A Interview With The Musician C Z A R I N A On Her Latest Blade Runner-Inspired Video For Her New Single ‘Silence & Surrender’ and More!
Posted On 09 Nov 2018
Get to know the musician, C Z A R I N A! She recently released a Blade Runner-inspired video for her new song “Silence & Surrender.” Shot in the style of John Carpenter/Ridley Scott, Czarina’s new video, “Silence & Surrender” is a tale of sensuality, release and opulence.
Watch “Silence & Surrender” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0hSy_x81f
Before C Z A R I N A, Faye spent her time as the full time creative director and founder of the famed footwear and accessory brand, IVY KIRZHNER NEW YORK. With a design aesthetic true to her own notoriously unapologetic rock-and-roll persona, her footwear collection became a global success, with a long list of celebrity clientele including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Kesha, Lily Collins, Cassie, Jamie Chung and Tori Kelly.
“Silence & Surrender” is a musical and visual commentary on the darker shades behind the luminous glamour we see today. Directed by the artist herself, the film is a lush cinematic experience that combines the romantic mood and vibe of Wong Kar Wai with John Carpenter’s retro-futurism and Lars Von Trier’s psychological and emotional thrillers.
Learn more about C Z A R I N A in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? Is there music playing in the background?
C Z A R I N A: Hi, thanks for having me. I am actually in London working on a project. Yes, the latest Gunship record “Dark All Day” is blasting in the background. I love those guys!
Now that we are on the back end of the year, how do you think 2018 has treated you and your career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it? Or did you already reach it?
C Z A R I N A: 2018 has been a remarkable year! It’s the year where everything fell into their proper place. My biggest goal is to complete and release my debut full-length record which is dropping on Nov. 11, along with my first live, immersive performance on Nov. 7th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn where I’m from.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience? Can you see yourself ever doing anything else?
C Z A R I N A: Definitely. I grew up singing and playing music. Guitars and piano/keyboard. I was also being trained for Broadway during my early teen years. However, with a highly artistic family, I also grew up as an artist and designer. I feel like my music and design career go hand in hand.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
C Z A R I N A: The biggest surprise to me is that music doesn’t feel like work at all. I almost feel guilty because it’s so much fun and yet so fulfilling and rewarding at the same time. The biggest challenge for sure is cutting thru a highly-saturated market. There are a lot of talents and amazing creatives in the sphere especially these days. But I just simply focus on what I do and on my own growth and development as an artist.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
C Z A R I N A: New York is so global and is an amalgam of a multitude of genres on its own. The one thing I have to always consider is to transcend the genres and never get pigeonholed into one. I try to avoid the cliché. My music is considered synthwave, retrowave or synth pop. But if you listen closely, my signature soundscape sometimes contains hip hop, drum/bass, punk rock, 80s hair metal and even EDM elements on several of the tracks. But they all seamlessly blend well together. I like having a multi-dimensional approach to my music. I like being able to cross-over.
How would you say that your experience as the creative director and founder of IVY KIRZHNER NEW YORK has helped you be a better artist and musician today?
C Z A R I N A: Being the creative director and founder of IVY KIRZHNER New York had taught me the value of perspective and hard work, and it empowered me to pursue music independently, relying only on myself to make everything happen. There are a lot of strong, beautiful young talents but a unique perspective and a strong work ethic are essential to a successful career no matter what field you choose to be in. My natural flair for creative visuals also served a great deal whenever I am working on music videos and live performance – especially with the costumes! I am always very particular when it comes to costumes 🙂
How would you say that you have been able to incorporate your musical style into your brand?
C Z A R I N A: I’m all about the details. My brand is known for its intricate details. I think a lot of that approach translates in music in a way that my soundscape is very layered. It has subtle twists and turns and when you listen to it over and over, you catch more little jewels and textures you didn’t hear during the first go.
Let’s talk about your track “Silence + Surrender.” What was the inspiration for this song? Can you talk about making the Blade Runner inspired music video? How did you get to direct it?
C Z A R I N A: I wrote “Silence & Surrender” during the time my life was going thru some massive changes, whether I wished it or not. It’s about letting go and just surrendering to the flow. I am obsessed with 80s Tech Noir aesthetic, so for the music video I chose a futuristic, dystopian theme but mixed with rich old-world elements to achieve that smokey, neon-lit romantic vibe against a dark, gritty sinister backdrop. The video itself is a #MeToo statement, while keeping the narrative richly allegorical. When I was writing the story, I borrowed a lot from Japanese and European folklore and mythology. I am a sucker for symbolism and metaphors. I had a very clear vision of how I wanted to portray myself not just as a musician and artist but also as an all-around creative. And I wanted to bring everything I know how to do- from choreography, styling, visual production and ultimately, directing.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full album of new songs?
C Z A R I N A: My debut full-length record called “Painted Holograms” drops on Nov. 11.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period or is your music more of an escape from all that?
C Z A R I N A: Music is art. And in times like these, I think the political climate creates the fuel to pursue art and music more aggressively. I always believed that it is art that brings everyone together- the very human expression that binds all of us as people. At the end of the day, we’re people with feelings and dreams and we find comfort, encouragement and empowerment thru making art. As Neil Gaiman said, use every challenging moment as an inspiration and opportunity to make good art.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
C Z A R I N A: Most of my followers are on Instagram and Facebook page. I post every now and then only if I have something of quality to share. I try to limit it, so I’m only curating the best of what I got. We are living in a very image-conscious world. But at the end of the day, I want my fans to connect with the music. I do enjoy doing the Instagram stories and sharing with the fans what happens behind the scenes.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
C Z A R I N A: I am a huge fan of fellow synthwave artists and groups like Kavinsky, Gunship, S U R V I V E, as well as film composers like Vangelis. I’ve always dreamed of working with Vangelis on a film score! Maybe the next Blade Runner installment?
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
C Z A R I N A: My Roland Ax Edge keytar. Its my favorite thing in the universe. It’s so badass and I love rocking it!
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
C Z A R I N A: Blade Runner – hands down. Or a cool anime like Ghost In The Shell or Akira.
Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about? What has been a favorite performance of yours? What do you think makes an idea show for you? What’s next on your musical agenda?
C Z A R I N A: My debut live performance was on Nov 7th at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, for my album release event. I planned it to be a super immersive experience, complete with light and visuals. I do not plan on playing a lot of shows, but I aim to make each performance to be well-produced and of quality, experiential caliber. I want my audience to not only have a great time, but be able to take away something from the experience.
Aside from playing shows, I am currently working on my next music video. This one is a surprise – it’s a love story.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
C Z A R I N A: I think I’m a very honest writer. I expose a lot of who I am through my music. I write a lot about my personal experiences that I believe many can relate to, but articulated with a fresh soundscape. At the end, I want my music to accompany my audience thru their own journey. I find a lot of comfort listening to music regardless of what I am up to. I hope my music can serve others the same way, and they can latch on to both sound and words.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
C Z A R I N A: My debut full-length album contains 8 original tracks, including the official album mix of “Silence & Surrender” plus a surprise cover of one of my favorite songs ever.
I’m working on a few special collaborations which I cannot wait to share. My favorite projects are music videos – so expect more of it!