Latchy has embraced lockdown collaboration for his new single ‘Soda Dream’. The Singapore-based artist is following up his last release with a sugary sound that will help you escape the woes of the current climate. We sat down with Latchy to talk about his new single, long-distance collaborations. his future plans, music and much more!
OSR: What was it that first drew you to music?
Latchy: I love the sense of community that music provides. Singing, playing or even just watching music together is something that’s so unique to humans. Music was a big deal in my family and growing up in Australia that quickly evolved to heading to gigs and festivals and tuning into Triple J for the Hottest 100. Fair to say in a year like the one we are having, it’s been so great to still be able to lean on that sense of being in things together even if we’ve had to do it in some interesting and unique ways. The DIYSuperGroup competition that Triple J ran this year represented all the things I love about music and having my entry ‘Stuck’ played on the station was a real high point for me.
OSR: Were you always drawn to pop music or is this a sound that evolved over time?
Latchy: I’ve always loved pop music. I think a great pop song can be so timeless and while the tones and sounds that make up what “pop” is have always changed, a great song is always going to be a great song. I think it used to be that getting in a studio and playing in a band was the easiest way to get your music out there, and that was what I did.
Now, the things we can do on a laptop mean that the sounds at our fingertips are basically endless, especially with how easy it is to collaborate now. The music that is possible as a result is amazing and so exciting and some of the music artists are creating now blows me away.
OSR: Is there a backstory to your new single ‘Soda Dream’? If so, can you tell us a bit more about it?
Latchy: ‘Soda Dream’ is about temptation and avoiding the allure of things that you know aren’t good for you, whether your vice is booze, sugar or people. It’s about the dreamy state you can get in if you just give in to your desires and don’t think about the future and it helps me to try and focus in on being a good boy during lockdown this year.
OSR: What was the creative process for writing ‘Soda Dream’?
Latchy: The song came together really easily. Last year while I was at BIGSOUND, I signed up to ‘I Heart Song Writing Club’. It’s a club that is run by an amazing team and is focused around writing a song from beginning to end every week in less than an hour. While this one wasn’t one of the songs to come out of that exercise, a lot of the practices and skills I picked up to really hone in on getting a finished product in under sixty minutes helped me to push on when I hit roadblocks.
OSR: You collaborated long-distance with Kyle Goulding, Jack Arentz and Huntley Miller. How did you find this process?
Latchy: Collaboration on ‘Soda Dream’ during lockdown helped to keep me sane. It was so great to send music off and not only hear people get excited about it but to hear their contributions take the song well beyond what I imagined for it. Kyle (Kilo) is an amazing producer and performer and has been someone I’ve written music with for a long time. More recently, he’s picked up the bass live for me, playing some shows in Singapore late last year and to support the release of ‘Jacuzzi’. I asked him to record a take of the bass and what he sent back was what made me choose this as my next single.
Jack has been a collaborator and my mixer for around 3 years and is an amazing performer in his own right as part of Kult Kyss and Hii Spirits. His ear and skills always mean I get a song that’s so much more complete. Huntley has worked with outrageously large acts including Bon Iver and there’s a reason why.
I think that because I’d already worked with everyone that got involved and love the things they do, collaboration, even though it had to be done via the magic of the internet, came naturally for this song. It’s now impossible for me to listen to the song without the things that they all brought to it.
OSR: Your last single ‘Jacuzzi’ was supported with live shows, are you planning to do online shows for ‘Soda Dream’?
Latchy: I have huge belief in what can be done with streamed gigs. Through 2018 I curated the line up for Brooklyn at Hibernian, a Sydney live stream series, so naturally, I’ve been quick to jump on taking my shows online. The week ‘Soda Dream’ launched I was lucky enough to be asked to play as part of Isol-aid 21 which was easily the biggest crowd I’ve played to with more than 500 people tuning in. I’ve also played an exclusive Zoom gig for fans and plan to put on another stream gig with some friends for all my mates stuck in lockdown in the next few weeks so stay tuned on Instagram for details.
OSR: If people could remember only one thing about ‘Soda Dream’, what would you like it to be?
Latchy: There is a can crack sample in the middle of the song before a smooth little drop and I’ve tried to sonically recreate the exact feeling of an all-time-most-delicious-first-sip of your favourite beverage on a warm summer’s day. If you’re needing a break chuck it on, crack a can and try and transport yourself.
OSR: If ‘Soda Dream’ was a new addition to the crayon box, what colour would it be and why?
Latchy: Technicolour because I’ve tried to turn the funk up to 11 on this one and as a minimum Kyle’s bassline guarantees it’s at least a 10.
OSR: What is your favourite and least favourite aspect of making music?
Latchy: My favourite part of making music is the first 15 minutes of writing a song. When an idea hits you and comes into being right before your eyes and ears, it’s really special. My least favourite part is when you get stuck hating one word or line and let it hold you up. That is why, like the Beatles, I get by with a little help from my friends. Collaboration has helped me avoid getting stuck on annoying things and letting them hold me up.
OSR: What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Latchy: Work has already started on my follow-up song which will be out before the end of the year. I’ve got a goal of getting two out before the end of the year so will be pushing hard to make it a five single 2020. I’ll also be playing more streamed gigs and maybe running a trivia night or two to keep all my mates in lockdown entertained.
When things start to open up I’ll get back into gigging up here in Singapore before planning my first post lockdown show in Melbourne as soon as I can be there. I can’t wait to be back in front of people playing in person again when it is safe. When I’m not on stage, I’ll be at the bar with a massive smile and a beer in my hand.