TFword in Conversation With Starya

We had a chat with the inventive singer and songwriter about her latest release, her inspirations, a music-filled 2023, plans for the rest of the year, and lots more.

The ability to immerse the terrestrial world of music with the celestial one is an incredibly rare commodity, and Starya possesses it in abundance. Ever since her debut in 2022, the ultra-talented singer-songwriter-producer-DJ-multi-instrumentalist has been on an expedition to unwrap music’s transcendental abilities with every release of hers.

Starya’s former alias Tuff Ghost allowed her to traverse between the worlds of hip-hop, techno, electro, house, and dubstep, which has now translated into the fluid, rolling, and ascending style of music she is making her name for.

After starting her musical journey in 2022, Starya has had a stunning run of releases this year, and that run has brought her to her latest offering, ‘Meadowlark;’ which is a testament to Starya’s commitment to organic, vocal-driven electronic music.

With the single landing in all its glory on Zeds Dead’s distinguished Altered States label, we caught up with Starya to know more about her latest release, how her music has taken shape, her inspirations, and here is what she had to say:

TFword: Hey Starya, congratulations on your stunning new release. What are your thoughts on how the tune has taken shape?
Starya: Thank you! Sometimes producing music can feel like assembling an impossibly complicated Lego spaceship one Lego at a time, and I don’t always know how it is going to turn out, but I am very happy with this track and excited to see it fluttering out in the world.

TF: ‘Meadowlark’ also marks your first release on Altered States. What is the feeling like?
Very very excited to be working with Altered States. I have been a fan of Zeds Dead and following along with their journey since around 2009, and I love that they created this label to explore a different sound which I feel really fits with Meadowlark.

TF: First, the gleaming intro, followed by the vocals beneath the tune’s throbbing undercurrent; we love how ‘Meadowlark’ progresses and grows on us. Talk us through the creative process of the tune!
I started working on this song while I was in my grandma’s cabin on her farm in rural Pennsylvania, a very special and peaceful place to me, surrounded by nature and the countryside. Nature has always been heavily intertwined with my musical journey, and I referenced that a lot in the lyrics of this song. As far as the production, I wanted to keep it groovy and slightly trippy.

TF: Another noticeable characteristic we were intrigued by is the growing stature of your music as each phrase progresses. What approach do you take to your productions?
I often treat the production process like an adventure quest. I firmly believe that the most important thing as an artist is to enjoy the process, and sometimes the process can lead me through an endless labyrinth of minuscule decisions – other times it can flow a little more quickly. This one was a bit of both.

TF: You’ve been on a phenomenal run of releases this year. How has the experience been for you with your music so far in 2023?
Thank you! It has been great to have some more music in the world since I rebranded and essentially began the project last year. For the past 6 or 7 years, I have basically been on a tireless quest to learn how to make the music that I would want to play out, and I can’t express how good it feels to finally be releasing exactly that.

TF: Who were your biggest inspirations when you started writing music?
Starya: The first song I ever learned on guitar was “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. Cat Power, Violent Femmes, Muse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Justice, Skrillex, Bulgarian Women’s Choir, to name a few.

TF: Who would you regard your dream collaboration?
I have always wanted to get in the studio with Reggie Watts, I just feel like that would be a ton of fun.

TF: What would you describe as your best festival experience?
Oh boy, so many good ones! One that really has my heart forever is Form Arcosanti, which doesn’t exist anymore, but was such a magical experience when it did. I also LOVE Lightning in a Bottle, and to play there is such a dream of mine.

TF: How does Starya plan to close the year 2023?
Starya: I will be playing a few shows here and there, but my biggest focus is to continue putting music out and to really master the art of consistently finishing and releasing tracks!

“Meadowlark” by Starya is out today on Altered States!

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