Mookhi (nee Olympia Henshaw) has released her debut single, ‘Foul Play (Ft. Billy Fox)’ after graduating from Liveschool just over a year ago. Following its premiere on The 405, it has been racking up some spins locally, gaining rotation on Triple J and hitting #6 in the Unearthed charts.
‘Foul Play’ is at once uplifting, driving, and suspenseful. Rolling percussion underpins a haunting piano hook, with Fox’s quietly confident falsetto guiding the ebb and flow of the arrangement.
Just before her EP launch, We got in touch with Mookhi to catch a vibe on her experience at Liveschool, her music, and what she plans to do next.
Why did you come to Liveschool? What did you study?
A close friend had previously completed the Produce Music course and highly recommended it. I was still at uni and working two jobs at the time so I felt I couldn’t commit to the length of the Produce Music course. Then I saw the Create + Destroy course Liveschool offered and immediately had to jump on.
How did your study at Liveschool inform your current practice as Moohki?
Liveschool gave me the tools to optimise my work flow in a way that suited me. Despite some prior experience with Ableton, I found I only worked intuitively, which is okay up to a point. What I found really accelerated my understanding of Ableton was simply learning the language; the terminology/jargon. This is also essential when doing collaborations, no one will understand you if you describe something as ‘wavey’ haha. It also helped me translate my tracks to a live set. Now I feel confident using my Live setup to loop and sample on the fly.
How did the collaboration with Billy Fox come about?
I desperately wanted a male vocalist on ‘Foul Play’, I asked around until my manager introduced me to Billy Fox. We had one studio session and the rest is history.
Your live setup looks pretty swish! Run us through what it’s like to use it as a performer.
This particular setup allows lots of flexibility when it comes to duration of song sections. You can tailor your set to the audience easily, like looping a section longer to build suspense if they’re indicating a vibe. I can trigger and loop different scenes using the Launchpad S. The AKAI MPD32 controls effects and triggers more ambient samples that don’t necessarily need to be played in time. The AKAI MPK61 keyboard allows me to add another layer of improvisation by soloing over the top of tracks. I’m still hungry to add more gear and more layers of risk.
What’s your next step?
I want to start incorporating more visual elements into my live set. I feel like you’ll be able to deliver and receive music through multiple platforms in the future. I’m determined to explore this merging of different creative platforms and be in control of every facet.
Update: One Year Later…
Since we last spoke, Mookhi’s ‘Lost And Found’ EP was premiered by Rolling Stone, and kickstarted an amazing trajectory. She was Triple J Unearthed’s 5th most played artist in 2017, and launched into the festival circuit, appearing at Splendour In The Grass, Listen Out, Strawberry Fields, Wave Rock Weekender and Last Frost.
Showing no signs of slowing down, she jumped on main support duties for Tora, and Bishop Briggs, and toured nationally with Luke Million and Lastlings, and will be supporting Shigeto in early 2018.
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