The pairing of life-long mates Palassi Kailis and Tom Derickx, the Sydney-based Kayex's latest release is titled 'Mindless' and was inspired by the pair meeting an urban street dancing pioneer Darrio Phillips.
The electronic duo – who have toured with Crooked Colours and SG Lewis as well as playing Listen Out and Field Day – were captivated by Phillips' youthful, care-free attitude to life and knew they had to create a tribute to a man who lived through an era when dance music ruled the world.
"Inspired by his never-growing-up attitude, we wrote 'Mindless'," Kayex says.
"Though the song is written about a fictional character, we believe the piece is a depiction of Darrio's exciting mindset and attitude towards life."The Kayex story; where did it start and how has it evolved to the creative partnership you have today?
We have been friends for years back home in WA and we always used to speak about starting something together.
When we both landed in Sydney, we started throwing ideas at each other and jamming. Then Kayex was born. It's a simple recipe built on friendship and fun, and the music is a bi-product of that.Tell us about your new track 'Mindless' and how Darrio Phillips inspired the creative direction?
As soon as we met Darrio, we knew we had to tell his story through a song/ film. He has this huge smile and the cheekiest attitude; lives life like he's 18 and has some epic stories!Why 'Mindless' as the title?
Essentially the song is about living in the moment and forgetting about the stuff that makes you less creative. It's fun writing music with a mindless attitude without trying to copy anything. The song comes from a place of just keeping things simple and not overthinking. Bit like how Darrio lives his life. How do you guys usually create new music together; are there templates you follow or is each song its own creative adventure?
We usually write together and just have some fun and make fun music. Sometimes we write separately and try bring two ideas together, which can be interesting.
We would be lying if we said we weren't influenced by other artists or what's going on in the world. Our music is definitely evolving as we grow as artists.To the outsider, how much work is required (ie. hours spent) to create a 3, 4, 5-minute track?
This song actually took us about three months to finish. We knew it had good energy but it just didn't have that final one per cent. Sometimes we write a song in an hour, sometimes a year.Can you share the feeling you have when you first realise you've hit on or come across an idea that could become a new song, or maybe a creative bridge to another project?
It's honestly one of the best feelings in the world. Our favourite thing to do is bounce out a demo and listen to it on repeat in the car or with headphones. There's no feeling like enjoying something you have just created. Influences, inspirations – do you allow any outside factors to direct your own creative decisions?
We are constantly inspired by artists. We both just love music and new music, and this has an impact subconsciously on what we create.
We are definitely influenced by what's happening in the world too. We didn't want to release anything that came across as insensitive. This then affected our writing process. We want to release music that can help people switch off and escape the world for a few minutes. When you look at your Spotify streams (3.5M-plus), do you have to keep the ego in check, realise it's still a business and the only time fun comes before work is in the dictionary?
Haha, not at all. We are surrounded by people that would quickly pull us back into line if we ever got ahead of ourselves. I think we may be too humble – sometimes need to remind each other that people actually like our music.What doors were opened after you won the tripe j Unearthed Field Day comp in 2019?
It was a great honour. We got to play at Field Day, which was insane. We got a lot of confidence thanks to this award. Not only in our music, but also our live show; triple j have been so supportive of us from day one.You have a support slot with Crooked Colours' Gold Coast and Sydney shows next week; you must be stoked with that, particularly to get out of the state?
Super excited to get back on the road. We toured with the CC boys in 2019, so they're good friends of ours. Pumped to play some new music and yes, get out of NSW!How important is it to build friendships with other creatives that foster professional opportunities?
It's just so much funner touring with mates. Too much fun at times.The rest of 2021 for Kayex; what's on the menu?
If people have the attention span for an album then maybe an album. We have so much music to throw out. Hopefully an Aussie tour too. Thanks for your time; anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for your ongoing support.Kayex support Crooked Colours at The Island (Sydney) 1 April and Komune Pool Club (Gold Coast) 3 April.