To help celebrate the debut release of electronic duo SAATSUMA’s album Overflow, the pair will tour Australia hitting Sydney this Saturday, 23rd December at Botany View Hotel.
SAATSUMA hold a strong presence through their emotive music produced by Ceasar Rodrigues and the soothing voice of Memphis Kelly. The duo has performed along side acts like PNAU and Thelma Plum whilst performing shows for Paradise, The Hills Are Alive, St Kilda Festival and The Plotas. Represented exclusively throughout Australiasia by Dominic Miller and Edwin Tehrani, the pair will also join New World Artists live roster which holds acts – Daniel Johns, Mallrat and Slumberjack.
A topic the duo feels very strong towards, all proceedings from their Melbourne show will be donated towards the Asylum Seeker Recourse Centre in support of refugees on Manu and Mauru and to help end Australia’s offshore processing policy. BYO asked why the artists feel so strongly towards this policy and discovered their interests towards side hobbies like futsal and videography.
BYO: Where did the name Saatsuma originate from?
SAATSUMA: TBH at the time Memphis and I had just decided to be a band and then we got a gig offer and we were getting hassled for the projects name for poster art and we sat around the studio and tried some things. Also, saatsuma's are excellent. BYO: What inspired the album ‘Overflow’?
SAATSUMA: We didn't really set out to make an album at all at the start of 2017 until we looked back at a whole bunch of writing that we had done over that summer. I remember having a convo with Memphis and we decided to just go for it in the face of a trend to do multiple singles. We had enough of a story to tell. We were simply hanging out in the studio a lot and making heaps of music. BYO: What motion or feel did you both desire for this album to create?
SAATSUMA: I don't think we ever set out to set a particular mood and tone to the record and if there is a theme it's most likely to do with it reflecting our state at the time of creating the music stylistically and lyrically. Memphis' lyrics also encapsulated a lot of what I have been going through in the last few years as we had spoken a little about this stuff. I guess the end product is somewhat an introspective and dark. BYO: Tell me about the story behind Saatsuma and how you two came together?
SAATSUMA: Memphis and I lived in a share house together and I recall hearing Memphis sing and introduced her to an old friend (Joel Ma). The three of us walked in the studio and wrote a handful of songs with no real particular ambition except to have some fun. After a few songs we reached a point where Memphis and I thought, wait... what if we made this a band and did shows etc. Not long after that we got a gig offer and it all started from there.
BYO: How do you fill in your spare time? Do you have other talents/ unique hobbies aside from making music?
SAATSUMA: Outside of music I like to play futsal and work in video, but in all honestly, any spare moment I have I just try and get into the studio. Memphis and I are both so keen to get in there again. BYO: All profits from your Melbourne Gasometer show will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Recourse Centre, what is it about this that you hold so close to your heart and why?
SAATSUMA: My parents are refugees, and the thought that if they arrived here in the current political state my life would be completely different is something I can't avoid thinking about. Having recently travelled, I came across a lot of people asking about the situation on Manus island.... people know about it everywhere. I am utterly embarrassed to have to somehow explain the state of affairs in Australia. We don't want to be a part of that Australia, we are better than this and we shouldn't accept these decisions that are made on our behalf. We decided to donate because music is the voice that we have, and to be silent is to be complicit. It was a very simple decision. BYO: Music can certainly bring a community together, if you had the option to play at a music festival, which one would it be?
SAATSUMA: Meredith... I have many good times in the audience I can only imagine what it is like to play to such an amazing collection of humans. BYO: Favourite or weirdest music experienced of all time?
SAATSUMA: I'm sure there are heaps weirder, but this one comes to mind: Standing next to my friend who was mixing a gig at The Prince of Wales, and a punter coming up to us and asking if we could play different music. There was a live band playing on the stage. BYO: Top 5 items you can recommend for a Saatsuma show starter pack?
SAATSUMA: Ha ummmmmm: Comfortable shoes, a positive attitude, snacks with flavour, your loved ones, and the biggest love in your heart. No pressure.
SAATSUMA TOUR DATES THU 21 DECEMBER | THE GASOMETER, MELBOURNE VIC** FRI 22 DECEMBER | THE FOUNDRY, BRISBANE QLD SAT 23 DECEMBER | BOTANY VIEW HOTEL, SYDNEY NSW SUN 24 DECEMBER | THE CAMBRIDGE, NEWCASTLE NSW
Tickets can be found here: https://www.saatsuma.com/shows