-Hi Azra, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been great. Thanks for inviting me to VENTS!
-Can you talk to us more about your upcoming EP Freedom?
This EP is an artistic journey inspired from my own hardships in life from not being able to fully express myself, falling into societal pressures, facing love challenges, and almost losing my eye sight which ultimately made me open my eyes to create my own world… Freedom basically shows a glimpse of who I am at the beginning of my journey in music.
-Did any event in particular inspire the songs on the EP?
This EP was meant for me to break free. So every song on the EP was inspired by a personal event / realization of my own.
-What’s the story behind the title?
Freedom… it’s self explanatory. All of my art is meant to be interpretive for the listeners. Freedom to me meant freedom to express myself and who I am.
-How was the recording and writing process?
Haha, the recording and writing process was pretty awesome, filled with revelations, long conversations, and just connecting and raising self awareness. I’ve been told that writing sessions with me aren’t like a traditional session, it’s more like therapy. I initially come up with the song ideas myself on a piece of napkin or whatever’s in front of me and then would walk in to the writing sessions with my co-writers. I think there’s so much beauty and art in synergizing with other creatives and elevating the original idea into something even more meaningful and exciting as a team. The rest is history.
-Any plans to release any music videos?
Yes, after the EP release!
-How did growing up in South Korea and your family upbringing influence your music?
Korean children are exposed to music and the arts at a very early age. So growing up in Korea, I started singing, acting, dancing, playing the piano and violin and performing at the age of 3. My first exposure to pop music was when I was 6 my mom played Michael jackson, Beatles and the Carpenters NON STOP in our living room and I remember dancing and singing along to the songs in front of the mirror LOL.
In regards to how my music was influenced by my upbringing, my family is actually very progressive. My family’s generational motto is: “Do it, then It will Happen” and this was engrained in me since birth. Since then, I’ve always believed in going after what I want and trying my best whether I’m taking the conventional route or not, and I think you can see that influence in my music.
-How does modeling influence your music and vice versa?
Modeling really gave me confidence and taught me the importance of being authentic from inside out and this concept is a huge part of my music. I think by modeling, you really get to observe and experience two different worlds: the world that you, as the model, see and the world that people see by watching you model. Music is similar in that it’s all about perspectives: looking at what is on the outside and seeking deeper beauty and meaning within.
-What inspirational messages are you hoping to convey with this record?
Be your authentic self even if you have to go against the norm, speak up, stick through and have the tenacity to overcome challenges, and ultimately do you and go after what you want.
-What personal struggles did you get to explore on this material?
Working on this EP had exposed lots of vulnerabilities that I have been dealing with since I was a child. I realized with every song and chorus I was unpeeling another layer of myself. I like to compare the evolution of our lives to an Onion. This is something my brother told me about…we spend a quarter of our lives packing on all kinds of layers to our core, and then we spend the rest of our lives trying to unpeel and rediscover our core being. This basically happened during the course of my EP creation in a super fast way.
-Any plans to hit the road?
I’ve got things in the works, keep an eye out for more information.
-What else is happening next in Azra’s world?
Stay tuned 😉