could create this kind of sound with the combination of electronic elements with live instrumentation such as vocals, percussion and guitar.
Blending these elements often feels rich and vibrant. How do you go about your current set-up when playing live?
I run Ableton through a couple of midi controllers, one I can hit with drumsticks and another I have my set visible on. I play live guitar and then I am accompanied by guitarist Luy Amiel on a couple of tracks. I like to work with a live vocalist as well, in Europe I worked with Georgia Van Etten this amazing London based singer and over here I have worked with Chloe Beckwith.
Are there any traditions or little rituals you have before getting up on stage?
Wash my hands because they get sweaty
You have recently toured the UK and Europe, supporting artists such as Remi and Stella Angelico. Do you have any tour highlights or a memorable moments from your trip?
The tour was amazing because we met some pretty cool people and played at some wild places. Some of my favourite places to play were Bedroom bar in London, and this wild arthouse in Berlin, called ‘Loophole’. I highly recommend getting a beer here!
As a musician, what was your favorite place to visit in Europe?
Even though I spent a few days in Berlin I didn’t come close to understanding the electronic scene there, but what I gathered was that people were thriving off it. I really enjoyed the looseness of music over there, people just set up decks anywhere on the street and began a rave. You can stumble upon anything when walking down Berlin’s streets, we accidently walked into an abstract art exhibition and traditional latin concert in an abandoned car park. This city is just full of non-stop life 7 days a week.
What records are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I have been really enjoying some more local Melbourne stuff from Slum Sociable, Ainslie Wills and Hiatus Kaiyote.
Your music involves many elements, often developing like a sonic collage. How do you go about your creative process when writing music?
I like to go out and do a lot of field recordings in different busy sound environments such as markets or train stations. I feel these sounds with the combination of samples really help spark my imagination as I can then picture their position in sonic space. Working with different vocalists also helps open my mind to different ideas and sound textures.
Do you think being apart of the Melbourne music scene has stylised your tastes and connections to music?
Melbourne is home to many strong sound communities. Being inspired by other local artists has definitely affected my connections and tastes in music.
You have a very clear aesthetic and style in your album cover art. Is there a reason you gravitate towards collage? Do you design your own supporting visuals?
At the moment I am really lucky enough to be working with a really talented artist collective called MalaParteCafe from Italy. I feel the collage vintage art style works as it alters the old with the new, just like my music. The artwork used for each single has its own meaning and feel in reflection to the music.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
My dream collaboration would be with Missy Elliot because she is just so cool.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2015?
I feel 2015 has taken me one step closer to allowing me to finish my debut LP. I am looking forward to playing more in Australia particular this summer over the festival season.
Check out Alice Ivy at Speaker Tv’s upcoming event ‘Citizens of the Streets’, on the 15th of October. More details (here)