The Stars Aligned, Akira Galaxy comes to Austin, Talks First Album And Artistic Vision

The Stars Aligned, Akira Galaxy comes to Austin, Talks First Album And Artistic Vision

March 12, 2024 in Features

by DJ rat

Akira Galaxy, the young musician born in Seattle and currently residing in LA has solidified herself amongst the stars with her first EP, What's Inside You. The debut project from the 24-year-old musician tackles the tribulations of expressing and accepting love without contact and without touch while also giving a look into the young rockstars coming of age story.

We got the opportunity to sit down with Akira Galaxy before her show at Stubbs March 9.

How was it going from a big music city in Seattle to another in LA?

Akira Galaxy: It's interesting because I feel the further I've gotten into my music career, the more I get pulled back to Seattle. My guitarist lives there, and my drummers in LA, but I keep getting pulled back for shows. I worked at a record store there when I was 17 and I just went into the store there and they're selling my vinyl. A lot of full-circle moments -- and I'm playing Capitol block party there, which I used to go to when I was 15 years old.

Why did you move to LA?

Akira: So I went to San Diego State for a year but I was I was living on and off in LA when I was 16/17 and I was working out there. When I was at San Diego State I was going back to LA constantly for music and my modeling work. My label that I'm signed to now said if I moved to LA they would offer me a deal and I did. I've lived there for five and a half almost six years.

The only time I spent away was for seven months when I went back to Seattle during COVID and that's when I wrote some of the first songs off the record. It's funny that going back to my roots in my hometown I was able to really figure out my sound.

Seattle as a music city still has a huge representation for grunge, but it definitely has shifted from the 90s, did that sound and genre have any effect on you or is there something else that influenced your sound.

Akira: I think subconsciously, it's probably influenced my music in some capacity. But it's not necessarily what I'm listening to all the time or trying to emulate. But it was all around me growing up. One of the first songs I learned on guitar was about a girl by Nirvana.

When I was growing up there and discovering what kind of music I was into, it was a lot of indie bands and there was this moment when I was 16, in like 2016/2017 when the massive shift with politics was happening that there were a lot of first-time woman bands starting up. So I feel like I was going to a lot of a lot of shows like that. I also like volunteering at this venue called the Vera Project and there were all the big women-led groups getting a push and it was really inspiring to see for the first time.

When you were working at the record store, were you like, actively playing? Or like had the idea of being a performer and a musician?

Akira: For sure. I remember at high school's career day they were asking certain people what they wanted to be and one person said, "I want to be the president." I remember saying to my friend "fuck that I want to be a rock star."I started writing my first songs since I was 10, so I feel it's just something I've always known.

It took some time until I made my first songs -- recorded on my laptop when I was 16 years old. Then it took a few years, and a lack of human connection, human touch, a big shift in life, for me, to sit with myself and be like, fuck, what is life without human connection. That's where the EP came from.

How different was it to write during COVID where you have a lot of time on your hands to work on your craft vs outside of covid under a time limit?

Akira: I think it's really nice to have a timeframe and some pressure on you -- but I did feel peace of mind being at home and knowing that the world was frozen and that I could really take a second. I mean, what else you're going to do during that time?

When there's not much else going on -- You're out of work -- You're not seeing people. I just remember ordering a shit ton of poetry books and watching a ton of films with my family. We printed out a list of the top 100 films and we checked them off one day at a time. I also bought my first acoustic guitar and learned how to do vibrato with my voice by singing a bunch of Bob Dylan -- learned a ton of covers.

What kind of media did you consume when creating your EP?

Akira: I need to be constantly consuming and always be in a creative flow. Constantly consuming film and reading and all of that just helps me be more in tune with my writing. I watched my first David Lynch Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive.

Even when I'm recording music to this day I will turn on a movie like a Sofia Coppola movie or something and play the music to the film. It completely changes my perspective on the song.

Are you going to see any movies this week?

Akira: I would love to, my mime teacher -

Oh you have a mime teacher?

Akira: Yeah, I take class very consistently. I've done probably like 50 or 60 sessions with them. He was taught by Marcel Marceau who was like the biggest Mimer. He has helped with some choreography. He told me to go see a film premiering this week so I'm going to try to see that if it all lines up.

How has the tour been?

Akira: Really fucking fun! It's cool because I feel like I get to reimagine the songs by performing them. The more time goes by,

Some of these songs I wrote years ago and so I'm talking about something very distant from my mind... But then I can relate it to my current experiences. That's kind of how I can feel the emotion in the performances -- It's almost like acting in a sense.

I had this vocal teacher years ago, he was helping me with going in and recording my songs for the first time. He said, "Okay, what's the temperature outside? What time of day? Is it? What do you want from this person? What are you saying to them before you say these words to them? How do you want to end the conversation? What room are you in?" I found that really interesting, it helps you reconnect in a new way.

What is something you learned during the process of creating your first EP?

Akira: I think one of the main things I've learned is to let go of perfection. The idea of perfection is constantly changing and also the stuff that you feel is imperfect is the most human -- it's the most raw and the most relatable. Also, my favorite songs of my own are constantly changing. Every other month, I'll have a new favorite one.

What's your favorite song now then?

Akira: I mean, It's probably the song I wrote a month ago... you'll hear it soon. But I think, Virtual Eyes.

Last question, what's the ideal way to listen to your music?

Akira: I think Driving. Driving is a big one for me. Driving fast having everything move past you like boom - boom - boom. As if you were in Sofia Coppola movie. Hopefully crying too.

Thank you Akira Galaxy for taking the time to talk with KVRX.

Follow Akira here.

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