Interview with Singer, Pianist and Harpist Gaia Guarda
By Mick Michaels
COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Gaia! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.
CV: Your new album, "Anatomy of Fear," is somewhat of a
departure from what your fans are used to and may come as a surprise to
some. What inspired you to go a different route with your first solo
GAIA: I think that the best artists are the ones that do not put limits to their art, think outside the box and are adventurous. When I started writing the album, I never put any limit on the genre, on what instruments I was going to include or the number of vocal lines I wanted. I went all in and I told myself I would figure out where the songs belonged after the final product was ready. I was a bit surprised to see how much my electronic influences took over, but I think that it is one of those genres where there're no rules and no matter what you do, there will still be a place for you.
CV: Tell us a little about "Anatomy of Fear." What are
you hoping fans come away with after hearing it?
GAIA: I was in a very dark place when I wrote most of the songs, feeling really isolated and alone. I really hope that people who are listening to this record will feel like they are not alone. I know how hard solitude can be, and now with COVID, a lot of people are struggling with their mental health. I want them to know that everything is temporary and also that they can use the pain that they are experiencing and make something beautiful with it. Life is beautiful, even when we don't see it, that beauty will come back.
CV: Writing songs while learning to play an instrument, such as the case
with the harp for you, is definitely an undertaking. Did you find that
writing while learning to play the instrument assisted in developing both a
personal style and a particular sound that you feel you would have not achieved
otherwise by taking formal lessons and waiting until you became more
accomplished? Did it make things easier in your opinion?
GAIA: It was a fun process, I honestly am so happy I learned to play my harp alongside with writing the songs. It makes it even more special to me. I don't know if this is a common thing along musicians, but every time I am learning a new instrument, I feel like my passion for music is burning even more. It kinda gives me a breath of fresh air, a new approach, a new way to see and understand music. I have more instruments that I plan on learning in the future, I hope I get to include them into future records.
CV: Are there any concerns that the album may alienate a certain populace of fans who have come to know you by your previous work?
GAIA: I was scared at first with how people would react to me going a different path than what they are used to, but it made me realized that the fans that are still following me through all the stages of my career are the ones that I really want to keep near me. I believe that all artists should be free to experiment, even if it doesn't make every single fan happy, this is how you grow. Doing the same thing over and over again isn't something that I want for myself. I've always admired artist who are adventurous, not afraid to break rules and have their own voice. I will still do metal, that is in my future, but this is the project where I can be 100% myself, without hiding behind a band. It's a beautiful thing to be able to have that realness in my life. It's terrifying, but at the same time I've never felt so free musically.
CV: Many music critics feel that electronic music is something that
should be left to 80s Pop music and also believe it has diminished the
power of Rock 'n Roll...making it more of an easily replicated novelty.
Do you agree with such beliefs? Does electronic music have its merits contrary
to what the critics think?
GAIA: I think electronic music has its place, like every other style of music that exist. There's so many people in the world, and I feel that every single style of music has its place. If it touches one person, that's all that matters.
CV: The album's completion was assisted by a massive crowdfunding
campaign. Were you surprised at the overall support from the fans to make
this project happen?
GAIA: It's been a few months, and every time I mention it, I'm still in shock. I had no idea it would get that much traction, I was terrified to ask for help. I was welcomed with so much love, it's incredible how loving people are, I can't describe how grateful I am that they helped me finish the album. I wouldn't have made it without their support.
CV: Did the COVID pandemic delay the production of the
album in any way?
GAIA: I actually think it worked in my favor, I started the crowdfunding end of March, when everything shutdown in Canada. I was laid off from my day job, I had for the first time in my life, time to put 100% of my attention to this project. I did livestream every week, most weeks I would even do more than one livestream a day. I still have fans asking me to do more…I love how you can have a direct contact with fans through social media. I believe the pandemic made a lot of bands realized how important it is to use social media, it's a powerful tool.
CV: Most sources say that the music industry as we know it won't begin
to make a return to form until late 2021 or even as early as 2022. What
are your plans to promote the album? Will you be doing any online events?
GAIA: I am still figuring out how I want to promote the project, but I am looking into doing online events in the future, even when shows start again. For the moment, I am still figuring out what my next steps are, and I am excited for the future. I feel like good things are coming my way.
GAIA: I hope it becomes part of the new norm, as a fan, I love online events! There's so many artists who I might never get a chance to see live, since they never perform in my country unfortunately. Online event gives you the opportunity to see them live, no matter where they are in the world, like when I was a kid and would buy live DVDs!
As an artist, I feel like you get to connect with fans on another level. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future will be for performing artist.
CV: What's next? In addition to "Anatomy of Fear's"
release, what can fans expect to see coming as the New Year approaches?
GAIA: For now, it's mostly promoting the album, that will be my main focus. I do have a white board…not so white now haha, where I write down my ideas for next year. I can't really say surely what is next for me, I know I am getting the itch to start writing new music, so we never know, maybe another album really soon!
CV: Thank you again Gaia for
spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the
best and continued success.
GAIA: Thank you for having me :)
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