- Words Maria Mukaranda
The Australian DJ, producer and singer sits down to discuss all things True Love And Its Consequences, her '00s euphoric dance-pop opus.
Welcome to the vibrant sonic universe of Memphis LK. The Melbourne-based artist returned last month with a new EP, True Love And Its Consequences, featuring the infectious dance-pop single ‘Closer To You’, a nostalgic homage to the euphoric vibes of early ’00s dance music.
True Love and Its Consequences is a snapshot of Memphis’ latest evolution, seamlessly blending the considered introspection of artists like Burial with a brightness reminiscent of Charli XCX. The EP title itself reflects her fascination with exploring contrasts and tapping into various facets of love. As a producer, songwriter, vocalist, and DJ, Memphis thrives on a DIY ethos, creating a sound that resonates authentically with influences ranging from Four Tet to Bicep.
Embodying the intersection of underground club and bubbly pop, Memphis LK works to push musical boundaries, carving paths into design, fashion, and videography. With a move from Melbourne to London, the musician is forecasted a year filled with more collaborations, live shows, and a continual evolution of her production and vocal prowess.
In conversation with the musical multidisciplinarian, Memphis shares the creative process behind ‘Closer To You’, drawing inspiration from dance-pop legends like Cascada and Calvin Harris, all while infusing her distinctive saxophone solos. She delves into the diverse influences on her EP, from the Melbourne music scene to her experiences supporting Carly Rae Jepsen and gracing the stage at Splendour In The Grass.
As we step into Memphis’ world, we unfurl a journey through the multifaceted landscapes of dance music, where authenticity, creativity, and an unbridled love for experimenting with her craft converge in every beat and lyric.
Can you share the inspiration behind the title of your new EP, True Love And Its Consequences, and what listeners can expect from this collection of tracks?
Honestly, I just thought it was a sick name. I like balancing darkness and lightness in my music, with sounds, melodies and lyrics that are both euphoric and melancholic. This EP is an expression of the different sides of love, the beautiful parts and the painful parts.
‘Closer To You’ has an infectious, nostalgic dance-pop vibe reminiscent of the early ’00s. What specific elements or artists from that era influenced the creation of this track?
I was leaning into the almost tongue-in-cheek simplicity and nostalgia of 2010s dance-pop, the euphoric feeling of early ’00s piano house and trance music and more recent dance-pop tracks from Peggy Gou and Kylie Minogue. I had also been playing Guru Josh’s ‘Infinity 2008’ in my live sets and playing the saxophone along to it, which inspired me to add a saxophone solo to this song.
Your EP reflects a range of emotions, from the introspection of Burial to the brightness of Charli XCX. How do you navigate these diverse influences while maintaining a cohesive sonic identity?
I’ve always been equally inspired by experimental and underground club music as I have with pop melodies and songwriting. I love being able to explore and connect both those worlds with my music. I just try to follow my intuition and remember to trust myself and what I think sounds good, rather than overanalysing what my sonic identity is. In the past I felt like I was meant to choose a specific lane, but more and more I’m learning that the diversity in my influences is actually what has helped me to form a sound that is really authentic to me, and that is my lane.
Melbourne has a vibrant music scene. How has being part of this diverse musical landscape influenced your sound and artistic journey?
Growing up in Melbourne was really formative for me as a DJ and producer. I think just being immersed in the nightlife and club culture, going out dancing and being surrounded by an exciting and diverse music community was so inspiring to me and really informed the way I make and perform music.
In the current music landscape, how do you see the role of independent artists like yourself, and what advantages do you find in maintaining creative control over your work?
It has taught me so much. I’ve had to learn to do everything pretty DIY, from the recording and producing, to the visuals and the artwork, and a lot of the promotion too. I learnt to do everything with basically no budget. It’s a lot more work and definitely has its challenges, but it’s allowed me to find and solidify my sound and identity what feels authentic to who I am. It’s allowed me to build so much confidence in myself and my creative process, which I may not have found otherwise.
Your debut EP, Too Much Fun, garnered attention, and you’ve since had remarkable experiences like supporting Carly Rae Jepsen and performing at Splendour In The Grass. How have these experiences influenced your growth as an artist?
Performing my songs live to big crowds across Australia, supporting incredible artists and playing at my dream festivals were so many dreams coming true all at once. I was touring pretty consistently and it helped me to solidify my live show. As well as playing the pop shows and festivals I also did a lot of clubs, which informed the sound of my recent EP. It gave me more of a dance focus and an awareness of how my music sounds and feels in a club environment.
How do you adapt your music for the live stage, and what do you enjoy most about connecting with a live audience?
My live setup is simple. It’s a DJ set where I play a combination of songs I like and my tracks while singing and playing the saxophone. Performing live is where I feel most authentically me. I love connecting with and playing off the energy of the crowd, it’s like we’re all besties at a party together and it’s the most fun and connecting feeling.
How does your visual aesthetic complement your sonic world, and do you see these elements as interconnected in your artistic expression?
I think the visuals are such an important tool to add more depth to the music; it’s all interconnected to me. It’s another fun way to express myself creatively. I just like doing things that I think are cool and fun.
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the coming year, both musically and personally?
I recently moved from Melbourne to London and I’m really looking forward to continuing to play shows in the UK and Europe and collaborating with artists over here. I feel like I’m in a good flow state with production and writing at the moment so I just want to ride that as long as I can and continue getting better with every release. I also want to get better at mixing and be more creative with my vocal production.