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Interview | Questions & Answers With Zaritza

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Zaritza
With innate talent and good training, Zaritza is an artist to watch out for. Influenced by classical Russian composers and contemporary European electronic producers, her pop music links the new with the old. Scroll down to discover much more about her latest single “Slot Machine”.

1 — First of all, why did you decide to make music in America and not in Russia?

Despite growing up in a very isolated village geographically, I was lucky to be exposed to a variety of music that enriched my life and influenced my own creativity. Much of the music was, of course, Russian, including traditional folk music and the great Russian classical composers — Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Glinka and, by far my favorite of all classical composers, Rachmaninoff. In addition, my father introduced me to American/British pop, rock n’ roll music, ranging from the Beatles to Motown to my all-time favorite rock band, Queen. This music from “the West” was so magnetic; it opened up an entirely different world of musical possibilities for me and led me to focus on pop/rock and later electronic music as an artist in my own right. So when I first came to America as a teenager, I immediately felt energized and inspired to explore the music scene here without compromising my values and my authenticity! I first arrived in America from Russia many years ago, I was extremely fortunate to be introduced to and spend a little time with one of my musical heroes, the legendary songwriter, performer and producer Nile Rodgers, who generously gave me musical and career advice that continues to help me to this day.

2 — What’s something you miss about your homeland?

Aside from my family who is now spending more time with me here in the US, I miss Russian nature – seeing miles of beautiful fields, birch trees, getting lost while mushroom picking, all the simple but often magical things and surroundings of suburban Russia.

3 — Are you musically trained or self-taught?

My arts education, on scholarships, included nine years of both dance school and music school, where I trained in my greatest passion, classical piano. Every year I competed in regional dance and piano competitions, frequently placing first. At age 15, I started composing my own music, combining Russian classical with modern forms popular with my generation. After immigrating to the US, I took piano, music theory and musical theater courses at Rhode Island College, and later studied voice with Kathryn LaBouff, chairperson of the voice department at the Juilliard School.

zaritza interview
4 — What kind of emotions do your tunes give to listeners?

I would hope that my audience connects to my music in their own individual way, finding some reflection of their feelings, desires, experiences or struggles in my lyrics or at least in the tapestry of sounds each tune shows. I love hearing when people find their own meaning to my lyrics and interpret them through their prism of emotions.

5 — What was the creative process behind your new song “Slot Machine”?

I wrote the initial idea on piano (my most common way of writing demo ideas) and then I took it to my friend Chris – collaborator of my new music, a guitar player in all of my live performances in last two years and just an incredible musician overall – and we’ve worked on producing the song together and experimenting with different sounds for a few months. Then, I finished remaining lyrics with my other collaborator/producer and long-term friend Steve who has helped me bring more wild and daring ideas out of me and put the last touches to the song.

6 — What is the deep meaning of a “Slot Machine”?

The title is obviously a play of words, referring to gambling, feeling lucky and free to experience pleasures and deepest desires, even in one night. The concept of the song was originally about exploring sexual fantasies but then it formed into a stronger statement of female sexual confidence, desires, and expression.

7 — Is there any funny anecdote while you were filming the video?

The video shoot was quite ambitious with different scenes involved that all had be done in one night, almost 14 hours of non-stop setting and shooting, so it was very intense and dramatic at times. But the most challenging and funny experience of all was a club dance scene where I had to wear a very heavy costume with chains and belts attached to it, plus the boots! Through sweat and struggle, I was dancing for hours and cursing at myself for creating such crazy wardrobe ideas 🙂

zaritza slot machine
8 — Do you consider yourself a feminist singer?

I do support feminism in many ways that are essential for women to function freely without any constrains and additional challenges that men don’t often face. With “Slot Machine”, I express my desire for women to be less oppressed with regard to their sexuality, to always have a choice and power. I’ve always believed that feminism is about embracing female sexuality and celebrating it, as opposed to denigrating sexually aware and empowered women.

9 — What can we expect from Zarita in the next months?

I am currently in the production of my next EP, which has even more focus on my electro-pop influences and a strong emphasis on the visual aspect for my live performance – including choreography, dancers and video elements. I also am planning on a small UK/European tour this coming Spring which might even take me to my native country, Russia!

10 — Finally, how much have you grown up as an artist through the years?

As you always wish to evolve as a human, I certainly hope to grow as an artist as well! Through pain and happiness, disappointments and inspirations, loss and gain, self-criticism and self-praise, you learn more and more about yourself which is essential to artistic growth!


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Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

Interviews

Exclusive Interview: Jenna x On Debut Single “When The Party’s Over..”

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Jenna x - When The Party's Over..
Jenna x
emerges in 2021 with “When The Party’s Over..” which is an incredible debut single that plays equally as well at the party, at the afterparty, or the next morning. Definitely, the best asset is her melodious singing voice. Scroll down and learn more in this exclusive interview.

1 — First of all, how would you describe your sound?

My sound is constantly evolving within Pop, but it’s more cinematic. I envision each of my songs as a scene from a film and try to capture everything that would be there—the temperature of the sunlight, the scent in the air, the city sounds, and the words that are being spoken.

2 — Why did you pick “When The Party’s Over..” as your debut single?

It was the exact type of sound and message that I wanted to release as my debut single. I also think that it’s a good representation of me as an artist because it’s a song that I really tried to be honest with myself about, as well as the other parts of myself that I am revealing, like my inner thoughts, emotions, and philosophies.

3 — Is this song based on a personal experience?

Yes! The party in my song is both literal and figurative—I, like anyone else, have gone to a party or a large gathering just to fill the emptiness I was feeling inside, only to leave with a greater sense of loneliness. I’ve also felt like I have nowhere to go emotionally, which is the figurative part of the song.

4 — What’s your favorite line from it? Why?

The entire chorus is my favorite part, especially the “will there be anyone to watch me die / someone just shows me how to cry” part. I think they really capture the essence of the song and are the parts where I am the most direct with what I want to say. The second half of the chorus is almost like a cry for help you can’t ever let out.

Jenna x
5 — What came first, the melody or the lyrics?

For me, they usually come together but for this song, the lyrics came first. I had a clear idea of what I wanted the song to be about lyrically and then used the melody to fill in the blanks.

6 — Given the situation the world is in at the moment, do you miss partying?

I’m not the type to usually enjoy large parties, but I do really miss gatherings with my closest friends. But who knows—by the time this is all over I might be dying to go to a huge party.

7 — What makes you different from other singers?

I like to think of my music as very visual—I always try to paint a picture with my music and focus on what the music is painting. Each sound is like a color I use to paint the song, and the way they are delivered are the brushstrokes.


8 — Who did you grow up listening to?

I think I had a lot of phases where I was into different types of music and different artists. I grew up listening to singer-songwriters like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. I was always fascinated with how brilliant and revolutionary their melodies and lyrics were. Later in my teens, I had A Great Big World’s albums on repeat. A part of me is also in love with classical composers, like Elgar and Rachmaninoff. The second movement of Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.

9 — When you’re not at the studio, how do you usually spend your time?

Usually prepping for studio time! But if I’m not working on music, I’ll watch movies or binge a show. Right now I’m on season 4 of Criminal Minds, and it’s been sucking me in. I’ve also been really busy these days with my new release and everything that goes along with it, but I’ll still find time to video chat with my friends and listen to my favorite albums on repeat.

10 — What are your plans for the upcoming months?

Working! I have an EP coming out in February, so I’m prepping for the release and other music that I’ll release during this year. The upcoming EP is part two of the story of loneliness I started telling with “When The Party’s Over..” and the more colorful, visual part of the story, so I’ll be working a lot on perfecting that. I also hope to be wherever I can be with my music, doing whatever I can to express myself through it.


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Dar.Ra Talks Latest Single And Confirms New Album In 2021 — Interview

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new album 2021 interview dar.ra
Following the release of his latest single “Rise Like The Sun” along with its proper EP, Dar.Ra also plans to drop a new album in 2021. ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has been confirmed to be out by the end of January. In this exclusive interview, the British artist talks about the recent single, the most important details on the upcoming album, but also his various side projects, which include his own radio show.

1 – Can you reveal to us the name of your upcoming album?

I have two new projects out, a single called “Rise Like The Sun” with 6 killer remixes. One from Columbia and one from Sri Lanka from a killer Producer called Vidula who did the “Lights” remix from the new kinda normal album.

I did the other mixes which have a tribal House feel and an Ambient 6 am Chill Out mix. All mixes have a Sunshine title, from UK Sunshine mix, Indian Sun mix to Australian, Indonesian, USA, and Columbian mix. It’s all about not being dictated too in your time here and “Rising Like The Sun” every day of your life.

The other project is more of an alias back vibe and is a compilation of slower more Ballad type songs that I have had released over the years. I am doing a radio show called The Kusha Deep Radio show which is going out around the world through various Radio outlets and I did this show which featured some of the laid-back tracks I’ve done and I thought it would make a great album of torchlight songs. The album is 12 tracks long and is titled ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ and is out later this month.

I am also working on a new album of songs for the spring with a new single planned for the first quarter of the year release.

2 – Were there specific things that helped you get creative?

I’m always inspired by life, it’s hard not to be unless you shut off from what’s going on around you. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, I had two singles out “Stand Up For The Heroes”, “Rise Like The Sun” and the ‘Whisky n Honey’ EP plus two remixes out. I also started doing a new project which is now syndicated around the world called The Kusha Deep Radio Show, which started off playing tracks that I had out over the past 25 years.


I also started doing a TV show with a Washington DC-based journalist MJ Godfrey which is a cultural review show looking at things happening in the UK and the USA. I’ve also written the next album to follow up on 2019’s ‘New Kinda Normal’. If you stay open to ideas and let them flow it’s a natural vibe for staying creative.

3 – Are you discovering new sounds on this new record?

I explore different sounds all the time, I’m getting known for merging styles and creating new hybrids like Rock Step a vibe that featured on the ‘New Kinda Normal’ album which mixed the elements of Rock and EDM together which you can feel on tracks like “Nightstepper,” “The Beat” and “Heart Shape Pill.” There’s also a genre called Gothic Soul which you can hear on tracks like “The Lights” and “Whisky n Honey.” I was feeling the Latin vibe on “Rise Like The Sun.”

I wanted something uplifting that holds no allegiance to what’s happening in the charts but has a classic Santana vibe mixed with that Gothic style vocal.

The actual record itself is truly global, the mixes and mastering were done all over the world, the drums recorded in Italy, the Horns in Portugal, the rest in the UK. I love that about the technology vibe that you can work with people everywhere now.




4 – How many tracks will there be on the album?

The album ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has 12 tracks and “Rise Like The Sun” single has 6 mixes on it. The new album will have around 12 tracks on it as well, value for money I say!

5 – What themes will the new album explore?

The new album has some wide themes such as loyalty on a track called “No Time For Tears” which has a cool Rock vibe about it. There’s a track about power struggles with relationships on “Don’t Make Me Beg.” There’s a track about migrants looking for a safe place to call home on “Renegade Serenade.” At the moment, it’s looking very love-oriented in one way or another.

Dar.Ra - Rise Like The Sun - UK Sunshine Mix
6 – Did you collaborate with other artists?

I do work with other artists when the vibe is right. I’m doing a track with a producer called KDX in the UK, a Deep House kinda groove.

7 – What makes your latest single “Rise Like The Sun” special to listeners?

It’s honest, it’s real and it’s played with passion.

8 – What exciting projects can we expect from your label Kusha Deep Records?

All the above and more.

9 – Can you tell us more about your 2021 tour? 


We were supposed to be doing a US tour last year, not sure how things will pan out this year but would be good to get out on the road again for a bit.

10 – The global pandemic forced the music industry to try innovative things. What do you think about private live zoom concerts?

I played Rock the Lockdown back in May and we had a few thousand people all rocking out to the set. I also did a US online tour in the summer which broadcast shows into the venues from my studio. I’ve been doing lots of interviews from Brazil to America, Australia, and the UK online which is ace as you don’t have to drive anywhere. Less hit on the climate and you can hit so many more people with a live stream if it’s set up properly.

Nothing will take the place of a jam in front of people, but I think the live stream is here to say alongside the live gig. I love technology though so it’s all good in my book. Be safe out there and looking forward to partying with you all soon!


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Quickfire Interview With: SOUNDQ

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SOUNDQ Interview

Hailing from Krakow, the cultural capital of Poland, Kuba Kubica aka SOUNDQ carries the flag of innovation when it comes to producing electronic music. The interview below is very clear and gives you a deep insight into his art. Scroll down to read his answers.

1 – You’ve been composing songs since…

Year 2000. The year when computer records got screwed by the two 0s was the year when I started programming a dodgy Korg workstation.

2 – You got involved in the music realm because…

I found it liberating not to have to depict anything. To be able to express what I feel without saying or drawing what it was.

3 – Your sound is…

As incomplete as I am. There’s always at least one element causing some imbalance. You’re never quite sure if it all won’t fall apart.

4 – Your biggest inspiration is…

I am most creative when I’m deadbeat and stressed out. So, in a way, pressure inspires me – or rather makes my creative juices flow faster.

5 – People should listen to your new track “Bad Lot” because…

It offers a glimpse into a complete world – fatalistic, sexy, and dangerous.

6 – If you want to know who SOUNDQ is, listen to the track…

“Bad Lot.” And if you’ve heard it already, give “This Heart” a spin.

7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…

Crossing the Ural Mountains in -30 degrees Celsius to play a death metal gig in Jekaterynburg.

8 – Your dream is…

Long forgotten the moment I wake up.

9 – Your next release is called…

“Disco Turista Antifascista.”


10 – Your all-time favourite track is…

That’s a tough one. I’ll go with “My Kingdom” by Future Sound of London.

11 – Your favourite place to write songs is…

I love coming up with ideas when I’m traveling. Not a lot of occasions for that in 2020 though.

12 – If you weren’t an artist, you’d probably be…

An Instagram influencer pretending he’s a XIXth Century French flaneur. All dressed in epoch clothes doing product placement for travel gear and shit.

13 – You’ll only stop making music if…

I don’t think I have it in me to stop.

14 – In a few years, you want to be…

Able to go out without a mask, play gigs, laugh together with large groups of people. Travel to big cities and get lost wandering through them.

15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?

It’s evening already, so I’m going to be busy writing music till late.


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