Photo: Luke Eblen

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Since taking over the reigns of the What So Not project as a solo artist Chris Emerson has thrown everything he has into it and watched it explode in notoriety worldwide.

“When it all became official in 2016 it was basically foot to the floor from there on out,” reflected Emerson. “It was a very exciting time for me because I had all of these ideas and could now finally just go out and do them.”

Whilst the project is now a solo endeavour for Emerson he is quick to remind us that he wouldn’t be able to achieve everything he has without his incredible support group.

“I have incredible people around me that allow me to try to execute my really strange ideas. I’m often surprised when they let me do some of the things I come up with.”

Earlier this year Emerson took the next step in his career as What So Not with the release of his debut album, Not All The Beautiful Things. Despite this being his first record as a solo artist Emerson continued to employ his collaboration abilities by welcoming the likes of Toto, Daniel Johns and KLP into the studio.

“I never could have imaged crossing paths with them, let alone working on a record together,” said Emerson.

When welcoming in such a diverse cast of performers into the creative process of the record Emerson said it was important for him to have a strong connection with the other artists.

“My writing process is quite unorthodox and frantic, it’s usually about 90 percent experimentation which can make things much more difficult.”

The major example of his unorthodox approach that Emerson pinpoints for this record was the decision to not reuse any single sound twice.

“By shying away from predicable or simple formulas it means it takes me a lot longer to bring things together but it also means that when it does come together nothing is cross pollinating in a bad way or lazy.”

This dedication to innovation has obviously paid off handsomely with What So Not being able to headline the Hordern Pavilion with his own show.

“I can’t believe that I’m playing at the Hordern Pavilion, that is blowing my mind!” Emerson said excitedly. “That venue for me is the place I’d go and see multiples of my favourite acts playing on the one bill let alone me playing there by myself.”

Jun 29. Hordern Pavilion, 1 Driver Ave, Moore Park. $77.70+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.whatsonot.com