INTERVIEW: Alice Ivy releases new single 'In My Mind' - "We need to actively be seeking out ways to provide safe places for female and non-binary artists to express their work."
Melbourne based producer and musician Alice Ivy released her first single, ‘Paint Me Blue’, in 2015. Since then, she has carved out a reputation as one of Australia’s premier producers, not only releasing her own music but also remixing tracks for artists such as Vera Blue, Luca Brasi and AMWIN. Hot on the heels of her last single with Flint Eastwood, the electro-bop ‘Close To You’, she today releases new single, ‘In My Mind’, a dreamy, blissed out slice of electronica, featuring Ecca Vandal. We recently caught up with Alice to find out more!
Hi Alice! Thanks for talking to us. How is everything in the world of Alice Ivy at the moment?
To be honest it’s super weird in my world at the moment, I played more than 60 shows last year and was on the road constantly! This year I’ve been strapped to the producer’s chair in the studio. It’s always a bit of a head game changing gears from being on the road all the time to heaps of studio time. But I’m really enjoying having the time to be creative!
Your new single ‘In My Mind’ is out today. What was the inspiration behind the track?
When I began writing ‘In My Mind,’ I was picturing myself as a 10-year-old child riding my bike through the park in summer holding an ice cream in one hand. I wanted to create that exact same exciting feeling of the endless summer holidays and with nowhere important to be.
Can you tell us a little about the production process behind the track?
I put together this colourful loop, sampling this weird toy sound, looping it with chords, bells, and played in some guitar, I wrote the topline with my friend Kate Martin one afternoon. I sat on it for a few weeks then fleshed it out into a full song, got Ecca into the studio and we workshopped it for 2 days. I then got my friend Liam McGorry into our studio to lay down some horns.
You have teamed up with Ecca Vandal on the song, how did the collaboration come about?
I have always been a massive fan of Ecca’s, especially her song ‘Your Orbit’ with Sampa the Great. Once I had the ‘In My Mind’ demo at song length I was listening to a bunch of Ecca and I thought to myself, “OMG Ecca singing kind of more soul on this song would be amazing.” So we made it happen!
The music video is beautiful! What was it like to make?
To be honest, music videos are super stressful especially ONE SHOT CLIPS haha! You put so much work into it, and get heaps of people involved, and you only have a day to shoot it, if it doesn’t work out you’re kind of screwed. Everything fell into place with this video! Claudia Sangiorgi Dalmiore is an incredible music video director, so bringing her vision to life was an amazing experience. So about 11 of us drove down to Cactus Country one early morning, with a trailer with all of these set parts that my dad built. As we got to site it started to rain, so I kind of started to freak out that the video wouldn’t happen. Ecca and I got our makeup done, and by the time the sun started to set the rain stopped and we managed to smash out at least 10 takes.
What was your vision for the video?
I wanted to create something out of this world. The song itself is meant to be an escape into the mind, I was just picturing an endless colourful summer. I think Claudia nailed it.
You have worked with so many amazingly talented performers, who is on your list of dream collaborators?
OK I’m gonna hit you - Little Dragon, Little Simz, Kah-lo, SZA, Kaiit, I’d also love a Bonobo flip haha!
You are acclaimed as one of Australia’s top producers, yet the role of music producer is still dominated by men. What are your thoughts on sexism and gender inequality in the music industry, particularly in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ roles?
Well it’s total bullshit. It happens so much and sadly it’s something a lot of female and non-binary artists are pretty used to and have been since the start of the music industry. As a white woman, I recognise that I am privileged and it’s important to remember that when discussing sexism in the music industry. But I think rather than answering questions like this, I think we need to actively be seeking out ways to prevent this situation and providing safe places for female and non-binary artists to express their work.
Do you think it is changing, are more women coming through as producers?
I think that female producers have always existed, but because we are paying closer attention they are now being noticed.
What advice do you have for any women that have ambitions to work as a producer?
Surround yourself with positive and supportive people and return those vibes. A positive working environment will encourage you to work at your best.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2019?
New music, a bunch of shows and probably more dog content.
‘In My Mind’ by Alice Ivy feat. Ecca Vandal is out now via Dew Process/UMA (AU/NZ) and Last Gang records internationally.