Published Apr 30, 2019"When writing my last album, Ariadna, I was a lot more closed off, and I saw myself like a romantic hero who is always alone," explains Russian producer and singer Kedr Livanskiy, when asked in interview about the difference between it and her new album, Your Need. "For the new record, I reconstructed my view of the world, my own mind and how to better connect with people. I came to understand that it's creatively helpful to do something fresh and new."
For Livanskiy, born Yana Kedrina, that meant breaking down whatever limitations she'd imposed on herself the first time around. Only two years ago since Ariadna, much has changed for Livanskiy's sound.
"For me, the lo-fi sound is in the past because I listen to different genres of music now. I wanted to try something different, to revitalize myself and my music, to create something new."
Seeking a more open-minded approach, Livanskiy listened out a lot more dance and house music. Heavy bass and throbbing beats spoke to her; she just always wanted to dance. But it was collaborating with her friend Flaty, she says, that helped her find new layers of sound and percussion.
"I produced this new album with Flaty. He's a really talented musician, and produced most of the beats for me. Before we collaborated, my mixes were a lot simpler; I'm not very good mixing drum beats. Working with him definitely made the process and outcome more interesting."
As usual, Livanskiy played synthesizers and sang all the vocals.
"Collaborating with other artists," she says, "can really help open up something new in your world."
Despite being a confident and talented artist, Livanskiy has had to work hard to establish herself in a male-dominated industry. In Moscow, Livanskiy felt against the odds trying to make a career of music. Initially, having been seen as just a female singer, few colleagues took her seriously. Yet, feeling the need to improve herself, Livanskiy persevered.
"When I started my music career five years ago, there weren't a lot of girls in Russia making electronic music" she states. "I was in the company of men mostly, who have been producing music for a long time, and when I first started they didn't take me very seriously."
Now, Livanskiy represents a collective of underground Russian artists striving to build a community known as John's Kingdom, with an aim to putting Moscow on the electronic music map. In a culture where women are rarely expected or encouraged to transcend motherhood, they rarely have the opportunity to explore what they truly want, but now, having discovered herself by being more open to creative endeavours, Livanskiy is entering a new chapter in her life, connecting to others though her artistry.
Your Need is an expression of Livanskiy's growth and openness to the creative process of recording music. She doesn't write with an intended audience in mind; she simply writes for herself in the moment. It helps Livanskiy look inward.
"For me to be creative in different ways is very important," she explains. "I have gotten really tired of being self-destructive, so I started to reflect more on those bad moments. I don't want to continue down that path; I want to feel re-born, and this album is basically capturing that emotion."
To brand her only as an electronic artist, though, is to confine Livanskiy to a genre that may very well change in the future. As her influences changes, and as life goes on, she says her music will, too.
"I want to live life with a lot of energy — and maybe this new record has a more club-like vibe, but the next one might be folk. Who knows? I just create music relating to how I feel."
Your Need is out May 3 courtesy of 2MR.