LÂLKA is a Brisbane based Electro / Pop artist who takes live performance to the next level. Genre-mixing tunes flipping from hard electro to hip hop vibes, LÂLKA pushes boundaries whilst supplying one of the most energetic live performances you’ve seen. Live violin, triggered samples and catchy vocal hooks make her music a very welcome addition to the Australian scene. We caught up with LALKA at Brisbane’s Bigsound festival this year and chatted everything from gear to releasing music as an independent artist.
Take us through your live set for Bigsound, did you have to change it in any way from your usual live performance?
I made a specific set for Bigsound as I had a very short time slot with the crowds coming in and out of the venue, I needed to keep their attention so I had to supply an ‘all killer no filler’ set and keep up the energy. To make this work I used Ableton Live’s arrangement view and created a linear set running real-time left to right. I use prerecorded bass, drums and synth instruments in my set but add live violin and vocal elements on the night. I run my vocals through Main Stage and patch in specific reverbs and auto-tune effects depending on the track, I can then click on each preset as the song arrives in the set.
How do you work with Violin in a live situation, do you find any obstacles?
Playing electronic music I feel like dry violin alone doesn’t match the genre, so I run it through Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig delays and reverbs to add dynamics to the sound. These effects I can manipulate via hardware on stage live to suit different venues and set-ups, this helps as violin can often feedback in a live situation like this. I sometimes set up a second mic to live loop violin and vocals, this can then go through the same effects loop.
Tell us a bit more about your live show?
In a live setting I feel like people want to see you hitting things and creating the sounds you hear at the show. I create my sounds in the studio then trigger them live with a Roland SPD sample pad. It takes a while to set this up and I have learned through trial and error, I now work with a rack interface with enough inputs/outputs to control the levels on stage as much as possible. It makes the sound engineer’s job easier when I set up, not every engineer has listened to / mixed my style of music so I try to make it as painless as possible to get a good sound in each venue.
I’d like to do more live instrumentation but I feel like the audience are more engaged by an energetic performance with dancing rather than playing.
What’s next for LÂLKA?
I’m just deciding what song I want to release next year, I launch singles rather than albums — more so for economic reasons. It’s expensive to release music. Making the song is the cheapest part of the process, the visuals are a lot more expensive with camera hire / make-up / venue / costumes etc. Promoting a single is also expensive, I have an EP worth of songs ready to go but I want to do each song with the right marketing behind it. My biggest fear is to release something and it gets lost into oblivion without anyone seeing it / hearing it. You need to grab people’s attention with visual branding, I have a certain aesthetic for each release and work on making the visual aspect just as important as the audio.
Catch LALKA live: