INTERVIEW: A Chat With Ecca Vandal

Photograph by Kristy Smolcic

Nicki, we know you were asking your BFF Miley “What’s good?” but you needn’t have worried because your favourite online music site Wickedd Childd already has the answer!  It’s Ecca Vandal’s new single ‘Father Hu$$la’!  This chick is in a league of her own sonically and isn’t too keen on being pigeon holed or creatively restricted either.  She’s basically cooler than the other side of the pillow and unless I’m just overwhelmed by her genuine, down-to-earth, yet still rocker persona (I absolutely am); I’m pretty sure we totally just bonded over a love of K. Dot’s album, lame parents and the obsolescence of music genres.  Here is our chat and make sure you check out her music video straight after!  Hit me up Ecca if you ever want to come ‘round and watch some Foxtel.  Except for the movie channels because I’m not Oprah wealthy.

Well first of all I want to congratulate you on the release of your new single ‘Father Hu$$la’.  How is it being received?

Oh thank you!  Ah, it’s been good man, like it’s been nice to release some new music, it’s been a little while since my last release so it’s cool to kind of finally share some new material. 

Well as you’re probably already aware, we're greedy, impatient bastards us music consumers - so now we're wondering when we can expect a video to accompany your new track, maybe a prequel or sequel to your previous videos?

(Laughs) Well it should be tonight actually!  The new video comes out tonight on Channel [V] and in the morning I believe online. 

Do you know what time so I can tune in? Oh actually it might be on the Foxtel Planner.

Oh yeah, well if you have Foxtel, great, it’s at 6 o’clock.

6? Oh shit! That’s not far away, that’s like an hour!

(Laughs) Yeah!

I was actually going to mention Channel [V], they are certainly showing you a lot of love!  You were voted their Disco[V]er artist back in October 2014 with your song 'White Flag'.  Can you tell us how that went down and how you felt hearing the news that you took it out?

Um, that was cool, it was a very cool experience.  Hmmm, how did it happen initially?  I think that they saw the video online and then put me into that competition, which was just really such an honour even just to be nominated, to be honest.  I mean there were some other really great clips also up in that, but competitions with music are always a little bit weird because it’s really down to someone’s personal opinion.  They were all fantastic clips as well so it was just really cool to be recognized by somebody that looks at video clips day in, day out, hundreds and hundreds and thousands probably and seemed to have dug mine, so that was really cool.

Yeah, that was really cool, it definitely got you recognised/got your stuff out there. 
In relation to your music, your influences appear to be extremely varied, I mean on one day you're talking Deftones on Channel [V] and the next you're covering Missy Elliott at gigs. Would it be fair to say you kind of fuse them altogether and are now in a genre of your own?

Aaaah… It has, actually (fused together).  I mean it’s really hard for me to sort of label the music that I’m making now but yes, I think you’re right, like I definitely have borrowed and been influenced and inspired by all sorts of different genres and yeah I guess that whatever is coming out really does seem like it’s stuff that I’ve maybe absorbed along the way and it’s just like here it is, this is the regurgitation of, you know, my influences, my upbringing and musical background I guess.

Yeah, because I was thinking it is probably time we did away with genres, I reckon. Like there are so many sub genres and collaborations from people of ‘different genres’ being created, do you think this allows for greater creative freedom or does it just make it harder to stand out?  What are your thoughts?

I think genres are really limiting and really do kind of box you in and really set parameters around your work, whereas I kind of like to take the barriers away and just be free and have that freedom to actually create and not be kind of confined to a particular style or genre or be known that I do a particular style or genre.  I personally think music is music and there are so many amazing styles and genres out there but now it’s time to borrow from them but to push it forward and to see what we can create that’s new.

Definitely and you’re definitely doing that too, which is awesome!  New stuff for our ear canals to absorb (laughs).

(Laughs)  Thank you.

On a completely new topic, you are very striking to look at, ah, without trying to sound like I'm hitting on you (both laugh), but you definitely have your own distinctive look and style.  Do you think fashion and music go together, hand in hand as demonstrated by the Kanye’s and Rihanna’s of the industry or would you say it's coincidental?  

I think they go hand in hand actually, I think creative minds, you know, I think that sometimes when you’re putting on an outfit, sometimes it is a bit of an artistic display.  It’s an expression; in fact, sometimes putting together an outfit can be an expression/can be a reflection of how you feel that day.  And that is similar to writing music, and similar to drawing a picture or painting or taking a photograph and I think it is all intrinsically tied.  I love when you see really amazing artists like Rihanna or even Kanye or, you know, there are lots of really great artists that use fashion and collaborate and make really great products and therefore create a platform for their other art.  It’s really cool platform to be able to branch out into fashion and to art and to music and to all sorts of different things.  It sort of goes back to what I was saying about not having and boundaries, you know as an artist.

It’s another sort of outlet.  That’s a great answer actually! You've previously mentioned that your parents wanted you to take a more 'traditional' career path. Given your success thus far, have they changed their mind?

Ummm (laughs) That’s a funny question but it’s true!  Um, yeah, they did want me to be studying in the books and stuff like that but yeah, mum and dad don’t really know much about what I’m doing at the moment to be honest.  I mean they know that I still love music and now they’re sort of more encouraging for me to follow my passion/as long as I’m happy they’re happy.  So that’s kind of where it ends to be honest.  I mean I wouldn’t say that they’re like my biggest fans musically!  (Laughs)  I wouldn’t say they’re like, loving my music.  I don’t think they really care to be honest!  (Laughs) 

They’re probably stuck back in their day.  Parents are never cool, they’re not supposed to like cool music, you know (laughs).

(Laughs) I think maybe they would love me to sing, you know, Jazz or something lovely and soft.  Although Jazz can be quite abrasive at times.

(Laughs) Oh bless their cotton socks!

Yes that’s right.

How was Splendour for you?  You kind of had a shitty time slot but you kicked arse/you made the absolute most of it.  How was that for you?

It was cool! I mean to be honest that stage was pretty freaky, it was like, one of the biggest stages I’ve ever seen in my life!  (Laughs) But it was great, it was really cool to be able to play that festival even though people were still trickling in, it was still a really rad crowd there that were vibing and that was just a wicked experience for me.  It was one of my first festivals as well so, yeah!  I loved it!

Awesome! And how's your LP coming together? 

Great! It’s almost there, we’re just tweaking the final little things and yeah, I’m really excited to release it!

Great, and my last question for you: what was the last album you bought?  Out of interest?

Ooooh the last album?  Hmmm see these are the things, now there’s like songs and singles you know?  Oh! The last album would be Kendrick Lamar’s record.

Oh yep.  To Pimp A Butterfly. That is a great record. 

Although that was a few months ago now.

My favourite song off that one is ‘The Blacker The Berry’.  I think it is so powerful. 

It’s such a good track isn’t it!  So powerful!  I really dig that song and I also like ‘Alright’ as well. 

Thank you so much!  Good luck with the launch of the video tonight!  I’m going to check it out! 

Great!  Let us know what you reckon after.  If you’ve got Foxtel you’re lucky, I haven’t even got Foxtel (laughs).

(Laughs) I’ll tweet you & let you know!

Update:  Well obviously the video clip was released within the hour following our chat so we have included it for your viewing pleasure and let me tell you that you need to wrap your peepers around this one!  There are impressive effects, badass outfits (which really illustrate what she was explaining earlier) and some scary white contact lenses!  Add a bit of a narrative involving an illegal acquisition of money by someone you may or may not describe as being a Hu$$la and you have an entertaining few minutes with quite a ‘Rihanna clip’ feel to it on first watch. 


She also has a couple of shows coming up shortly to celebrate her ‘Father Hu$$la’ single launch and the details are as follows:

September 12th - The Workers Club – Melbourne, VIC

September 17th - Goodgod Small Club – Sydney, NSW

Written by Kate Carnell

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