Pop singer and songwriter Flaviyake, has been known for reinventing herself in all that she does. Especially when it comes to music and videos. She has established a career she can be most proud of succeeding in life. Thus, she has taken some time to play 20 questions, where she addresses her new album, Japanese culture, and ahead in the process of working on even newer material to be seen in the future.
1. If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career? Would you do anything differently?
I would choose the same career, just if I knew what I know now I would be focusing much earlier in my life on the right things.
2. You are a member of the Grammy Recording Academy and the NARIP. Can you disclose what both of these companies actually do and what they do for you as an artist?
Being a member of music organisations gives you access to events where you can meet other music professionals. It’s helpful if you live in Los Angeles and can attend them. Voting members of the Recording Academy are those people who vote in nominations, that’s how artists win the Grammys. The Recording Academy also has a medical care organization and gives it’s members discounts on different event tickets and music instruments. NARIP is great for networking, they also do pitching to music supervisors.
3. Your genre of choice is pop, why go with this particular genre out of all the others available?
I started my career in Hip-Hop, then switched to Pop. These two genres just resonate with me the most. I’m still writing Hip-Hop, just for other artists.
4. What is the story behind your name Flaviyake? Can you say that this name is your real life name or is that your stage name?
Flaviyake is my real name Flavia and a Japanese ending, taken from my favorite fashion designer Issey Miyake.
5. Does your name Flaviyake have a meaning behind it or is it just a name like any other name?
Some people ask me why don’t I go as an artist under my real name Flavia, but think about Google or YouTube search. If I introduce myself as Flavia, how many artists would pop up there? I had to create a unique name to make sure people search for it and find only me. So there is no meaning in my artist name. It’s just a unique name that didn’t exist before I came up with it.
6. You have been known to reinvent yourself in every music video you ever do, why is this, and how do you reinvent yourself?
I believe that a true artist must show people something they don’t see every day. The visualization of a video comes from the song. I grew up on Madonna’s videos and learnt from her reinventions. I remember as teenagers we would always discuss her new hairstyle and wanted to look like her. We would dye our hair to look the same, just we didn’t know that artists often wear wigs and don’t destroy their hair that often. Nowadays music videos are too simplified, they rarely show an artist, they show mostly singers. I think Kendrick Lamar is bringing back that shining artistry that was common in the music videos of the 90s.
7. You discovered your first fan made video for the track "Anime Girl". How did you come across this video, what was your reaction?
I search for my songs from time to time on YouTube to see what’s going on with them. That’s how I discovered that first fan music video. I really had a wish when I was recording Anime Girl that someone would make a fan music video of anime cartoons. It costs over $100.000 to create a real anime cartoon, which is unrealistic for an independent artist like me. So a fan video is a great thing. I really appreciate it, because I know how long video editing takes. And if someone can spend time to make it because they love your song, it is amazing!
8. Are you a fan of anime? If so, which anime titles and or films catch your interest?
I like anime still pictures.
9. Have you ever cosplayed or cosplayed as an anime character based off a particular series or film?
No. When I performed at London Anime Con, some people asked whom I was cosplaying, because I looked like a character. But that was just my quirky colorful artist image of that time. So I was saying that I was cosplaying myself. I was wearing an anime style hair fringe every day and people were taking photos of me on the underground. When I was singing in front of a new audience they would start filming me before my actual performance, just because I looked so unique that they expected to hear something cool from me.
10. Besides anime, are you a fan of any other type of Japanese culture, like manga, it's music scene, TV or film assortment of variety?
I love Japanese fashion. It’s very intellectual, philosophical and innovative.
11. What would you think of your song and video of "Anime Girl" had made its way onto the anime convention scene, would you approve or be a bit hesitant?
I would be totally open for that. I am going to release a new version of Anime Girl this year featuring a famous Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku in both English and Japanese. So I am expecting new opportunities to come.
12. You conducted an interview discussing Californian Jeans as in the pair of pants jeans, why, did this interview happen and why did you discuss about jeans of all items of clothing out there?
That interview was part of an article about jeans invention anniversary (150 years). That Russian magazine liked the interview I gave them in the past, and so they are contacting me now when they want to add something about California and fashion, as I am a MSc in Fashion and had my own brand years ago making dresses for small women like me. California is a unique place on Earth with it’s unique fashion style and color palette! Californian brands make clothes in the colors of the local landscape – dry-land gray, sand-like or burnt-grass yellow, the ocean blue, dusty green and brown.
13. What else have you released so far, besides the "Anime Girl" tune. Any previous albums or EP releases you would like to get the word out?
I released an acoustic EP “Celestial Cutie” in the past, but I feel like I’ve overgrown it. Lots of singles. This year I’m releasing my first album “Bad in Bed”.
14. Speaking of album's you have a new album called "Bad in Bed". Can you elaborate on this title, as in does it mean what we are all thinking?
Yes, it is. I run into some articles on women’s websites last year that were saying what a woman should not say or text to a man about her feelings, because it may scary a man. And I thought - why not? Men are shy too and are waiting for us to make the first step. Why does the society put these boundaries on women? And so I wrote my album about freedom of women’s feelings expression.
15. How would you say that the title relates or references to the album's artwork, who was the artist to come up with the cover's design?
I thought that using an erotic photo as my artwork would be cheesy. And so I decided to avoid any pictures and came up with an idea of making the artwork of the actual album title. As I said before, an artist is supposed to show people something they don’t see every day. So I went to a Virtual Reality event in Marina Del Rey to find 3D designers. I’m glad they were comfortable to accept my edgy project. I was shy to tell them at the event what kind of objects I wanted to place over letters, but then I sent them reference pictures of BDSM devices over the email.
16. Why did you go the concept album route on the new album?
I think if an artist puts just random songs together, it is rather a complication. Let’s be honest, it is simply cheaper to release a bunch of songs together then each song separately as a single. I chose for the album songs related to it’s topic and it starts with “So Hard To Say” – then all other songs are about what is hard to say, all about the feelings we are afraid to voice in a text message or face-to-face.
17. How did you challenge yourself sound wise to fit this concept?
First I really challenged myself to learn music production. I didn’t plan to become a producer a year ago. When I registered for my course and received all my assignments in advance, I thought “I will never be able to do it!”. I was studying 10 hours a day 5 days a week. Six months later I am releasing my first album, in which 7 songs are produced by myself. I am really enjoying the atmospheric sound I have finally achieved. I was missing it in my previous songs. I love creating a unique sound by layering different kinds of synthesizers. I learn something new with every song. Almost all songs on my album contain Kinetik Metal instrument, I even made a water sound from the metal in “The World in Blur” song.
18. Is the concept of the album going to develop into any other mediums like film or graphic novels?
The concept of the album is going to be developed into a photo book with my quotes about life, relationships, sex and music called “From the G-spot to Enlightenment”.
19. What is coming up for the rest of this year, any shows and or tours in the works, what can we expect to see from you?
I am already writing material for next releases. Since I started producing myself, I want to put out as much material as possible. Big artists were not born on stage, they normally have 2-3 unknown albums released before they become famous worldwide and release their “first” album.
20. How do you balance your music with other obligations - mate, children, job?
I don’t have children yet, but I believe I must have them later in my life, because we are the result of thousands of generations survived on Earth before us and I feel like I am responsible for continuing my family. I believe I will have two sons in the future. And my job is music, as I’m writing for artists in other countries too. At the moment I’m working on projects in Japan, Russia and the USA.