With less than seven weeks to go, the eighth edition of Lente Kabinet Festival is quickly approaching, bringing together in Amsterdam a wave of forward artists from across the globe. One of Glamcult’s favourite headliners this year is rising star Katie Campbell, better known as Roza Terenzi, whose atmospheric sound is situated somewhere between high-octane house and melodic bass. Ahead of her festival appearance, the experimental artist—who just released a new EP on Dekmantel Records—chatted with us about defining music, bathroom breaks and how absence truly inflames the fire with her feline friend. Listen in!
Before you released music as Catlips and then took on the Roza Terenzi moniker, there was Katie Campbell. What were you like in your youth? And how did growing up as a child of a drummer affect your creative journey?
I’d say I was a pretty energetic and inquisitive child, always wanting to participate and learn new things. Because my of my dad, music was always around; his home studio, other instruments in the house and my parents were always playing music. I’m sure it plays a major role in why I started taking in interest in playing music and learning instruments as a kid.
With your parents’ blessing, you decided to follow music (instead of becoming a lawyer) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. What was it like to study at ‘whopp-a’? What’s the most important thing you’ve taken from it?
WAAPA was an interesting stepping stone into the world of electronic music. It definitely opened my eyes to the early origins of electronica and the more experimental side of composition—which was really inspiring to me and the music I was starting to explore. This ties into what was probably the most valuable thing I took from my studies, the notion of questioning what music is or can be. As well as my 3rd year tuition from Kynan Tan which was incredibly motivating.
You took up the surname Terenzi from Fiorella Terenzi: an absolutely badass Italian astrophysicist, professor, author and recording artist. Have you ever thought of collaborating?
It hasn’t crossed my mind to be honest! I respect her and her work immensely, but i have no idea what she would think of me, ha.
You once said you’re drawn to creating a certain mood or atmosphere through your music, contrasting different sound elements. Are you drawn to organic sounds or purely/mostly the synthetic?
I guess mainly synthetic when producing, I used to do more field recording when I was studying, and definitely incorporated a lot of that into my composition. Nowadays for Roza Terenzi, I find it doesn’t work as well—the music is more technology based.
Does your music production normally reflect your current state of mind? How do you get yourself into a productive headspace?
I find if I am relaxed and in a generally good state of mind I work well, and my productivity is usually a reflection of this. I try to wake up fairly early (aka skull coffee) because I know I work more efficiently and clearly in the day. Lately, now that I don’t ride my bike to work, I have been trying to exercise before working in the studio—to establish a routine and limit cabin fever.
As a musician, what do you consider your greatest achievement? Has there been a defining moment so far?
Probably the most fulfilling moment for me was playing a live set at Meredith Music Festival. It was the biggest audience I have performed in front of, and to be able to realise my music in conjunction with the live visuals in that outdoor setting was a magical moment for me. At the end of the day; making and releasing music and being able to tour the world to play it is by far by greatest achievement.
Breaks are—at least in European clubs—having a huge moment right now. What do you think of this revival?
Music cycles round so quickly it feels like, honestly I think you just have to play the tracks you love no matter what is going on in the clubs. The sincerity of it is what’s important.
Do you ever get stage fright? And does Roza Terenzi have any pre-show rituals?
I wouldn’t call it stage fright, but there are definitely times where I have felt sick with nerves. I just try my best to channel that into feelings of excitement, and my only ritual would be probably going to the bathroom numerous times out of anxiety and hoping I won’t need to go too much whilst I’m playing, LOL!
When you’re in the booth, are you a Jesus arm-up high raiser or a Moses down low sea-spreader? When do you feel most comfortable as a performer?
I’m not religious! 😉 I feel comfortable when I’m in the zone and have everything around me I need, my comfort usually comes when I feel connected with the crowd and feel good momentum during a set.
Is there a single song or track that never gets old for you? (And one we will likely hear at the festivals this summer?)
If you could change one aspect of club culture for the greater good, what would it be?
Probably redefining current standards of ‘normal’. Through DJs, promotors, crowds, dancers, communities— more diversity all round.
Last but not least, can you tell us more about your British feline friend, Wallace?
After two years of trying to make him love me (he is a hard nut to crack) I went away for a few months on tour and came back and I think he had a “don’t know what you got til it’s gone” moment. Now he hangs out on my bed lots!