Navakaine was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. Officially residing in NYC, this young artist focuses considerable attention on the storytelling lyrics. Soon, she’s planning to release a dark-themed Pop album, but meanwhile, you can check out this interview in order to learn more about her career and details of the new song “Skyliner”.
1 — Have things changed since moving to New York City?
Definitely. I had to say goodbye to some of the people I spent a good portion of my teenage years with, I met new people, and I tried to adapt to this city. I’ve definitely experienced more things here than I ever could in Jakarta and Seattle combined.
2 — What’s one of the biggest struggles you have faced as an indie artist?
I’m still pretty unknown now but I guess my music isn’t as commercial as most people would like it to be. I’ve always been a writer before I became a songwriter and a musician, and I always want to prioritize the story-telling aspect of my music. People nowadays have a shorter attention span and that could be hard to lyrics-oriented musicians like me, but that’s why I’m working with producers I know could help me make music that many people would hopefully enjoy.
3 — Why do you prefer to sing in English and not in Indonesian?
My mom spent a few years studying in London, and when she came back, she liked to write poems in English. As I was growing up, she was still writing poems in English, and that was where I got most of my poetic side from. Then when I turned 11, I went to an English-speaking school in Indonesia. For so long, I had to use English to express my thoughts academically and creatively. So English became the most natural language for me to sing in.
4 — How do you manage to have such a beautiful voice?
Thank you! Honestly, I still think that my voice requires a lot more improvements since I haven’t taken vocal lessons in such a long time. But I’d say I’m at a good starting place since I’ve been in various choir groups at my old school, and I also took many vocal lessons when I was growing up.
I grew up listening to Lady Gaga ever since I was 9. She was my first exposure to Pop music and I definitely admire how she always kept her albums conceptual. Like I said before, I was always a story-teller before I became a musician, so anyone in the 21st Century who loves to keep it conceptual is basically my inspiration. The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde are also some of my other inspirations.
6 — What’s the best advice someone from the music industry has ever told you?
Maybe this isn’t an advice, but it’s more of a saying that I still think of until today. My manager told me, “You have to sing your debut single a lot of times, and if you’re lucky, you’d have to sing it for the rest of your life.”
7 — How did you come out with the title of your new single “Skyliner”?
I was inspired by the skylines of Seattle, where I spent my last two years of high school in. When I say “Skyliner,” I mean “A person who flies the skylines.” Almost like an angel, almost.
8 — If you could pick this song as the theme for a movie, what would it be?
This is a hard question! Sleepless in Seattle, maybe? That movie has a fair amount of both Seattle’s and New York’s skylines. The lyrics don’t really match, though. But aesthetically? I think so.
9 — Do you believe the music video portrays a sad story?
I think it’s both sad and hopeful. It’s sad because it shows a girl disoriented after her lover died (a.k.a. the end of a relationship), and like any other relationship, you feel weird and disoriented after it ends. However, the girl also finds her way, and at the end, she’s finally content with being alone and she finds a new love: New York City.
10 — Finally, what kind of songs should we expect on your debut album?
These songs are definitely darker, lyrics-wise, than the songs you would listen to on the radio, but I’d like to think that they’re still catchy. There are ballads, there’s one purely anthemic pop song, there are some dark pop, there’s a bit of everything.