Check out our interview with talented pop singer/songwriter Nastiya Kai who just released her new single “Wild One.”
Originally from Moscow, Russia, Nastiya raises mental health awareness amongst her fans by openly speaking about her struggles with BPD. With electric guitar riffs, big choruses, and synths, there’s an element of nostalgia in her songs, juxtaposing the often darker subjects.
Follow Nastiya @nastiyakai
Hi Nastiya, please tell us a little about you?
Hi! I mean my Spotify profile sums it up perfectly haha.
I was born in Moscow, Russia. Spent my entire life moving countries and dropping in and out studies. Worked in fashion pretty much my entire life even though I’ve been secretly writing songs in my bedroom for as long as I remember. Took me a long time to finally build up the courage to actually go after what I want.
I’m a Capricorn, a dog person, very, I’d say too emotional, cannot stay still, find calm in planning things and writing lists, have BPD, a little bit chaotic, prefer rain over the sun, obsessed with the planet we live on and try to live every day like it’s the wildest experience of my life.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Experimental, honest, messy.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I chose music because that’s what I always wanted to do. I cannot really explain the why’s and how’s of it all. The only core music related memory I have is my dad bringing an electric piano home for me to mess around with and I was obsessed with it for a while. I was about 8-10 at the time. It’s keys would light up when a song was played so it was easy for me to memorise my favourites. I still have it and play it until this day.
Whenever I saw a live performance on TV I knew I wanted to be up on that stage. I started writing songs in secret from my parents in grade 5. It was just always there. My dad also sings and plays the piano really well so I guess music was always around too I’m very inconsistent with my choices. Where I wanna live, what I wanna do, what colour hair I want to have. But music is that one thing that has always been there.
Do you play any instrument?
I play the guitar and the piano but I’m not good at either of these instruments. I’m self taught and know pretty much nothing in terms of theory. I wouldn’t say it impacts my writing as I can do what I need to do write a song and also this lack of knowledge allows me to think outside the box because no one set rules for me like they would in school. However, I plan on taking classes regardless just because. I like to learn new things and get better at everything I do so why not.
Do you ever get nervous?
Always! I’m a very anxious human being. I’d say “nervous” is almost a normal for me.
Tell us about your new single “Wild One?”
“Wild One” is a song that has gone through many transformations. Normally, I’m very impulsive. I write a song in a day or two and then never change it except for maybe a couple of lines. I find it dishonest to constantly tweak things.
However, Wild One is something I couldn’t put together for a while. The first line I wrote was “would you really care if I said that I’d jump” so it started off very dark. That came from a place of me wondering if anyone cared about me at all. Then a month later I ended my 2 year long relationship and re-wrote the song addressing it to that person. Fully produced and mastered it for it to become this synthy dance track. Still didn’t feel right though.
Regardless, I thought I’d release it as I never really write fun music and it was important for me to have at least one song out there people could dance to. We fully shot the promos, I was even about to shoot a video for it but literally a couple of weeks before the release date my producer and I decided to re-write everything from scratch.
First of all, we wanted it to reflect my new sound. I have a lot new music coming out soon and the first version of Wild One didn’t have anything to do with the genre I’m transitioning in at that point. And second, I wanted to completely re-write the lyrics. I didn’t want this to be about heartbreak, or making excuses for myself. I wanted to write about what a mess I am and how I ruin my relationships with people while lying to myself that it’s all fun and games. It’s just the story I wanted to tell in the moment so I did and got back to my impulsive style of writing on the way. It felt right.
Making this track set me on the right path as an artist. I now know what my sound and process is and I’ll forever be grateful to that song for allowing me to experience and learn this.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Hearing the final master. It’s like, I made this! You know? I always remember being a little 10 year old bullied so badly I couldn’t even hum anything under my nose. I never ever thought I’d get to a point in my life where I would actually pursue music let alone write something that makes me so proud.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
To trust your gut and work on not being so afraid of the entire world.
How would your best friend describe you?
Wild. She literally says it all the time.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Brilliantly Disturbed Nonsense. A song title from my upcoming album actually.
What’s next for Nastiya Kai in the last months of 2023 and for 2024?
I’ve got a lot of new material in the works. I’m releasing a song on Halloween, then another one in November, then potentially an EP in December, another song in January and an album in February-March. I know this sounds way too ambitious but I think the benefit of being only in the beginning of your musical journey is to be able to do whatever you want without the industry dictating the rules. I want to take advantage of that and write while I’m inspired to do so.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Technically – none haha I’m a breakfast person. I feed on breakfast foods and pasta and none of that is really healthy. I am into fruit though, especially dragon fruit. My aunt literally buys it for me for birthdays and all I’m obsessed.
And your favorite cheat food?
Russia – corn pops and glazed cranberries
LA – In’n’out
NYC – Spicy Tuna @ Joe and the Juice
Paris – any 3 things at your local bakery
How would you explain your fashion style?
I don’t know really. My personality and taste change a lot, so does my hair colour, so does my wardrobe. What’s been consistent throughout my life is platforms, leather, sheer clothing. I’ve always been a little goth but I do go through many phases. But to be completely honest I just wear what I want.
When I don’t have anywhere to be I wear 10 layers of oversized stuff or ‘’anything + a crop top’’ if it’s warm.
What is your own definition of happiness?
I always say you’re truly happy when you stop checking the time. It’s the best way I can describe it.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Oh I would just love to live in the Chelsea Hotel in the 60s-70s and meet everyone.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
There’s so many places I still have to visit but there isn’t one specific one that’s on my bucket list. I love Bali though and go there a lot. I do like to go with people who are very grounded so you can properly experience the island without the chaos.
Best advice ever given?
To not jump over your head.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, Greenpeace, WWF, and I used to work with many dog shelters back in Russia when I was still based there.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo right now. I’m obsessed.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s fun when used in moderation. You need to know when to stop when your mental health is being affected. It’s easy to get lost in the world of pretty pictures.
Where we can follow you?
I’m mostly on instagram @nastiyakai. I’m crazy about order so I love having everything in one place. But I’m also on TikTok and every streaming platform out there!
Book: The Glass Castle
Quote: no quotes, but a lot of fav song lyrics
Movie: Factory Girl
Tv Series: I’m a movie person, but AHS and Demon Slayer (anime) if I had to pick
Favorite Food: Egg Fried Rice, Takis,
Travel Destination: Bali