CHMBRS is an exciting new Electro-Pop artist…
from Australia who has released a stunning single in Rabbit Hole. I ask about the song and the details behind it. She discusses her forthcoming E.P., EXORDIUM, and what we can expect from it; why artists like BANKS are important to her – and the musicians she fell for at a young age.
I ask CHMBRS about the Melbourne scene and whether it is a ripe and fertile landscape; what her future gig schedule looks like – and whether she will treat us to a few performances over here.
Hi, CHMBRS. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! It’s been good.
It’s been a good week. Lots of hustle. Definitely, time for a wine when I get home!
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My Pleasure! My name is CHMBRS. I am an independent, incredibly emotional Electro-Pop artist from Melbourne, Australia. My music is very much inspired by some of my favourite artists: BANKS, Lapsley; Halsey, Paramore; Broods etc.
I’ve always found music to have a strong impact on my emotions - and I want to be able to create music to capture, inspire and heal emotions.
Rabbit Hole is your debut single. What is the story behind that song?
Rabbit Hole is the story of my constant war with my own self-doubt and anxiety.
Something I’ve always found really hard to deal with, as some young people do, and it bleeds in my insecurities with my music. I felt compelled to fit into all these different genres, songs; styles that just didn’t fit me – they didn’t feel natural.
It wasn’t until I spent a night, in tears, writing on the piano that I wrote a song (Rabbit Hole) that would define the direction of my music.
It is an evocative and eye-catching video. Can you tell me whose concept it was and what it was like to film?
It’s amazing to watch, isn’t it!
The concept and costume design was by Caitlin O’Grady (Desfura) who was also the Director of the clip. When I bared my song to her, her inspiration was almost instantaneous. We were almost unsure how we were going to bring it to life but we had so many people come into help build the concept that it all came together so well. It goes without saying a lot of work went into this clip - and by everyone involved.
We spent just over eleven hours shooting: my partner spent three or so days building the steel cage; my dancers performed in nothing but leotards and veils in under ten degrees (centigrade) – all of us filming until 5 A.M. It was equally exciting to film as it was to see as a complete video.
My favourite fact about it all is you would never have guessed…it was filmed in a driveway!
Is there going to be an E.P. coming? What can you reveal about that?
There sure is!
I can reveal that it is coming and it’s coming before Christmas (*sigh of relief)! I named my E.P. EXORDIUM - which means 'beginning/introduction' – which I felt was fitting because this piece of work, with all the varied and dramatic emotions incorporated, is just the beginning of my story.
Is it quite exciting releasing a debut single? How do you hope Rabbit Hole will be received?
It sounds so cliché, but it really is like a rollercoaster. It’s such an emotional experience and, with (me) already being an emotion person, it was full-on! But it was such an amazing feeling to finally release a song that was so personal to me - and give it out for others to listen to and keep. I have already received some amazing feedback already but my hope, for its reception, is for it to feel different - but a good kind of different.
I hope for people to listen to Rabbit Hole and feel the deep emotions behind it; to feel empowered by it and to want to overcome whatever it is that holds them back from doing/taking/receiving the thing they desire most.
I hope Rabbit Hole moves people the way it moved me - to not be scared to take a risk and just be me.
Melbourne is home. What is it like for a musician there? Is it the best city in the world for new music would you say?
Melbourne is great.
I think there are so many opportunities in the C.B.D. You have so many avenues; whether it’s live gigs, shows; buskers, Triple J/Triple J Unearthed – there are so many ways to expose your music in Melbourne.
I couldn’t say whether it’s the best city for new music because I haven’t seen the rest of the world - but there is so much incredible talent and amazing songwriters in Melbourne.
Can you give me an insight into the music you were raised on? Is there a band or artist that sparked that interest in music?
My music taste changed so dramatically when I was younger...
One minute, I’d be listening to a Shania Twain album; next minute I’d be listening to Foo Fighters and then putting on P!nk’s newest album. I loved listening so much music when I was little – was absolutely obsessed with Disney music for a long period. I also went through an ‘Emo’ phase (go figure!) so Rock music definitely had a strong impact on the kind of music I really wanted to perform and sing. I always thought I was going to be in a band and be like Hayley Williams. I guess, as I’ve grown, my music tastes have broadened with me.
I’m always looking for new artists to inspire me, to create sounds I’ve never heard - and lyrics my heart needed but never knew how to say.
It seems personal doubts are put into music – in the search of an answer. Would you say music is a way of dealing with doubts and struggles in your life?
Music has definitely always helped me put it all into perspective, I guess. I definitely have a lot of thoughts, doubts; questions, musings about everything and anything – sometimes, my mind is just constantly going a-mile-a-minute. Music has always had a way of taking all that weight off my shoulders and by being able to write. I’ve found it helps me to think clearer about situations – sometimes, when you’re in that situation; you only get stuck in the one view.
We all have our own struggles and demons to face: I’ve still got plenty to work on and write more songs about but I believe music has been the key to being about to cope with the weight of it all.
Do songs come together quite easily? How do you usually write? Do tracks come together gradually or is it quite quick?
I try very hard not to ‘force’ a song.
In saying that, there’s plenty of ideas and melodies/lyrics I try to come back to if I really love them. But, if I feel like I’m working too hard for a song, the inspiration for it fizzles and I part with it. I usually like to start with chords/music before lyrics, but every now and again it changes – I’ll think of a really sick lyric and write it down to use for later or I’ll hum a melody that I can’t get out of my head.
They don’t always turn into a song but the key to songwriting that I was taught was always, ALWAYS record it. With tracks coming together, I guess it really depends on the inspiration - Rabbit Hole came together one night in a couple of hours, if that, whereas one of the tracks from the E.P. took a day or two to finish.
What are you chaps up to this Christmas? Do you visit family or have other plans?
Christmas is family time, for sure!
Praying that we actually have good weather this Christmas – would be nice to actually go for a swim on the beach five minutes from the house! Mum usually puts on a massive spread; my sister Adele and I make Sangria; my niece will make us watch Frozen for the millionth time - and my nephew will probably run around playing with his cars and dinosaurs.
IN THIS PHOTO: Meg Mac/PHOTO CREDIT: Metaxia Coustas
Are you touring before the end of the year? Any plans to come to the U.K.?
I am hoping!
Lots of details to get through but I am hoping to get a tour started A.S.A.P. I am hoping to get over to the U.K. next year sometime, hopefully! Keeping my fingers crossed…
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Goddess – BANKS
it’s hard to choose between her albums because they both moved me so much - but the Goddess album just hit home on so many levels. Her lyrics in these songs hit me so hard - the day I found BANKS’ music is the day I felt like I had someone on my side.
Riot! – Paramore
I could 100% sing every song on this album. I was in love with Hayley Williams for so long, I even skipped school to go see a Paramore concert – doesn’t sound that hardcore but being the A-grade student I was in high-school; that was a big thing for me. This was the album of my teen angst. I might actually play through this album tomorrow: it’s taking me back so much.
21 - Adele
I think we all went through a crazy amount of tissues through this album. This album was such an emotional masterpiece and made not only want to be a greater and bolder singer - but to be able to make people feel as deeply as Adele made everyone feel listening to the album.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Stay true to yourself. Be patient.
This is not an instant gratification industry. Behind the cameras, it is hard work - every minute. But the most important thing: believe in what you are doing. People can feel that; they can tell if you believe in your own music.
Don’t be scared to be yourself: be present in every moment.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Hahaha. Jolly good. I’m trying not to be biased but BANKS’ new single just dropped – Underdog - and it is a bloody tune! Absolute killer track.