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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - KIRSTY HAWKSHAW

15.12.05

     
 

Q: Meta-Message provides a snapshot of part of your roller-coaster musical history to date - how did you select the tracks for the album? Does it work for you in the way that you had envisioned?  

Meta-Message, is the first release that I have had the privilege to put out via a major label Nettwerk which I have been completely 'tranquilo' about. I worked very closely with Mark Jowett and Blair my publisher on which tracks to select. My choice was slightly different, but they have a good sense of what will make an album balanced. As an artist I am a little bit on the 'self indulgent' side and wanted to mix the tracks together as a journey. Also I had so many to choose from it was difficult in the end, and during the last month of my pregnancy with Edie-moon I ended up in Hospital and had no access to the internet. I had to hand a lot of the choosing over to Nettwerk, but they came up trumps, and were very respectful to me as an artist. Sometimes you have to learn to let go of things and not be such a control freak. It can often work out to be for your own good, like letting the grandparents have the kids for a couple of nights so you can catch up on sleep.

  Q :  O>U>T is clearly a powerfully personal album written at what you've referred to as a major turning point in your life - how have you found your music contributes to your development as a person? Do you find major life-experiences lead to greater creativity?
 


Absolutely. My music is my 'journal'. I try to write them occasionally but they just don't say it how I truly feel it. With music you can tell it as it is, but add so many different flavours to give the person listening the true experience of what you may have been going through at the time. It's not all about me, it's about my life as an observer, listener, empathiser, speaker, my friends, whatever really.

     
             
Q : Has becoming a mother helped or hindered your creative endeavours in any way (putting aside the obvious demands on your time and energy)?
  To be a Mother is the highest acheivement of them all. I know when I'm doing OK when they smile all day and say 'please', and 'thankyou', I know that I'm disappearing up my own arse when they shout and scream and demand. My creativity has gone onwards and upwards since the birth of my son Ike. I cannot begin to describe how complete I feel. I work at night for a few hours, my husband and I have good 'time' sharing.   Q : What led to your release in 2004 of UniKids: The Sun & The Moon?
 
H aving children, I was very ill for the first year of the birth of my son and needed to 'snap out of it', so I started to tune into my 'fun and silly side', and found that he responded well to it. It healed me as a new time Mother, made my son smile, made my husband laugh at me and occasionally 'with me' lol. An album was born which my manager Steve Baker convinced me to release. I now sell it on the net, and in Ottakers bookstore in the UK.
             
Q : Youve provided vocals for a number of different top artists how would you say this has affected your own musical output? Have you learned any special lessons?
 


I've learned 'many' lessons. That the industry I am in is sadly very 'male' orientated. I'd love to rant, but I know it's futile. I have become stronger as a result, and will continue to grow and grow. I have to stay in touch with my feminine side. This business is the perfect one to be in for hormonal imbalances.

If anything it's helped me to learn a lot about 'dealing' with people, made me stronger, and I've learned how to organise time very well. My own musical output has suffered a bit for my solo project as I've been offered to work with so many different producers, that it's been a bit of a catch 22 as I earn my living off the small advances given. Meta-message was the way in which to pull back some of that energy and apply it to my own solo album, adding a few new tracks to keep it balanced.

Ideally I'd like to make the next album working with one producer, and having the luxury of an advance where I won't have to take on any other work. This situation will enable me to really knuckle down and focus on completion. Glen from Future Funk Squad is a strong contender at the moment, we get on very well, he is extremely unpretentious and very talented. He always delivers the right formula. I've got loads of tracks to produce and am well ahead of the game so I am feeling warm and relaxed about it all.

  Q : Meta-Message and O>U>T demonstrate a range of styles from d n b and dance to a cappella, downtempo and acoustic piano do you have a favourite style to sing to?
 

Acoustic, real, soulful music with 'real' musicians. Like say David Randall who plays guitar with Faithless. That guy is a genius, and it's nice to see that finally people are beginning to notice him. Check out www.slovo.net

             
 
     
Q : How do you write and record your own pieces do you have some preferred processes or orders in which things get done?
 

Changes all the time. People send me tracks, and I might put them on in the car as that's a good time to listen. Or at the gym on my IPOD, then I see what melodies, words come to mind. Sometimes I may draw on a current situation, whether it be a 'friend's' drama, or one of mine. Inspiration just comes. Also if I'm working with a DJ, i.e. Tiesto, I may ask him if he has any titles in mind, then try and write my interpretation of that title, or try and tune into that person distantly and give him a special gift. I've often been right.

I send my vocals over an ftp site, and work from home in my studio. I have a very good friend called Tom Hill from Phase music who comes to the house once a week and helps me do some recordings, tidies up my mess, and fixes my poor computer when I've assigned things to all the wrong places. (Tom just said I'm putting myself down but it's true ;)

  Q : You appear to have a lot of unreleased material (two solo albums) are shown on one of your fan sites is there any likelihood of some of this music seeing the light of day?
 

Yes, I will find a way. I have some good plans up my sleeve. Keeping Mum till they are fruitful.

             
Q : How great a part does live performance play in your musical life?
 


It's becoming a 'real' thing. I have performed twice over the last month. One was an acoustic gig with my husband at the Ginglik in Shepherds Bush, just me and Tom on guitar, and the other was a night out in a town about 20 miles from where I live which was the 'clubby' side. I performed most of Meta-Message. I kept it quiet as I knew that it would have enough people there already. It was a riot. They had converted the whole venue into an 'old school' rave. I'll be performing in Gozo on New Year's eve also (Malta). I have mixed the tunes together like a DJ set, but will be singing live over the top of it.

   Q :  You are involved in a number of interesting projects approaching release over the next year can you tell us a bit about your part in some of these?  

 

DJ Sam has a promising album coming out which I have three tracks on called 'Lodestar', 'Split', and then there will be a single called 'Insight'. It's just been finished off for Blackhole Recordings. Tiesto and I are perhaps going to do some more tracks. I have a project with Future Funk Squad about to come out, Pentatonik, Matt Darey, and Headstrong. Been talking with John B, and Pendulum also Commix. John Bee could be 'mega', he is a winner and we both like the Kenny Everett show so watch 'myspace'.

 

           
         
 Q :   What might we expect from you as a solo artist in the future anything to look forward to?   I've got into the habit of uploading demo's that are unfinished onto my myspace page, just to give 'the present' light of day. Quite often you can write something in a winter month that has no relevance to July, so why not just share it immediately - people can buy it next winter. It's the future, and I can only be where I am now.       

 

 

           

Thanks to Kirsty Hawkshaw and family.