Words by Keane Fletcher
We all cope with the stress of lockdown in different ways. Some of us cook. Some of us knit. Some of us stare into space wondering when it'll all be over. That's all understandable. Relatable even. Well, not if you're up-and-coming DJ slash producer BINDY, who -- funnily enough -- kickstarted her whole career while the rest of us were watching Bridgerton with our best stretchy trackies on.
I taught myself to DJ in lockdown...I [also] released my first song this year, have done a guest mix for KIIS FM radio and have even been lucky enough to DJ at a few events around Melbourne between lockdowns. It’s funny, because growing up I never once thought I’d become a music producer or a DJ, but here I am!
It's enough to make you feel...well...less than productive. At least we get to reap the benefits of her endeavours with the release of her latest track, 'HIGH', a club-worthy banger that will have you longing for the days where you the only thing you were afraid of catching from strangers were feelings. It's a bittersweet sensation. Says BINDY:
I can’t speak for everyone, but for those of us who have been in lockdown for an extended period of time, I feel like we’re more likely now to listen to dance music with more of a sense of nostalgia...[it] can also give us a sense of hope, because it gets us thinking about what will happen once we make it out the other side.
True that. But in the meantime, your lounge room will have to do. So turn down those lights, put the kids (or the cats) to bed, pop your headphones in and dance as though it's 2019 again. In the words of BINDY herself: 'We’ve suffered enough already so the least we can do is be able to dance, right?'
We recently sat down with BINDY to talk all things music, inspo, and what being a self-taught artist means to her. Check it out below!
1- Where in the world are you based?
I’m currently based in Melbourne, Australia, although I’m originally from Christchurch, NZ.
2- How would you describe your sound? Who are your musical influences?
I would describe my sound as having a very energetic, club-heavy feel. When I first started producing, a lot of what I would make was essentially really chill, bedroom-pop type music. But once I learned how to use Logic Pro and started experimenting with other genres, I ended up gravitating more towards a deep-house, dance music vibe which was inspired by artists like Karra, Route 94 and MEDUZA, so listening to that type of music became the catalyst for my first song
3- Tell us a little bit about how you got started in music. Is it true you taught yourself to DJ during lockdown?
It’s a bit of a random story actually. I lived in the UK for two years on a working holiday visa, and one Saturday I was sitting in my bedroom in Bristol. I was bored and opened up my laptop and that’s when I saw the Garageband app. Something in my brain clicked and I had this memory of me and a friend trying to make a song when we were about twelve, and I suddenly thought, ‘I wonder if I can make a song?’ And I guess it just it went from there. I moved to London not long after and kept on using Garageband to make my songs and would put my stuff up on Soundcloud. Looking back now, it was pretty terrible music. I seem to remember being at a house party in London once and taking over the Bluetooth speaker and forcing all my friends to listen to a song I’d made, haha. And yep, after I moved to Melbourne I taught myself to DJ in lockdown and took music production lessons over Zoom from my friend Matt (who also happens to be part of DJ duo Mashd & Kutcher!) I released my first song this year, have done a guest mix for KIIS FM radio and have even been lucky enough to DJ at a few events around Melbourne between lockdowns. It’s funny, because growing up I never once thought I’d become a music producer or a DJ, but here I am!
4- How does the creative process usually work for you? How do you go about writing and developing a track? How often to turn to other DJs and producers for collaboration?
One thing that I think constantly inspires every single artist, including myself, is listening to lots of different music. I think it’s really cool how artists and producers can simply piece together one song from lots of different influences. That’s exactly what I do. I usually find two or three songs that I’m inspired by at that point in time, then I get my Launchpad and start playing around with chord ideas. Splice is my best friend when it comes to producing a song - I use it for pretty much everything. One of my favourite things are experimenting with vocals and chopping them up - the vocal chops in Be With You is actually from one of the Karra sample packs on Splice. I think it’s so important to be able to collaborate with other artists and share ideas as well as being able to reach out to more professional musicians who have been in the business longer than you and be able to ask for advice. I met my friend Michael (aka. MPhilly) through virtual nightclub Club Immaterial and we later teamed up for a remix of his song ‘Next Boyfriend’ together. Right now, I’m working on a collab with someone right now which I’m really excited about, so watch this space!
5- Tell us a bit about your latest song, ‘HIGH’. What was its genesis? What were you hoping to capture with it?
The idea behind ‘HIGH’ was inspired by the song ‘My Love’ by Route 94. I was browsing YouTube one night and listening to music from my university days, when it just popped up. I’d never seen the music video for it before so clicked on it and it was as if I was hearing the song for the first time. I can’t tell you how many times I replayed that video. That piano in the Route 94 song is just so beautiful and nostalgic, and that was the main reason why I made the song at all. Ideally I wanted it to be a follow-on from my first song (almost like a Part 2), so that’s why the two tracks sound kinda similar. Because we were stuck in lockdown, I also wanted to make a song I could blast in the clubs and get people dancing once everything opened back up again. With ‘HIGH’, I definitely hope I’ve achieved that.
6- With music venues out of business for the time being thanks to the country’s various lockdowns, do you think people have changed the way they listen to dance music? How vital will dance music be in a post-pandemic world?
I can’t speak for everyone, but for those of us who have been in lockdown for an extended period of time, I feel like we’re more likely now to listen to dance music with more of a sense of nostalgia. We used to take our freedom for granted and now I feel like we’re stuck wondering if we’ll ever get to be able to go to festivals again. That being said, listening to dance music at times like this can also give a sense of hope, because it gets us thinking about what will happen once we make it out the other side. So yes, I think dance music will absolutely be vital post-Covid - I mean, we’ve suffered enough already so the least we can do is be able to dance, right?
7- What would you like to change about the current state of the music industry?
More female representation!! There are so many talented female artists, producers and DJ’s out there, but so many are being overlooked and of course, paid less than male artists and producers. I remember seeing a poster for a festival on Instagram once and out of the entire twenty-something lineup, only about three of the live acts were female. I’d love to see way more female EDM producers and DJ’s behind the decks too - Alison Wonderland, NERVO, Tigerlily and Charlotte de Witte are absolutely killing it right now.
8- What's next for you? Where do you hope to see yourself in a years’ time?
I’m definitely going to keep on producing and releasing music. I would really like to collab and produce tracks with lots of different artists and feature on a few more remixes as well. I’d love to do more radio DJ mixes as well as play at more clubs and my ultimate dream would be to play a set at a festival!
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!