Meet Bulgarian-Australian artist YSKA and her tender debut single, Mother
Working with producer Guy Burns, she's crafted a wonderful first single to launch from.
Bulgaria-born, Australia-based singer/songwriter Ivana Kafedjiyska AKA YSKA has unveiled her debut single Mother, and what luscious, full-sounding slice of at times haunting indie-pop it is. Collaborating with producer Guy Burns and drawing inspiration from the likes of Bon Iver, Beach House and Tycho, it's a gentle grower that grows with intensity as you listen. So yeah, we dig it, and sent her a few questions to learn a little more:
Tell us about about yourself?
When I'm not bouncing between YSKA and my other band micra, I'm bingeing on live music videos, good food and gigs. I also read a lot, it's my new meditation. I always know my level of stress by how many times I have to read the same paragraph. I was born in Bulgaria, although I grew up in Sydney. I spent a lot of my younger years on the tennis court (and I still have a pretty cool day job as a tennis coach), but I always had music as my secret passion. I first fell in love with the guitar when I found my dad's old school acoustic at my grandma's house on a trip back to Bulgaria. I can remember spending the whole day playing Smoke On The Water and making E string bangers, because the other five strings were missing. I thought I was so cool haha.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
I think honesty cannot be understated in any art form. So that’s my main lyrical focus. That with some finger picked guitars and lush soundscapes. I love music that completely immerses you that you can escape into. The music usually inhabits that grey area between timidity and boldness, introversion and extroversion. It’s a dance between the two extremities. Music I am currently listening to would be the new album by Khruangbin, Moses Sumney and a favourite from last year would be CTRL by SZA. At the time of the single Mother coming together I was also listening to Tycho a little too much.
A lot of the time it starts with a guitar riff or chords, the environment doesn’t really matter as long as I am inspired or triggered by something, I can write. I’ll then usually flesh out the lyrics to a song after I have a bed to work on. I could be in a social setting with friends strumming away completely zoned out to what they’re saying, with melodies circling around in my head.
Production is something I have started getting into a lot more lately and am fascinated by. It’s made me think about approaching music in a different way, I think it will also make communicating to others how I’d like or envision something sounding a lot easier.
Can you tell us about your new single, Mother?
Mother explores family tensions, growing pains and stepping into your own personal power. It’s not lyrically too dense with “Won’t you take a hit for me” being the recurring lyric. Sonically, the music and arrangement itself is enough to deliver the emotion we wanted to get across. There were about five different versions of the song and out of the three tracks Guy Burns and I worked on together, this definitely took the longest but I feel like it's a good starting reference.
Any shows coming up?
Just in the process of getting a band together at the moment! I can’t wait to create these songs in a live setting.
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
More music! You can expect another single in a couple of months.
Where can we hear more of your music?
Follow YSKA: FACEBOOK