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Bliptalk with Leeni

10

Leeni first came across 8 bit music in 2006 when she was bored at her job in Seattle. She ordered a nanoloop cartridge, borrowed an old Game Boy, got laid off from said job and decided to try to write an album during her 2 weeks of severance pay. It took more than two weeks but 8 Bit Heart was born: a stripped down album consisting mainly of Game Boy and vocals. She then learned LSDJ and procured a sync box that would allow for more electronic instruments to be added to the mix, as well as other gameboys. She wrote Labyrinth with this configuration and has continued to evolve her sound with each new project.

Blip: Before you got into making chip music, what type of music or art where you into?

I first began writing music with an acoustic guitar and a keyboard. But I hated the coffee-shop/open-mic/folksinger thing and that’s when I decided to go electronic.

Blip: How did you first become aware of the possibility of chip music?

I was bored at work and would listen to music all day. Through some web-surfing, I came across a few MySpace pages of chiptune artists.

Blip: How does your background influence your current work?

I have been playing music since I was a kid. I used to play my keyboard when I was little then I took drum lessons, oboe lessons, I learned guitar, I started singing then I learned piano and music theory in high school. I never forgot those theory lessons and my background in classical music, so I think I bring a good amount of that to my writing now.

Blip: Where do you see yourself in the greater chip community?

A lot of people tell me that what I am doing is different, cause there aren’t many chiptune vocalists, especially female. So, I think I am a niche within a niche but I like that.

Blip: Who are you most excited to see at blip? Why?

J. Arthur Keenes, because I really admire his work. He did such an awesome remix of my song Live Asleep for my remix album and everything I’ve heard of his sounds really unique. And of course, I’m stoked to see Fighter X on the Blip stage, because I’ve been playing shows in Seattle with the Crunchy records crew for a long time now and they are all so awesome!! But, I am excited to see EVERYONE! The list is awesome this year!

Blip: Where do you see your progression as an artist heading? Deeper into chip music, or perhaps something different?

I am currently working on a new album where I am weaving the chiptune element into a mostly synth composition. The meat of the song will be synth and drums but the gameboy gets to play lead guitar and even adding some cool effects to it as well. After doing 2 albums of mostly chip music, I like trying new things with it.

Leeni is performing Thursday at 9:20 With visuals by VBLANK

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