Starya’s new EP Find the Key is a symphony of syncopation. With pulsing arps, sidewinding basslines and pop house vocals, the singer-songwriter-producer-DJ-multi-instrumentalist is bringing something truly fresh to the electronic scene.
Hailing from LA, Starya recently shared the lineup with legends Justice and 2ManyDJ’s at the LA Coliseum’s inflatable dome. She’s released material on Popgang Records and her own imprint, Spells, and has a slew of hybrid live vocal dj sets in the works for 2023.
We connected with Starya to talk about the mission within her music, how Justice became her turning point, how she defines success, her ties to sad girl music, and more. Stream Find the Key here and check out her SET below. Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ’s/producers pushing the boundaries of electronic music.
Who is Starya and what do you stand for?
Starya is the name I made up because I wanted something to aspire to, something that sounds fantastical and other-worldly. I guess the main thing I stand for as an artist is – I want to break through the noise, I want to make music that will make people feel something. Music has always had a deep impact on myself as a person, my growth, my emotional state – its been so important to me. So I would like to make music that is important to other people. In the monotony of day-to-day life, in the noise of social media, the pressures of the impending apocalypse, etc – I want to create something real for someone to experience, a moment of joy or catharsis.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
I am inspired by so many different genres. I used to listen to alternative rock, classic rock, indie music, etc. I got into electronic music when Justice came out with Cross, and then I fell in love with the world of electronic music and the endless possibilities. I guess my biggest influence is the “live show” – imagining where my music is being played, the energy of playing it live to a group of people – and the energy that I’ve witnessed from other artists’ shows.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success?
When I made the decision to focus on music full time, to prioritize that in my life – even if it did not mean commercial success right away, I think of that as a turning point. What is success though? I try not to define success by monetary value, as long as I can pay my bills and spend my time doing what I love – that is success. And at the end of the day, the choices we make to get there are often more important than the things we cannot always control, like the number of streams or followers.
Question that is Starya-specific (promo/release/tour/hopes/dreams/life/etc… anything!)
I am really excited to have this debut EP out in the world and to continue releasing music. I’m starting to confirm some fun events this year as well – like Treefort Fest in Boise Idaho in March. I’m really looking forward to playing all these songs out and seeing where this year takes me.
Where do you want to go next with your music and what can your fans expect from future releases?
I am constantly trying to simplify my process. Sometimes I overwork the song and I am trying to find ways not to do that. I really want to make music that people connect with, but that they can also dance to.
Where have you not performed yet that you want to perform at?
There are so many festivals I would love to play – Lightning in a Bottle, Electric Forest, Glastonbury, Shambhala, Fuji Rock, Tomorrowland.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
Ever since I started making music, everything that comes out of me is slow and chill and low energy. It has been a challenge to push myself to make music that has more energy in it. I want to make people dance, but I grew up listening to sad girl music. It has been a fun and interesting challenge!
What’s next for Starya?
More music, more releases! More shows! Less distractions!
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
Honestly if anything needs to evolve its probably the industry vs the actual music. Its still so crazy to me that a festival lineup can be 90% male. Same with label releases. I try not to think about it too much, you can’t control how things evolve – I try to focus on the evolution of my own music and work ethic instead.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Thank you for everything you do! And for giving artists like me a platform!