Last year, Saya Gray released a collection of songs that introduced the world to her stunningly detailed music – entitled 19MASTERS, it demonstrated her unique ability to create a collage of sounds that felt both comforting and disorienting, vast yet intimate. Preferring to make her music in periods of intense isolation, 19MASTERSsurfaced as the perfect calling card from the Japanese-Canadian artist. Today, she releases a body of work that signifies an exciting new chapter in her journey: QWERTY.
QWERTY is a multi-faceted project that will continue further into the year, consisting of recorded music, live shows and visuals. The first part consists of a 7-track EP released today on Dirty Hit (Rina Sawayama, beabadoobee) and perfectly encapsulates her genuinely unique method of creation.
Sensing the ever encroaching threat the modern digital world places on her mental health, and following a period of loss and grief, Saya entered another period of isolation to set about sampling and compiling existing snippets she compulsively records with an almost always-on tape machine. Whether it’s voice notes from three years ago, a sample of her drummer playing Jungle rhythms or a ridiculous thrash riff her brother interrupted the sessions to play her – it all gets fed through an MPC to create a body of work far greater than the sum of its parts – as Saya herself describes it, she puts “1000 personalities in one song.” It’s this unfiltered, frenzied approach to her art that she feels is necessary to reclaim her sense of self in an ever changing world – and in the process marking her as one of the most exciting, up and coming musicians operating today.
To mark the release of QWERTY, Saya has also shared a live recording of opening tracks “DIZZY PPL BECOME BLURRY” and “;)” featuring a host of musicians she’s carefully selected, some of which she’s known since early childhood, to bring her compositions to life. Conceived alongside her creative partner Jennifer Cheng, the visual is further evidence of Saya’s longstanding commitment to a life in music – having played professionally since the age of 14 – the ensembles operate with a level of musical telepathy only achievable from those totally at ease with each with Saya commenting “There’s no ego because everyone is such a fan of each
Fans will get their first chance to witness this live spectacle as Saya makes her live debut as a solo artist next week with shows at Barcelona’s Primavera Ciutat on May 29th and an intimate showcase at London’s MU on May 30th.
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