Banoffee is the solo sound of Melbourne singer, producer and cool-girl Martha Brown. With influences ranging from ’80s dance vibrations, to vintage synths, textured vocals and contemporary RnB, Banoffee’s music has the ability to seamlessly cross genres.
Named ‘one to watch’ by Tumblr and Spotify, we caught up with the emerging superstar on the rooftop of the Former Royal Women’s Hospital in the lead up to Melbourne Music Week.
We played with some of her favourite fashion, chatted Destiny’s Child, spoke about her new EP Do I Make You Nervous and found out what’s next for this Melbourne gal on the rise.
What was the first concert you went to?
The first one I went to that was in a big stadium was Destiny’s Child. It was great, I was 11 and it was at Rod Laver Arena, I’m pretty sure. The best thing that has ever happened to me was that night, I will never forget it. We were in this side section which no one had bought tickets to because the seats were so crap, you could see half of backstage and half of the front stage, so we were the only ones sitting there. I was copying the trio’s dance routine, and Kelly Rowland I think, (or maybe it was Michelle), pointed at me and said “hey gurl! You got good dance moves!” I went beetroot in the face and was speechless...I don’t think I’ll ever live it down.
And so you shouldn’t! Do you think memories like these influenced the beginning of your music career?
I didn’t always want to be a singer, I used to want to be a writer. Most of my childhood I wanted to pursue creative writing, I studied it at uni and have always enjoyed that type of art form. I also performed a lot growing up, I was really into acting all throughout my childhood. I was also in bands and tiny little pop groups all through primary school. I honestly didn’t really decide I wanted to be a ‘singer singer’ musician until about the age of 13 or 14. I started performing and doing little solo shows in bars and stuff around Melbourne with my sister and I guess it just grew from there.
What do you find yourself singing about?
There isn’t really anything specific. My songs mostly are about things that are relevant to me at the time or about things I’m having trouble understanding and can better analyse and unpack through music. I’ll start it like a creative writing piece and do the lyrics first, then match it to an instrumental. But ultimately, each track unfolds very differently to the last...there’s no set recipe to the way each song comes about.
You mesh vintage synths with RnB...Are you partial to RnB Fridays (like us..)?
Oh my God I’ve never listened to it, is that a thing? Wow, now that I know it is, I think I will! Oh hell YES!
Do you have a favourite track from your new EP?
My favourite track at the moment is called ‘Ocean’. I also had a lot of fun producing the track ‘With Her’ which is the latest single – I got to incorporate a bit of a dance beat and make it something a little more playful.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
‘Ninja’ and ‘Got it’. I love how much my audiences get into these tracks with me. ‘Ninja’ was my first ever Banoffee release and still seems to be a favourite for live shows.
Tell us about your creative process when working on a new track?
A lot of them start with separate elements, usually I will have written down some lyrics and once I’m playing around it begins to flow. For ‘With Her’ for example, I was messing around on the piano and came up with a progression that I liked, then remembering the lyrics I had written earlier in the week I tried to make them fit. I knew what I wanted the track to ultimately sound like in the end. I wanted a repetitive hook, to explain an emotion that the listener could relate to in some way or another, and also for the lyrics to be very descriptive and narrative – more like a book than a song.
Pop quiz time.
If I were a snack... I would be a Vegemite sandwich.
My favourite word is... Noodle.
When I’m down I... I can’t say ‘smoke a joint’ can I? Ok, when I’m down I put on ‘Step by Step’ by Whitney Houston.
That totally has ruined one of my next questions!
White jeans are for... A ‘steezy summer architect’ look. Do you feel me?
Luxury is... Let me think...what do I enjoy a lot? I’m going to go with an electric blanket.
Snapchat is for... Flirting, hands down.
The best things in life are... Free and yum.
Cyndi Lauper or Whitney Houston? Whitney! Yes!
Skittles or M&M’s? M&M’s...Definitely!
Pens or pencils? Pens.
Skirts or pants? Pants.
Milo or Nesquik? Milo obviously.
Everyone should... Dance in the dark...at least twice a week!
Where can we catch you this summer? Melbourne Music Week, then Laneway Festival! It will be amazing...
You can catch Banoffee and the rest of the Good Manners crew at Melbourne Music Week November 17.
Words by: Tabatha Turner