Interview - Anji Kaizen

Anji Kaizen is an artist from Atlanta, USA. Let's have a chat with her about her music and music in general.

- Hi Anji and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Monster.
“Monster” is an anthemic rock song that tells the story of watching someone be overcome by their darkest self - their inner monster. It’s definitely my edgiest track to date and a homage to the more hard rock music of my high school years. I grew up listening to bands like Paramore, Skillet, Evanescence, and The Cranberries as a teenager and I’ve always loved the energy and power behind these big, really driven rock songs.

- How would you describe your sound?
Eclectic, energetic and authentic sounds that vary across the indie rock and alternative pop genres. Each song I’ve written and released is its own stand alone sonic exploration. I really love trying new sounds, experimenting across genres and am always open to pushing myself and my band in new directions. Alternative rock and pop rock are our home base, but I’ve also collaborated with lots of different artists and producers into punk, EDM and acoustic territories.

- What do you write about?
All of my songs are about my personal experiences. I use songwriting as a way to process and synthesize the world around me, and am usually inspired by real life events, relationships and the art that I continually immerse myself in. Some of my songs have been directly inspired by other songs, movies, books, and other people’s stories as well.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
Lots of lo-fi and zen background music. Since I’m a full time performing / recording artist and a vocal coach, I like to listen to music that doesn’t require a lot of attention or interaction when I’m at home relaxing. I’m always on the lookout for something that will create a cool ambience and vibe in the living area. So I love instrumental music for daily activities, but if I’m working out or in the middle of a cleaning spree, that’s when I’ll break out the punk, rock, and more energetic genres to blast through the house and sing along to. Also love Arian Grande, her vocals are insane and I love pushing myself to try to replicate her sounds and vocal production.

- Your favourite live performance so far?
Definitely the “Queens of Summer” show this year at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta - the band and I had such a blast! I also got to be in a Green Day cover show one year, and singing “21 Guns” to a sold out audience of fans waving their cell phone lights and singing along was such an incredible experience, that I will never forget.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage.
One time we decided to pull someone up from the crowd to play a cowbell along to a song, just for fun, and the guy we picked had absolutely no sense of rhythm and couldn’t find the beat! I mean, what are the odds? So there I was, trying to sing, play piano, lead the band and also nod my head in time with the song so he could keep up and play along with us. My friends in the audience were laughing so hard at the absolute chaos that was happening on stage, but he was a good sport about it so we thanked him and had everyone clap for him at the end of the song!

- Your favourite albums?
The 2013 self titled album by Paramore, “Worlds” by Porter Robinson, “Currents” by Tame Impala,” Little Machines” by Lights, “The Division Bell” by Pink Floyd and Coldplay’s “X & Y”

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Lights, for sure. She’s so cool and down to earth! I feel like we would hit it off really well and have some interesting conversations. Also just absolutely love her as a person.

- What would you ask backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
I’d ask to have enough room to do some pre-show yoga with the band. Most of the time green rooms are small, cramped and smell like smoke. Not great for the vocal cords! So it would be awesome to have a big enough space to relax, drink tea, meditate and do some yoga with my guys before we get onstage. Nothing too crazy, I’m not a huge diva, I just like my space!

- What are your plans for the next future?
Big plans - we’re currently working on a Kickstarter project to fund the next EP, which will be taking off in January. We’re also filming a music video for “Monster” next weekend, and are already scheduled to drop another single in January as well. I’m honestly so stoked for next year, 2022 is going to be such a relief to get back on stage and rocking out again!
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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