IN CONVERSATION WITH AKIRA GALAXY
Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari & Jana Letonja
Dream-pop newcomer Akira Galaxy released the hypnotic video for her haunting single ‘Teardrop’ yesterday.The 23-year-old singer cut her teeth as a musician while fronting high school bands in Seattle, having been steeped in eclectic music by her family since she was a toddler. In her songwriting and performance, she combines the grit and attitude of the alt-rock of her hometown, where she often retreats to write, with a sleeker, more transatlantic aesthetic.
Akira, you are a 23–year-old upcoming singer from Seattle. For our readers, who didn’t get the chance to know you yet, how would you describe your musical style?
I’d say it’s alternative indie rock with dreamlike, stargaze elements. I’ve always been drawn to warm and full spacey sounds.
How did you get started in music? Is music a family thing to you?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It’s definitely a family thing. I grew up surrounded by music and digging through my parents’ records. I went to an art centric grade school where I played half a dozen instruments, then later in high school played in bands and worked at Easy Street Records. But I really started dialing in my sound the past few years, living and playing shows in Los Angeles.
In March 2023, you released your debut single ‘Virtual Eyes‘, a very successful hypotonic debut. Can you tell us more about this song? How excited were you to release it?
‘Virtual Eyes’ was about the longing for something out of reach. It was so exciting and definitely one of the best days of my life to finally share my music with the world.
‘Virtual Eyes‘ is inspired by your own experience of love during the pandemic. Would you say that the songwriting process is a cathartic way, a kind of therapy maybe?
Songwriting and music in general is definitely my therapy and main way of processing my emotions. I can’t think of a better way of tapping into my subconscious and it always comes out through the music, even if I don’t realize it until years later.
What emotions do you want listeners to feel when they hear it?
I want them to feel hopeful or coming to peace with reality. Maybe finding a sense of relief that someone else has similar experiences or thoughts.
Your new single ‘Teardrop‘ is a cover of a Massive Attack hit, from their album ‘Mezzanine‘. What convinced you to cover this song? Is it a song you used to listen to when you were younger and holds a special meaning to you?
Definitely. My dad turned me onto Massive Attack and my mom turned me onto Cocteau Twins when I was a kid. I’ve always been a big Cocteau Twins fan and Elizabeth Fraser’s vocal style has always really resonated with me, so their collaboration was a perfect medley of what I grew up around.
Why did you choose to shoot the video for ‘Teardrop‘ in Paris? How did the city inspire your vision?
The mystery of the song, combined with the ethereal elements reminds me of French noir films. And I think the layout of Paris with its dark alleys, high vantage points and winding staircases lends itself to the idea of running away from yourself.
The video is shot in black and white? What was behind the decision to film it in black and white?
Definitely French noir films. Shooting in black and white creates a sense of mystery and emphasizes the transition from lightness to darkness.
Directors Silken Weinberg and Angela Ricciardi used light and shadow to give the video a captivating effect. What was it like to work with such directors?
It was a dream. They’re some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. I couldn’t have asked for more like-minded people to collaborate with.
At Numéro, we promote art in all its forms and we are passionate about music. But we are above all a fashion magazine. Does fashion have a special place in your personal life and in your life as a singer?
Fashion is a form of emotional expression to me. I’ve gone through many different phases of what I like and it usually is based around films that I’m inspired by or the people I’m surrounded by at the time. On the ‘Virtual Eyes’ video I was fortunate enough to have a custom piece designed by my friend Alberto Sciagata. Our intention was to create something that felt timeless, but also authentic to who I am, which is why we chose the silver bodysuit.
We can’t wait to hear your future songs, from your upcoming debut EP. Can you tell us more about this upcoming album and your other future projects?
This upcoming EP was done with Chris Coady and Sam Westhoff. It represents a short period of my life when we were all locked in our basements and then coming back to reality. For the future, I’m playing more shows in LA and am really looking forward to getting on the road and getting better as a band. I’m just starting to work on the next album and collaborating with some people I’m really excited about.
photography SILKEN WEINBERG & ANGELA RICCIARDI