By the pseudonym “NV” you may know the famous Russian musician Kate Shilonosova. The New Yorker has recently published an article about her debut album Binasu and compared it with the best recordings of j-pop. Kate is involved in the number of projects that is hard to calculate. She is a part of a psychedelic indie rock band and she also plays electronics in her solo project “NV”. What is more, she even plays academic music together with Scratch Orchestra. So, Kate wrote a spring mixtape for Aloha Gaia and told us about her travels, goals in life and plans for the future in this interview.
Tell us about music for the mixtape? Why did you choose these tracks for Aloha Gaia?
I chose most of the tracks in the ambient genre as I usually listen to this kind of music. By the way, a lot of the tracks in the mixtape come from our trip to Mexico. There, we rented a cool old 1972 Volkswagen, where we lived and rode along the country roads. We drove all the way from Cancun to Tulum and went to the Islands to celebrate the New Year.
I can’t forget how we went through the jungle, where the whole road was strewn with sand between tall palm trees. While driving, we were listening to electronic music of Brain Eno and Nabukazo Takemura, and these were perfect soundtracks to our trip. This music is suitable for joyful travels somewhere close to nature.
Just imagine: the only light was a headlight on the road, the sides of a car were touched by the leaves, and in a moment you find yourself on the beautiful seaside.
It seems that you love to travel to the unexplored parts of the world. Have you already found your place of power, where you feel calm and right?
For me, this is a workplace in the house. The place where I can make music. Not long ago, I finally had some time to do it. And I was so happy to just sit in the apartment of nowhere to go and write music. Usually, I sleep less, but work always gives me some power. Here it is, my happiness.
So, to compose music you don't even need inspiration? Just some rest and time with yourself?
I think people are mistaken when they say that for writing music there must be some kind of inspiration. I always wonder how others approach this process. I watched and read interviews with various musicians. And it was said that many compare inspiration with appetite: as appetite comes with eating, inspiration comes the moment when you sit down and start to work.
We know how much stress creative people face. Tell us, how do you find the internal balance and regulate your mood?
I suddenly found that I feel good and calm when I spend a lot of time making music. If I do it sufficiently, I start feeling mega happy. During the process, I relax, become much happier, I'm not sleepy and have nothing that can make me feel frustrated. All in all, for me it's the best hobby ever.
I believe that people cannot get tired of their favorite things. Even if it has nothing to do with creativity. It just doesn't seem to work. When I get tired of other things, all I want is to make music.
We noticed that you have a tattoo in the shape of a crescent on your arm. The moon is one of the symbols that we use in the design of Aloha Gaia jewelry. Tell us, why the moon is special for you as well?
Actually, I have had my lucky star since childhood, and this is the Sun. I remember how I often talked to it, just sat down on the windowsill and had long conversations. But the Moon for me is a special thing. In fact, it affects each of us. I really like the moon as a symbol: it's like a double circle, in which one figure is superimposed on the other.
There is one more thing associated with the moon, which greatly influenced my perception of the world in my childhood. And this is the cartoon “Sailor Moon”. When growing up, we find ourselves under the influence of society and after we experience some things, the colors of life can fade, you know. Thus, this cartoon for me is the opportunity to remind myself about life perception from the times when I was a child. When I watch it again and again, I feel as if I am going back to childhood and tell myself: “Kate, nothing has changed”.
Generally, when you are doing creative work, there is always some emotional instability. Your inner child is the most truthful of what is in you and in others. When you're composing music, it's great to raise an inner child, to get rid of all limitations and voices of society in your head. Just start to listen to yourself and your desires.
What's your plan for this summer?
My plan is to finish the album “NV”. Now I have a lot of material for 2 albums, but need to find time to finalize them. Recently, my disk with multiple tracks has been released. For the whole May, I'm going on a big tour with Jessy Lanza in America. Then I return to Moscow for several concerts, then again go to New York, and so it goes on. I usually live between important dates and each time I notice that time seems to shrink. But despite the stress, still, have time to do more.
Hope you enjoyed the mixtape, and look forward to new releases, gigs, and projects!