Music has long been established as a force that can bring people together and build communities of like-minded individuals from different walks of life. What most artists and listeners alike don’t understand it’s the fact that they hold the power to influence the world. Following the concept where the music is effectively the most powerful vehicle, the emerging artist Jonny Kasai aka KAZAIZEN has taken on the mission to try to impact the current status quo, even on the smallest of scales, for the betterment of everyone, regardless of their background, culture, or beliefs.
Mixing the psychedelic rock with modern vibes, Kazaizen is the perfect artist for all the fans of experimental music on the hunt of those unique vibes that can lead you into an introspective journey made of groovy bass-lines, ethereal vocals and colourful synths.
The passion for the genre and his strong belief to evaluate the world and focus on the commonalities that can ring people together is the ethic behind the creation of his debut album ‘Cyclops Dragon Light Switch’, a mix of Hendrix and Time Impala.
An Exquisite creation that caught our attention on this hard worker and big dreamer.
YMX: Hey KAZAIZEN, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?
KAZAIZEN: Not too bad. We have been very fortunate through these crazy times. Always have to count your blessings.
YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?
KAZAIZEN: I’ve always been into music and instruments since a really young age. My parents tell me that I used to just sit at this 3 key kids piano for hours and they got a little concerned like something was wrong with me, haha. My uncle was a major inspiration hearing and see him play the guitar. I’ve always found solace in music. It is a very personal thing for me first and foremost, almost like therapeutic meditation perhaps? Once the opportunities came about to play with other people, it came very naturally, like it is what I’m supposed to be doing. My Dad showing me the Woodstock movie and seeing and hearing Jimi Hendrix play, was it. There was no turning back from that point on.
YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:
KAZAIZEN: Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd. They were so unique and experimental. I feel like they truly combined the whole psych aesthetic with the pop music of the time. The entire whimsical style that they invented has always been a constant inspiration.
Tame Impala, because it is Tame Impala, and the recording production (drum/snare sounds to die for). Totally unique and refreshing along with the crew of connected folks (Pond, GUM, etc.)
Caroline Rose. A fairly recent discovery that I made of her music. I love it. It is like a new wave punk-pop. Everything about it is delicious from the instrumentation, the songwriting, and production.
YMX: You recently released “CYCLOPS DRAGON LIGHT SWITCH”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
KAZAIZEN: ‘Cyclops Dragon Light Switch’ is the Album from which 4 music video singles have been released on Youtube, “Oranjtanman”, “What the Funk”, “Telephone (All Alone)”, and “Bye the Sea”. It is really the culmination of the last 6 months of writing and recording. I suppose it could be considered another “coronavirus quarantine” album, but that was entirely not the original intention. It’s really just a collection of new material that I got into writing songs with no pretence at all, and just letting the songs write themselves from the initial birth of just jamming on a thing with an instrument and seeing where it will go from there. I feel that everything I write nowadays are short weird psychedelic commercials. The music videos consist of video clips all shot with a cellphone. The songs address directly a lot of stuff going on in the world and the US right now, but as I said, that was not the intention at all originally. The words for me always come after the music. Just seemed to fit. I actually intended for the videos to be released in the opposite order. Worked out better the way it ended up being.
YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?
KAZAIZEN: Really, I don’t think it changed a thing. Prior to the craziness, I was pretty much a hermit already, so recording at home was what I was doing all along.
YMX: Professional live streams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?
KAZAIZEN: Possibly. I think it’s really important to have a good sound, and I think it would be a lot of fun, but I’m more of a work on a song and refine it kind of person than a ‘hey here I am with my acoustic going to sing now person’. Idk.
YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?
KAZAIZEN: Absolutely. I actually think a lot of musicians don’t even realize how important this is. If you don’t care about getting your music out there, why should anyone else care? I’m on Submithub, Groover, Musosoup, etc. You do have to pay a little bit of money to submit your music, but the opportunity for feedback and exposure is priceless. Getting declined can be harsh, but art is art. Can’t expect everyone to like everything. That would ruin the point. I’m just beginning to realize the potential with online promotion. Definitely not a social media person before this, so it’s a learning experience. #ALWAYSONTHATGRIND
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.) *
KAZAIZEN: I want to put out an album or EP every 6 months. I also have projects with friends (Space Mall, CUZ, Tritones) that will be putting out albums in the coming months along with music videos for all of these, so the future looks to be quite exciting indeed! Would love to play shows again once we can, but I prefer to play out as a member of a group, not the lead, so we’ll see for the Kazaizen stuff.