With ‘Lupa’ translating to ‘she-wolf’ in Italian, it makes sense to describe the music of 19-year-old Imogen Jones, aka Lupa J, as dark, powerful, mysterious and utterly beautiful.
The songwriter from Sydney is a classically trained violinist turned electronic producer, who has been captivating the local music scene with her latest EP, A House I Don’t Remember, which Jones describes as her proudest work yet. “I’m really happy. A lot of people have said it’s my best work which feels really good because I always like my newest and latest,” she admits.
“The first track I wrote for the EP became well, sort of all talked out so to speak, because I wrote it about a year ago,” Jones says when describing her track, All Talked Out. “So for the EP I joined it onto the track that follows it, Ring Empty, turning it into a 10-minute-long performance, like the way we’d play it at shows,” she reveals.
“I like it ’cause it’s a step outside the direction I had been taking up until that point. My new EP is breaking into new territory. A highlight for me was releasing All Talked Out. I’m most proud of those lyrics. I wrote that song first and it gave me a vibe and a taste of what I wanted the rest of the EP to be.”
Amongst travelling the country playing single launches performing at BIGSOUND as well as getting on stage with the likes of Spirals and Elkkle, Lupa J has won hearts with her recent remix of Lorde’s Homemade Dynamite. “For a while, I thought, ‘I can’t do this, I love Lorde too much! I don’t think I’d be able to do anything that will be worth doing or will stand out from the original,” she stressed. “But I knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t give it a go in the end. With remixing, I never really have a plan. I just cut up lines that I really like and go through bits that sound cool. It’s just about experimenting and going with what works.”
With a number of remixes already under the producer’s sleeve, Jones hints at even more collaborations to come. “I do have another remix lined up… it should be out early next year, but I can’t reveal too much just yet,” she says shyly. “But I released two remixes last year before I started this EP. One was a remix of a track by Woodes and also Kalacoma. It helped to solidify my production and it’s just a nice break from writing songs. I like to keep sounds that I make my own, but in the future, I’d love to continue working on other people’s music.”
With A House I Don’t Remember EP out for the world to hear, Jones is gearing up for her EP launch in Sydney at The Chippo Hotel in November. Alongside her will be fellow electronic producers, Hviske and Gussy. “I’ve been wanting to have Gussy on a bill for ages and I’m so glad to finally have them,” she exclaims.
“Hviske play really intense loud industrial shows, they have a really amazing set. I was so happy when they said yes. I really like them. I’m just really looking forward to playing again. I haven’t played any shows since BIGSOUND and my single launch, and I’m considering fitting in the Lorde remix into the EP launch as well. So I’m preparing that, as well as a bunch of new things that will change from my last run of performances. I’m nervous but really excited.”
Having launched her career from music discovery service, Soundcloud, Jones stresses that staying true to yourself in the industry is crucial to success but more importantly, to happiness. “It’s so hard to get your work heard on Soundcloud now. Streaming is taking over and people don’t explore through the internet as much for new music,” she reflects. “I was really lucky in the beginning because I wasn’t even expecting anyone to hear my music, I just made it while I was at school for fun and people just found it by reposting it.
“I wasn’t thinking about whether people were listening, I was just making what I enjoyed at the time. If you think too much about trying to cater to people’s taste, you can feel regretful or unhappy. As I progressed and noticed how the industry works, at one point I tried to imitate styles of electronic music in fashion at the moment. I got bored of that really quickly. So now, I focus on doing what I enjoy and don’t worry about the rest. The music I make now is nobody else’s but mine.”
Catch Lupa J at The Chippo Hotel in Sydney on 11 November to celebrate the launch of her EP, A House I Don’t Remember.