CME Sit-Down: BLANCAh
Born into this world with a love for all things creative, it was only a matter of time before we saw this artist spread her wings and shine on an international level. Yes, we are speaking about BLANCAh! BLANCAh has built a solid path in music production by delivering a continuum of highly acclaimed releases. She defines her musical identity through melodic compositions, often featuring her signature dark quirky soundscapes. Her music is clearly a reflection of her love for all things strange and wonderful. Both remixing as well as composing her own songs, her work always depicts her sensitivity and versatility, which combines to create a unique essence and form of self-expression. BLANCAh is now well established and has cemented her music identity with a multitude of skill and talent. Her commitment to stay true to her roots, has really pushed her need for creative expansion and has in fact, strengthened her ability to stand out from the crowd.
She embarks on her India tour this May!
Hi BLANCAh, how are you doing? Let’s begin by telling our readers how has 2019 been for you thus far.
Hi guys, thank you so much for this opportunity to share with your audience a bit more about my work. 2019 has been wonderful. I have traveled a lot to play every weekend at amazing parties and festivals, meeting new countries, cities and people. These exchanges are very valuable to me. My work inside the studio goes really well, too. I released a new song with the German label “Sprout” from D-Nox; I just finished my second album that I hope to release later this year; and I'm really looking forward to my next release with the renowned “Renaissance”. This one its scheduled for June. In May I start my biggest tour of Europe, I will play in important festivals and I will also be going around India for the first time and I am very excited for this moment.
It’s evident from your tracks that you like to be involved in the project in all aspects. You often do the vocals on your tracks yourself. You also pick the artworks for your tracks. What is the ideology behind that?
Well, I have an artist soul. I am a graduate in visual arts. All my studies have gone back to art in general. In other words, Art has always been with me. I have a lot of visual and conceptual content inside me and I always look for a way to put things that I like together, like painting, drawing, music, etc. I think it is important to have control of the entire visual and musical concept to create a more coherent and powerful result. This is a very natural process for me. BLANCAh was born like a bird that learned to fly in a free fall. Since 2013 I work my whole artistic concept around the universe of birds and people identify me for it. I have a lot of tattoos on my body that represent the birds. I mean, I totally immerse myself in what I am.
Could you tell us a bit more about your association with the Steyoyoke family?
I am very grateful for the almost six years that I spent dedicating my time and my energy exclusively to this Label. I was very dedicated, faithful and exclusive for this project. I learned and grew a lot and I know they also grew and learned with me. But a lot has changed during these six years inside that label so I decided to end my journey with them a year ago and move on. Today for me Steyoyoke is a label that has released my songs in the past and now Im focusing on my future.
You recently posted an anecdote about how a friend gave you a piece of advice while you were studying. "You're going to have two major problems in your career: First you're great doing what you do and many will not believe that you actually produce your own music. Second you are beautiful and the world is not ready for this kind of woman. Many will look at you and question your talent or demand proof of it. So be ready". Do you think what they said is still very relevant and prevalent in the industry today? What is your opinion on it?
Yes, and i will try to explain to you why. I believe there are many different faces inside this industry. On one hand, the real artists who are honest throughout their creative process. They are in fact producers of their own music and remain intact throughout the journey of their careers and life. And there are those who are products of this industry. Products assembled and created with the right ingredients to be superstars. Many men and women within this industry are part of the second tier, which means, they have been created as products of this industry. A considerable proportion of these “products” do not produce their own music. For example, many choose to use ghost producers, something that is really common when you are just a “product”. They do not even know how to operate a DAW or do anything than spin random buttons on the synths. Because of the image that people have of these kind of artist, who are created as a product by the industry thus sometimes real artist, the ones more honest, have a hard time being accepted and often are in pressure to prove their qualities all the time. I am very happy to see a whole new generation of women seeking information, training, studying and truly dedicating themselves to the art of music production and Djing. I hope one day that most of the good industry positions will be occupied by such kind of artists, the real ones.
What does the process of you preparing your sets look like? Which labels or artists do you actively follow to incorporate their music into their sets?
In general, I take a lot of time thinking about my "set". I take a whole week in the process of choosing the songs, organizing and mixing. I think a “set” must be played like you tell a story. It's really rare for me to mix improvising. I like to have total control over my music, what I'm doing during the "set" and to be sure that the songs are perfect in the sequence that i create. Today I like to support small labels and Brazilian labels such as Prisma Techno and Timeless Moment.
Along with designing the artworks, you also follow poetry very intently, which also is a different form of art that brings out a very creative and deep side of you. How crucial have these two art forms been to you and how does it influence your music?
I face music as a very personal medium of expression. In music i place my feelings and my truths. But it is also a means of political expression. You can reach people by talking about things that you think are relevant. I want to reach out to people with sensitive expressions, also make people reflect about life, love, .... I live thinking of ways to reach people on the more emotional side, bring love to the surface, bring respect, and collective consciousness. The more elements I use to create this communication with my listeners the more satisfied I am. Poetry is a way.
Being a Brazilian you come from a scene which is pretty diverse in terms of music. How did the music culture in Brazil influence your growth as an artist?
In the best way possible. I had a beautiful musical education, my parents listened to MPB, bossa nova, National Rock, all the relevant artists in the history of Brazilian music who built our identity as a nation. I never liked what the world usually consumes as Brazilian music which is the poorest in our industry. But I do not know that strange magic or absurd madness that makes the most coarse, shallow and empty music, the most consumed around the world.
If you had the opportunity to play a back to back set with any artist from the scene, who would you pick and why?
Honestly, I do not really like B2B. I think you need to have a lot of intimacy with the artist who is on your side, otherwise, the B2B becomes a war. In my opinion, In general, the B2B set is very inconsistent when the artists don't have this intimacy. I always choose not to do B2B with anyone. But I would love to sit in a studio and produce music together with other artists. Mathew Johnson, David August, Johannes Brecht, Petar Dundov, Moby, Faithless, Massive Attack. There the list is endless.
What does the rest of 2019 look like for you?
Absolutely incredible. I have many positive expectations for this year. In my opinion it will be a year of very important changes. To plant new seeds for the future and to reap good fruits from the ones I planted last year. As I said before, I am very happy to be part of a label like “Renaissance". I'm excited about my new album and some ideas for shows that I've been developing for a long time. So this 2019 will be a year of hard work, exclusive dedication to music, which promises to be amazing.
For more information on BLANCAh, check here
BY Shivani Murthy
INTERVIEW / 8 months Ago