July 31, 2018


"Get music out there and don’t overthink things"


Perth born and Sydney based mates Tom Derickx and Palassi Kailis, (musically known as Kayex) came to our attention last year when they approached us with their debut single ‘My Friends’.

The track went on to hit over a million streams on Spotify, garnering them fans around Australia and putting them on high rotation on Triple J in time to be included in the Hottest 100’s voting list.

They returned in 2018 with their follow up single ‘The Get Up’, a disco-meets-french electro-esque track that cemented their place on Australian & Overseas airwaves AND further showcased their musical diversity.

Their third and newest release ’Toe to Toe’ is inspired by the legacy left by Prince and Bowie.

"Bowie wasn’t afraid to be himself and that’s what this track is about. Being yourself, not caring what people think and also giving other people permission to be themselves. We had an absolute ball writing this," says Palassi.

The duo have been put on the bill for this year’s inaugural winter wonder festival, Snowtunes, which will take place in Jindabyne in August. And if that wasn’t exciting enough it’s just been announced that the boys will take their set up overseas and join the likes of What So Not, Patrick Topping, Doorly, Miguel Campbell, Benson & more at Fiji’s annual Your Paradise festival in December!

As a fellow Sandgroper, it’s an absolute delight to see such well earned success come out of the west. So of course I jumped at the chance to have a chat with Tom and Palassi about the Kayex journey so far.

So you’re both originally from Perth and have known each other for years.

Did you guys make the move over to Sydney together to get Kayex going or were you both planning to head east anyway?

We actually both randomly bumped into each other at a friends birthday. We both had music backgrounds and Palassi had a studio set up in his bedroom so we started jamming the following day! We clicked in a musical sense and worked really well together and just had a heap of fun. 

Being from the west too and having moved interstate, there are things I miss about the place, mainly the weather. What about you guys?

We obviously miss our families a lot. Perth is so relaxed. We miss driving down south chasing waves, and not having to spend an hour looking for a car park. 

You guys had massive success with your first release ‘My Friends’ last year.

Since then..where have you found that most of your following has come from?

Thanks! ‘My Friends’ exceeded our expectations and it’s a song that a lot of people have heard, but they had no idea who the band was! Since then we have been doing shows and trying to organically grow our fan base.

Triple J have been super supportive also!

You’ve been booked for Snowtunes (Jindabyne) in August and now Your Paradise (Fiji) in December..HUGE!

Did you ever imagine this time last year you’d be billed for such a variety of festivals? 

We are so grateful for the opportunities we are getting this year! We have to pinch ourselves sometimes. We were doing a show on a beach in Japan a few weeks ago and we just looked at each other and laughed. We have worked so hard but it still feels surreal at times. 

If you could both choose one thing (anything) that had to be included in your backstage rider..what would it be? Don’t be shy now.

We don’t really drink before a live show. But we are both always hungry. A barista and a table tennis table would be pretty cool. We both couch surf at the moment so maybe a couple of king size beds too. 

When Kayex perform, what’s your setup like? Whose doing what?

Our live show is slowly growing and evolving. We both sing. Palassi controls the samples and plays keys/drums and Tom mucks around on the guitar. We have a bass player, Jarrol, who is a weapon. He creates a sick vibe. 

Can you pin point your most excited/rewarding moments since you started releasing your tunes?

Be it a certain review? Working or meeting a particular artist? Performing on a particular stage/venue?

Playing at Listen Out festival was our proudest moment. We threw ourselves in the deep end. Spent all our money on our show and rehearsed like mad men. And it paid off. A few people said our live show was a big vibe and we get so much confidence from that. Last week we played a show at Oxford Art Factory and had a heap of friends/family there. That was a great feeling.

You’ve just recently been signed to Audiopaxx’s management roster. How did that come about?

We met Audiopaxx after a friend introduced us. We clicked with them as soon as we met. They reshuffled their structure to fit us in which showed that they genuinely believed in us. The biggest thing was that they loved our music. 

Noisehive were very happy to get you on board as part of our client roster - What have you found has been the biggest benefit of the service?

Noisehive gave us the opportunity to distribute our music to the world and it just seemed too good and easy to be true. There is a great human side to the way Noisehive work which is why we love working with them. 

Favourite music of the moment

Tom- Portugal The Man. Their newest album doesn’t get old.

Palassi- Chance The Rapper- He’s just released four big tracks and they’re on rotation

And lastly do you have any tips for young creatives entering the music industry?

Get music out there and don’t overthink things. Social media plays a huge role these days so it’s important to have a personal side too.

For now the boys are happy to keep pumping out singles. But will we be graced with an album before year’s end? Watch this space!

Listen to Toe to Toe here

Catch the boys at Snowtunes Friday 31st August - September 1st (Jindabyne)

and at Your Paradise 7th - 13th December (Mamanuca Islands, Fiji)