Dance

Here's What Kylie Minogue Geeked Out on While Doing 'Disco' In Quarantine

Kylie Minogue
Darenote

Kylie Minogue

When Kylie Minogue approached her 15th album with the goal of “going back to the dance lane,” it should have been an easy task for the Australian legend — after all, she has 14 No. 1s on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart to her name. But 2020 had other plans. “Lockdown happened, and I had to figure out how to do everything remotely,” says Minogue, who has turned her London flat into a DIY studio during the pandemic. “I thought, ‘If 11-year-olds can do this in their bedroom, I can figure this out.’ ” Thanks to many Zoom calls and a few audio-suite crash courses, she did; Disco will arrive Nov. 6. “Now that it’s kitchen disco for most of us,” she says, “you have to create your own world.”

Minogue started preliminary work on Disco using a Shure SM7B microphone she had around the house while waiting patiently for the arrival of a pricier one in the mail. “Opening the case for the Brauner VMX was such a moment,” she recalls. “It was very exciting to get the equipment, fire up my logical-rational brain and find the right place in the house to put it. I was dragging [around] duvets and blankets and clothes racks to make [my lounge room] good for sound.”

Switching from GarageBand to Logic, Minogue says the audio workstation intuitively made sense to her “Mac brain,” and she was able to self-record her vocals and send them to her producers. “I got really into it, and I’m annoyed with myself it took this long for me to get a handle on it,” she says. “It’s good to add new skills to your set.”

While making her Nashville-flavored 2018 album, Golden, Minogue placed a Dolly Parton record atop her stack of personal LPs; for Disco, she swapped Parton for Prince’s Purple Rain. “It’s not quite disco, but it’s in that awesome, a bit over-the-top realm,” says Minogue. “I was 14 years old and went to see [1984 film] Purple Rain, I don’t know how many times, with my girlfriend at the cinema: We would scream, we would cry. I loved that he was ‘there.’ ”

While on Zoom calls with writers and producers, Minogue would frequently pull up performance clips of Earth, Wind & Fire and other bands with “one foot in the disco arena” to keep her collaborators on track when they veered too far into “electro pop.” From there, it was a short hop to watching clips of “fantastically bad looks” from the 1970s and ’80s, such as 1979’s “D.I.S.C.O.” from French group Ottawan. “It’s all good inspiration,” she says.

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This article originally appeared in the Sept. 19, 2020 issue of Billboard.