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Being. Shares Debut Single 'High In Mind' + Interview

Being. Shares Debut Single 'High In Mind' + Interview

Fluffy / Thursday 19th October, 2017 10:36AM

Auckland indie-pop artist Being. (Jasmine Balmer) has shared first single 'High In Mind' after a run of live shows which have demonstrated a considerable command of melody and heart-felt spoken-word poetry. The catchy new tune features synth work from Jonathan Pierce (The Beths, Artisan Guns) and will be released with a collaborative zine from Auckland artist Huia.

Balmer describes 'High in Mind' as "A smack in the face of colour and elation, cosmic synths and surfed-out guitars. It’s a zest-drenched spirited acceptance of the awkward that comes with growing into self".
Listen to the debut single and read our conversation with Being. below...

Who or what is Being. and what kind of tunes do you make?

Being. is a moniker for my music project. Before I started Being. there was a year when I cut making or performing music completely out of my life. ‘Creating’ had become a really melancholic place for me and I needed a break. I later realised that was stupid and I’m not built to process my world without the creative process – that it’s kinda necessary for my mental health. When I decided to start playing again I needed a fresh start with a new name – and with it, the ability to take away feelings of direct vulnerability that come with performing music under my own name. Using this pseudonym has allowed me the space to be even more real and vulnerable with the freedom to explore who I am musically. It’s my ethos for doing music and this whole life thing.

Your debut single ‘High in Mind’ is dropping today. Tell us a little about what it means to you?

Creating can get quite head-heavy for me. ‘High in Mind’ was me making it a lighthearted thing again. It’s a song of self-acceptance, a reminder to go easy on myself, ‘cause the creative process can be quite intimidating and bring up a lot of self-doubt.

Tell us a little about how the song came to be and who was involved?

‘High in Mind’ is actually quite an old song. I wrote it way back when I was studying music – I actually performed it as part of finals for music school! As someone who does music with the main objective being live performance, the whole process of recording has been a huge learning curve. Every contribution made a massive difference to the end product. I’ve been really lucky to work with the support of some incredible musicians and people in creating the single. Contributions on the track include my SUPER rad band Joshua Worthington-Church and David Waters, who’ve been bloody legends since I started playing music again. Old mate Jeremy Keys on 2nd guitar, and some cosmic synth-sounds and textures from Jonathan Pearce who helped produce the track. Fellow Auckland artist Merk (aka Mark Perkins) did the final mix and I was lucky enough to have Murray Fisher master the track for me. It’s been a long process and an even longer time coming.

One of my favourite aspects of Being. shows are your potent and poignant recital of spoken word poetry. Was there any particular artist or person that inspired these silver-tongued narratives?

The process of working through my thoughts by writing streams of consciousness, has always been my favourite part of my creative process. Writing out my mind-mess to make sense of it has always been my way of processing life in general. I remember when I first came across the duo Listener. That kind of gave me the nudge I needed to have the confidence to start sharing some of those thoughts out-loud, though it took me another 4 years to actually do it... I’m a slow bloomer.

Tell us a little about your involvement with secret show afficiandos Sofar Sounds?

I had been to a few of Sofar’s ‘secret gigs’ and really enjoyed how intimate the shows were, so it was an easy ‘yes’ from me when I was invited to play a stripped-back set. They do some cool stuff. Then about a month ago, I offered up my flat for a Sofar gig with Tiny Ruins in their joint campaign with Amnesty International, raising awareness and fundraising in support of Refugees.

I first saw Being. play at the historic King’s Arms, which as we all know is soon to become yet another apartment block. The release show for ‘High In Mind' is at Ponsonby venue The Golden Dawn, which recently announced it too will be no more after the coming summer. Do you think Auckland has a venue problem? If so, where do you think bands will play in the city of sails in the not-too-distant future?

Bring on house shows. I’ve been playing more of these recently and really digging it. It’s really expensive to put on a show at a venue; there are a lot of hidden costs and a lot of times the result is only JUST breaking even. Being an artist/musician isn’t cheap – it is definitely something you do for the love of it, ‘cause there isn’t much money-making involved. There’s a lot of money going into projects never to be seen again...

A collaborative zine is also being released alongside your new tune. What does that contain?

I really wanted to start a series of Zines of some of my poems, so when artist ‘Huia’ (Emma Lovegrove) told me she was looking for musicians to collaborate with for her art-studies at Elam, it was perfect timing! Huia has been really awesome to work with, we’ve been on the same wavelength from the get-go. We’re both ‘nature’ people so when I came to her with the concept and shared my ethos and imagery ideas she was really keen. The Zine is based on imagery of cells and amoebas - living organisms under microscope. It’s a kind of image translation of Being - my ethos. No matter how much I compartmentalise or rationalise our existence, this is my comfort and grounding: we are nature. In existence with every living thing, completely interconnected. Every particle forming to make a bigger picture. At the end of the day – we are all made of matter – nature in its simplest form. One of my favourite spoken word pieces has been translated into zine form. It’s kind of descriptive of my mental state and well being – the inner monologue of thoughts I wrestle with in my creative making process.

Being. seems to be on a different bill every other weekend. Is there a coveted stage that’s a high up on your to-play list?

Laneway would be amazing.

Got any hot listening picks at the moment? From here or abroad?

Just old jams I’m re-enjoying: Sly & the Family Stone (always), Car Seat Headrest, Zentropy by Frankie Cosmos, Fantasy Rainbow and Angel Olsen’s My Woman.

You can catch Being. tonight at Auckland's Golden Dawn Tavern with Naenae Express and Diego Rice. For full details head over HERE.


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