Nastiya Kai, a rising pop artist, made a startling entry with her gripping track “Bury Me,” which was published on October 27th, 2023. The music, which serves as a preview to her projected debut album in early 2024, has received over 141,500 listens, catapulting her into the spotlight. Nastiya Kai, located in Moscow, Paris, Los Angeles, and New York, is self-taught and inspired by artists such as David Bowie and Billie Eilish. With sparse ambient instrumentation and haunting vocals, “Bury Me” tackles themes of misdirected guilt and inner anguish, and Nastiya Kai describes it as an emotional rollercoaster.


Your single “Bury Me”, has been described as dark and hypnotic exploring themes of misplaced guilt and inner turmoil. Can you share more about the song and its evolution during the creative process? 

Of course! Bury Me is the first song my producer and I ever worked on together. In a way, the song just happened. We were playing around with some beats and melodies and it all started with the “I should’ve seen it coming”. This line came from a mini diary entry I found on my phone that I wrote on a day when I was feeling very low and blamed myself for not having foreseen the “low”. Reading this brought so many strange emotions back and I decided to channel this into music. I let myself truly go where I wanted to go, I thought of everything that’s ever hurt me and made a story out if it, and that set the tone for a songwriter I’m growing into now. I also never really considered that I could have an electronic sound. That’s something my producer introduced to me. I love how “Bury Me” has both country and electronic elements. Generally in life, I love mixing things that shouldn’t work together into something new so I’m glad I got to also do that with music. 

As a self-taught musician, how has your journey from playing piano at a young age to now releasing singles shaped your musical style and approach to songwriting? 

Being self-taught or even not being so great at something has numerous advantages. For the longest time, I barely knew music theory so I’d base everything on sound alone without even understanding whether I structured the melody correctly, I didn’t understand what a scale is so I didn’t worry too much about chords and I’d just write. I know this sounds terrible but think of how many gorgeous paintings are out there that portray a human but have nothing to do with the actual human anatomy. Now that I’m better I’m able to work off these bits and pieces of knowledge I have and build tracks that aren’t perfect on purpose. I still rely on my ears more than anything, the only difference is now I know when to stop without making a song sound too crazy. 

Your sound has been compared to artists like Caroline Polachock and suburban, yet you draw inspiration from various genres and musicians. How do you blend these influences to create your unique sonic journey? 

I let myself create freely. Like I previously said, I don’t have any boundaries. Because I listen to so many different genres I have this endless library of sounds in my head. Normally when I write a song I already know what its primary mood or aesthetic will be and build from there. I let the song guide me. The writing process is so magical, that I never really overthink it. 

What prompted your decision to release “Bury Me” as a teaser for your forthcoming debut album? How does this single represent the overall theme or sound of the album? 

The album wasn’t in the works yet when I released “Bury Me”. I’ve been wanting to work on an album, I had lots of rough ideas, themes, and melodies here and there but I couldn’t come up with anything solid enough. It all felt very rushed and almost forced almost like I was trying to come up with this universe on paper instead of asking myself what story I actually wanna tell.“Bury Me” gave me that story. This song allowed me to be true to myself, writing this made me realize that I don’t have to stick to a genre or a writing style necessarily, I can just be myself and do what feels right. Somehow, writing this track felt so freeing that afterward I just kept going and the album happened. “Bury Me” is very honest, a little dark, and unexpected, this is exactly what the album will sound like. Very unpredictable in the best way.

With your music gaining recognition from publications EARMILK and CLASH magazine, how do you perceive your growing impact on the industry, and what are your aspirations for the future of your career?

Everything seems like a dream still. I’m the type of person to notice and take in even the smallest moments. I couldn’t fully live in the moment though until literally today because today’s the day where I finished all album prep and finally had some time to sit alone in the quiet and just think. There was a moment where I looked in the mirror and asked myself “are things beginning to work out or is it in my head?” I’m so excited for the future, I’m only in the beginning of my career and can’t wait to experience everything that’s yet to come. It’s such a massive thing to have people like and relate to what you do. Even if it’s one person. I was always quite an isolated person and never shared my craft with anyone fully convinced that no one was going to understand. Being at a place now where I can physically see that people are streaming and liking my music is wild.

Talent: Nastiya Kai

Pictures: Anastacia Belyaeva

Music director/editor: Joiah Luminosa