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Sonic Alchemy: An Interview with KASIA on Weaving Spirituality into Music

In this enlightening interview with A&R Factory, artist KASIA opened up about her latest single, “Heartstrings,” and its deep-rooted connection to her spiritual journey in music. She reveals how her songs, emerging from personal struggles, have become a sanctuary for healing, with a special focus on the transformative power of specific musical frequencies.

The interview promises an intimate glimpse into her artistic evolution and the profound impact of her music on both personal growth and the collective human experience.

KASIA, welcome to A&R Factory! Can you share the story behind your latest single and music video, “Heartstrings”; where did the inspiration come from? 

“The inspiration behind my latest single and music video, “Heartstrings,” comes from personal experiences, as most of my songs do. The lyrics were born out of a pretty bad relationship, where I found myself struggling with difficult emotions. Throughout my life, music has served as my safe place, providing a certain protection from harsh realities. In many ways, music has been my reality, offering a means of expression and understanding in the face of adversity.”

How has music helped to shape your healing journey? And how important is it for you to light the path towards empowerment for your listeners? 

“Music has played a huge role in my healing journey, serving as a powerful form of catharsis and expression. It’s difficult to fully articulate the transformative effect that music has had on me. There’s a certain magic that occurs when you listen to music in specific frequencies. While most modern music is tuned to 440 Hz, which can sometimes evoke a sense of melancholy, I’ve found that music tuned to 432 Hz resonates more harmoniously with the energy of the Earth. Many older pieces of music were tuned to this frequency, and I tend to use it for my own work, including tuning my healing instruments to 432 Hz.

The impact of music extends beyond mere sound waves; it can deeply affect us on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. For me, creating and listening to music in these frequencies has been a source of profound healing and growth. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to not only share my personal journey through lyrics and music but also to be vulnerable and real with people – hopefully to the effect of empowering my listeners.”

Your goal is to create a spiritual and energising journey through your music. How do you incorporate this intention into your creative process?

“Creating a spiritual and energizing journey through my music is paramount to me. I focus on making empowering lyrics that resonate with listeners on a deeper level. I integrate the ethereal tones of sound bowls into my electronic productions using Ableton. My creative process is deeply intertwined with meditation and spending time in nature, where I find wisdom and inspiration. Through the practice of gnosis, a process of inner exploration and connection with our higher selves and nature, I tap into somewhat hidden creative expression. I want to authentically express myself while offering something meaningful to others on their individual paths. I believe that music serves as a conduit to higher states of consciousness and my goal is to channel that energy and share it with my audience.”

How did you come about developing your unique blend of house, bass house and pop? Were there any particular influences which shaped it? 

“My musical journey has been a fusion of diverse influences. Growing up, I was drawn to pop icons like The Spice Girls and Britney Spears, followed by a deep dive into hip-hop with artists such as Biggie, Tupac, WestSide Connection, Naz, and J Cole during my high school years. As I matured, I became more drawn towards house music. It was during this phase that I connected with the producer of Fan Death, SZAM, who invited me to step in as the lead singer, replacing Dandi Wind. Fan Death’s synth-pop style marked a pivotal moment in my musical evolution.

The more I got to know Vancouver’s music scene, I discovered a blend of techno and house influences. Although I wasn’t initially drawn to techno, I found my niche in Bass House, a genre that merges elements of house, pop, and rap. My journey is driven by a genuine love for music and a desire to create something uniquely mine. Recently, I’ve been particularly drawn to the lyrical style of Caroline Polachek.”

How indicative is “Heartstrings” of what is to come from your debut album? Which other themes does your LP explore? 

“While “Heartstrings” serves as a starting point, it’s just a glimpse of what’s to come with my debut album. I see it as an opportunity to test the waters, to gauge reactions to both my music and the visuals I create. Part of me is inclined to wait until there’s a readiness from the audience, while another part recognizes that significant change often arises from bold actions, regardless of initial readiness. As Theodore Roosevelt aptly said, ‘It’s not the critic who counts.’ So, while “Heartstrings” sets the tone, my debut album will delve deeper into a range of themes, exploring aspects of personal growth, resilience, and the human/spiritual experience.”

Did your transition from being a lead singer in a synth-pop band to becoming a music producer influence your current style? 

“The transition from being the lead singer of a synth-pop band to stepping into the role of a music producer has profoundly shaped my artistic trajectory. Fan Death was my first experience writing and recording professional music. I learnt what a DAW was and how to use it! Fan Death truly served as a pivotal chapter in my musical evolution.

Despite the stylistic differences between synth-pop and my current direction, I owe a great deal to SZAM, the creator and producer of Fan Death. The band imparted invaluable knowledge and skills. Looking back, Fan Death was ahead of its time, and I often reflect on the synchronicities and patterns that have guided my journey towards future endeavors.”

You’ve had your fair share of high-profile live performances; do you prefer writing music or performing and seeing first-hand the effects of your music on your fans? 

“Thank you for the question! It’s a tough call because I genuinely love both aspects. On one hand, there’s nothing quite like the energy of performing live and connecting with fans face-to-face. Witnessing firsthand the impact my music has on them is truly special. But then, there’s also something incredibly fulfilling about being in my element – in the studio, wearing my glasses and hoodie, lost in the creative process of making music. I find joy in every aspect of my artistry, including dreaming up music videos and bringing my vision to life through visuals.”

As a delegate of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, what insights have you gained about the music industry?

“Just being around other artists pursuing similar goals is such an amazing experience. The most profound insight I’ve gained revolves around the power of community within the music industry. Coming from a small town where artistic pursuits were rare, I often felt isolated in my passion for music. However, being surrounded by other artists who share similar aspirations has been so refreshing. The opportunity to connect with full-time artists who understand the language of creativity has been incredibly inspiring. It’s a reminder that I’m not alone in this journey and that there’s this supportive community, rallying behind each other’s artistic pursuits.”

Stream KASIA’s latest music video on YouTube now.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

NY’s Cindy Rees turned on the ‘Effervescent Light’ in her latest EDM pop release

Cindy Rees’ standout single, ‘Effervescent Light’, is a vibrant testament to the power of healing in music. Clocking in at just under two minutes, this New York-based singer and dancer turns every second into a pulsating celebration of sound and spirit. Rees, who found her voice in the bustling cityscape of NYC, channelled her passion for dance and songwriting into a track that radiates positivity and energy.

The song is a kaleidoscope of genres, seamlessly blending elements of trance and house with pop sensibilities. It’s a bold move, but Rees navigates this eclectic mix with the ease of a seasoned artist. The beats are snappy, creating a rhythmic pulse that forms the backbone of the track. It’s this foundation that allows the rest of the musical elements to shine.

Rees’ Bollywood-esque vocal range is nothing short of phenomenal as she harmonises over the commanding bass-swathed beats. Her voice doesn’t just traverse different pitches; it explores a spectrum of emotions.

With some honing to her production style, she has some serious promise in the music industry.

Effervescent Light was officially released on January 5th; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Goshok’s Make It Right is a Tropic House Triumph of Fervid Soul and Blistering Hot Beats

Goshok started his latest tropic house pop hit, Make It Right, with an instant hook to cleanly cut through the layers of sound and instantaneously leave a lasting impression. From there on out, Make It Right is a masterclass in how to arrange tension and release; from the transcendence in the oscillating builds to the bursts of euphoria in the breaks, every progressive twist and turn will lead you further into the genius of Goshok. The scintillatingly curated sonics amplify the visceralism within the lyricism and vocals, which scorch with the heat of an old flame that you can’t bring yourself to reduce to ash and embers.

At 27 years old, the Czech producer, DJ and songwriter has effortlessly surpassed his influences and definitively come into his own as an EDM artist. If he keeps producing tracks in the same flawlessly deeply affecting vein as Make It Right, which will make you move and move you simultaneously, there’s no reason he can’t be bigger than his greatest influence, Kygo – especially as he will continue to drop hits throughout 2024.

The official video for Make It Right premiered on January 5th. Stream the video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Oscar Hoset serenaded the twilight in his progressive house pop hit, Evening People (A Midnight Rhapsody)

After making a name for himself as a cover artist, the Norwegian luminary, Oscar Hoset, has illuminated the night with his debut single Evening People (A Midnight Rhapsody).  If you want to hear the liberation of hedonism reflected through luscious progressive house pop hooks, hit play and brace yourself for the infectious momentum of the polished production that strides far past the cusp of contemporary dance-pop.

Oscar Hoset didn’t just stay in own lane with Evening People (A Midnight Rhapsody), he entered a completely new stratosphere while appealing to fans of Avicii, Kygo, and Martin Garrix with his debut which could easily be the most promising new entry in the dance-pop arena in 2024. At just 22 years old, he’s already perfected the art of infusing visceral rapture into his productions. We can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Evening People (A Midnight Rhapsody) was officially released on January 19th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Maze Of Afflictions launched a tumultuous Electro House juggernaut with ‘Step Outside The Silence (89Keys Remix)’

Maze of Afflictions’ latest Electro House offering, Step Outside the Silence, is a tempestuous and ground-breaking track that redefines the boundaries of electronica. It’s a sonic odyssey that demands attention and captivates the listener from the first beat to the last.

The track begins with an electrifying energy, taking glitchy motifs and elevating them to a monumental level. The result is a tumultuous juggernaut of sound that is both overwhelming and utterly irresistible. Maze of Afflictions demonstrates a masterful understanding of the genre, pushing the limits of Electro House while paying homage to the heavy trip-hop tracks and industrial sounds of acts like Celldweller.

The unexpected and brilliantly executed rap interludes are a broadside that transforms the entire dynamic of the song while adding a raw, gritty edge that complements the electronic backdrop perfectly. This fusion of genres is seamless, creating a track that is as innovative as it is infectious.

The track’s volatile yet cathartic progression is a rollercoaster of sound that is impossible to experience just once. While electrifying nature makes it a seductive and sublime journey through sound. The Atlanta-based producer has created a piece that is superlative in every sense, from its intricate production to its powerful delivery.

Step Outside the Silence showcases Maze of Afflictions’ exceptional talent and unique vision, marking them as a force to be reckoned with in the EDM scene.

Step Outside The Silence (89Keys Remix) will drop on the 31st of January; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Darth Athena took us into the depths of techno’s shadow with ‘Black Mojo’

Dark Athena’s tempestuous latest release, Black Mojo, plunges into the depths of techno’s shadow. With its monochromatic palette, this piece from the Atlanta-based producer is a bold foray into the heart of darkwave electronica, where precision and chaos dance in a delicate balance.

Darth Athena, the architect behind this auditory odyssey, weaves a tapestry of sound that reflects his eclectic musical upbringing. From the pulsating beats of EDM to the haunting echoes of darkwave and the rhythmic complexity of jazz and R&B, Black Mojo is the culmination of a lifetime spent in the company of diverse genres.

The track’s progression is a masterclass in tension and release. Each beat is meticulously crafted, ebbing and flowing with a rhythm that seems to sync with your heartbeat. For seven minutes, you are lost in a world where time bends to the will of the music. The laser-like strobes and sci-fi motifs add a layer of dynamism, yet it’s the relentless, hypnotic beats that anchor you in Darth Athena’s universe.

Black Mojo will do more than just fill dancefloors; it will command them. It’s a siren song for the night, calling out to those who find solace in the pulsating heart of techno. As the final beat fades, you’re left with an insatiable hunger for more – a testament to the enduring power of Darth Athena’s musical alchemy.

Black Mojo was officially released on January 19; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Desire oscillates through MXY’s latest hypnotic house anthem, Since I Met You

MXY, a trailblazing artist hailing from Bradford, UK, has once again demonstrated her unparalleled prowess in blending genres with her latest hypnotic house single Since I Met You. The track is a masterclass in musical alchemy, seamlessly fusing MXY’s innovative house and garage influences with the sultry undertones of contemporary R&B. It’s a potent testament to her evolution as an artist, producer, and songwriter since she began her journey at the tender age of fourteen.

Since I Met You is imbued with an intense, fervent desire that is almost tangible. MXY’s skill in crafting a fiery anthem is evident as the song oscillates, capturing the transformative power of desire. This transformation is not just lyrical but also musical, as the track delves deep into the core of our emotional spectrum.

The true genius of the track lies in its ability to ensnare the listener’s rhythmic pulses as captivatingly as it compels you to surrender your emotions and kneel at the altar of the progressions. The vocal lines are a force, ensuring that you feel the gravity of the emotion conveyed. Each note pulls you deeper, immersing you in an impeccably polished transcendence that is both uplifting and introspective.

MXY’s background, collaborating with industry stalwarts like Chad Dexter and Elliot James, shines through in the production quality of Since I Met You. As she continues to evolve and expand her horizons, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation for what she will bring in her debut album.

MXY’s debut album will drop on February 1st, 2024; stream the title single on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lana Oniel reached the pinnacle of cerebral electro-pop with her darkly ensnaring sophomore single, hypothalamus

After finding her fire in the City of Angels, Lana Oniel put the devil on her shoulder to release her darkly ensnaring sophomore single, hypothalamus, which reaches the pinnacle of cerebral electro-pop.

The moodily spectral release seductively defies the pop mould with a vocal delivery which finds a way to stylise histrionic eccentricity and a beat that consistently switches, never allowing you to feel complacent in the aesthetic. hypothalamus wasn’t orchestrated to entice you into comfort; Oniel efficaciously used her early years in musical theatre to confront her rapidly growing audience with an earworm which makes no bones about using its claws to sink into your synapses.

If you can imagine meeting Lady Gaga in a dark and nefarious dream soundtracked by Melleefresh and Chelsea Wolfe, you’ll get an idea of what awaits when you delve into this perfect follow-up to Oniel’s debut, Hard Just to Be.

Hypothalamus was officially released on November 2nd. Stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

DJ Homeboy & Kay Law brought hedonistic hypnotism to the dancefloor with their hit, 2 in 1

DJ Homeboy and Kay Law brought rhythmic hypnotism to the dancefloor with their collaboration on the high vibe, big beat hit, 2 in 1, which reimagines the 90s Europop sound as one that oscillates with an unapologetically infectious brand of hedonism that draws you right into the heat of the wanton lust.

The snappy backbeat and Afrobeat nuances keep the energy electrifying through the progressions which get catchier with every repeat listen for the way they bolster the earwormy vocal delivery from the Nigerian British singer-songwriter who can often be found genre-bending to contort her distinctively impassioned sonic signature.

We can’t wait to see the boundaries that Kay Law is set to break in 2024 and beyond after her hits have received plaudits and airplay from BBC Introducing in Summer 2022. Watch this space to see the major waves she brings down on the UK pop scene she’s destined to reign over.

2 in 1 was officially released on October 27; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

JANAYAH & Marcus Wiles brought euphoria to the dancefloor with their liberating EDM anthem, NOTHING TO LOSE

With their tantamount talent, the debut single, NOTHING TO LOSE, from the emerging vocalist and lyricist JANAYAH and EDM producer Marcus Wiles, who are both enrolled in the prestigious BRIT School in London studying music and production, respectively, is a radio-ready affirmation that whether they’re honing their collaborative chemistry or going solo, they’ll both have an illustrious career ahead of them.

The way the tension and emotion-fraught stabs of piano keys under JANAYAH’s stridently pitch-perfect vocals lead up to a mind-bendingly liberating drum n bass-drenched EDM crescendo signed, sealed, and delivered a promising future for the duo.

Their reverence for EDM and ability to emanate the same meticulous song-crafting flair as the likes of Calvin Harris, 3LAU, ChrisLake, Joel Corry, David Guetta, and Tiesto, will leave you on a knife edge as sharp as the hooks.

Once the monolithic momentum grips you, you’ll be at the mercy of the powerhouse duo. We can’t wait to hear the sophomore release after getting to grips with the transcendent debut, which could easily be considered the strongest EDM debut in 2023.

NOTHING TO LOSE is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast