The story of 22-year-old Mookhi begun within a humble home studio.
Olympia Henshaw’s groundbreaking sound speaks volumes to the Australian music scene, giving a sophisticated insight into her inner workings, personal thoughts and perspectives on the world, well beyond the four walls of her bedroom. The Sydney artist’s debut EP, Lost & Found, has rapidly found its way into the hearts of the electronic music scene. With a national tour around the corner, Henshaw will spread the love further when she begins supporting electronic act, Tora, on their national Take A Rest tour.
“I’m very excited to go on the road properly, for the first time in my career,” she enthuses. “Another one to look forward to is my gig at Splendour In The Grass. I’ve never been before, and I’m so thrilled to be playing. Words can’t even describe how stoked I am!”
With the 2017 Splendour In The Grass line-up featuring electronic producers like Willow Beats and Alice Ivy, Henshaw said she will be thrilled to be surrounded by powerful female acts. “Willow Beats are continuously always coming up with something incredibly creative. Their whole artist manifesto is so pure and full of love, so I admire and respect them so much,” she extols. “Alice Ivy has a really cool vibe and an amazing sound. I’m just so happy to see heaps of other girls coming up in the scene.”
Growing up in India and Hong Kong, Henshaw was surrounded by unusual sounds and instruments that have inevitably influenced her work so far. “It’s very difficult to place an origin on my inspiration because my work is inspired by the most bizarre things,” she muses. “My Mum is an instrument collector, and we have an array of world instruments, so I tend to gravitate towards that room.”
The artist’s key single, Lacunae, is exactly what you’d expect from the experimental producer, who rifled through hours of historical, archival footage for the thought-provoking video. In-keeping with the song’s exploration of old and new, the clip is a compilation of 35mm film, B-roll footage from documentaries, movies, TV broadcasts and more. It’s quite unnerving, sending you back in time, the visuals rich with culture, history and information. “Some things I didn’t put in the video because it was quite confronting,” she explains. “Things like people getting injured in war and animal brutality. I want to incorporate the senses in my music and in my live performances. Rather than just watching me push buttons on stage, I want to present images that pair with the music to trigger feelings, sensations and thoughts.”
A lover of classical and jazz music, Henshaw says any genre that is graphic and draws on the imagination is a major source of inspiration. “I know my music may not conger up the same image for everyone, but my aim is to spark a creative thought process with big, emotional soundscapes, similar to the effect of scores and soundtracks in films.”
Away from the conceptual approach, it is sometimes a simple drum loop or riff that the young artist will start with to produce her work. “Sometimes, I’ll be lying in bed at three in the morning with a tune stuck in my head and I have to write it down. Other times it’s just sampling sounds from the outside world, or jamming on an instrument. There is no formula to it, but I like it that way.”
Looking to the future, Henshaw’s focus is on the visual component of her live shows, which the artist aims to make a sensory experience. Having just emerged onto the scene, Henshaw’s creative flair leaves the Australian music scene waiting restlessly for what Mookhi will captivate us with next.