CULTED SOUNDS: BERRY GALAZKA TALKS INFLUENCES FROM FLORIDA LIVING & THE TIKTOK ALGORITHM READING HER MIND
Berry Galazka doesn’t care for the music industry’s BS. Experimenting with various forms of art before arriving at music, the Polish-American creative has already made her mark on the scene with projects which develop a pop-punk crossover sound. Her image is underpinned by a red and white colour scheme, in a nod to her Polish upbringing, and her influences span everything from generational trauma to the rabbit holes of Wikipedia.
With her first EP taking aim at the music industry’s boys club, her latest project which dropped at the start of the month is her favourite yet. We caught up with her to discuss what she wishes she’d known when starting out, coming home to Real Housewives, and how her sound feels like swimming out of a riptide in Florida.
It’s refreshing to see an artist truly tapped into internet culture – can you talk a bit about your relationship with the internet and how it influences your work?
I love the internet. I spend most of my time on Youtube, TikTok and Wikipedia. Most of my ‘TV’ I watch is YouTube channels. It democratises education and communication. I love that I can go to a Wikipedia page and there’s links and links and links within it, you can connect so many dots. Reference points. The TikTok algorithm really reads your mind. I’ve discovered so many cool artists and niches of people sharing what they’re obsessed with. For instance I saw a guy talking about Hilma af Klint, a Swedish artist I’d never heard of. She is the true founder of abstract art, not Kandinsky, who history seems to have forgotten! She’s one of my favourite painters now.
What advice would you give to emerging artists – or something you wish you’d known starting out?
– The tallest trees have the largest root systems. It takes years before they come above the soil, you’re a redwood.
– Make art for yourself and only for yourself. You are your audience. Others can come along, stay, or leave.
– Expect nothing from people you have no relationship with.
– Be uncompromising in your art.
– When a collaborator has an idea in a session you’re not totally loving, give it some air and see it through for a bit before killing it, the worst ones may turn into the best ones. Writing a lot and being in sessions will help you learn when you need to put something to rest or keep going.
– Always record the best vocals you can on a demo, aim for a final take the first try.
When all else fails, read this quote:
“One may dream while others are saviors if these dreams are more real to oneself than reality and more necessary than bread. In a word: one ought to turn the most extreme possibility inside oneself into the measure for one’s life, for our life is vast and can accommodate as much future as we are able to carry” – Rainer Maria Rilke
How did you get to music as a career?
Music is the best method to put forward my ideas at this time. I came to London from Florida because the scene here seemed the most experimental. I sent hundreds of emails until I got 1 reply to work with a producer and slowly found each member of my team and collaborators. It’s not a fast process, which is preferred if you want harmony and control.
Who are your creative influences – musical or otherwise?
Paintings are my main source of inspiration. I go to a lot of museums, always with the audio guide. Psychology and quantum physics. The unseen universe. Generational trauma and how patterns weave through descendants. I listen to a lot of the same music when I’m in an era.
What’s the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?
My upcoming project. I committed to my vision and saw it through. All the visuals tie together, it’s visually and musically based on the painting ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening’ by Salvador Dali and the solidarity anti-communist movement in Poland that my mom was a part of.
My favourite lyrics I’ve written are on ‘Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee’
If you had to describe your sound in 3 sentences, what would these be?
A doberman with its face pressed against the window in a Lamborghini going really fast… in the desert.
Emphasising duality and nuance… melting into tension.
Swimming out the side of a riptide… in Florida.
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Can you walk us through a typical day-in-the-life (if there is one) when creating music?
I wake up at 11am, but sometimes at 10am. I drink a pour over coffee, but sometimes French press. Ideally I walk to my session. I never go in with an agenda. Writing comes fast and easy. The song is written within the first hour. The rest is production and recording. I always leave with a finished demo. I come home and watch Real Housewives.
Lastly, name 5 tracks you’re loving right now and why.
‘Chonkyfire’ by Outkast – Andre and Big Boi’s flows I’m barely able to get a grip on, feels like I’m trying to rock climb on a smooth piece of marble. My favourite lyric: ‘On behalf of Outkast I cordially invite you to an emotion filled theatre’
‘I Ain’t Got Time!’ By Tyler, The Creator – the hook is so funny, aint got TIIIiiIIiiiIIIiiiIIIME
‘Fear Of The Dawn’ by Jack White – Came for the guitars, stayed for the guitars.
‘Sante’ by Stromae – the timing is off kilter, it makes your body feel like it’s moving in an ’S’ shape. It’s a song cheers-ing to the shift workers who nobody pays attention to but who without society would collapse. I like writing that talks about anything but love and shines light on niche subjects.
‘Hollywood’ by Madonna – The melody over the bass line caught me and I’ve not heard anything quite like it. The ending with the pitch shift vocals is so weird. I’ve been getting into her early 2000’s stuff and I think this whole ‘American Life’ album is great.