It hasn’t been long between drinks for serial visitor to Australia Kaki King — in fact, Sydney Star Observer last spoke to the out US singer-guitarist in February, before her previous Aussie tour.
“It seems like I come down very often,” King chuckled down the line from her family’s home in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was celebrating Thanksgiving.
“It is a long way to come, but once you get used to the plane ride, it’s OK. I’m really small, so I can kind of fold myself up on the plane and sleep like a baby. And at this point, I have a lot of friends in Australia. Now I know places like Sydney like the back of my hand.”
Still, there’s a lot to catch up on — King has had a busy year. Her prodigious guitar skills recently garnered her a somewhat unlikely fan: R&;B super-producer Timbaland, who invited her to his Miami studio.
“He likes to build up this really big catalogue of sounds, and he just wanted me to come in and play, to create some sounds that no one had ever heard,” King said of the collaboration, which she admitted took her out of her comfort zone.
“His way of working is totally different. He doesn’t start recording until midnight, so it was the opposite to me. And he hears things in such an interesting way — it’s like stream of consciousness recording working with him, he tries so many things at once.”
Given that the results of their jam session have now been entered into his vast catalogue of sounds, is King prepared for the possibility that she might turn on the radio one day and hear her work in a Pussycat Dolls song?
“Yeah, totally. I mean, come on — this is the girl who covered Justin Timberlake on Triple J!”
King’s response is indicative of her carefree attitude to music. Earlier this year, an unlicensed mash-up emerged online, mixing her song Bone Chaos In The Castle with a Tupac Shakur rap. While other artists might call the lawyers, King went as far as to put the song on her MySpace.
“That was so fucking dope, just awesome. I would’ve been pissed if it was bad, but it’s soooo good,” she laughed.
In amongst all this, she’s found time to work on a follow-up to her previous album, 2008’s Dreaming Of Revenge. She said the new work would continue her trend towards more accessible sounds than her earlier, largely instrumental work.
“I’m going to finish up in early December, so it should be out next year. It’s even less esoteric than Dreaming Of Revenge. It’s a lot heavier, too; I’ve been playing with distortion pedals a lot. I keep calling it Kaki On Top, because that’s what it sounds like — me at the top of my game.”
info: Kaki King plays the Annandale Hotel on January 3 and Notes live on January 5. Visit www.annandalehotel.com and www.noteslive.com.au