Meet Vanilla Neptune, one of Geelong’s most innovative artists

Meet Vanilla Neptune, one of Geelong’s most innovative artists

Words by Alex Callan

The local DJ has been on a wicked pace in establishing his name as a frontrunner in the Geelong dance music scene.

“My parents were big 90’s ravers so I was shown house music through them. I’d say because of my parent’s house music became my first love.”

Considering this, is it any surprise that Vanilla Neptune has grown up to become one of the frontrunners of the Geelong ‘house’ music scene?

Securing support slots for national electronic acts like Roland Tings, winning over crowds with headliner shows and accumulating multiple thousands of likes on his debut ‘Housewarming EP’; it seems that Harvey Pope at the age of 21, has already secured what many local artists have been endlessly striving for.

“It’s been good man, it’s been gaining much more momentum publicly” he humbly reflects, “I can’t complain about that, I consider myself very lucky that people seem to like what I’m doing.”

Performing under the moniker ‘Vanilla Neptune’, Pope has been playing gigs relentlessly since venues opened back up whilst producing both house music and hip hop beats still remain his “primary focus.”

“I can be a bit of a perfectionist so it can take me a while to release stuff.

“I kind of need to sit with it for a few months to make sure I’m really happy with it before I put it out. I do have a six-track EP in the works at the moment though,” he reveals.

“The new EP coming out called ‘Housework With Mum’. The album cover is a photo of Mum and I doing the dishes and each track will mention housework.

“The idea being that you can play it while you’re doing housework with your mum… Something different I guess” he laughs.

It makes sense really, especially considering his approach to production does differ from most modern-day definitions of the role. Adopting more of a 90’s approach (that is more deserving of the title of composer), Pope includes local musicians on his tracks to give it that extra edge. Most notably, the melodic guitar licks of Marcus Moriarty on crowd favourite ‘La Fiesta’.

“I was so stoked with how it turned out.

“It changes the track completely. Whenever I talk to anyone about that EP, that is their favourite. It does have samples as well, it has a sample of a Brazillian funk record that I chopped up a little bit but I prefer to get someone live to play it. It just has more of an original feel to it.”

A collaborative notion that will be continued on ‘Housework With Mum’ with Pope stating, “I’m all about inviting other people with talents from around the area to get in on it and make it more of a collaborative effort.”

“That’s the hip hop influence coming out of me because it does lease a lot from the 90’s era of production of music. I fell in love with that way of producing. I feel it’s much more creative and has less boundaries. I could sit there with a keyboard for hours and not come up with anything I like but sometimes when someone else adds something it gives me more to go off.”

Cutting his teeth on hip hop in his earlier years, Pope still performs gigs as a rapper and hip hop producer alongside Torquay based rapper Rory Jame$. A busy schedule right?

“I’m just trying to keep the momentum up at the moment”, he acknowledges, “I have a few rap shows coming up and after that just keep I want to keep focusing on producing.”

With big plans for 2021, Vanilla Neptune kindly concluded with his goals for the year. “I’ll just keep putting myself out there, try to get better set times and just keep building.

“Just gonna keep on keeping on really.”

Check out his EP below and keep up to date with the latest via Facebook.

Turn your inbox up to 11. Sign up to Forte’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food, booze and culture stories twice a week.