AZRA Looks To Spread Light, Hope & Joy With Her Music Check Out Our Interview With The Pop Sensation And Listen To Her Latest Single "Hell & Back"!
LOS ANGELES, CA- One of the last featured artists that Blurred Culture was able to host at Madame Siam for our Saturday night showcases was the amazingly talented, pop songstress AZRA. She caught our ear with her catchy, 2018 single “Dimension”, which was co-written and produced by Grammy-winning artist Jamie Jones and his production partner Matt Wong. That track hit the top spot on the Digital Radio Airplay Charts for two consecutive weeks, which is no small feat… and really no surprise, as it’s a thumping dance track that’s hard to forget.
Her live performance for us was exhilarating. With her friends and fans in tow, she got the turned the room up to another level with her energetically inspired performance. Much fun was had… and the odds are good that she earned herself plenty of new loyal fans.
AZRA released her last single, “Hell & Back”, at the end of last month, and listening to it brings me back to the exciting times we had at the end of February in the club. Clean and smart production, pristine vocals, and an undeniable dance groove gives “Hell & Back” its staying power, and make me long to have her working up a storm in the club someday soon.
Blurred Culture was able to connect with AZRA recently, and we talked a little bit about the new track, how creating art has been during the COVID 19 pandemic, and what the future holds for her and her art.
You were one of the last performances we were able to host at Madame Siam before the pandemic started. That was such a fun night. You really brought the heat to the room, and the club was really feeling it.
You are absolutely right! It was definitely a poppin’ show and I remember the night so vividly. I had the best time performing at Madame Siam before the quarantine. It was the release show for my last single “Dangerous” and one of my last live in-person performances before the pandemic started. You guys were seriously the best hosts that night and I remember how the room slowly started to fill up as I was waiting in the green room. I remember the noise of the crowd, feeling of the venue, the sound of my crew setting up the stage with my gold “6th Dimension” box I brought in, my guitarist and drummer prepping their instruments while the Djs, sound engineers, and you, the host & photographer were getting ready to kick off the night.
What was going on in your mind? Pre-show nerves? Anticipation?
I remember right before going up to perform thinking, ‘wow all these people showed up to have a good time and enjoy my show- I gotta give them an experience they can carry out into their day today, I gotta leave it all on the stage and give everyone the best kick off show of 2020.’ The packed room was filled with great energy. I remember feeling totally one with the crowd and by the end of my set I was feeling euphoric, thinking to myself: 2020 is off to a great start. It’s going to be a great year and I just gotta keep going, strut forward, face the ups and the downs fearlessly with my extreme optimism.
This new single that you’ve dropped, “Hell & Back”, was this a song you wrote pre-quarantine?
I actually wrote “Hell & Back” pre-quarantine when I was reflecting on all of the ups and downs I’ve faced as an artist and human throughout my life … I walked into the studio one day thinking about a setback I was dealing with which led me to think of other things that I had to overcome to get to where I am now. Then I started reminiscing about my life growing up in the Bay Area as a Korean Immigrant, moving to Boston for school, living in New York City then eventually finding my way to my home, LA. All of the reminiscing made me realize how much I’ve grown and how every challenge or setback I faced along the way actually got me to bounce back even higher. I realized that I am who I am because of all the experiences and lessons I’ve had and that I should continue to trust the process and be proud of my journey. That’s how “Hell & Back” came to life … Fast forward to now, pandemic and quarantine, I think the biggest thing we need to have for ourselves is hope. I felt that “Hell & Back” is a song that can bring people light, hope, acceptance, and empowerment. Instead of rejecting and falling victim to the uncontrollable darkness that seems to surround us everywhere this year in every way, let’s accept all of that and still choose to get up every morning, have hope and strut forward. Ignorance is a temporary bliss: Acknowledgement and acceptance are harder, but it’s the permanent gateway to bliss.
So “Hell & Back” is pre-pandemic… how has your creative process been during these current times… I can’t imagine it being necessarily conducive to the creative process.
My creative process during this pandemic has been interesting, a new territory filled with unknowns, ups, and downs, but mostly positive and cleansing overall. This pandemic has forced me to slow down and get centered while still figuring out ways to strut forward with my life. When it comes to my music, I most often write when I am going through something deep, challenging, emotional, or when I am in the process of realizing & coming out of those experiences… So I guess in that sense the pandemic ignited my creativity… Being forced to spend time in quarantine has pushed me to confront the unsettled thoughts that I wasn’t aware of and solidify the good feelings. Social Distancing definitely made me discover new perspectives and insights about myself and the world as a whole. I also feel more motivated to dig deeper into my feels, inspired to understand others better and challenge myself to make music that is even more authentic to me and my experiences. I created a genre called Substance Pop awhile back and I think I am definitely stripping away another layer of me when I’m creating new music during this pandemic.
I’m assuming that the music will keep on coming… and what else can we expect from AZRA for the rest of the year?
In terms of what’s to come for the rest of the year, I definitely plan to release much more music in the next coming months. I’ve also been learning a lot about my fans and supporters this year connecting with them about all things year 2020 has presented to us and I truly adore and appreciate them. They inspire me and lift me up when I feel down. Hence, my biggest goal and focus for the rest of this year for me is to continue to find ways to spread light, hope, joy, and execute them. They are the reason I do what I do so I want to do my part at giving them the Substance Pop music they expect. So stay tuned.