Daughter of renowned classical violinist carves out her own genre of ‘Pop Macabre’
‘An undoubted talent’ - Sir George Martin
Artist: Calista Kazuko
Track: ‘Life With Ivy’
Release Date: 21/07/17
FFO: Kate Bush, Regina Spektor, Diamanda Galas
As the daughter of famed violinist, Paul Robertson (founder of the Medici quartet), the ‘high priestess’ of ‘Pop Macabre’, Calista Kazuko, was born into a bohemian family where classical music was a staple part of the diet. But now, the eccentric London based singer-songwriter is all about high art, high class, high gloss and high drama. She’s a Jew-panese goddess with a grand piano in tow; Amanda Palmer with a Vogue makeover, a loaded gun in her handbag and an occasional accordion.
All of this encapsulates the dark character and sinister inner demon of Calista Kazuko whose classical roots at the Royal Academy of Music have been jettisoned and instead, she is carving out her own genre with a diamond-edged blade which she likes to call ‘pop-noir’, perfectly and elegantly exhibited in her latest single from her Project: Love Me EP, ‘Life With Ivy’.
After the intense diva-carnage of her first single, ‘Poison', The evocative, lightly jazz-inflected ‘Life With Ivy’ is a gentle, shimmering number that tells the story of two women; one lost, one longing. The new single reveals a glimpse of a new layer to Calista’s complex musical persona – juxtaposed to her previous releases, listeners are now seeing a new side to her; one of sensitive vulnerability.
Teaming up with filmmaker Philip Reinking, 'Life With Ivy' comes accompanied by a video filmed in a historical West London mansion featuring a silhouetted Calista as Tretchikoff's Green Lady, reimagined in soft, Merchant Ivory golds. The video forms part of the ‘At Home With Calista Kazuko’ mini-series of dramatic featurettes; the music recorded in one live take, the visuals drenched in elegance and opulence. The subsequent videos undoubtedly embody elements of the macabre, seeing Calista dispatch of her male acquaintances in a highly cinematic, spine-tingling fashion.
Within this aesthetic, Calista collaborates with top end musicians, designers, directors and artists to create her multi-faceted style – Stella McCartney has used her music to open a catwalk show and luxury French clothing brand Jitrois even named a leather jacket after her.
Calista's way with a grand piano, story-telling songwriting and sophisticated performance style blend together into a dry, heady cocktail that will leave your emotions exposed and giddy. She's not so much lightning in a bottle as the conjuror of the storm. High concept videos and live shows have earned her a reputation as an unrelenting force from LA to London, winning fans with her dynamic voice and captivating songwriting, and garnering her comparisons with Florence and the Machine, Diamanda Galas, Tori Amos and Regina Spektor.
Speaking of her new EP, Calista noted ‘I consider it to be my first proper EP. This is the one that really excites me. I’ve worked with labels and managers who have tried to commercialise me, and this is the first thing that I’ve done where I’ve felt I’m really being me.’
To accompany her new material, Calista is embarking on an American tour from July 27th with fellow musician, Chanel and the Circus. The pair will go on the run up the West Coast: a luxurious road trip from LA to Seattle, performing at a host of bizarrely unique venues including a Beverly Hills mansion, a San Francisco pool party, Seattle’s biggest boxing ring and a nunnery in Spokane. For those a bit closer to home, Calista will also be performing at London’s Gallery Different on July 12th.
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