Brighton-based artist Katja pulls influence from a life immersed in music and its culture, and she draws strength from a contentious heartbreak and uses music as a creative release of emotion.
As she outlines in our chat below, she’s not afraid of pushing musical boundaries, and we’re proud to premiere her latest track High which walks the line of her influences. Produced alongside Brighton-based creative Intent, you get flavours of a myriad of deep electronic genres neatly woven together to provide the perfect space for Katja to flex her wildly expressive voice that’s wrought with emotion.
We caught up with her to get an insight into her creative process:
Hello Katja! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. To start with, how would you describe your own sound?
Hello! I would describe it as electronic soul. Melancholic jazz, and soul-inspired vocal tones, blended with the darker underground sounds of dub, dubstep, garage, drum & bass and trip hop. And a little bit of cheek and sweetness splashed in every now and then too.
We’re loving High, can you give us some of the background to the creative process behind it?
I was playing around with some chords and I started singing ‘Do you want to get high’ over the top, kind of mucking about. Then I thought, actually it’s more serious… sometimes I get high! I put a vid of me playing the chords on Instagram, and Intent my producer picked them up and was keen to work on something with me. At first I was weary about putting it out there, like because of certain jobs and people and their reaction but then I thought, I have to be honest in my music, and taking drugs and hedonism has been such a big part of my musical life (clubbing and whatnot). I don’t want to shy away from that, and I think the stigma around certain drugs needs to change as well – the whole approach to drugs does. I’ve always been sensible and safe, hedonism has simply been a release for me, sometimes a creative one at that.
I understand that heartbreak is a huge influence to your music as a creative release of emotion, can you speak any more to that?
In a nutshell, I was betrayed and deserted by someone I lived with and who was my world. I fell apart for a while, then music recused me and I sang my way through the muckiness. I didn’t know how much I loved it until then, I had to do it, And now, I only sing about what is real and true to me, because of the massive respect I have for music… I hope that comes through in my voice.
You wear a lot of your musical influences on your sleeve, but what influences your music that we won’t expect?
I listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell growing up. I think the poetry and honesty in her lyrics and voice always stays with me. Joni never gets old. Other than that, I meditate a lot and have an interest in consciousness, existence, spirituality, and so on. I think this has an influence on my music now.
Can you tell us something about yourself that we won’t know already?
Music wise, when I was 21 I sung on a Swahili hip hop track with some Kenyan rappers when travelling in Mombasa. I sadly never got a copy but I think it was all right! Such a cool experience though. Otherwise, I am half German from my mother’s side…one day I hope to sing a track in German but my German could be so much better!!
What next can we expect from Katja? What do we have to look forward to?
So just today I started building my second track with Intent. I’m working towards an EP which I’m hoping to release for my birthday in November so I can have a double excuse to have a massive party ha! I’m also working here and there with a couple of other producers, going to keep the tracks coming now, different flavours too. I’ll be putting a band together soon to so I can bring my tracks into a live setting. watch this space!