Songstress and alt-pop vocalist hailing from Atlanta GA, Anji Kaizen, is the front woman and mastermind of a project that ranges from moody, dark pop to upbeat indie and alternative rock in the veins of Paramore, Chvrches and Pvris. With powerhouse vocals, soaring melodic lines and memorable guitar riffs, each song is a unique journey through a musical soundscape of raw emotion. Inspired by artists such as Lights, Hayley Williams and Ellie Goulding, Anji’s songs are intimate and poetic confessions that bring a refreshing honesty with thick vocal layers and big hooks.
Anji will release a new track ‘Monster’ tomorrow. A pre-save is available here. Here’s what she had to say about ‘Monster’.
How would you describe it?
“This song is a very intense and driving hard rock song, with lots of layers of vocals, including some metal style screaming by my dear friend Cameron Berner. This song was very cathartic to make as a thrashing alternative / melodic rock track and I think it will take a lot of people by surprise. There’s a method of therapy that uses shouting to overcome trauma, and I wanted to use those raw and emotional vocalizations for this particular track.”
What’s ‘Monster’ about?
“We all have our own monsters – the dark sides of ourselves that have been wounded, the parts of us that are capable of destroying relationships we hold dear. This song is about seeing someone being overcome by their monster, and how scary that can be.”
What inspired you to write it?
“I used to be in another music project, and one of the guys of that band assaulted me one night after we had played a show together. It was terrifying and surreal, that someone I thought was a friend turned out to be a total monster. And this song was my way of processing what I experienced, knowing that I’m not alone and a lot of people have seen “Monsters” in their own lives as well. And it always takes a certain amount of bravery to face those monsters, whether they’re your own…. or someone else’s.”
Where was it recorded and mixed?
“In my parent’s basement during covid, ha. It was the only space big enough to accommodate everyone since the studio shut down. Aaron Pace recorded, mixed and produced this track, and my band was a huge part of the production and recording process as well, they had lots of ideas. Jory Marshall played all the guitars and bass tracks, and Nik Marshall wrote and played all the drums and percussion.”
What’s your favourite memory of recording?
“Making ramen for the band in my mom’s kitchen between vocal takes. Makes me think of my favourite record label, fueled by ramen… really hope that they get to hear this song! That would be such a crazy twist of fate.”
Is there a story behind the art work?
“The photo was taken by my friend Ryan Harville, who’s my go-to photographer for all my projects, in a parking garage late one night. We were just messing around, taking some edgy photos, trying out some different lighting techniques and I really liked this one. It felt like it really captured the mood of ‘Monster’ with almost a horror movie “damsel in distress” type of cover, but still powerful and dark . The single artwork was designed and edited by me. I’ve been doing all my own graphic design lately and it’s been really fun to play around with the images, the coloring, etc.”
Is the release accompanied with a music video?
“Lyric video, made by me, will be releasing soon! And we will begin filming the music video once the song has had some time to breathe in the world.”
When releasing a new single is there a sense of excitement or panic?
“Oh, always! You never know how people are going to react, especially when you’ve taken off in a completely new musical direction. It’s such a rush to try new genres, new sounds and push your limits.”
Anji’s music is available worldwide on all online streaming services with Kaizen Records, and can be downloaded on anjikaizen.com – stay in touch by following her on social media @anjikaizen.