Features

Uffie: The Art Of Uff

Due out in Australia in September to party on the Parklife festival tour, polarising Ed Banger pin-up Uffie took time out with inthemix deputy editor Dave Ruby Howe to chat about her new album, delay dramas, internet haters, her next career moves and her plans for Parklife.

Hey Uffie, how’re you doing today?

I’m good, just at my press office where I do all the interviews.

Right, well obviously the reason for the interview today is your upcoming visit to Australia for the Parklife festival. Are you excited about that one?

Yeah, I’m so excited. I haven’t been back there in a couple of years and it’s seriously one of my favourite places to play.

What’re you looking forward to doing while you’re out here as well as playing Parklife?

I’m looking forward to the festival, I can’t wait to see Missy Elliott, oh and Groove Armada too! Other than that I’ll catch up with my friends from Modular and the Ksubi guys.

So your album, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans just came out. It kind of felt like it would never come out from a fan’s perspective, was it the same for you?

Yeah it was, totally. There was all this drama around making this record. It took such a long time and as it kept dragging on it just started to get really heavy. I would sometimes think that maybe I would be better off just dropping things and starting a new album.

Really?

Yeah, after a while it just got really hard working with Feadz. We have such a history together that it just became so hard to work with him anymore. I didn’t feel like I was advancing as an artist or challenging myself at all. It was like I was just making the same song over and over.

So what changed for you then?

By luck I met Mirwais and he came on to work with me. He’s amazing, he’s a really good friend to me now.

Right, I remember talking to Busy P last year and he told me that Mirwais had just come on and that he thought that was a really big thing for the album. What does Mirwais bring to the studio that makes him so vital?

He’s just got amazing ideas and such a great history behind him. He gave me the confidence to advance and challenge myself. He came in and asked me what I wanted to do because it was my album and I needed to be happy with what I was doing. We just clicked with each other, and that’s hard to find.

I think, perhaps more than any other tracks on the album, the Mirwais productions find you trying a lot of new stuff, like the cover of Hong Kong Garden on there. I wasn’t expecting that, where’d it come from?

Totally, right? I’m a big fan of Siouxsie Sioux, I love her, and that’s one of my favourite songs. I just thought it would be a really fun thing to do.

Even on the title track, you guys sample The Velvet Underground. That’s pretty crazy.

I like rock and punk and it was another thing that I really wanted to have a go at. Mirwais was great and he made it happen. I didn’t want this album to more of the same thing, you know?

So now that Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is out there after so long in the making, how do you feel about it? Are you happy with it?

Yeah, really, I’m just glad that it’s out.

And how’ve you found the reaction from fans and the media after that build-up?

I think so far the fans have been good and they’ve liked it. When I put something out, it’s always going to be something that you either love or hate, there doesn’t seem to be an in between with my stuff. So, again, there’s always going to be negative feedback, like, I saw that I got a zero in NME!

I saw that, that was pretty funny.

I kind of think that it’s pretty cool, actually. I mean, who gets a zero? There was always going to be mixed reviews but it’s out of my control now.

Like you say, there is negative stuff out there, was there ever a moment where you just stopped reading that sort of stuff?

Definitely, I only read it when I come here to the office.

Do you feel as though nobody ‘gets’ what you’re doing quite yet?

I don’t think so. Everyone is always trying to classify me or pigeon-hole me in one way when they don’t get that my whole thing is that as an artist I can evolve, I can change at any time. Any day I could change what I’m doing. I think the way I’m thinking in terms of music is a bit futuristic.

So, thinking about that, if you were to wake up tomorrow and decide never to make music again, what would you be doing?

I don’t know, probably something in fashion. Or maybe I’d just go and make jam in the country, who knows?

It’s interesting, because on the album track Our Song you say that you never considered yourself an artist. Do you still feel that way? And if so, what do you think of yourself as?

I wrote that back when I was getting all this attention for not really having done anything. I didn’t have the album and I just don’t think that anyone can prove themselves as an artist until they have an album. I was really having some issues accepting that then but now that I’ve finished the album, yeah, I’m fine with it.

Uffie plays Parklife and Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is at retailers now. Stay tuned to inthemix for more Parklife festival juice and check out the Parklife dates below.

Gold Coast – Saturday 25 September

Perth – Sunday 26 September

Melbourne – Saturday 2 October

Sydney – Sunday 3 October

Adelaide – Monday 4 October