INTERVIEW: Once Shrouded In Mystery, cookii Embrace The Limelight On The Hyperactive 'popstyle' Mixtape

  • INTERVIEW: Once Shrouded In Mystery, cookii Embrace The Limelight On The Hyperactive 'popstyle' Mixtape
    POSTED Apr 06 2022

    cookii
    cookii. Photo supplied.

    Since 2020, pop/electronic duo cookii have released a string of high-octane, addictive tracks that sound like pure bursts of serotonin. Early singles coca-cola, love yourself and little showcased cookii's ability to tap into the nostalgia that surrounds the Y2K era and bring it to life, which was compounded by their 2020 debut mixtape blossom. While cookii's identity was a mystery (with scant detail revealed in interviews), it was clear that they loved pop music, but weren't afraid to mess with pop formulas to bring their vision to life.

    Last year saw cookii sign to Coalesce Records, a label featuring fellow forward-thinking Australian artists Lonelyspeck and Hearteyes. Posse cut WEIRDO brought the trio of artists together, showing what the future of Australian pop might sound like when artists are given the space to truly explore the creative process. Fast forward to 2022, and cookii have just released their new mixtape, popstyle. It's their most expressive release yet, and sees the pair shedding the anonymity that accompanied their early releases - revealing themselves to be prolific producer Lucianblomkamp and vocalist Rosebud Leach, who's previously worked with Donatachi.

    Tracks like crush and our love are celebrations of the duo that make up cookii, and beyond the buzzsaw synths and bubblegum vocals, it's a tender encapsulation of making music with the one you love most. To celebrate the release of popstyle, we spoke to cookii about the project, what hyperpop really means, and the concept of nostalgia. Check out popstyle below, and read on to learn more about cookii and popstyle!

    Cool Accidents: Firstly, congratulations on the release of popstyle! A lot’s changed since the release of your last mixtape, blossom – including ‘revealing’ your identities. How did anonymity shape the early days of cookii, and when was the moment that you decided to share your identities with the world? 

    cookii: Hey, thank you so much! Very exciting times!!! I guess the biggest benefit of being anonymous is that there’s far less pressure for the music to be a super accurate reflection of who you are as a person or anything like that. That’s why the idea to write as a character came pretty naturally. It makes it a lot easier to just have fun. It’s ironic, though, because I think in a lot of ways the music we make as cookii is more true to ourselves than what we’d normally do individually. I think realising that moved us towards leaving anonymity behind, like, 'hang on, this is actually more reflective of who we are than we thought'. 

    You’ve mentioned that popstyle takes influence from music from the “turn of the century” – what artists were you listening to while creating popstyle?

    I think the biggest influences on the way that we wrote are probably Aqua and Good Charlotte. That hyper bubblegum music meets pop-rock is where it seems to have sat. Honestly, though, the artists we were liking at the time weren’t really related to how we were writing. It’s almost like cookii holds a special nostalgic part of us that just comes out naturally when we start writing.

    You’ve been playing project highlight party girl live for a little while now – I’d love to know more about how the song’s evolved since you first wrote the track, as well as the message behind the track, which talks about getting older? 

    The track hasn’t really changed since we first wrote it in all honesty. It was written really quickly, and we both knew we loved the beat and just wanted to finish it, hence the lyrics being as ridiculous as they are. They were almost placeholder lyrics that we ended up just really loving. It does have a bit of a serious tone surrounding the chorus which was definitely intentional. I think as we’ve aged we’ve realised that partying is actually much more fun in the comfort of your own home which in turn makes us feel old lol.

    There’s been a lot of talk about hyperpop as a genre, and whether it’s becoming too much of an all-encompassing term for experimental pop – I’d love to get an insight into whether you think the term is still an apt description of a particular sound, or whether it’s a term that needs updating?

    Yeah, it’s fine. Tbh we think it’s maybe better as an all-encompassing term if anything. Sure, it could maybe be swapped out for experimental pop, but that might be a little too specific. To us, it’s just a sentiment and a way you approach writing. In the same way that pop itself is so insanely broad of a genre, it seems a bit weird that hyperpop needs to be something more specific. Even if the term dies out, it doesn’t really matter. It’s already bled into so many different styles and genres it’s a part of music forever now even if we don’t realise it. That’s probably the best fate for any genre.

    When I saw you perform live at the end of 2021 (at the Coalesce Records showcase as part of Melbourne Music Week), you performed from behind a curtain – something that I can’t really say I’ve seen before. I’m curious to know how having that barrier between you and the audience changes the way you approach performing?

    We only really used the screen just because we were still anonymous at that time. As soon as we started, though, we just wished we could see and interact with the crowd tbh. It was still so fun and we're glad that screen didn’t seem to get in the way of our performance! We’ve since had an opportunity to play without the screen since coming out of anonymity and I guess the thing we missed being behind the curtain was just watching the overall vibe of the crowd. It was the most fun to be able to watch people bopping to party girl.

    cookii’s aesthetic is very much tied to the Y2K-era – and it felt like the project came out of the gates with a strong sense of what you wanted all aspects of cookii to look like, as well as sound like. As a pair, what memories do you have of that era, and when did you realise that’s where you wanted to steer the project?

    It’s funny because we never really intentionally decided to focus on the Y2K-era biz. The most important thing for us has always been to just have fun and I guess Y2K and fun happen to tie together for us. Nostalgia just comes out naturally.

    You revealed more about cookii on your respective social media pages, and you mentioned that you’d wanted to create a project together for years, before it finally came together in 2020. How do you think creating music as cookii has strengthened your bond – and does that pre-existing relationship help you both to write music in a way that strangers might not be able to?

    Our pre-existing relationship definitely plays an enormous role in the project. We’ve known each other since we were 13 (we’re now 28, ew) and music has always been one of the biggest things we’ve connected over. Our musical histories and influences are super similar in a lot of ways. Always scene kids at heart. So, when we’re writing, there’s never really much umm-ing and ahh-ing or disagreement about whether or not the other will like an idea. If one of us thinks the other will like an idea, they probably will and vice versa.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by @lucianblomkamp

    READ MORE: Meet cookii, Who's Covered 'Bubblegum' From Animal Crossing

    Finally, what’s on the horizon for cookii over the next 12 months?

    Collabs with friends!! Probably other songs that aren’t collabs with friends!! Keep your eye on ussss.

    162226

RELATED POSTS

Submitted by ben.madden on Wed, 06/04/2022 - 11:11

cookii
cookii. Photo supplied.

Since 2020, pop/electronic duo cookii have released a string of high-octane, addictive tracks that sound like pure bursts of serotonin. Early singles coca-cola, love yourself and little showcased cookii's ability to tap into the nostalgia that surrounds the Y2K era and bring it to life, which was compounded by their 2020 debut mixtape blossom. While cookii's identity was a mystery (with scant detail revealed in interviews), it was clear that they loved pop music, but weren't afraid to mess with pop formulas to bring their vision to life.

Last year saw cookii sign to Coalesce Records, a label featuring fellow forward-thinking Australian artists Lonelyspeck and Hearteyes. Posse cut WEIRDO brought the trio of artists together, showing what the future of Australian pop might sound like when artists are given the space to truly explore the creative process. Fast forward to 2022, and cookii have just released their new mixtape, popstyle. It's their most expressive release yet, and sees the pair shedding the anonymity that accompanied their early releases - revealing themselves to be prolific producer Lucianblomkamp and vocalist Rosebud Leach, who's previously worked with Donatachi.

Tracks like crush and our love are celebrations of the duo that make up cookii, and beyond the buzzsaw synths and bubblegum vocals, it's a tender encapsulation of making music with the one you love most. To celebrate the release of popstyle, we spoke to cookii about the project, what hyperpop really means, and the concept of nostalgia. Check out popstyle below, and read on to learn more about cookii and popstyle!

Cool Accidents: Firstly, congratulations on the release of popstyle! A lot’s changed since the release of your last mixtape, blossom – including ‘revealing’ your identities. How did anonymity shape the early days of cookii, and when was the moment that you decided to share your identities with the world? 

cookii: Hey, thank you so much! Very exciting times!!! I guess the biggest benefit of being anonymous is that there’s far less pressure for the music to be a super accurate reflection of who you are as a person or anything like that. That’s why the idea to write as a character came pretty naturally. It makes it a lot easier to just have fun. It’s ironic, though, because I think in a lot of ways the music we make as cookii is more true to ourselves than what we’d normally do individually. I think realising that moved us towards leaving anonymity behind, like, 'hang on, this is actually more reflective of who we are than we thought'. 

You’ve mentioned that popstyle takes influence from music from the “turn of the century” – what artists were you listening to while creating popstyle?

I think the biggest influences on the way that we wrote are probably Aqua and Good Charlotte. That hyper bubblegum music meets pop-rock is where it seems to have sat. Honestly, though, the artists we were liking at the time weren’t really related to how we were writing. It’s almost like cookii holds a special nostalgic part of us that just comes out naturally when we start writing.

You’ve been playing project highlight party girl live for a little while now – I’d love to know more about how the song’s evolved since you first wrote the track, as well as the message behind the track, which talks about getting older? 

The track hasn’t really changed since we first wrote it in all honesty. It was written really quickly, and we both knew we loved the beat and just wanted to finish it, hence the lyrics being as ridiculous as they are. They were almost placeholder lyrics that we ended up just really loving. It does have a bit of a serious tone surrounding the chorus which was definitely intentional. I think as we’ve aged we’ve realised that partying is actually much more fun in the comfort of your own home which in turn makes us feel old lol.

There’s been a lot of talk about hyperpop as a genre, and whether it’s becoming too much of an all-encompassing term for experimental pop – I’d love to get an insight into whether you think the term is still an apt description of a particular sound, or whether it’s a term that needs updating?

Yeah, it’s fine. Tbh we think it’s maybe better as an all-encompassing term if anything. Sure, it could maybe be swapped out for experimental pop, but that might be a little too specific. To us, it’s just a sentiment and a way you approach writing. In the same way that pop itself is so insanely broad of a genre, it seems a bit weird that hyperpop needs to be something more specific. Even if the term dies out, it doesn’t really matter. It’s already bled into so many different styles and genres it’s a part of music forever now even if we don’t realise it. That’s probably the best fate for any genre.

When I saw you perform live at the end of 2021 (at the Coalesce Records showcase as part of Melbourne Music Week), you performed from behind a curtain – something that I can’t really say I’ve seen before. I’m curious to know how having that barrier between you and the audience changes the way you approach performing?

We only really used the screen just because we were still anonymous at that time. As soon as we started, though, we just wished we could see and interact with the crowd tbh. It was still so fun and we're glad that screen didn’t seem to get in the way of our performance! We’ve since had an opportunity to play without the screen since coming out of anonymity and I guess the thing we missed being behind the curtain was just watching the overall vibe of the crowd. It was the most fun to be able to watch people bopping to party girl.

cookii’s aesthetic is very much tied to the Y2K-era – and it felt like the project came out of the gates with a strong sense of what you wanted all aspects of cookii to look like, as well as sound like. As a pair, what memories do you have of that era, and when did you realise that’s where you wanted to steer the project?

It’s funny because we never really intentionally decided to focus on the Y2K-era biz. The most important thing for us has always been to just have fun and I guess Y2K and fun happen to tie together for us. Nostalgia just comes out naturally.

You revealed more about cookii on your respective social media pages, and you mentioned that you’d wanted to create a project together for years, before it finally came together in 2020. How do you think creating music as cookii has strengthened your bond – and does that pre-existing relationship help you both to write music in a way that strangers might not be able to?

Our pre-existing relationship definitely plays an enormous role in the project. We’ve known each other since we were 13 (we’re now 28, ew) and music has always been one of the biggest things we’ve connected over. Our musical histories and influences are super similar in a lot of ways. Always scene kids at heart. So, when we’re writing, there’s never really much umm-ing and ahh-ing or disagreement about whether or not the other will like an idea. If one of us thinks the other will like an idea, they probably will and vice versa.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @lucianblomkamp

READ MORE: Meet cookii, Who's Covered 'Bubblegum' From Animal Crossing

Finally, what’s on the horizon for cookii over the next 12 months?

Collabs with friends!! Probably other songs that aren’t collabs with friends!! Keep your eye on ussss.

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