As far as self-proclamation goes, this is indeed a doozy… “one of Poland's most acclaimed electronic artists who released a critically revered album in one of her former guises at 18 years old; a beguiling beauty whose siren-esque tones and joy of experimentation in music and the arts have earned her artistic acclaim, commercial success and tours including support for Depeche Mode. Nikita is fresh, Bold, uncompromising and the sound of the future”.
Something of a stranger in our neck of the international woods, Nikita (N) AKA Pati Yang kindly took the time to answer my questions. Refreshingly, she sees a lot of things in the same light as me and amongst other things she’s a fan of Beck, Spike Jonze and light-sabres, so she’s welcome ‘round to mine anytime!
Above all else, the thing I gleaned most from this interview is her real, caring character so thank-you for taking time out for this N…
AS: When you take aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you’re aiming at whom?
N: I only use light sabres… sporadically!
AS: Where do you go when it all gets too much?
N: Anywhere near the sea, although this year has been a rollercoaster of travelling, so I wouldn’t mind staying home.
AS: Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
N: Definitely half four! I’m a nocturnal creature, even though I still get up really early. No red eyes, just too much to do, too much thinking and mineral water!
AS: What do you do with any ‘you’ time?
N: I try to live in it all the time but I also work all the time. I observe the world; look for inspiration all the time. So I never rest, I just switch off sometimes.
AS: Who would be your dream collaborator?
N: Too many to mention! Brian Eno, Henryk Gorecki and Bernard Hermann- I worked on a few film scores and I love his work. Beck, Albarn… the list is endless.
AS: What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
N: I went to a few shows on a recent trip to New York. I saw a band called Rudder. They were amazing…raw talent, great energy.
AS: What’s the best / your favourite music video?
N: Again too many to mention… but I have a soft spot for The Cure’s ‘Lullaby’. When the borders first opened in Poland, everyone got pirate cable TV; then we had UK MTV with all the great classics. Bowie's ‘Let's Dance’ was also on constant rotation. Then came the crazy amazing early Bjork videos… and Spike Jonze!
AS: If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
N: I’M a musical instrument!
AS: What’s ‘love at first sight’ all about then?
N: You see a person on the street and you just know. It hits you and stays with you and no-one comes close.
AS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
N: Everything around… living every moment to the maximum.
AS: Care to share any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
N: I came up with a quote yesterday that sums it up perfectly for me: “it already doesn't matter”.
AS: Were /are you aware of your escalating popularity?
N: Not at all! I live in the UK, which means I can enjoy quite a peaceful life. I cherish that. I see fame more as a side effect of the important things going right than the means to an end.
AS: Will your past come back to haunt you or will karma be kind?
N: Kind, I hope! I’m trying my best anyway.
AS: Where do you most enjoy playing live?
N: I love playing live full stop. Audiences are great and different each and every time. You can always learn from people.
AS: Why? What's your biggest why question that mystifies you most?
N: Why haven’t the aliens landed officially yet? Then again, I know why…
AS: What influences your sound above all else?
N: People… mess… motions.
AS: Where do you sit in the grand scheme of things?
N: I want to know I’m doing my best; to be most I can be while I’m here. Leave a good body of work before I leave too.
AS: Any choice epitaphs or famous last words for which you’d like to be quoted?
N: Try your best and the rest will come.
AS: When do you plan to take over the world?
N: Like, now ha-ha!
AS: What changes can we expect with your latest outing?
N: I’m going more eclectic but more pop at the same time! I’m loving the sound we've achieved with Joe (Cross).
AS: Are you all agreed/in control of the formats for your releases?
N: its team work, but I feel very blessed, the team is great. Things definitely start in my head though.
AS: Wish you were doing anything else with your time other than music?
N: I’m glad to be doing music! How lucky is that?! I cannot believe sometimes that this is actually my job! But trust me; there were scary moments and a lot of doubt. Lots of courage’s required to stick to it.
AS: Who were your heroes as a teenager?
N: I had strange ones…Umberto Eco because I loved his books, Julio Cortazar, and of course, Madonna and Dave Gahan.
AS: What do you think of the paparazzi?
N: There is a place for everyone and every job. It makes society interesting, like a human ant farm.
AS: What music are you listening to of late?
N: I love the new Grinderman… And I listened to a lot of old stuff, classics… Bowie, Eno, Arvo Part.
AS: Any message for underachieving or odds-facing musicians out there?
N: Keep going. Only those who quit never make it.
AS: Any career highs or lows you care to share?
N: Happens all the time! The high was definitely supporting Depeche Mode on a stadium show. Against all odds, I got so much love from the audience. The weather was in my favourite because it started raining and we stayed despite the danger. People were with us! But the gig I saw that night totally inspired me to own the stage. Since then, I just feel more confident.
AS: Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?
N: I love both. They’re different parts of the cycle.
AS: Your career defining dream moment would/will be what?
N: Playing festivals in the UK, Europe and the US. Do a killer tour until I dream of being home again.
AS: Know of any upcoming bands that are destined for greatness?
N: Sorry but I haven't been following lately… Hermiting in the studio!
AS: How important do you feel visuals are in relation to music?
N: Very! It's the eyes of the sound, literally. It shows a little more of the idea behind it. Also it's a powerful output for another message.
AS: What’s been the highlight of your year?
N: Working on the album with Joe.
AS: Any forthcoming plans for you / the band?
N: Getting the live set together for the new material and touring!
AS: Is there more pressure playing live with a band than there is playing solo?
N: It's different, but equally great, it's all about the audience and the energy flow.
AS: Are you unlucky in love and if so, why?
N: I’m on the crossroads… I’m generally lucky; I consider all experiences good, whether they hurt or not, so I’m very lucky.
AS: Best song, movie OR album ever?
N: Too many to mention! Klute, Alphaville. Shadows don’t look now, Violator… Heroes… Maxinquaye… There’s so much great art out there.
AS: Where did you sleep last night?
N: Home, for once! I've been in hotels and planes for most of this year.
AS: What’s your secret vice… what are you a sucker for?
AS: What makes the world go round?
N: Love, of course!
AS: Where’s the place to be?
N: Now 🙂
AS: What’s your weak point?
AS: Which instrument does it for you most?
AS: What inspired the LP title?
N: The thoughts about continuity and interconnectivity. In everything that's happening. I had a difficult year. Finished a long relationship, realised I’m grown up.
AS: Are you a good dancer and can you prove it?
N: Hell yeah!
AS: What kinds of music (if any) do you dislike the most?
N: There is some music out there that doesn't seem made for sincere reasons.
AS: Where will you retire to when you're tired of comeback concerts?
N: I will always be all over the world; I just want to have a few places and be able to travel between them.
AS: When will the world end?
N: Never. We may end, the world never will. And our energy will stay. Nothing ever goes missing.
AS: Who’s the main driving force or do you work as a team?
N: I think it's my job to observe and analyse and come up with my ideas. But I love the team part too, when you share, the minds connect; that's great isn't it?
AS: How important are the single / album charts?
N: To a certain extent they’re very important; they show what’s important for the majority.
AS: What revival would you most like to witness?
N: Everything constantly revives and dies.
AS: Which era would you have been born in ideally?
N: I’m in it!
AS: Are exercise and diet important to you?
N: Very. Staple, really. It's the way I live in this world.
AS: If you could protect and save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?
AS: Who’s the most gifted person alive today?
N: Torture question, next please!
AS: Have you got any famous relatives and if so, who are they?
N: My dad was at the forefront of the punk movement in Poland in the early 80' and became huge in the mainstream later.
AS: Does complaining accomplish anything?
N: I accomplish way more by putting on a charm!
AS: Whose autograph do you have and why?
N: I don’t own a single one.
AS: Which fictional character would you most like to be and why?
N: Sometimes I feel like I’m one anyway
AS: Which rules; the digital age or the vinyl/cassette age?
N: Both! I love mixing media.
AS: Which musical style should become extinct first?
N: Coffee table … Or what they call “lounge music”.
AS: Was it easy becoming who you are today?
N: It’s a constant growth with constant work. I never stop. I don’t feel like I've achieved anything. I just keep going.
AS: What’s the biggest myth about stardom?
N: There is no such thing as an overnight success.
AS: Have you ever been conned into or out of something?
N: Yes, a woman wanted to read from my palm on a train once. I was 15 I think; she asked me to put all of my money on my hand first… You can imagine the rest…
AS: Do politics have a place in music?
N: Difficult one… I think profile has responsibilities, as you can do more, make a bigger change, so it should be used to the limits. Music itself should be a thing of heart.
AS: Do you have any tragically unused band names you’d like to use?
N: The one I have I’m going to use now. I’m putting together another project as we speak.
Watch this space for her re-launch folks. Her debut Joe Cross produced single ‘Tonite’ is, along with her album, is released soon, so in the mean-time; maybe you could check her out here- link
Visit link for full information.