Lupa J Delves into Her Experimental Inspirations

Emerging from the SoundCloud universe, Lupa J has created a breadth of experimental electronic art-pop EDM. An artist, performer and producer, Lupa J’s output contains multitudes, proving she can hold her own among the experimental-pop elite, many of whom she has supported on tour.  With three EPs and multiple gigs supporting artists like Grimes, Sarah Blasko, Alice Glass (Crystal Castles) and Tegan and Sara, Lupa J is one to watch. Check out our interview with this up-and-comer below.  

Outside of your genre which genre(s) of music do you enjoy listening to?
Aside from electro pop I listen to a fair bit of folk, like Laura Marling and Marika Hackman; that kind of music was actually what I was into before I started listening to electronic music. And I don’t know if this counts because it’s still electronic, but it definitely sits outside the more pop focused style I write in. I’m really into techno at the moment, going out to some kind of rave/party/club night with industrial techno is what I live for right now. 

What is your favorite song that you have created and why?
This is really hard question because I feel like all my songs normally serve some kind of purpose for me, but if I had to choose it would definitely be one of the ones off my new album that you haven’t heard yet! There’s a song with the same name as the album (“Swallow Me Whole”) that’s like a very dark 7 min dance track that I’m really proud of though, it’s definitely the most fun thing I’ve played live so far. 

Are there any upcoming shows or tours ?
Not yet but there are definitely things in the works!

What advice would you have for young upcoming artist ?
Don’t worry what anyone thinks about your art except yourself, if what you’re doing isn’t what YOU want to be doing then why do it? I think that principle is a lot easier to preach than actually live by though, it’s very easy when you’re a young artist to freak out about how people will respond to what you do, or worry that no one will care. But what matters is that YOU care and want to hone your craft for your own happiness!

If you had to describe your music’s vibe with three colors which would those colors be, why?
Probably deep grey-ish purple, dark blue and bright red. I can’t give you a real reason why but these are always the colors I seem to be drawn to when working on art and imagery for my music? I just know I associate red with the film “Princess Mononoke” — the blood & warpaint — and my childhood obsession with the wolf princess character in that film is the reason I named the project “Lupa:” it translates to “she wolf” in Latin.

What is the inspiration behind the new single Drift?
I was listening to a lot of Smerz when I wrote the first verse, the melodies and those first distorted drums are really influenced by their kind of production/writing. People keep saying it sounds very Grimes influenced, but because she was the artist that actually got me into electronic music at al,l I feel like everything I do is inherently influenced by her even if I’m not intending for it to sound like her. I basically learned how to produce drums by analyzing what she did in her music, so I guess that still automatically comes off in what I do now haha. In terms of the actual real life inspiration behind it, I was trying to capture a feeling of slowly realizing that your life has ended up in a place you’re not happy with; looking outside of your little bubble and realizing everything around you has been moving and changing but you’re kind of stuck still in a problematic routine/place.

Which artist had the biggest influence on you to make music?
Grimes! She was the first electronic artist I ever listened to properly; when I watched youtube videos of her playing live with all her gear I realized for the first time that I was actually capable of doing the same thing.

What is a fun fact for your fans that you are unlikely to find on the internet?
Even though I opened for Grimes in 2016 at her Sydney show I didn’t actually get to meet her like everyone thinks I would have, because she apparently had a vomiting virus and literally ran straight out of the venue after walking off stage. 

What and Where was your most memorable performing moment?
Supporting Alice Glass this year at Oxford Art Factory! That was the most happy I’d ever been with a set I’d performed, and I got to meet Alice and she was absolutely lovely.