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Featured, Indie Focus Published: February 28, 2013

Saika – Up in Flames ft. Tino Benz

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Check out the new song from Saika – Up in Flames ft. Tino Benz

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Exclusive Interview

Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I’m from Southern California, but I was originally born in Okinawa, Japan while my dad was a U.S. Marine stationed on Camp Foster and my mother worked for a Japanese computer company; later my family relocated to California. I enjoy singing Pop, Rock, and R&B music, along with songwriting.

The development of my musical style is the result of a lifetime of musical influences such as my Japanese mother who introduced me to traditional folk songs at the early age of 3 and my American father who was an indie Hip-Hop artist. I started performing professionally in 2011 and recently debuted my album RetrospeKt in August 2012 which is available on iTunes, CDBaby, Google Play, and Amazon. I also host a YouTube channel, 1118saika, in which I post my music videos and live performances which keeps me in touch with my fans.

Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
The current song that I’m promoting is Up in Flames from my debut album RetrospeKt which is a song containing elements of R&B, Hip-Hop, Reggae, and Rock all infused into one infectious track. It entails a story of a vengeful female whose relationship becomes tainted when she discovers that her significant other has been unfaithful.

The distressed female goes on expressing her pain and anger while finding support in the featured rapper, Tino Benz, who assists in unleashing her wrath. The album RetrospeKt itself has a diversified range of music genres that has something for every listener, so get yourself a copy!

Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
One of the hardest challenges that I encountered while being in the music industry was trying to find my own true voice and style while also owning it. The music industry provides a strange environment where, on the positive side, a person is exposed to a variety of music which provides a large collection of styles to pull artistic influences from, but on the negative side, a person can get lost in the massive waves of art and become overwhelmed with trying to find where they fit in.

With that in mind, due to me being exposed to such a wide range of music, I had a slight difficulty trying to mold myself into the artist that I would like to be and express myself as creatively as I would like and incorporate all of my favorite styles because I don’t like to be constricted to one music genre and be put in a box; I want to fly free and dip into the many puddles of genre varieties out there and create one large pool of great music.

What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
As an artist, your music is a direct reflection of what’s in your soul at that given moment and is a personal expression of creativity, so sharing your musical creation is almost the equivalent to opening the double doors of your mind and letting someone walk in and see your thoughts. With that said, I would sometimes feel insecure or intimidated about having people listen to my music because I would worry if people would like it or not.

This prohibited me from having a true freedom in expressing my art to others. I gradually began to learn that not everybody is going to like you or what you create and that you are not making music to please everyone else but to please yourself. Through time, I have learned that as an artist your only job is to make art that is a reflection of you as an individual and to be true to yourself.

What are some things artists need to be careful of?
In the music industry, many people may try to change you by telling you what you should look like, what to wear, what to sound like, what to do or not to do, etc. Although it is a good idea to listen to what others say and be open to taking advice from them, make sure that in the end you are still being true to yourself and not just being a blank canvas for everyone else to paint on. Remember that you are your own artist.

Also, don’t be misled by anyone, whether it be a large label or a small one, into doing a bad deal. Although you are an artist, become aware of at least the basics of the business side of the music industry so that you can make good business decisions and not just be a label’s puppet.

What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
As an artist, you must be able to block out the world when you need to collect your thoughts but also embrace the world with open arms when looking for inspiration to birth new ideas. Artists need to be able to find a connection from deep within themselves in order to create lasting art. Artists need to free themselves from the oppressive chains of pride and allow themselves to throw their emotions out into the world and place them on a stage for all to see.

Many times I have fallen victim to being wary of expressing my emotions because I felt that it made me vulnerable and weak, but I have learned that feelings are what fuel art and that it is a necessity to create it. The best advice that I can give to another artist is to free yourself from worrying about what others think about you or your art and when you’re standing on the cliff of fear or unsureness of yourself, jump because you may be on the brink of something great. Also, having self-motivation is a necessity in this business. Believing in your dreams and having drive is what’s going to propel you through good and bad times.

What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Promoting myself and my music is something that is very important and my go-to way to promoting myself is through social media. I take advantage of the internet by advertising my music through Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Jango Radio, YouTube, and more. I like to make advertisement posters and posting them on my Facebook artist page and posting links to my music on social media websites.

My YouTube channel, 1118saika, is another favorite source to use because I’m able to upload performances, updates, and videos in which my fans have a direct link to me. Also, you can check out my music, latest updates on what I’m doing, and on my forthcoming album on Diamond Note Records’ website: www.diamondnoterecords.com.

Where can people visit you?
People can view all my updates, live performances, and videos on my YouTube Channel: 1118saika. Also, you can listen to my entire debut album RetrospeKt on Jango Radio and SoundCloud. My album is available now on iTunes, Google Play, CDBaby, Amazon and many other online retailers.

Thanks to all my supporters and please visit me at: www.diamondnoterecords.com

Booking/Press Contact:
(760) 214-1123


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