The prolific LA-based Aska Matsumiya does it all: music, film, art – and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. The classically trained pianist who scored Spike Jonze’s short film I’m Here, and was previously a member of the conceptual art band The Sads, is going from being a solo-artist to helming her own band – while also composing for, and performing in, the 30-member all-girl LA Ladies Choir, whose debut album was released last year.
ASKA’s debut EP, released in 2010, featured collaborators Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Flea (The Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Nick Dewitt (Pretty Girls Make Graves) among others, and her self-titled full-length record has just been released through Manimal Vinyl. The multi-faceted songstress talks making magic and music with Sex & Fashion.
Indigo Clarke: How did you start making music?
Aska Matsumiya: I began by playing for friends.
Indigo Clarke: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it?
Aska Matsumiya: Mellow bedroom music.
Indigo Clarke: Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create or influences your music?
Aska Matsumiya: Lights, nature, intimacy… Anything that speaks directly to my heart.
Indigo Clarke: Have you always been involved with music? Why were you drawn to a career in this industry?
Aska Matsumiya: I’ve always played the piano and music feels like the purest way for me to express my self for now.
Indigo Clarke: You are involved in so many creative pursuits – which do you love most?
Aska Matsumiya: I have so many. Asking that is like asking a child which flavour of ice cream they like the most! I make music and art and would love to do installations, direct music videos and short films, pursue acting… The list is endless.
Indigo Clarke: What are your live shows like? What are some of the best or craziest live experiences you (or your audience!) have had?
Aska Matsumiya: When I play by myself it’s normally just me and Pepe and it never gets too crazy. If anything, teary.
Indigo Clarke: Fashion and music have a complex, often symbiotic, relationship – what are your thoughts on fashion and music and how they influence each other? And, what’s your relationship with fashion?
Aska Matsumiya: I like what I wear to inspire the way I feel. Most of the time I like baggy things and sometimes shiny.
Indigo Clarke: What’s the sexiest outfit you’ve ever worn?
Aska Matsumiya: A long dress that drapes, I was wearing one at the park and it was collecting leaves which made me feel super sexy.
Indigo Clarke: Exciting upcoming events or projects for you?
Aska Matsumiya: I have a new band! ! ! ! Keep your eyes peeeeeeled. Also I just released an ambient album Aska / Fuego with Teenage Teardrops. We will be playing few ambient shows, with lots of smog and flashing lights.
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