For some time now, music creator and performer KaYra - Kristina Radžiukynaitė has been talking about her soon-to-be-released EP - a mini-music album. Today she presents the first song of the album - "You". She shares that this track, like the whole album, was written during a period of quarantine, when she was inspired not by everyday life, but by her experiences and memories:
"The whole album, and the song "You", is inspired by my teenage experiences. Adolescence was a very important time in my life. It inspired me to create, to explore, to want to know. It's a time when you are the most courageous, you are not afraid to lose something, you are not afraid to make mistakes, which is something that changes little by little as you get older and you become more cautious. I want to dedicate my album to a period in a person's life when you have no idea what's ahead of you, when you enjoy life the most, when you don't have a lot of responsibilities and when you get acquainted with new feelings, new experiences."
KaYra adds that alongside all the purity of adolescence, this stage was a step into new, uncharted territory in life: the raising of existential questions, the search for answers, approval and self, the question of what love is, the first fears and disappointments that came with first love. Kristina jokes that her EP contains all the hormones of adolescence. It is no coincidence that the filming location for the "Tu" video was the surroundings of Leipalingis, where the singer spent her teenage years:
"For me, this place is a place of woolliness, a real adolescence, when you don't worry about anything and spend romantic, fun summer days and nights with your friends or your lover. At the same time, the location is very symbolic because it is the land where my parents met, the beginning of their love story. I had the association in my mind that to capture this kind of content, I needed a camera that my parents used to film me as the fruit of their love in my childhood." - KaYra comments on the choice to use her dad's old Panasonic camera.
She adds that nowadays, many artists try to recreate the image conveyed by an old camera using professional techniques, but she believes that no professional technique can create the authentic effect and feeling that can be achieved with her dad's camera and the video cassettes that have been used many times to record childhood events. Kristina adds that it is not only the camera that has been with her since childhood or the surroundings of Dzūkija that gave her a cosy feeling, but also the fact that for the first time, her friends were the cinematographers of the clip:
"My previous videos were made on sets and in studios with a big team, so filming 'You' was a different experience for me. The fact that my friends were running the camera created a casual but extremely cohesive atmosphere that didn't feel rushed. And the best part was that filming became more fun than work. I think the camera managed to capture this moment too. I'm happy that the video reflects such a naturally warm emotion."
KaYra says that working with friends is both challenging and enjoyable, but the biggest advantage of this choice is the good mood, relaxation and infinite confidence that comes from knowing that every member of the team will do the best they can because they care.
However, it was not only her friends who took care of KaYra during the filming, but she also provided a warm welcome for her friends - Kristina's grandparents, who live in Leipalingis, treated the team to lunch during the filming days, and told them stories about the region. Of course, her grandparents were delighted to see KaYra's dance partner Justas Girdvainis among the team members, with whom she recently won the TV project "Dance with the Star".
"Justus and I have already found a very strong bond in the dance project and we continue to communicate. I like that our creative waves overlap and in this video I saw it very easily. We talked during the dance project that we will definitely do something else together. This is one of our projects, but I think people will see more of our dances. You could say that we became scene partners in the dance project, but after six months of dancing we are still scene partners and close friends." - comments the singer on her choice to appear in the video for the song "You" with J. Girdvainis.
KaYra and Justas, the most romantic couple in "Dancing with the Star", have been asked several times during the project about their relationship. However, Kristina comments briefly on this issue:
"Issues related to our personal life and its decisions are very unbalancing, because I want viewers and listeners to appreciate my work and listen to my music first."
Justas says that he is the kind of KaYra fan who always focuses on her work. "You" was no exception - he was very impressed by this song, so when he heard Kristina's offer to do the film, he didn't hesitate:
"Kristina is always easy and good to work with, so it was not a difficult decision to make. Besides, 'You' is a very nostalgic and memorable song - I've listened to it just a few times and it's been on my mind ever since." - says the dancer.
Justas shares that it was interesting to embody the story of KaYra's parents and to visit the places where they spent the first years of their acquaintance, but the filming also took a lot of energy - it lasted for several days, during which the actors changed their looks as many as seven times. However, KaYra's scene partner is happy that the filming was made easier by the great company and that it was a lot of fun to be transported back to the 2000s and to see himself in this style. Kristina paid a lot of attention to the images:
"The imagery was a very important part of the video. I wanted to recreate the authentic character of the 1990s-2000s period as closely as possible. The Cosmos Shop and my friend, stylist Joringis Shat, helped a lot with the outfits. The whole process of choosing the clothes was a lot of fun, because my mother was also my advisor, and I consulted with her to make sure that we would really match the 2000s look." - She shares that this style of dressing is very close to her everyday life, but creating even more striking looks than usual helped to transport the characters created by Kristina and Justas to the 2000s.
Although KaYra says she is inspired by her parents' history, the style of her clothes or the energy and sense of freedom she gets from nature, Faustas Venckus, the producer of "Tu", says that Kristina herself is the real inspiration, having gathered a lot of very different experiences within her:
"KaYra is a theatrical and creative performer. I think her sound comes from the fact that her work is inspired by so many different artists. This is also evident in her songwriting. It's welcome to have such a bold approach to unconventional solutions - it always leads to music that makes you want to shake your head when you hear it."
Faustas shares that working with KaYra is both easy and challenging, because she knows exactly what she wants:
"Kristina and I met when we started working together on songs for the new album. I think that even though we just met, we get along very easily. Kristina has a clear vision for each song and I just have to find it in the musical sounds. Sometimes it takes time, but the process is part of the fun." - Shares the music producer, whose and KaYra's next collaborative work will be heard in the summer.