Kelly Lee Owens’ songs are often propelled by the rhythm of techno, but they’re packed with enough melody to reach beyond the clubbing crowd. In 2016, the Welsh producer and singer emerged with her first solo EP after making the transition from indie to electronic music. She’s since remixed Björk and St. Vincent, and collaborated with Jon Hopkins as well as the thought-provoking alt-pop artist Jenny Hval.
Owens’ second LP Inner song (which was initially due this month, but has been pushed back to August) takes inspiration from the natural world – see the single Melt!, which samples melting glacial ice – among other things. Her Face Mix feels like a palette of her influences. This is electronic music that’s been shaped by the club, but feels as light and ethereal as inhaling fresh air at the top of a mountain.
Listen and check out a Q&A below.
How, if at all, have recent events affected your relationship with music?
In terms of creating, it’s made me delve deep. [I’m] looking at ways to create that aren’t the norm for me, so I’ve been writing for sync to picture with some amazing music supervisors, which is something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time before. It’s also opening up new collaborations that perhaps wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this time – I feel artists are more open than ever in that way. In terms of my relationship to it as a listener – music has been, as always, vital to my well-being and ability to create positive-escapism, which is so vital right now!
What’s been your proudest achievement as a musician?
Completing two albums! It’s no small thing. In itself it’s like I imagine having a baby to be – the gestation period of creation, the birth, then actually having to take care of the kid afterwards to make sure it’s nourished! A few highlights in my musical world aside from that have been Björk asking me to remix her and creating Luminous Spaces & touring with Jon Hopkins. Having the nod of respect from artists you admire is something which I don’t take for granted.
Who are some new/upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for?
Not necessarily new but I love Sevdaliza, I’m stoked to see what gifts her next record brings.
What do you miss most about life before lockdown?
PLAYING SHOWS! — that energetic, human interaction with live sound is something I’ve missed beyond belief. This lockdown has solidified my knowing that to do what I do is the privilege of a lifetime.
Peder Mannerfelt – Limits to Growth
Sevdaliza – Oh My God
Yaeji – In Place
Four Tet – School
SOPHIE – Cold World
Nathan Fake –- North Brink
Shanti Celeste – Sun Notification
Special Request – Offworld Memory 3
Kelly Lee Owens – Night
John Tejda – Moving 909s
Otik – Clairvoyant
Jon Hopkins – Singularity (Anna Remix)