A Chat With: KROY
Camille Poliquin is the majestic voice and lyricist behind KROY. Influenced by the indie and pop women of music, she created her distinct style to voice her personal experiences. Being a part of the duo Milk & Bone and being KROY, we spoke about the difference between the both, what inspires her, the importance to identify with an artist and more!
How did you get into making music?
I started playing music when I was 4 I think with piano like any other kid would. I come from a pretty musical family. My parents don’t do that for a living but they're very interested in music and they wanted to push us to do a little bit when we were younger and I happened to stay in there and just keep going. I went to a musical school as a kid, then I started doing more instruments but I focused more on singing. And yeah, I went to CEGEP studying music as well and after that it just happened with friends who were in bands and they wanted me to play with them. And you meet all these people doing that so that’s how it started.
You started KROY in 2012 and then you did your EP in 2014 and Scavenger came out last year (2016), how do you keep performing those songs, how do you keep them alive?
I feel like every time I perform them they make me feel a different way. There are songs that I wrote before that I don’t perform anymore because they don't bring me that kind of feeling but for songs like Monstrosity or River, every time I perform them it makes me-I just revisit them, and revisit the emotion I was in when I wrote the song. It’s a process I like to live. I feel like if I got bored with a song I wouldn't perform it anymore, I wouldn't put myself through that.
Since you’ve had these songs for so long and you go from this project to Milk & Bone and back, how do you keep that connection when performing? It just makes you feel something every time?
Yeah, every time! And different crowds make you feel a different way as well. So, it's bouncing the emotion I was in when I wrote the song, and the emotion that I'm in performing and then what the audience is like. Like; are they super attentive, are they there cause we’re in a bar and they don't really want to listen to me or are they there because they bought the tickets. I mean, it's a very different way to perform. You know, sometimes feel like you have to prove yourself to the audience and sometimes you feel like they’re just there and you’ve won them over already, so all those different factors make it interesting every time.
Your music as KROY and Milk & Bone are both very personal, honest and raw, how important is it for you to put your personal life into your music?
I feel like I couldn't do it any other way just because that’s just how I write. It just so happens that the songs I write, people are interested in them and people want to listen to them. Even if they didn't i’d still be writing them. I do write songs that aren't as personal but I don’t use them for myself. Sometimes I just give them away or I write them for other people and stuff like that. But yeah, for my projects I like to feel that it comes from a personal space because afterwards when I perform them at shows, that's what’s interesting about it. I feel like i’d be disconnected from the songs if I couldn't grasp onto something real with the song.
Have you had any cool fan experiences?
A fan, well, a fan who is kind of more of a friend because he’s there at every single show so obviously I know him. He got some of my lyrics tattooed on his arm and I thought that was just crazy. And he asked me to write it in my own handwriting, and I was like ‘do you realize you’re going to die with this on your body, this is intense!’ I don’t get shocked or anything because if I had any tattoos I would do it as well with lyrics from my favourite bands so I’m just very flattered.
Who has inspired you woman wise in music?
I grew up listening to both very top 40 artists and much more indie music. I feel like a mix of that is what inspired me because you know, I listen to a hell of a lot of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga and Kesha and stuff like that and I feel like if you’re a musician and you look up to them its kind of hard to picture yourself in that position because it's so big. I feel like the more indie women like Beach House, Feist and women like that inspired me. You can do your music and get to a certain level and not aim to be a superstar and maybe it’ll happen if it has to, but I think that's what made me confident to do it. Just because you can’t start music and think you’re going to be Ariana Grande. Like she’s younger than me! It's so much pressure to put on yourself and as indie women and musicians in general, the pressure is kind of off. If your music is good there’s going to be an audience for it.
Yeah, there’s definitely more fun and freedom out of it, rather than being a huge pop star
Yeah, and I don’t know what its like to be a pop star or whatever but as an indie music perspective, I feel like my team is so supportive and they got into the project because they believe in it for real. Not just because I’m a girl and I look a certain way and I have a potential to be something else. I feel like they got involved because they just believe in what I am right now which is very empowering.
For sure, I feel like that’s what you need to surround yourself with to move forward. So, from what you listen to, how did you go more into that electronic, kind of dark pop?
Well, the top 40 stuff I listen to was very synth oriented, and in all the indie bands as well. I feel that's the main, the one thing that was common in all the music I listened to and I used to play the piano so it was super easy for my to start playing the synths.
Writing as KROY and then with Laurence for Milk & Bone, how is it the same or different?
It's the same in certain ways and very different in others because I'm not a different person when I write with her, its just much different because she's part of the equation. And whenever I write a song, like a full song for Milk & Bone she’s going to have her say, if one word she doesn't agree with we’ll change it because it's our music. But I do feel the music that I write that is darker is directed towards KROY and then the music that is more pop-y is for the band.
Since you’ve been touring a lot, travelling with both music projects, do you meet people along the way with who you might work with on music or are you mostly based here?
I’ve met people from elsewhere but honestly we meet them on the internet and then we meet them in person when we go there. Travelling and touring together is a very lonely experience, not lonely with myself but lonely with my band. Like, we’re not from there, we have a very short amount of time, it's not like we're there for 3 months and try to make friends or whatever. So yeah, usually what we do is we meet people on the internet cause we like their Soundcloud or they like ours and we meet up when we’re in the city so that’s fun.
Do you end up making music with them?
Yeah! We met this producer from Toronto called Deebs. We met him online and he asked us to come over to Toronto to write a song, so we went over for 2 days, wrote a song, came back and that's Poison.
Changing the subject a bit, for the video for Learn, how did that come about?
There’s this director called Jodeb and I had seen some of his work for another video and really liked it. I felt that Learn would be a good song to have him experiment on and so we spoke on the phone, agreed on a certain direction and just went from there. He wanted to have an all-star cast so that's how we got Karine Vanasse on there. And yeah, we ended up doing an extended version for him, I don’t think that’s out yet but I have my music video version and he has his version like a short movie thing.
Last summer you did Osheaga with Milk & Bone and this summer you’re doing it as KROY, how are you prepping for that?
Well, we’re so used to doing shows together the 3 of us so I feel that shows like today are a good way to get into it because it's a festival, hopefully a lot of people. I think I’m going to have to be a bit more summery cause I’m a bit dark when I do shows and it’s probably going to be really warm out so the prepping is really just playing with my band, getting some good sleep pretty much.
How did that dark style/aesthetic come about? Do you incorporate that style into your music?
It’s just my style and its just what I like to wear. I feel like it works with my music the same way my music works with my style, like it's my music because I make it. Its just me, I like to wear black and sunglasses. I feel that people who listen to my music are into the aesthetic as well and I think people like to be able to identify to a certain kind of world. A lot of bands are just a bunch of people together playing music because they like to play music but they don't share a certain aesthetic and it's a bit harder to identify with them just because of that. When theres a whole world around it, its easier to be drawn to it. That’s what I look for in bands so I wanted to do that too.
Is there any bands that have done that and that you really identify to?
I like bands that stay true to who they are and I think Beach House is one of them. Most indie bands that are successful have that and then when you go on the top 40 side you kind of feel that the artists are put through a machine where it becomes them but it's not authentic. Its still great but you don’t feel it you know, but I mean I'm really into Charli XCX right now and I feel like she’s going all out into what she wants to do. Lil Peep, he’s awesome and he’s all out, he’s extreme and I wouldn't go all out but I really respect it.
What are your future plans as KROY?
Just making more music. You know we have a tour coming up in the fall, it should be fun. Hopefully go back to Europe to develop that territory a bit more. Go back to Australia as a musician and not only a vacationer. I just want to go and perform in other countries and write my second album.
Guilty pleasure song or artist?
Issues by Julia Michaels
Dream Collaboration? Charli XCX, Lil Peep, Solange
Fave Canadian artist?