November 04, 2023
Electronic music producer Beatrice Lewis is one of the most exciting multifaceted artists in the current Australian music landscape. She is a songwriter, performer and producer of one of Australia’s most electrifying new dance acts, Haiku Hands; a songwriter and producer for award-winning indigenous band Kardajala Kirridarra, and enjoys a flourishing career as a solo artist. Beatrice is an alumni of the Red Bull Music Academy, won the 2019 APRA’s Personal Development award in the Dance/Electronic category, has performed at major electronic music festivals from Pitch to MONA FOMA, and was named one of Beat Magazine’s “Melbourne producers that owned 2017.”
As a songwriter, singer and producer of innovative pop art band Haiku Hands, Beatrice has amassed millions of streams and impressed audiences and critics worldwide. Haiku Hands have toured the US extensively, had sold-out headline Australian tours, a break-out performance at SXSW and a run of EU and UK dates. Having bagged a coveted spot on the NME 100, Haiku Hands has been tipped as one of the most exciting new bands in music by the likes of Vogue, Clash, DIY, Dork, BBC Radio 1 and Beats 1.
I have five diffrent projects I am working on and my role in each differs slightly which keeps it interesting. My most active band is Haiku Hands, for which I am a vocalist, songwriter and have done a bit of production. I have another band with some women from the Central Desert of Australia called Kardajala Kirridarra, in which I am the producer, co-writer and do BV’s. I have a post punk project called Sky City Gold, I am a songwriter and lead vocalist. I write for sync and publishing with a friend under the pseudonym Billions, mainly doing live vocals and I have a solo electronic project under my own name Beatrice, in that project I produce everything.
I have been drawn to music since I was young. The first time I was really touched by music was listening to artists such as Radiohead, Portishead, Cat Power and The Dirty Three, amongst many others. When I moved from the country town I grew up in to Melbourne, I was exposed to hip hop and electronic music for the first time and was very influenced by artists such as DJ Shadow and DJ Krush. That discovery inspired me to want to learn how to make beats and that is pretty much where I am now. I still very much listen to that style of music, anything with with lots of harmony / minor chord ect, my BPM range has defintely expanded now, I listen to so many different styles of electronic music from ambients to Gqom to footwork to all the different flavours of techno and breaks. Then also after almost two decades of exploring electronic music, I have been listening and making a lot of punk and post punk music that can be translated into a full live set.
I was lucky enough to make music in the Central Desert of Australia for many years, working in remote Indigenous communities out there. I got to work with some musicians during my time there that taught me how to slow down and connect more with my spirit, and to hear and make music from a very different place than I had been brought up with. I was also lucky enough to be mentored by three close friends of mine who have basically taught me almost everything I know about production and performing. I hope to pass that on now to other upcoming female and non-binary electronic artists. I also feel very influenced by a whole variety of artists such as Patti Smith, Billie Holiday, Beth Gibbons and Bjork, Patti Smith talks about your artistic family tree and they feel like they are definitely part of mine. I also do something called Transcendental Meditation and thats been a big influence on my creativity in the last few years, I feel way more happy and calm and like my brains been de-fragged so I have heaps more room for making music.
When I look back on my career so far my main musical frustration has been the lack of self belief, it can be such a crippling and limiting headspace to be in. I have managed to work past it by releasing music more consistently over the last few years, so letting go has become a normalised process and not so loaded. I am a process now of trying to not over-cook everything and just release things more frequently and also be more aware that life is short and you don’t want to go to your grave with hard drives of bangers buried with you.
I am really loving my microphone collection and experimenting with how different mic sounds bring out a different performance in me. I know this is for Audeze but I love those headphones so much, I can put them on and just be in another sonic universe for hours at a time.
I think it’s really important to trust your sound and your art, I didn’t release music for a long time because I didn’t feel like it was “good enough”. Now I have a very different approach, I don’t judge what I make so harshly and I just say to myself “this is what I am making for now”, release it and keep moving forward. It’s important to try and create momentum and flow in whatever your art practise is. I listened to a great book this year called “The Creative Way” by Rick Reuben and that really inspired me. Also another book called “Four Thousand Weeks” by Oliver Burkman was an amazing book that really put a rocket underneath me.
Headphones have been a big part of my workflow over the last few years as I am a full time touring musician and I am only in studios sporadically. So I travel with my Audeze headphones and I use them as a safe haven for writing, checking mix and masters and basically everything. I know and trust them completely which is such a nice feeling. I also just love putting them on and listening to music, when everything so great in them it’s such a nice feeling.
I bought a pair of Audeze LCD-XC Closed Back Planar Headphones and they have completely revolutionised my recording and mixing process. Before, I could only do a few hours of recording and mixing at a time now I can do hours and hours without fatiguing my ears. I am getting so much more work done - it’s really exciting. I feel like my production game has really leveled up.
I have been using them for writing music in my studio as well as when I am on tour, checking mixes and masters for albums that are being released. Also for when I am recording my own vocals in my home studio, having a really nice monitoring sound has made the whole experience more enjoyable.