“I can’t wait to get some of those beer-fed massaged cows into my belly,” Kiko tells me as we discuss her recent tour of Japan.
“Japan was a big delightful surprise! I was blessed to be dropped in a DJ community which happened to like Kiko music, and asked for remixes which I’d perform live in clubs. That led to recording opportunities and also being able to perform at the Japan Music Week Launch Party. I couldn’t have planned for a better outcome or better time.”
From the get go I’m surprised by Kiko’s enthusiasm and tendency toward hyperbole. The word ‘love’ resurfaces again and again and everything she tells me is told with the energy and vibrancy of an artist left somehow uncrushed by the horrors of the music industry.
“Creativity by no means stops at song writing!” she exclaims laughing in response to me asking how she balances the business with the art. “It’s not even about having a good voice either. It comes down to how you are with people, venues, producers, how you design your image, what message you want to share, communicating with agents, managers, being clear, how you do your book keeping, whether you keep the receipts… I used to hate that stuff, but now see it as a creative challenge, like song writing.”
That’s definitely a healthy way of looking at it. I wish I could have the same approach to cleaning my toilet. Maybe if I looked at it like restoring a historical monument.
Anyway I digress. It’s obvious that Kiko is a woman not to be trifled with, yet at the same time I don’t think you could find a better project partner anywhere. She sort of reminds me of that kid at school who did all the work in the group project. A valuable asset.
Speaking of teamwork, aside from her solo career Kiko eagerly pursues co-writing opportunities with other songwriters. “I really enjoy co-writing and have a lot of fun with it. Over the last 2 years I have made some great contacts with producers where writing is fun and effortless. It’s relationships like that I like to nurture and continue to work with. We blend our production styles and my vocals. Something about those relationships is priceless and very creative.”
Such relationships spread beyond even our humble borders with the globe-trotting songstress strumming up work with producers and artists as well as her guitar when she’s on tour. “Whilst in Japan I also met a few Japanese producers who were interested in writing tracks together which we can quite easily do across shores. There is also a producer in Brazil I am currently writing with as well as a few Sydney producers of varying production styles I’m writing tracks with. More likely for their releases though, but some of those songs may end up on Kiko releases.”
Her most recent release Like No Other is out now, although it seems that waiting for it to be released was the hardest part about the whole process. “I’m not the most patient person and that EP has been ready for while, though with travelling it has not been the right time to release. I feel complete and satisfied, relieved and excited it’s getting out now. I’m curious and scared to see how it will be received.”
Just like the aforementioned workaholic child, Kiko seems to be unable to take any time off. Concerned for her health I suggest she should take a holiday from song writing and chill out.
“It’s not something I can stop. It’ll invade my sleep and I‘ll shrivel up and die if I leave it for too long. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane and balanced.”
Classic workaholic response. Do yourself and Kiko a favour and go see her when she launches her album at Notes on Enmore Road This Friday July 3rd and tell her to settle down.
Her new album Like No Other is out now.