Starya’s music offers a unique blend of electronic and vocal-driven compositions that take listeners on a captivating sonic journey. As a producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist, she operates from a studio with an otherworldly atmosphere and occasionally performs live. Moving on from her previous persona as ‘tuff ghost’, Starya continues to evolve and captivate audiences with her distinct style of electronic music.
With a blend of natural and cosmic inspirations, Starya has made her mark in the electronic music industry with the release of her latest track, ‘Meadowlark,’ on the esteemed Altered States label.
EG had the chance to chat with Starya about her latest release, upcoming projects, and more.
Photo credit: @thesupermaniak
EG: Hi Starya! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you right now?
Starya: Hello! Thank you for having me back, Electronic Groove premiered my first track released under the Starya project, so you will always have a very special place in my heart! I am currently in Bristol, UK hanging out in Clifton, which kind of feels like the SOHO of Bristol. I just had a lovely fish and chips and I’m on my way to check out some UK breakbeat club music in a couple of hours.
EG: First of all, congratulations on the release of ‘Meadowlark’, which is out now via Zeds Dead’s Altered States! What has the initial reception been like? Do you remember the first time you played this one live?
Starya: Yes, it’s been wonderful! I am so honored to be welcomed into the Altered States fam, I’ve been a huge fan of Zeds Dead for years so it is a bit like a dream come true. I am also very excited to say this is my first track that has made it onto an official Spotify-curated playlist – New Music Friday Dance! I think I do actually remember the first time I played this live because it was deep in the forest at a renegade party that actually inspired part of the lyrics the year prior – “In the moonshine moment” – the moon was shining brilliantly across the Yuba river, and I had to write it down.
EG: So, what can your fans expect to find on ‘Meadowlark’? Is there an emotional trigger or concept driving this one?
Starya: I made a Tiktok video today where I called it “sad girl edm” because the main pre-chorus vocal is a bit emo “Moving on, I feel like a wreck inside because of something you said.” So it’s kind of about that feeling, but also about what it might feel like to look in on that feeling from a more removed perspective. “Do you wonder why we’re the only ones crying?” was another lyric inspired by this one time when I googled whether there are any non-human animals that cry. Turns out we are the only ones who cry from emotions!
EG: What was the recording/creative process like? Is it easy to find your voice in the studio, or is that something that requires a lot of focus?
Starya: I am pretty sure I made this whole song while streaming on Twitch, which is how I like to make most of my music. I am very slow, and it is very difficult for me to come up with lyrics sometimes, so I generally need many many many hours to feel like I got it right, and having people watching me makes me more focused and creates an ability for me to work for the necessary many hours. I think the more often you work on music, the easier “finding your voice” becomes – so cheers to that!
“I am pretty sure I made this whole song while streaming on Twitch, which is how I like to make most of my music”
EG: Last year, you made a bold move “rebranding” yourself from tuff ghost to Starya. What motivated the switch? In which ways do you feel better represented?
Starya: The name ‘tuff ghost’ was an afterthought. It was a name I kept while at a learning and experimentation stage of my producer journey. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been able to figure out a more specific direction musically, and for that, I also needed a name to kind of glue it all together and to be inspired by. At the end of the day, everything I do is just an elaborate trick to force me to be inspired and motivated.
EG: Now, let’s take it back to your origins…How and when did you first come across electronic dance music? Are you still attracted to the first genre you got into, or did your musical taste evolve over time?
Starya: The first time I can remember hearing electronic music was listening to Sandstorm on repeat when I was about 10 years old. I listened to it about 100 times and then promptly forgot about it for about 7 years when I very suddenly discovered Justice’s ‘Cross’ album. Shortly after that, I moved to Los Angeles and became immersed in a community that was all discovering bloghouse together for the first time. I think after that, my appreciation for different types of electronic has never stopped growing and expanding in the same way that the music itself has evolved into so many different nooks and crannies and communities. Bloghouse will always be the town I grew up in though.
EG: Social media seems to be playing a very prominent role in an artist’s development. But is it taking too much away from the actual music and making it more about numbers and the visual aspect?
Starya: I think if you don’t take it too seriously, social media can be looked at like just another form of art. It should be fun, because if art isn’t fun then what’s the point? It’s another medium that when I have time to experiment with it, I have the opportunity to connect with people all over the world. But also, it’s so annoying.
EG: Have you come across any good books, movies, or records recently that you’d personally recommend? Where do you look for inspiration?
Starya: I really like fantasy books and love to take inspiration from that genre. I have been reading ‘The Broken Earth’ series by N.K Jemisin, and it’s amazing. As far as movies, I recently enjoyed ‘Triangle of Sadness’. I am very excited to really dig into James Blake’s new album ‘Playing Robots into Heaven.’ I would say my biggest inspiration comes from going to concerts/shows/raves, and also from staring into the Infinite void.
“It should be fun, because if art isn’t fun then what’s the point?”
EG: What’s next for Starya? Where can your fans catch you next? What new milestones are you looking forward to in 2023?
Starya: My biggest goal at the moment is to finish as much music as possible so that I can be releasing a song once every 6 weeks, so the most likely place you will find me is streaming my production on my Twitch channel so that I can become a prolific releaser of music! As far as shows, stay tuned…
EG: Thank you for your time, Starya! We’re excited to see what’s in store for you. Take care!
Starya: Thank you so much, it’s been such a pleasure!
Starya’s ‘Meadowlark’ is out now via Zeds Dead’s Altered States. Stream and download here.