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Artist Spotlight Interview - Hachiku

(Photo Credit - Marcelle Bradbeer)

Anika Ostendorf a.k.a Hachiku is a musician that creates unique dream-pop jams and is currently signed to Milk! Records. Her newest LP 'I'll Probably be Asleep' was released November 13, 2020. It's well worth your time, but be sure to check out her interview with us first!

1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?

"As a child my parents were very stern on me being involved with music - classical guitar at first until my teacher discovered I was only pretending I could read sheet music. I then dabbled with keyboard, piano and our local village youth choir - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and lots of other church favourites in Sunday mass haha. My real passion for music and writing really started when I discovered YouTube and being able to teach myself electric guitar via the Internet. I quickly started a couple of bands with semi-enthusiastic friends (I basically forced them to pretend to be able to play certain instruments) and also played in my mother’s Ford IT cover band, where they rewrote famous songs with lyrics fitting to their workplace."

2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?

"It changed a little recently since discovering the recording software Ableton. Prior to that I did most of my brainstorming with a 3-track loop station. Playing random chords and melodies and looping them hours on end until I’d come up with lyrics and a rough song idea. Ableton basically is the digital extension of that, just with no limitations on how complicated your ideas can get. I see myself as a producer first, so I usually start with the song’s sonic realm before I start trying to fit lyrics to it."

3. What artists have inspired you in your career?

"I am a massive Beach House fan for the world they have created. It’s pure perfection in my opinion. I am also a big fan of Grimes and Perfume Genius. Blake Mills as a producer. All my Milk! Records label mates. I find inspiration in very random things- if someone authentically does their thing and doesn’t really care about what might come of it, I am convinced."

4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?

"I love my loop station, it’s a Boss RC-50. I bought it second hand in the U.S. when I was 17 and most of the songs I’ve ever written would have started on that. I also love my keyboard collection of old-school Casio. There are so many unique sounds on there that you just can’t replicate digitally or with a MIDI set-up. One of my favourites is the Casiotone MT-70. I bought most of those on eBay or Gumtree. Another favourite of mine is a Zoom Multistomp effect pedal. It’s horrible in regards to a clean live-sound (terrible high frequency buzz) but the Chorus Delay + Reverb combined gives my guitar its sound."

5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?

"The vibe is quite different depending on whether I am in solo mode or it’s a full band show. My solo shows are quite intimate, quiet and delicate. Our band shows are a lot louder, in a way a little rowdy but also angelic with my bandmates Jessie & Georgia and I on 3-part vocal harmonies. I can’t tell I have a favourite venue, I like lots of them for different reasons but one thing that’s important to me is an attentive audience and feeling like I am able to captivate them. That can happen or fail to happen regardless of venue."

6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?

"I am quite proud of having recorded, produced and played most of the instruments myself. I guess that’s not a piece of information you’d pick up on just from hearing the music."

7. What’s next for Hachiku?

"Mhm, good question! Everything is so unpredictable in this COVID-age. We had big touring plans for next year to show everyone our album but that’s been put on hold for a little while at least. I’d like to fit in a little Australian tour to launch the record, but I guess we need to wait and see whether that will be possible. Other than that I am thinking to use the forced downtime to start on LP number 2. Might as well while there’s no distraction!!"

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