If the country you live in was the subject of a synth-embargo recently, you might have missed Kristine self-titled and first album which dropped in the middle of july. Synthwave OGs sure know about the Greece-based artist who’s already collaborated with the likes of Futurecop or Mitch Murder to drop a fresh take on 80’s Pop music. Thanks to the interwebs, I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions in the 2.0 wind, starting with her introduction to music.
‘’It’s been a long journey. I started playing guitar and bass when I was around 12, then learned drums from my brother, we just played all the time around the house with friends and everyone. I had also started writing songs from the start, so later on when he showed me the basics of how to record using audio softwares (he is an audio engineer) that’s when I started producing my own songs as well. Initially for a band I had started but mostly for my solo tracks as I realized I’d rather be doing my own thing and be on my own again. So after having gone through a lot of different music styles all these years, from metal to indie to folk, I came across the 80s music revival in 2010, namely Anoraak, Tesla Boy and Futurecop, in that sound I found what I wanted to do as I’ve always loved 80s music and grew up listening to it.’’
The dawn of RetroWave indeed served as an inspiration for many artists who’ve since gained recognition. Kristine doesn’t differ although she might seem more discrete than other big names on the scene. If you listen to the 13 tracks of her album, you can clearly feel her aforementioned musical background. From folk to indie rock, it’s just like if 80’s pop came up as the perfect binder to complete Kristine’s musical ambitions. So, mix all these influences up in one bag, add some lighthearted feelings, and there you have it, Kristine’s first opus is a bundle of carefree tracks which even at the very least make you feel like you’re on a highway trip to Sunny-Land.
‘’I like to make music that helps people feel good and takes them to a better place for a while. Something that is nostalgic but optimistic and I think the album is definitely like that.’’
Much like GUNSHIP’s recently released debut album, Kristine’s work is at the crossroads of worlds. It’s easy to notice that what’s spinning in the disc-eater isn’t really synthwave but still manages to stay true to the RetroWave scene while also bearing the potential to get through mainstream-vorous ears.
‘’I get confused by all the sub genres but I don’t think my music is much synthwave, I think it’s more 80s pop or synth rock cause I use vocals and guitars and that by default makes the sound more mainstream. It’s not about clichés though, everyone should make the music they want no matter what anyone says. Most normal people think we are all crazy when we say we make 80s music anyway! But I do make my music more mainstream on purpose cause I love mainstream music and really cannot understand what it has become lately, so getting mainstream music back like it used to be is definitely what I’ll keep pushing for if I can.’’
As hinted earlier, lots of collaborative work can be found in Kristine’s track record. Her previous EPs The Deepest Blue and Modern Love brought remix tracks from Miami Nights 1984, Bestrack, Mitch Murder and other electrolads. You can find some of her previously released track on this new record like Modern Love, The Deepest Blue or The Danger. When it comes to the new tracks, collaboration is still the word considering the presence of synth parts recorded by a handful of artists operating from various parts of the globe. Some of the contributors’ names will sound familiar to most synthmaniacs. We’re talking about Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Diana Gitallog, Highway Superstar or Sunglasses Kid… But rest assured, we’re not talking about a spineless puzzle-album here, all these 13 tracks go along with each other in a coherent way and Kristine’s natural voice flows in like pure water.
‘’For each of these [collaborations] I had something different in mind. With Mitch Murder we worked together when I sang on two of his tracks out of pure fun, but it also helped me get the word out. Then the following years I released my two EPs and reached out to MN84 to do a remix cause people have been asking us forever to work together and I was sure they would enjoy the result. Then I asked for other remixes as well as I thought it could bring something new to the tracks. Then with the album I reached out to musicians who I thought could deliver a very precise sound I had in mind for each track and that was missing, like Diana who gave me that extra epicness and ambiance on Heroes or Summer Long Gone. It all happens after careful planning and thought, nothing is random.’’
Yep, nothing is random, and it also applies to Kristine’s relationship to social media. Some may point her non-prominent nor regular presence on the Grid. She justifies that with a taste for quality over quantity and a general lack of interest in the whole social-webmarketing game. So get a load of parsimony you social media junkies!
‘’The music I try to make is like it’s being played by a full band, with vocals too, so that takes more time to record and accomplish, it’s not easy to do a track per week or month. I also like waiting and then presenting all new songs finalized together in an EP or album, instead of posting them online the moment I finish them without a plan. It may not be the best approach but I never think about how to do social media or marketing in order to not be irrelevant etc. To me it’s about having a dedicated audience even if it’s small and of course it’s about making good songs that I’m happy with, as long as that may take’’
If it’s not already done, don’t forget to check out Kristine’s debut album and stay tuned on Drive Radio if you want to be updated on her future secret projects!