Interview: Sophia Saze [Dusk & Haze]
Beginning her creative journey in her formative years with classical music and dance training, Sophia Saze later became engulfed by electronic dance music. Getting to know this artist, it is easy to understand that she comes from a solid and natural musical foundation. Tbilisi, Georgia born and internationally bred, she’s now based in Brooklyn, New York. Saze launched her record label Dusk & Haze in 2017, with the first installment coming in the form of her own ‘Solace’ LP [D&H001], which included remixes from Benjamin Damage & Umwelt.
The productions stem from techno, yet her musical versatility draws from a variety of genre influences, ranging from electro to krautrock, ambient to industrial, and acid to garage - showing her complete range and fluidity as a musician. She has a full release schedule lined up for this year, including her debut album on Kingdoms, and various singles, whilst displaying her innate ability as A&R as she welcomes new releases on her imprint D&H. 2019 will also see the premiere of her live A/V.
TF: Tell us something about you. What’s your background? Where did you studied and who influenced you to explore musical processes?
SH: Well, it's a long story. In terms of musical education, I started playing piano from a young age which evolved to me producing music. I started at a music school in Tbilisi, Georgia. I studied other subjects in university, but prior to that was also a dancer for about a decade. I had an accident in high school which forced me to quit, I'm grateful to have been able to invest my energy into music instead. I've been influenced by so many things it's impossible for me to answer easily. I respect every artist and every genre, music first above all ego, always.
TF: Which aspects of sound do you examine recently? Is for you important the impression that your music produces on the audience?
SH: I maybe enjoy sound design more than production sometimes. I'm obsessed with texture and refining the fabric until it feels right. I cook a lot in my time off, making music is like cooking for me in many ways - getting ingredients in their right place with care and patience. I generally only work in long sessions too, a typical jam for me is 10-12 hours. It takes me time to get into it, generally the first 6 hours is just warming up. Depends, I think as a dj it's important to cater to the audience in the sense that people are partying to enjoy themselves and no one wants to hear your science experiments. It's 11 pm, and you're blasting 130. Why? However, as a producer, my ethos is to strive as far beyond unapologetic. I admire artists who constantly mold into uncomfortably new territories not knowing what's next is exciting. A lot of people were encouraging me to get a new alias for my experimental album. I'm very happy to have not done that, because for me it's important that artists keep doing weird things. If your last record was a banging techno cut and so is your next one, that's just boring.
TF: Can you describe from beginning to end how your new album – is made?
SH: Basically, I didn't sleep for 48 hours and sketched 2 hours of music. It was one big live jam which was cleaned up and narrowed down to 1 hour, cathartic to say the least. I have a bad habit of staying up late doing long sleepless sessions.
TF: What new hardwares did you apply to make 'Self (Part 1)' album? Do you have a particular method while working in the studio?
SH: I started getting more comfortable with the Roland System 8. I also bought a few new pedals second hand off my friend including the Octavius Okta Fuzz. I wish it was possible for me to narrow it down to one method but the reality is, I'm always making music, it's the only place that makes me feel at home.
TF: Any movie, documentary, album (not electronic music) that you would like to share with our readers?
SH: Let's say book. We're surrounded by enough technology as it is. I just finished 'Feeling Good' (By David D. Burns). A powerful read on cognitive therapy.
TF: Any exciting news in a near future?
SH: I'm going home to see my whole family in one week to Georgia.
TF: Some words about your mix for The Forgotten Podcast Series?
SH: Tension, plus two unreleased tracks of mine hidden in there somewhere.