We had the chance to (virtually) sit down with Australia’s Bass Queen, Sippy, via Zoom, to chat about what’s she’s been up to during the past few months, Hypogeal EP, pineapple on pizza, and much, much more!
Ashley Eggert, Electric Hawk: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today! What have you done to stay busy and sane over the last 6 months? Did you develop any new hobbies or skills?
Sippy: I came over here (to Australia) to take a 2 week holiday and like 2 days before I was supposed to come back, Harrison, my manager called and was like “Everything’s canceled. Don’t come back to America. The situation is fucked”. After that, I probably just spent 2 weeks in a pit of depression. I was just like “I don’t wanna do anything, I don’t wanna see anyone, I don’t wanna talk to anyone”. After that 2 weeks, I just went the complete opposite. I was like fuck it, I can’t change what’s happening. I can do my best to stop the spread, but I can’t change what’s happening and what’s happened. So I’m just gonna use this time and write music, work hard, work on what I can work on.
In the first 2 weeks, I wrote an EP and 2 remixes. I wrote the EP which we’re actually announcing today. It comes out Friday which is really exciting. I actually already had an EP scheduled and written, but during isolation, I just wrote stuff that was way better so I was just like let’s throw out the old one and release this one.
After that, I started streaming a lot on twitch and my computer was really struggling to keep up. Then I was like well I need a new computer, I haven’t had one in about 7 years so then I decided to build my own! I’m actually really bad with technology so I can’t believe I learned how to do that. So I just researched, asked friends, and watched tutorials… I built a desktop computer!
AE: That’s so exciting!
Sippy: Yeah, then some other things I did- I’m very into sport, fitness, and health, I studied that at Uni. I go to this gym near my place and was challenged to do the swim leg of an Iron Man; I’m a terrible swimmer. I love the water and go to the beach all the time, but I can’t swim laps, like at all. It’s the middle of winter here too so the water is freezing cold. So yeah, I got challenged and had about 7 weeks to prep and then I swam the swim leg of an Iron Man. It’s 3.7 Kilometers (2.36 miles).
I’ve done a lot of random shit during isolation, but just to keep me feeling like I’m progressing, I’ve definitely written a lot of music. Done a lot of remixes, collabs, obviously my own solo tracks; I went away for a writing trip as well. Another one was a pretty major project coming out this Friday, I’m doing with a creative production company here called Studio Messa. We’re doing a live stream, essentially like a debut of the EP!
AE: Ah, that all sounds awesome! I can’t wait for the stream!
Sippy: Studio Messa is a production company based here and they had this idea and came to me- it all just kinda worked well and blended in together. They really understood what I was trying to do. It was really fun, I could do what I’m good at and they could do what they’re good at! We worked really well together!
AE: So they truly saw the vision!
Sippy: All of the vision!
AE: This is your first EP coming out! That is so exciting!
Sippy: I know, it is really exciting! I need to take a step back and just really enjoy it. I know a lot of artists are like this. I tend to do all the work for whatever it is and by the time it comes out you’re kinda already thinking about the next thing. Which is where I’m at right now, I’m already writing the next lot of music. I’ve heard this music and know what it sounds like. Not that I’m not excited, but it is hard because times are really weird right now, but it’s a huge milestone. To have that first body of work, that first EP, come together is really exciting and awesome.
I guess I have a business brain so I understand all the moving parts. Usually, because my focus is so on writing the music and that sort of stuff, I don’t pay enough attention to promotion. This time I actually had the time to bring all the elements together. This live stream I’m doing with Studio Messa, the artwork, all the sort of stuff- I had the time to really conceptualize the ideas.
The artwork- I came up with the concept and went out and made it. It’s a photo of me and I had a special effects artist do the makeup on my neck. Then I sent the photos to a graphic designer. Then with the live stream, we managed to plan all that out and do the promotion. I’ve got merch coming out for it that was all designed during this period. Even though it’s at a weird time, we’re having a show in Australia! It’s definitely very different because of COVID- it’s sit-down and capacity is way smaller but I’m actually playing a show on release day, which is really sick! It’s just a weird time for it to be released, but it’s a huge milestone. It’s exciting to get to that point now and enjoy seeing how far I’ve progressed in that sense.
AE: Yeah, it’s kinda almost like a weird bit of luck that you got stuck over there, but now you can play a show on the release!
Sippy: It’s all kinda worked out well. I’m not disappointed. I miss the states and love being in the states for my career, I love playing shows there. I only got a short stint over there before all this happened. I love it and really miss it, I definitely feel my best over there. But being over here has been great creatively. I’ve felt very safe, I’m here with my family, I’m under less pressure in terms of, I know this sounds drastic, but survival. Because at the moment some of it is about survival. This just means I’ve really been able to go at it in terms of the creative process, which is really awesome.
AE: Absolutely, it does kinda feel like survival mode here every day. Like fighting for toilet paper in the stores at first. What the hells going on?!
Sippy: Yeah it really is quite drastic. Some people are like “oh yeah no big deal”, but it kinda is! Like we used to do whatever we wanted, we were thriving. We were making choices on what we wanted to do, most of the time.
AE: So you played our Harmony Festival a few months back. How has streaming been? Do you think it’ll change the industry forever?
Sippy: That was my first live stream, which was sick! Before that, I had never done a Twitch stream but that is what made me be like “this is fun and I love this”! I just thought playing in my bedroom I wouldn’t think it’s fun because I’m not surrounded by the energy of other people and that sort of stuff but that’s probably when I realized no matter where I am, I have fun on my own anyway.
AE: Yeah I absolutely loved it! I thought it was so fun and it was our first DJ video, instead of visuals that we did for Harmony Fest.
Sippy: Yeaaah! I was just like fuck it, I wanted to jump around and let people see me acting like a bit of a looney. After that, I got more into twitch streaming and it was a really good tool, I enjoyed it.
When I was doing twitch streaming, I’d talk about production or random things another day. I really enjoyed it because for me I communicate better just by talking, rather than posting or writing. I try with Twitter but then again, I’m not as good at writing things down, it’s more I like having conversations with people. It was good at the start but when it comes to being creative and getting work done, it actually becomes a bit disruptive, at least that’s what I found for me. I felt like I couldn’t just turn my camera on and pretend it wasn’t and just work. I felt like I wanted to talk to people. Eventually, I started to stream a little bit less. I love doing the live stream DJ shows, but the other thing that’s really hard with that too is if you’re doing a tour around America and you’re in a different city every night. Usually, you play a very similar set because the people you’re playing to each time are different. You change it up a little bit, mostly for your own sanity. Whereas when I’m doing a live stream, every time it could be the same people watching. So it becomes quite demanding in terms of trying to create exciting sets. I think everyone went crazy because they were like “yay, live stream every week!” I know there’s a lot of music out there to use, but for me, I’m quite picky with what I play. It was really sort of stopping me with progressing in my music, so I’ve definitely slowed down with the day to day twitch streaming because of that. I, myself, could keep up with it if that’s all I was doing, but I had much bigger dreams to be pushing- starting albums, and doing all this other exciting stuff. I’m still streaming, it’s just structured a little bit differently.
In terms of how I think it’ll change the industry- on one hand, it’s great and people can continue to consume content a lot easier from wherever they are in the world. I think it’ll be great for any festivals that you can’t get to. People can buy virtual tickets and watch it from their living room, I think that’s incredible. The only thing that’s really tough is that I don’t think financially it supports the artist and the promoters and all of that enough. That’s something I’ve realized in this period and is really important. Streams are great and there’s traction there, but artists can’t pay their rent with traction. I think nothing will be able to replace a live show. That human contact, being there in person, experiencing it first hand with your friends in real life like I don’t think there’s anything that can really replace that. That’s the best feeling.
AE: That was a really interesting take on that. I feel like we only hear the good parts of streaming and everyone saying how great it is, but it’s not always gonna be a positive change.
Sippy: It’s great but it’s not really structured to be sustainable for anyone really, except maybe Twitch and YouTube.
AE: What’s it been like working with Deadbeats over the past couple of years? You were just on We Are Deadbeats Vol. 4, Deluxe, but the first time I heard of you was actually almost 2 years ago on Vol. 3.
Sippy: Was that 2 years ago?! Holy shit! That’s crazy, I didn’t know that. Working with Deadbeats has been insane! They’re crazy supportive, which is awesome, but they don’t just take any music I write, which I actually like. They’ll be like yeah we can release it, it’s good, but the other songs we’ve released by you are better. That sounds harsh for some people, but keep me accountable, keep me progressing. I don’t wanna be writing the same shit. A lot of the music on Deadbeats is quite original and different, even some of the bigger ones, like “Griztronics”. I know it’s almost a meme, but it really wasn’t something that gets played at a dubstep show. I think that’s the thing that’s really great about working with them. They’re very into original different music and like to push that. They’re definitely one of the best labels I’ve ever worked with- supporting and getting the artist out there. If they’re signing a track or EP they really believe in it.
When I first started working with Harrison, I sent over some of my stuff because I was looking for a manager, and he just called me up and was like “Who the fuck are you? Where have you been hiding?” and I’m like well, Sydney, Australia. (laughs) One of the first questions he asked me before we signed or anything, he was just like “so what music do you want to write and release?” I said “Oh I write heavy dubstep and riddim and bangers and blah blah” and he goes “Yeah, but what do you want to write, you can do whatever you want”. It just kinda blew my mind. I just assumed since he wanted to manage me he just liked me for what I was doing. It’s cool working with a team like that. I feel like Deadbeats is into hearing really different, weird stuff, which is great because it makes it fun again.
AE: What have you been listening to during quarantine?
Sippy: I’ve been jumping between a few old favorites. I go back to like Mac Miller’s Swimming, it just calms me down when everything’s hectic. My new discovery is, Mohican Sun, they do liquid drum n bass. There’s this song called “Don’t Wait”, it’s incredible. Whenever I hear a song I really love, I become obsessed and it’s like the most perfect song in the world. There’s also a whole EP there! I just turn on Spotify radio for that song. I’ve just been listening to a lot of liquid drum n bass lately; I love it!
AE: I have to ask- where’d the name Sippy come from?
Sippy: It was actually my nickname before I started doing music! A lot of people ask me that because they ask what my real name is and I’m like “Well it’s Laura but like, please call me Sips or Sippy or something”. I got the nickname at Uni because I’m really bad at skulling (chugging). It was my birthday and it was like a Uni induction piss off night. Piss off is like go out get drunk. (laughs) We went out, it was my birthday and we sing this chant, which I’m sure you have chants like that too but it’s like “Here’s to Laura, she’s true blue, she’s a piss pot through and through… * sings birthday chant*. Then you chug your drink and if you drink it too slow they go “siiiiipppp…. siiiiipppp…. siiiiipppp….”. Then everyone on campus knew me as Sippy.
After that, I was doing a DJ contest and had to have a name and I was like well more people know me as Sippy than anything and I used it with the idea I’d always change it then it just stuck. Now that’s what it is and the only thing I hate about it is that I feel like a dickhead for introducing myself as Sippy because I’m an artist but I’m like that’s literally what everyone calls me. I’m like “Hi, I’m Laura but call me Sips or Sippy”.
AE: (laughing hysterically)
Sippy: People come up with their names and they’re like “It’s this concept“. I’m like no, I’m just really bad at chugging drinks.
AE: Do you like pineapple on pizza?
Sippy: YESS!! Duh! I understand why they don’t like it, but it’s refreshing as fuck!
AE: Thank you so much for jumping on the call to talk with me today! We’re very much looking forward to the EP and stream!