We had a chat with emerging alt-pop artist KITTLING about their fun sound and future plans
KITTLING is an artist that (by their own admission) is in a transitional stage in terms of their sound and style, and is still finding themselves and their direction. In spite of this however, we have found some of the artist’s initial alt-pop releases to be exciting, unique, and bouncing with a real sense of life and fun.
The artist’s latest single ‘Wax’ is a track that exemplifies everything that is good about this current era of KITTLING. Retro-pop flavours, thoughtful lyrics, and a distinctive sense of charm and charisma that feels unique, and specific to the artist and their experiences. As a queer artist melding R&B, disco, funk and pop, and sounds from pretty much anywhere from between the 70s and now, KITTLING has created a sound that feels both timeless and effortlessly fresh and modern. We love the track, but feel that the artist has built in enough goodwill with their creativity and prowess that we’re more than happy to go along for whatever direction they take their sound in, and we had a chat with the upstart Australian artist to find out some more about them and their plans.
Who TF is KITTLING?
KITTLING is me – Alex Brittan, a producer, synth nerd and songwriter living in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia.
Why do you make music?
For me, it’s about fun and it’s about representation. Music is not only a way to externalise emotions, but it’s a connector and it gets people moving – it can change a mood and prompt people to move past all sorts of shit. For a queer, neurodivergent person like me, it’s also just about taking up a tiny bit of space, and it’s therapeutic.
What are your biggest influences?
In a nutshell: marvin gaye, patrick cowley & sylvester (their work together), giorgio moroder, chic and prince. Anything with that analog, warm vibe! My favourite era of music was the late 70s/early 80s, when music was really transforming at a rapid rate. It’s the birth of disco and dance music, and the widespread use of synthesisers, drum machines and samplers which led to house music and hip hop; that whole period feels electric. I’m also influenced by the activism of alok vaid-menon, the producer kindness (adam bainbridge) and other smart people who talk about queer/systemic issues, who put that into their creative work – something i’d like to do more of in the future.
What would you say has been your best moment so far?
I once got to mime the lyrics to ‘Skyfall’ onstage with Adele, wearing an illfitting black suit onstage during her 2016 world tour – that was unreal! But any moment when i’m figuring out new chords, new arrangements and making rapid-fire decisions in the studio… those are my best moments (sorry to be cheesy).
How would you describe your sound to somebody unfamiliar with it?
I like to think that if you wrote something like “Talking Heads, but make it queer and silly” into an AI music generator, maybe something like me would come out?
What’s your dream “i’ve made it” moment?
Honestly, the moment somebody else bankrolls a video or an EP, that’s an ‘I’ve made it’ moment for me. Or (and this is weirdly specific) if Charli XCX invited me to a party, i’d know then and there i’d made it. She’s got taste.
We love your new single ‘Wax’, what more can you tell us about it?
Wax” and the instrumental b-side (a new order-inspired track) have been sitting on my hard drive forever, and i didn’t want to end 2022 without releasing new music. “wax” is a goofy song comparing a lover’s unwanted advances to that b-side you always skip. I’d always wanted to be a pop girlie, but during the covid lockdowns i picked up guitar and it transformed this song and the ones that followed into a more alt-pop, rock-adjacent sound, so it’s really a transitional song for me while I figure out what my sound is gonna be going forward!
What else do you have planned for the near future?
I’ve got another single on the way – it’s a lush mid-tempo number with a really gorgeous sax solo at the end. Hoping it’ll have a bit of emotional impact and connect with some people. I would love to enter my Weyes Blood/Perfume Genius era with the next one.
And finally, who is your biggest fan right now?
I think you should always be your own biggest fan! And not in an egotistical way – I think it’s important to back yourself even when others don’t love what you’re putting out.