There's a new name on the scene that's quickly becoming one of Australia's most sought-after producers. The mastermind behind several music projects, Simon Lam, blends music under the monikers, Kllo, Ill’s/Couture, and now the soulful and enticing, Nearly Oratorio.
Vinylmnky was able to chat with Lam on the new EP "Tin", and his creation process.
// Tin //
[ Vinylmnky ]: Your music has a very unique and captivating sound. How would you describe your sound and what were your influences behind it?
[ Simon ]: I think my sound is very much dependent on who I'm working with. I feel like I'm a different person around other people, and their influence makes me channel certain areas of my music taste. Nearly Oratorio is the only project that I do solo, so I'd describe is as very personal. Essentially recorded thoughts, brain dumps.
[ Vinylmnky ]: What other projects are you involved in?
[ Simon ]: 'Kllo', as well as doing a bunch of mixing and mastering for other Australian artists.
[ Vinylmnky ]: When did you first get into making your own music and can you talk about the moment you decided to go for it creating this EP, Tin?
[ Simon ]: I first started making my own music in secret, at home when no one else was around. Uploading my first track on the internet was a huge step forward for me, a really intense moment. Even though it was almost anonymous and some of my closest friends had heard it and didn't know it was me, I still felt really exposed. Since then, it has been my friends around me that push me forward. They're the ones that told me put my ideas together and create 'Tin'. Before that they were just little ideas sitting around on my computer.
[ Vinylmnky ]: That's interesting. I'm glad they encouraged you. What was their initial reaction when they figured out that it was you that they had been listening to?
[ Simon ]: They have been extremely supportive of this project, which has been super nice.
[ Vinylmnky ]: So what’s the experience and process of writing music and lyrics like for you? How do you go about it?
[ Simon ]: Its just really relaxed. A lot of music I make is under pressure, so I have a big emphasis on not working or stressing too hard about this project. I'll only write music for it when it comes easily and I have ideas that I want to put down. I never want to force ideas out. Writing lyrics is mostly done while singing the demo vocals. I'll just record a lot of the words that come out in that moment, then fill in the gaps later on. I write a lot of lyrics while in bed, just before I fall asleep.
[ Vinylmnky ]: 'Occlude' particularly stands out to us. It’s very well done. Can you talk about the meaning and process behind the track?
[ Simon ]: Haha thanks so much :) Occlude was made on a Saturday night just at home. I have a conga that I haven't used a lot, so I started recording it purely so it wasn't a waste of space. I hadn't played guitar in a while, so I recorded a bit of that over the top. When it came to an appropriate time to leave the house and see some friends that night, I was having a lot of fun with the track and just stayed in all night to complete most of it. The lyrics are really a message to my friends hoping that they don't think I'm ignoring them for other people, I just need to be alone every now and then.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Who are you listening to now?
[ Simon ]: The last few weeks have been ridiculous for music releases, it's hard to know where to begin, I'm just trying to get through them all. Mark Pritchard's new album, Lone's new album, Sepalcure's new album, Radiohead's new album, James Blake's new album, Rhianna's remix EPs. In panic mode.
[ Vinylmnky ]: If you could define the core themes of Tin and your goals of it as an artist, what would they be?
[ Simon ]: Honesty. That may seem like a pretty standard theme for most artists, but I can say that a lot of the music I make isn't honest on purpose. Some music can't be fully honest and it wouldn't sound good if it was. I like making music that isn't honest. But Tin is honest in that I know and can hear so many flaws throughout it, I can hear ways that I could make it more polished. I'm trying to keep the same approach I had when I was anonymous, which was to make music like no one was ever going to hear it. So if I'm personally ok with the way it sounds that's the way I'll leave it. Radio playability, mix communication, pop-form, it all goes out the window with that approach.
[ Vinylmnky ]: For new listeners, what can we expect when listening to Nearly Oratorio?
[ Simon ]: Words that aren't real words, lots of demo recording or first takes, lots of tape hiss. Don't expect to feel good after listening to it! hahaha
[ Vinylmnky ]: What’s next on your plate?
[ Simon ]: Just working on new things, as they come. The feedback for Tin has been really amazing. Its really nice to know that something I make for myself does things for other people. Hopefully the future records will have the same effect.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Well congrats on your success! We are looking forward to more music from Nearly Oratorio in the near future and we appreciate you taking the time to catching up with us!