Exploding onto the scene with electricity and ferocity, Melbourne’s own King IV(pronounced Ivy) is taking the electronic music scene by storm.
Manifested from the inner workings of both her home studio and studios around Melbourne, Cheyenne Harper is quickly on a trail to success. With every song released, Harper’s dark and experimental sounds continue to transform into sure-fire party anthems.
Having showcased her live performance at this year’s Listen Out festival, Harper is off the back of a Melbourne Music Week gig at Loop Project Space & Bar, which proved to be an eventful evening.
“It was my first ever Melbourne club show, which was incredibly fun and I had a great time,” she enthuses.
“I danced a bit too hard and had an accident,” she admits, revealing that she dislocated her kneecap in a moment of enthusiasm. “I just remember my song Bumpstarted and everyone got really excited. Naturally, I got really excited. Then I looked down at my leg and felt like something was really wrong. It was hilariously dramatic, but a huge inconvenience to the show.”
Alongside her were the likes of SAATSUMA, Mezko and Peachnoise who performed at MMW’s Heightened Awareness, a multi-sensory performance.
“I was devastated I didn’t get to see Mezko because they came from Sydney to perform, and I was genuinely excited to watch their set,” she laughs.
“I did see Peachnoise before my set though, and they were amazing. Their percussive skills are insane. It was such a nice thing to enjoy someone’s set before I went on. Plus, one of the band members Bernadette held ice on my knee for an hour, so they win all-round as a great support in every way.”
Amongst recovering from an action-packed performance, the hard-working artist has been submerged in a line-up of mixes, including an energy-filled track for Futuremag Music’s second birthday, as well as a highly anticipated collaboration with Perth producer, Tobacco Rat.
“I do a lot of trawling on the web, looking for underground music and to people who aren’t necessarily getting the recognition that I think they should,” Harper explains.
“One person is Tobacco Rat. We actually performed an incredible cover at Melbourne Music Week which we plan to release in the near future. I can’t reveal what is yet, but it’s a really dark, industrial version of a popular anthem. He is making truly unique beats that are ruthless and aggressive, but not painful to listen to.”
Also in the works for Harper are plans to spend the summer in the place she loves best, curating new music in the studio to release as an EP in the near future.
“I usually spent 90 percent of my time in a dark room making music, and as soon as I leave the house, something bad seems to happen,” she jokes, “so I’m definitely planning on recording this summer, working on my live show and having a nice body of work to show off very soon. It’s always very tempting to release singles but there’s something much bigger in store.”
The overwhelmingly positive feedback on Harper’s latest release, Bump, a hard-hitting, enthralling track which oozes with industrial electronics, has both validated and motivated the 21-year-old to strive further.
“It’s nice to go through reviews and read not just critique or observation but really thoughtful responses, where I can tell people have really sat down and listened to my music,” she exclaims.
“When I reflect on my other songs and how it’s been a progression, people have highlighted that I’ve improved and that’s massive for me. Having a good song out is one thing, but for people to say that I’m building with every song I release is even better. It’s awesome to feel the love is mutual.”
Having written Bump in about a day, Harper says the quick turnover of the song has helped it to become her favourite yet.
“Out of all the songs I’ve written, Bump was the easiest to make,” Harper explains.
“The melody and arrangement was so quick compared to my previous single, We Can Get It, which I was rewriting for a year. The song was extremely effortless for me, and I think that’s why it’s resonated with a lot of people… because its energy has stayed fresh. It’s the only song of mine that I can listen to.”
Now, having played live performances on two ends of the spectrum, Harper reveals her dream venue to play is a place with sentimental value.
“I’d love to play Howler one day. I went and saw Elliphant there when I was 18, and watching that gig completely changed my perspective on live performance,” she says.
“It was intensely inspirational. I always knew that I wanted to be in music, but that gig really consolidated that I wanted to perform at Howler. And when I did, it would be as King IV. I love small, chilled-out venues because there’s no expectations. So, when someone comes on stage and it explodes with energy, it’s amazing. It is one of my favourite things about musical performance.”
With a fan base growing across the country, and a body of work that is brimming at the seams with complexity and talent, there’s no doubt King IV is quickly evolving from upcoming artist to something of electronica royalty.