L.A. Based artist SAUDIA has only recently been publishing, but she has been producing and writing music for many years. Her sound is described by many as spiritual, new-earth and soulful; she uses her music to communicate stories and feelings that touch people at their very core, whether they personally relate or not. After many life-changing experiences she gained absolute clarity into what she wanted to do and say, she focused on perfecting her craft and released her first single in 2022.
“Honey” deals with very delicate themes like addiction and self-destructive cycles. Having a deeper look into it, the pain in her vocals and lyrics is very much discernible, however, as the song goes on it suddenly shifts into something uplifting. This change can be interpreted in many ways: self-love, community, a higher power, a higher self, or simply an intangible will. The song finally climaxes by bringing us to a place of complete freedom and release that details the journey from the lowest lows to soaring new heights.
In this exclusive interview with LADYGUNN ahead of the release of her new song, “Honey”, SAUNDIA talks to us about her life and career, what drove her into making music and the challenges of being a woman in the indie music scene.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is SAUNDIA at this time in her life and career?
At this point in my life and career I’d say I am a channel. A channel for learning, teaching, and for bringing art into this world that serves an aligned purpose. What’s important to me right now is communicating something meaningful in a way that feels and sounds intuitive. Not only to me but to anyone who listens. I’m grateful to say I’m past the time in my life where I am focused on doing what I *think* I *should* be doing, and I feel the freedom and safety to do what I *know* I *want* to do. I hope that comes through in the music. And who knows, maybe it can empower other people to do the same.
Can you tell us how you got into music? When did you figure out it’s what you’re meant to be doing?
I wish I could point to a way or a time that I got into it. But it has always been such an intrinsic and obvious piece of who I am and how I experience the world around me. There was never a time in my life that I saw myself doing anything else.
How would you define yourself musically? What do you feel best represents your sound?
I would say that I make soulful and empowering music with a “New Earth” kind of flavor. I think what ultimately represents my sound is my voice. It’s the most powerful instrument for me. That’s why all my music is so vocally driven, beyond just the actual lead performance but through all the background vocals, harmonies, and counterpoints… every layered voice tells a part of the story.
Who would you cite as your main influences when making your music?
I’m inspired by so many different artists… some of them are my own friends. I’d say, though, that artists like Florence and The Machine and Beyoncé have always been key inspirations for the ways they use their voices as a production tool. I’m also inspired by the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan…. the way the use their voices with such musical expertise while also being impeccable story tellers. However, when I’m actually in the creative process I’m much more inspired by energies and archetypes.
“Honey” deals with the heavy subject of addiction. What was the most challenging aspect of diving into such a difficult subject?
I’d say experiencing it was definitely more challenging than writing about it. I started writing this song while I was in the early stages of recovery so it was quite cathartic and healing. Recording the final vocals, I will say, was an emotional experience for sure. To connect with the darker elements of the song and communicate that authentically with my voice definitely required an embodiment of that pain.
How do you feel now that the song is finished? Would you say that the process was therapeutic?
I almost can’t put into words what it feels like to have this song finished and out in the world. The entire creation process was therapeutic to its core. How easily it flowed was a pretty strong signifier that this story was ready to be told and I was also actively transcending it through its creation. I also just know that there are so many people out there right now suffering from self-destructive behaviors. If “Honey” can empower even just one of them, it will have served its larger purpose beyond just my own healing.
Being a woman in the music industry is definitely not easy, how have your experiences been dealing with this?
For a long time I believed I needed a man attached to my work to legitimize it. It’s a tough thing to admit but it’s the truth. Over time I started to unravel that belief and examine it. I also know there are a lot of women in the industry who still struggle with that— and it’s not unfounded. Production, mixing, management, A&R… these facets of the industry are still largely dominated by men. So a lot of music is filtered through their perspective. Even if unconsciously. It was when I finally realized my own perspective and voice was completely enough on its own that I became serious about putting out music.
Do you have any new projects on the horizon? If so can you clue us in as to what’s coming?
I have a lot more music to release this year, which is of course very exciting. I’m also collaborating with other artists this year, doing vocal production and background vocals. One such collaboration is with a new artist called Toad Murphy. So look out for that, too!
Any final thoughts to your fans and the people just getting to know your music??
I hold the deepest gratitude for every person that listens to my music even once. And to those of you who really connect with it on a soul level… you are truly my people. And I love you.
Credit: Courtesy of the artist Story by: Armando Vera