by the partae
Where are you currently based?

The city of cyberpunk vibes and neon signs; my home away from home… Tokyo, Japan. What’s good?

How did you first start playing music?

Technically I used to play the flute quite diligently in my elementary school band but my real interest in music developed when I was going through a period of writer’s block in my late teens. No poetry was coming out, so I decided I needed a new outlet to express myself or I was going to combust. Then I discovered DAW’s and made little secret songs on my Apple Laptop with loops, beats and samples. It wasn’t until 2017 when I had a keyboard workshop in college where I really started to learn about music theory. A lovely professor from Yamanashi taught me about chords and how to play Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra. Finally in 2018 I got myself an Akai Mini and I was just blown away by the limitless possibility of musical creation. I’m telling you, it felt like the sky was the limit!

What’s been happening recently?

I just got my very first gig to perform my original music in the coming months and I am so nervous yet excited. Something about singing songs that I personally wrote as opposed to acting as somebody else just sends chills up my spine. But I think that’s what turns me on, because creativity is a high-risk energy. Will I fail or fly?

Your new single ‘Rise’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

More like who. My producer and homegirl is an artist from Russia who goes by the title MILIAH but I call her by her first name, Emilia. She has been a wonderful creative collaborator and business partner whom I trust. I sent her a demo which had a street-like Travis Scott beat and she transformed it into this mystical, dream indie-pop, shoegaze rock hybrid that blew my mind. “This is how I imagine your song,” she told me. I just adored the little details she added to it which made it sound otherworldly, and I’ve been blown away by people’s response to it which has been overwhelmingly positive.

Often during our production phase, she asks me: “What do you want?” which instantaneously puts me in touch with my true desires for my art. Every instrument and effect is chosen just for me, and I fall in love with music a little harder. God do I need my guitars and 808’s! I’ve learnt a lot about communicating my artistic vision effectively to others which is a skill. It can get really specific sometimes, and leaves no room for “oh yeah that’s fine.” Nobody needs that. What is expected of me is to be nothing short of a bad bitch who knows what she wants and how to get it.

How did you go about writing Rise?
There is a book that has become my Bible. It’s called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path towards Higher Creativity. In it, it has an exercise called Morning Pages where we’re supposed to write 3 pages straight from one’s stream of consciousness into a notebook. This is done to kill the censor within, or the inner critic, which had dominated my life for years. I didn’t even know if I was a real artist. I judged myself and my work too heavily to even create, let alone show people what I made. But once I was able to put pen to paper with no B.S excuses getting in my way, I began to write dozens of songs like never before. I had made music in the past, but not quite like that. I lost my mind and broke down crying in the process. I was a force of nature; a wildfire or a hurricane. The Dark Night of the Soul that I endured for months to see my end goal, which was creating a body of work, come into fruition was not in vain.

I finally emerged like a classic Phoenix from the ashes, and that’s when I wrote the lyrics to Rise in my journal at what must have been 3AM.

Where and when did you record?
It wasn’t until the end of November 2020 where I was half-alive yet somehow more fiery and alive than I’d ever been.

I was in my bedroom recording Rise on my phone. I didn’t even have a home studio back then, and this jerk producer told me that he’d stalk me like ‘A’ from the TV show Pretty Little Liars, sarcastically wished me good luck and that I wouldn’t find anyone to work with me and my ‘pseudo’ talent. I swear that just made me work ten times harder. Another producer whom I looked up to didn’t really respond to my request when I asked for the STEMS to his beats, unfortunately. But being told no is not the end. No is just the beginning of a creative career. I’ve gotten immune to it. There is a saying that rejection is God’s protection and that there is a better plan for you. So I don’t get disheartened anymore at seemingly lost opportunities. It’s important to never lose sight of the end goal and keep going no matter what.

These guys led me to think: “Why are there so many male producers? No shade, but where are the women in music? I want to work with a female creative in particular.” It was through the internet I googled specific communities and found She Is The Music, and it was there I was able to connect with Emilia. I listened to her song Wild and loved the production on it, so I reached out to her via Instagram DM’s. So in the end, I’m thankful for the doors that closed on me. I’m lucky to have built my goddess gang since then.

How did you approach the recording process?

It was honestly very simple, smooth and straightforward. Since I didn’t even own a mic back then, I actually just recorded three vocal takes on my Android phone (which goes to show how much technology has advanced) and emailed it to Emilia’s friend Dmitriy, who did the mixing and mastering on the track. It was as though all the obstacles that I had faced were finally removed and things started opening up for me.

How did the concept for the music video come about?

I thought I was going to leave Japan in May, so I wanted to capture the essence of the title ‘The Land of The Rising Sun’ by putting in a sunrise. We had the idea to shoot one day at night, and another during the day to showcase the video moving from darkness to light which is what the song is about.

Where did you film and who did you work with?

Through a Facebook group for filmmakers & videographers in Tokyo, I was able to connect with Guillaume Tauveron, a French director & filmmaker who was so sweet, kind and hilarious. Since he has shot in all the popular locations, we wanted to go somewhere unique so we shot at Makuhari Beach which was so much fun and made me grateful to be this free-spirited independent artist filming by the ocean. I want that beautiful time back. I used to fantasize about making a music video since FOREVER. It’s a dream come true not only to have made one but also put it on YouTube and have my own little artist channel. I used to pray for this. I’m really lucky.

You have an EP coming soon, please tell us about it:
YES! Some of my favourite rappers and rockstars have had alter ego’s like Megan Thee Stallion’s Tina Snow and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. I wrote this song called Heart Candy which has S-A-S-S-Y lyrics like “you’ll never find a girl like me I’m hard to replace.” I was like, who is this girl? Sasha Fierce? There is a cute yet dangerous dolly sound on it that made me come up with a name for my very own alter ego & EP title Gothic Lolita Gem, which is more inspired by the Japanese fashion style than Nabokov’s novel. I don’t think I need a persona to create music, though. Everything is 100% me. I’m a shapeshifter though, so that might confuse people. One day I’m like a noir film and another I’m technicolor. I’m constantly changing, like a chameleon.

I’ve experimented with a lot of different sounds and styles on the EP and I have a feeling I’ll always be doing that. I can’t wait to release it! Stay tuned for it to drop sometime this year.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Eve’s album Scorpion. I was born in the late 90’s so I’ve been having nostalgia for 00’s music. The track Stronger by Kanye West. I’m on some what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger type of energy. A Little Bit Dangerous by CRMNL, because I’ve been in villain mode after people came for my neck and failed. And I think the duo RHYME SO are sick. Their 360 video for ‘Hot’ with the virtual club was a visual experience to remember.

What do you like to do away from music?

The social isolation of the pandemic has really put me in an introspective state for the last 18 months. During this time I’ve become a 200 Hour YTT Kundalini Yoga practitioner which has brought me a lot of inner peace along with Deepak Chopra and Alicia Keys’ Divine Feminine meditation series. That reminds me, I need to complete my goddess Kali yoga challenge! She is a Hindu deity that embodies Shakti and despite her associations with death, doomsday, sexuality and violence, she is actually considered to be the loving mother of the universe. I am all about spirituality, liberation and raising consciousness. But I’m not one of those fake good vibes only type of people. I’m a lightworker and a shadow healer.

I love manifestation candles, crystals, divination, essential oils etc. I used to hide that side of me because I was scared people wouldn’t take me seriously, but I’ve learnt that when I step into alignment with my authenticity and everything I thought was ‘weird’, that’s where my people are. Spiritual babes are some of my favourite kinds of people because I know they’re committed to personal growth. I almost decided not to pursue music in favor of a more strictly truth-seeking path like a tantrika or a dakini, whom I have been told I was in a past life, until I remembered a quote by Marilyn Manson: “Music is the strongest form of magic’. My vibration increases tenfold when I’m creating songs – it’s so much fun!

What’s planned for the remainder of 2021?

I signed up for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s one year program this March so I’ll be continuing to study the modules for that course. Plus I just sent in my college applications for the fall semester so I’m hoping things go according to plan during these unprecedented times. I’m also learning how to DJ.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Your girl is a true foodie who loves to travel. I just had the most delicious butter prawns and chilli crab from Singapore Seafood Republic for Father’s Day so I’m still basking in that post-meal glow. I am flirting with Ayurvedic recipes since I’m trying to up my wellness, but if you would have asked the old me, I’d have probably said strawberries with Godiva chocolate and Italian spaghetti. Things are slowly changing now. I switched up my pasta in favor of zucchini noodles, or affectionately called ‘zoodles’ which I thought were pretty delicious.

The pandemic has me fenced in, so when I’m craving fresh air I like to go to Kasai Rinkai Park and chill near the water and BBQ tables.


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