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New Music: Beatrix Sky; Interview

Photo: Matt Guile/Newspin Photo

Beatrix Sky hails from Olympia, Washington, and with the time she’s spent in that city, she certainly has made good use of her talent. Beatrix brings us her debut album, a four track EP simply called, Sympathy. It’s an album that makes me feel like I should be traversing through a dark, dank, underground dwelling as I hunt for an unnamed lover I’ve seen only in a dream.

I had the chance to chat with Beatrix about how she got her start making music, her time spent as an indie folk singer-songwriter and her debut EP.

the mixtape: Where does the name Beatrix Sky come from and how long have you been making music around town?

Beatrix Sky: It’s kind of a long story. I was hanging with some friends one night and we somehow got on the subject of names. I told them, half jokingly “If I could choose my own name I’d go by Beatrix.” They said “Oh you could totally pull that off! We’ll call you that” before I knew it the name just stuck. Sky just kind of happened. It seemed like a good fit.

I’ve been performing under this name since October 2014, after I released an EP entitled Sympathy.

tm: Your debut EP, Sympathy, is out now. Is this your first release as Beatrix Sky? Tell me about the writing and recording process.

BS: Right, yes! My EP was the first thing I put out as Beatrix Sky.

Last year I spent a lot of time playing around on my microkorg at home by myself and became really immersed in song writing and the whole creative process that goes along with it. I was constantly getting new ideas for melodies just from messing around with different synth patches and partially just from being so damn lonely.

Initially I was frustrated because I had no idea how or where I could get my songs recorded, since I didn’t know how to do it myself.

And then I met Nathan Gibson.

Nathan was a saint not only for offering to help me record my songs but also producing them in a way that matched my style. I’d explain how I wanted them to sound and he could make that happen, which isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish. But he could. And he did.

tm: I recently learned that your music making started out as indie folk singer-songwriter pieces and that over time you became more and more electro/synth pop. Tell me about your time as an indie folk singer and what lead to this stylistic change.

BS: When I first began writing my own music I was going for a much different sound. My vision was to sound a lot more raw and acoustic. I was really influenced by artists like Lykke Li, Broken Social Scene, Feist-those kinds of artists.

I started to kind of shift gears once I spent more time making music on my synth. That was where it really began, when my dad sent me back to school with a microkorg and an amp.

Even before that, I was feeling more drawn towards electronic/pop music. My style has really evolved and I think that’s important in order to grow as an artist.

tm: What is it about the style of music you’re making now that is attractive to you?

BS: If I were an outsider who stumbled upon my music, I know that it’s something I would listen to. That’s what I love about it. My music has a really dreamy quality that you can get lost in. I feel like I’ve reached a point where I finally have a sound that I genuinely love.

tm: Why do you make music? What’s the end goal?

BS: Music is my calling. It’s always been the thing I love to do, and the only thing I’ve ever been really good at. I initially started writing music and recording just for the fun of it, but the more I’ve worked on it, the more I’ve realized it’s something I want to take seriously.

There is no end goal. The goal is to keep going.

tm: In your experience, what is the hardest thing about being a musician?

BS: Putting a show together. Strangely, it’s not easy getting a hold of other bands and getting everyone on board. Bookers are also really tough to get a hold of sometimes.

tm: Do you feel support from the Seattle music scene?

BS: Definitely! I’ve made some good connections out that way and I hope it continues.

tm: What local bands are really grabbing your attention these days?

BS: I’ve spent a good deal of time listening to Motopony. Also really enjoy Hell Mary and Dreamhouse.

tm: If Beatrix Sky was an action figure, what accessories would you have?

BS: Hmm…I’ll have to think about that one!

tm: When do we get a full length album from you?

BS: This summer at the latest!

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