Adelaide-based duo kiki.manic.escapade (comprising of young musicians Kiki and Justin) have had a busy couple of years. After supporting big name artists like Vanessa Amorosi, to being nominated for the Triple J Unearthed Award, they’ll be bringing their own brand of indie electronic pop to a number of shows in Adelaide, including this Friday at the Earl of Aberdeen. One half of kiki.manic.escapade, Justin Mok, spoke with Glam Adelaide writer Gianni Borrelli.
GB: Explain the name kiki.manic.escapade.
JM: Well, kiki.manic.escapade (or KME as we’re sometimes referred to) is the ‘outfit’ name we came up with. Kiki has done much purely under her name as a solo artist, but due to this project being a joint collaboration, we couldn’t really head down the road of a solo name. We are a partnership, and all music and production was being written collectively as joint artists. Our collaboration began over 10 years ago and throughout that time, we’ve experienced many of the highs and lows of that which we call, the music industry. We decided to call this adventure a manic escapade. So in the end, the name just fell into place. It made sense. kiki.manic.escapade.
GB: Your profile on Triple J says that you sound like Goldfrapp, Phoenix or Empire of the Sun. Do you think those comparisons are apt?
JM: Those artists are but a mere selection that we feel we could sound similar to. It is not in our interest to sound like any other artist in particular. We describe ourselves as being ‘indie/electro/pop’, and the artists listed fall into that similar category.
GB: The two of you met 10 years ago, but what sparked the initial collaboration between you both?
JM: Well firstly, the two of us had a lot in common. Both on a social level and then in particular, with our hobbies and other interests. We became involved in youth bands and started playing music together quite frequently, where we discovered a real musical chemistry. Over time, our musical compatibility only grew stronger and after working on our own individual projects we decided to continue in the pursuit of making a record together.
GB: For those who don’t know much about your music, describe what it is that makes you stand out.
JM: Unlike a lot of other major artists who literally just sing on their album, we actually write, record, perform and engineer everything you hear on the record (with an occasional guest star from time to time) We don’t have a band per se, or other writers directly involved in the project. We play and perform everything ourselves in house at this current stage. In addition to having what we feel is a very unique sound, we also have our own personal projects which have aided us in moving this particular project forward. Kiki, also an actress who has just finished production in a lead role of an Australian feature film and Justin who is a respected sound and recording engineer. These things are in fact, another string to the KME bow!
GB: Have you played alongside any big names?
JM: Together, over the years we have supported Vanessa Amorosi, Renee Geyer, The Sundance Kids and Bachelor Girl.
GB: What are your most memorable performances or gigs to date?
JM: We definitely enjoy playing in our home town to be honest. We enjoy playing locally to both friends and those unknown. Our shows seem to have a certain impact on the individual which we really enjoy on an up close and personal setting.
GB: Being Adelaide natives, how does it feel performing in your hometown to friends, relatives, and on the rare occasion, that person from high school that you never really liked?
JM: All our performances feel memorable to us. Playing at home is great. We love having our mates around for a drink in between sets and also, meeting people that we don’t know who’ve decided to stick around because they’re really enjoying the music. That’s a real buzz.
GB: What is next on the horizon for kiki.manic.escapade?
JM: Upon completion of the album, we plan on taking it overseas. We have a trip scheduled to Los Angeles, California later this year. Amongst an overseas release and exposure, we also have a series of opportunities to jump onto some local festivals and supports around Australia. We will be hoping to promote the album in every way possible, heavily focusing on live performances. We’d also like to further our invested interests in television and film both musically and on an independent front.
Kiki.manic.escapade play at the Earl of Aberdeen this Friday.
Date: Friday 13 May 2011
Time: 7.30 pm
Location: The Earl of Aberdeen, cnr Pulteney & Carrington Streets, Adelaide
For more information on kiki.manic.escapade, visit http://www.myspace.com/kikimanicescapade.