Chasing The Dream – Interview With Kiyomi As She Releases ‘High Ladder’

by Lucy Lerner

28th January, 2019

The enigmatic Kiyomi has just released her intoxicating new single and creative music video ‘High Ladder’.

The song is very relatable, it’s about the struggles of chasing the dream, “I’m chasing moonlight” and “ladder’s so high“. Like chasing the impossible and how daunting that feels. The Australian artist has been compared to Sia and Bjork and it’s easy to see why in ‘High Ladder’ with its combination of futurist electro-pop and raw sensibilities.

Kiyomi says, “I wrote High Ladder when chasing the dream was like chasing moonlight. It was a time of many closed doors and this song started to open them.

The visuals, directed by globally-renowned designer Charlie Le Mindu, portray Kiyomi as a statue, trapped as external factors move around her. It is forward-thinking electro-pop with a sharp edge.

As soon as I heard the song ‘High Ladder,’ I had this wild idea for the video,” explains Le Mindu. “Kiyomi is one of the bright young rising stars in pop music today. She is super imaginative and creates her own world, so we wanted the video to show that.

Kiyomi is an incredibly exciting artist to keep your eye on this year. We caught up with her prior to her single release.

Tell me about your new single and music video ‘High Ladder’
‘High Ladder’ is about the challenges of trying to achieve something. I wrote it about my own struggles in achieving goals with my music, but the song to be related to anything that is trying to reach for something higher. The video captures the trapped feeling of a girl in a box, rigid and statue-like, while external factors move around her.

Who/what are some of your musical inspirations or influences?
I try to stay as open as I can. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from what people say, music, my moods, TV shows, and movies. Feist is one of my big influences. I went to see her show at The Forum last year and she was fabulous. No bells and whistles, just her and her music.

Walk me through the creative process when writing your music or recording a song?
I quickly put my ideas on voice memo before I forget them and expand on them later on my laptop. I start most songs with music and lyrics with no music, writing lyrics on my laptop and melodies on voice memos. Once I’m happy with the music and lyrics I do a quick demo and work with others to bring the music to life. ‘High Ladder’ bounced back and forth between Australia and the U.S until the song got to where it is now.

What do you think about the electro-pop landscape at the moment and where do you think you fit in?
I like to listen to music that surprises me, interesting lyrics and sounds and a lot of that music is in the electro-pop area. Every song knows where it wants to go and my music seems to go in this direction. I do like it stripped back as well, every song has to have a true meaning behind it. But I like lyrics, and music that challenges.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m not fluent in the Japanese language. I wish I was, I tried to learn so I can get away with a few phrases but being half Japanese, I wish I could speak it.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?

What do you find are the challenges of being a music artist in this day and age?
There are positives and negatives about many aspects of the music industry today. Social media is a huge aspect now. Deciding on what to share and what to keep to myself can be a challenge but it’s an amazing platform to speak with the world and share my music.

The up-and-coming artist you love the most is…?
Bishop Briggs is great. I’m liking Billie Eilish and Alison Wonderland at the moment too.

If you weren’t in music what would you be doing?
I used to pretend to be a teacher when I was a kid.

What song do you wish you had recorded and why?
Crash and burn delight – Dirty Loops. Lyrics = brilliant.

Who would play you in a movie and why?
Maybe Toni Collette, a fellow Aussie.

Guilty pleasure?
Buying too many novelty mugs and patterned socks.

What’s next for Kiyomi?
Keep creating.

Stream ‘High Ladder

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