Interview: Biig Piig on honesty, collaboration and coming to Australia

Ireland’s Biig Piig is a lot more refined and delicate than the imagery of a boar.

Her music is strikingly sincere and forthright, washing audiences with a calming groove that’ll have you popping on Biig Piig in almost every situation.

And Australian and New Zealand fans will no longer have to resort to streaming, albums or vinyl to catch her sleepy jazz-infused tracks, with Biig Piig hitting our shores this July as she graces Splendour In The Grass.

Alongside the festival slot, she’s programmed to take on some limited intimated gigs in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, as what is set to be her first trip down under.

In the lead up to her arrival, we caught up over email to find out more about her music practice and what she’s looking forward to the most about her July expedition.

Biig Piig! Paint us a picture of where you are right now!

I feel like that’s a big question. I feel like I’m able to kind of re-bloom after a long time of going inwardly and understanding a lot about myself and trying to make sense of what it is I’m trying to do and what matters. This kind of excitement for the possibilities of music and what I can do with the career that I’ve got. I just feel like in the last year, it’s felt like actually, maybe the world is quite big. And maybe there is so much more that I can be giving to the art.

Let’s go back to the pivotal “Sunshine” by Gabrielle, who’s show decades later you went to with your mum and had a cathartic cry. How does it feel being in the position that your songs can have that same affect on someone now?

Makes you want to cry.. That’s the whole reason I got into music, without knowing. Live shows especially. It makes me feel so happy that there’s a purpose in it. If I can make one person, it doesn’t matter if it’s a support show or a festival or headline, wherever you’re playing if you can make one person feel like they’ve been heard in that song – it’s insane. It’s has always been like that, it brings us back to community and brings us back, for me anyway. It’s always has been the only real solid thing I think throughout the whole of my life, and I feel like if I can give back, that’s the whole goal.

Your music seemingly knows no bounds whether that be genre, language or mood. Do you find your creative process to be quite liberated or do you ever put restrictions or so-called “shackles” on when it comes to songwriting?

Not really. I like not putting any box around it. I’d never want to force a sound which didn’t feel right. I would never want to like force anything that didn’t feel organic at the same time. I’ve always found it exciting to work in different pockets.

How has collaboration changed the way you work? What is it about collaboration that you’ve fallen in love with?

I just like the idea that when you have a chat with someone and have conversation and work with producers in the studio and they start to jam an idea. I feel like the mood is brought into the room. And I feel like it becomes interesting because you learn more about your work and life and I feel like when you open up like that and have a dialogue with each other you get to bring out new parts of yourself.

Your music is diaristic – do you ever write something that you think might be too revealing for yourself to release or are you comfortable in the soul-bearing?

I don’t think I’m scared of putting anything out to be honest. It’s like music is the only place where I feel that I really can. I don’t think I’m emotionally open in real life where maybe there are things that I would rather put into a song. I think a lot of the time as well when you’re writing I feel like I work out a lot of what is going on, on the paper, before I actually understand what’s going on inside. It’ll always come out. I don’t think I’m ever scared to release music, I don’t think that’s something that you should hold back.

You’re coming to Australia to play Splendour In The Grass, one of the Aussie music scenes biggest events of the year, as well as your own sideshows. How are you feeling?

We’re so excited. I’m so excited. And I got a friend coming with me as well. Really, really excited. I’ve never been before to be honest, I just want to make sure that I’ve got enough time to actually see the places in Melbourne and Sydney and go and explore. Hopefully see some wildlife and immerse myself in the country.

How does approaching a festival set differ to a venue show?

I think a venue show, like a headline show you have some more freedom to curate the whole show as a full length show. You have the space and whole venue to play with, so I think it becomes more of an immersive experience. It’s still really fun. I don’t know, it’s kind of more hyped up, I guess. It’s going to be a different vibe.

Who are you hoping to catch on the SITG lineup while you’re in Byron?

To be honest, the whole lineup. Gorillaz, The Strokes, Tyler The Creator. Just the whole thing! As many as we can. They’re all amazing.

Thanks Biig Piig!


Wednesday 20 July | Factory Theatre | Sydney, NSW (with Yb.)
Thursday 21 July | Corner Hotel | Melbourne, VIC (with Yb)
Monday 25 July | Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall | Auckland, NZ

For tickets and more details, head to Secret Sounds.

Tait McGregor