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Seven Quick Questions: Edie

Seven Quick Questions: Edie

Wednesday 15th June, 2016 11:56AM

Last week's Eyegum Wednesday show at San Fran saw experimental pop musician Edie (aka Anna Edgington) take the stage for a set alongside dark ambient artist AMY_ciN. Following her performance, Eyegum member Sophie Scott-Maunder had a chat with the Birmingham native to learn more about what bought her to New Zealand and how she found her footing in a largely male-dominated scene...

1. How would you describe EDIE?

It’s always hard to describe your own stuff… Weird vocal soundscape with some strange beats and quite a lot of bass. I’ve always had an affinity with haunting music so I guess that bleeds through a lot of the time. I’ve also always been really into infectious beats from around the globe which are crazily uplifting. Quite a mishmash of dark and light.

2. You studied music at university in the UK. When and why did you move to Wellington?

I moved over here in 2009 after graduating as I wanted to travel before getting sucked into a big city like London. I loved NZ so much, met my fella and voila - I’m still here. Wellington is a great place. Lots of space to create but it’s conveniently compact which makes it easy to do loads of things. I need space and nature nearby to feel inspired/energised to write … I think I’d find it really hard creating and working in the big smoke 24/7.

3. How have you found being an electronic female artist in a scene mostly dominated by men?

That’s an interesting one. In the main part, I’ve been greeted with support from women and men. Having said that, there’s definitely a sense of disbelief when you say you’ve done it all yourself – I’m not convinced a guy producer would get the same reaction. I’ve even had friends (female and male) react that way and I don’t think they were meaning to be wankers, I just think there’s still this insidious gender bias out there that even the most open minded people continue to carry around with them, not necessarily knowing. It doesn’t make me angry, just frustrated that equality won’t be fully embraced here for a while yet. There’s also still an imbalance in gig line ups – so many electronic gigs are completely made up of guys and I’m not convinced this is because there’s of a lack of female talent out there… But we’re getting there and all we can do is set precedents, spread the word and encourage others to do their thing.

4. Can you tell me about your involvement with SHE - a collective of female producers, musicians and audio visual artists?

SHE was started by amazing women Kerry Coulshed and Janelle Palmer (Tapei Teahouse). They wanted to provide a platform and space for female artists to meet and perform. I met Kerry through artist Gemma Syme and played a few gigs up north with them. I was very inspired by Kerry’s ‘Beautiful Beast’ project, which saw her collaborate with the incredible Roya Sadat in Afghanistan – one of the first female film directors to emerge after the fall of the Taliban regime. Reaching out across cultures to connect and to communicate universal issues inspired me to join these ladies in growing the SHE platform. The idea of SHE is not to do a Women Vs Men thing, it’s a platform to celebrate women and readdress and reflect on the imbalance that takes place in music and many other areas of life. We welcome guys with open arms and it’s important they celebrate with us. In fact, guys always say what a great atmosphere SHE gigs promote…like a celebration of the women in their lives. That’s what we want.

5. How would you say the music industry in Wellington (and New Zealand) differs to the community you experienced during your time in the UK?

Both are great in ways and not so great in others. UK is a bigger, busier and sometimes unfriendlier scene. But it has more venues and bigger population to fuel more nights of music. It's also really competitive - you sink or swim. I have friends in UK who are still doing gruelling tours inside and outside London to make a living. Though in recent years, they've made a better living travelling to Europe to do weekend shows. I guess Europe is on your doorstep!

6. What styles, artists or genres influence your sound?

Quite a few! In no particular order... early vocal/choral music like Tallis, Palestrina and Bach. Contemporary vocal music from composers Xenakis, Arvo Part, Elizabeth Lutyens, Bjork, Radiohead, Nick Drake, 90s trip hop, Flying Lotus, folk and sephardic music are some of the main culprits - there are quite a few more...

7. What's in store next for EDIE?

I'm working on the final bits of my next release - hoping to get it out there in September and continuing on a few exciting collaborations in NZ and UK.

Tonight's Eyegum Wednesdays show at San Fran will see poet David Merritt takes the stage followed by the minimal electronic awesomeness of Alexa Casino. Head over here for more information.

Photo by Sophie Scott-Maunder


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