Congratulations on the release of your new single “Wild One”. How does it feel to have it out in the world?
Thank you! Feels great but stressful. I’ve been working on Wild One the longest and every version of it was never quite right until this one so I am really happy with the result, however, after listening to the song so many times over and over again you start losing sense of whether you yourself think it’s good enough so I was pretty much terrified on the release day. It’s been some time now though and the response has been great so it’s time for me to relax a little and enjoy it
Wild One” is a fusion of electronic, pop and even funk sounds. What sounds can we expect on the upcoming album?
The album is actually going to be very different to everything I’ve released so far. It’s a lot more electronic and it’s a lot darker. I want to talk about my bad life experiences in a very raw, metaphorical, and ironic way. I guess it doesn’t really make sense until you hear it. I was always the one to laugh away my trauma. A couple of months ago I said I want to let go of all the bad and move on with my life. This is what I’m planning to do with this album. And honestly, I am writing it for myself more than for anyone else.
I feel like lately all music I hear is very upbeat and happy, it’s similar to the social media phenomena where everyone is trying to act perfect and pretend they’re always happy. I don’t want to pretend though
The ability to create very raw and honest art is what connects your fans with you the most. What are the most important things in the creative process to you?
Well, for one, to write ideas down straight away. I’m in a heightened emotional state most of the time and sometimes my thoughts race to a point where I don’t notice it anymore. I guess I kind of trained my brain to pick out the important stuff and that’s what I note down. Imagine you’re in a very loud, crowded place, like a restaurant or something, and then you hear someone say something, like a word or a sentence, and it stands out to you for some reason in the middle of all the noise. That’s kind of what it feels like
But if I am in a place where I want to sit down and finish a song and I am not actually inspired at all – I switch the lights off, light a candle, open the windows, get a blanket, silence my phone. Like I do everything for myself to be comfortable and as if I’m the only person left in the world. I also take off my watch and if there’s time displayed anywhere I’ll turn away from the display or whatever. One of my biggest fears in life is time, I’m always rushing somewhere in this weird state of panic so it’s important for me to sort of get lost in it in order to move forward comfortably.
What is your take on perfectionism in life and in music?
I have a very toxic relationship with perfectionism. On one end, I am completely imperfect and I never try to pretend to be anyone else but me. I always have messy hair, I wear old band t-shirts, cuss a lot, and make sloppy music! I hate tuning my voice , I hate creating things “by the book” and actually fight a lot about this with my producer haha
To me it doesn’t matter if something is properly done as long as I’m satisfied with the result. I’m a high school drop out, not skilled or educated really for anything I’ve ever done and somehow I worked out fine. This is me and I don’t mind it
When I’m in a bad place I can confuse order with perfectionism. I love order, planning, organising. It keeps me sane. So when I am not in the best mental state I also start perfecting everything because I constantly feel that nothing I do is good enough. Starting with something small like how I laid a cover onto my bed, ending with my job, like music! I can become obsessed with it and it’s like trying to fix your cat eye, you know? You just keep making it worse haha
You used to be a fashion designer and even started your first zero waste clothing brand in Moscow. What do music and fashion have in common?
I guess it depends on where the 2 industries intertwine. Music and fashion are very tied together in terms of business. One can’t survive without another, music at fashion shows, performers wearing designer clothing etc
But other that that I don’t know really. They’re both creative industries. You just create differently. In terms of expressing myself I still prefer music though. I feel like it’s easier and quicker to get your message across in words. Like, I can write a song in an hour if I’m emotional. It’s very therapeutic
How important is sustainable fashion to you?
Too important. I would like to start by saying that I am not perfect myself. I do as much as I can and I don’t personally think anyone can be perfect when it comes to sustainability. If everyone did something small the world would already be a much better place.
After working in sustainable fashion for so long I can’t help but always notice what fashion companies are doing, whether they’re greenwashing or not, how big their impact is really, check the numbers, check the fabric and quality and all. I guess it’s just something that comes naturally to me now. Whenever I buy something I always weight the pros and cons of that specific item. For example, okay maybe the fabric is not so eco-friendly but is the production run small? Maybe it’s up cycled, but was it up cycled from old or new materials? It’s all these little details.
Of course though, I have my guilty pleasures and I do sometimes buy things impulsively, but I also recycle and up cycle things at home. I can go on about this forever to be honest
Point is, fashion is, what, and will be one of the most polluting industries in the world. You need to acknowledge this when buying something. Period
We’re looking forward to your album release and all the new projects in the near future. Where does Nastiya Kai want to be in 5 years from now?
I want to be great at what I do and make an income doing what I love! And hope I don’t lose myself in between
Hopefully in 5 years I will be a lot more skilled with instruments and production and all. I want to tour the world, have fun, even if it’s small little venues that’s still awesome. Every small thing feels like a victory now and so much has changed in my life since I got back to music that I can’t even imagine what’s to come in 5 years. I don’t think that far ahead to be honest, all I know is that I want this to be a full time job and make music forever.