Born on Reunion Island and based in Paris, electronic music producer NASAYA weaves together a myriad of sound influences, intricately interlacing genres to form a new, sophisticated variety of EDM.
NASAYA released "RUMMELSBURG", the second single off of his upcoming EP RÊVES, on August 23, 2022, prior to his time on tour with ODESZA in September. Like the previous single ("CIEL"), which reached #111 on the Australian Shazam Charts and saw Sydney and Melbourne as its first and third best streaming cities, respectively, the upbeat "RUMMELSBURG" has found major success in the first few months since its release. The instant popularity of the two singles indicates a promising reception of RÊVES.
The unceasing high energy of "RUMMELSBURG" makes it the perfect track for any rave, workout, or pump-up possible. The track's uptempo drum beats and low end synths give it a futuristic feel, with chopped up leads contrasting with smooth backing vocals. NASAYA's masterful combination of steady rhythms and syncopation make the speedy cyber-sounding shuffle a top tier tune. When streamed together, "RUMMELSBURG" and previous single "CIEL" hint at an incredibly intricate musical soundscape and diversified dynamic range for the forthcoming EP.
We spoke with NASAYA about his influences, experiences at Foreign Family Collective, singles, and RÊVES. Check out the full interview and listen to "RUMMELSBURG" below. Let us know what you think!
How are you doing today?
I’m doing great! I’m back in LA–I just finished the tour I was on opening for ODESZA.
Where are you originally from?
I’m from Reunion Island, a small French island off the coast of Madagascar.
What is the music scene like there?
There are a lot of amazing musicians and since it’s so culturally diverse, there are a lot of different kinds of music from all over the world, as well as traditional Reunionese music too... There's one in particular called Maloya. It has roots from Africa, Madagascar, and India, and it has a very interesting rhythm pattern.
What influence does Reunion Island have on your work?
I think being exposed to all of these different styles of music from all over the world definitely has some sort of impact on how I write music. I think It might have influenced me to mix and incorporate different genres into my work; it opened me up to different rhythms and sonorities. I think growing up in the middle of nowhere and being surrounded by nature had a big impact on me, too.
"I think It might have influenced me to mix and incorporate different genres into my work; it opened me up to different rhythms and sonorities."
Who or what first inspired you to begin making music?
I started music kind of randomly because one of my friends in school was playing guitar and made me want to try it. I instantly loved it and became obsessed with it.
With which instrument or genre did you start?
Guitar is my main instrument and I started studying classical music first. My parents listened to a lot of classic rock (Supertramp, Led Zeppelin, etc..), which made me want to start playing rock music and electric guitar. After a couple years of that, I started getting into jazz and ended up getting a scholarship to study that at Berklee. While I was there, I met some other students that made electronic music and they really inspired me to start making that kind of music, too.
Who were your biggest musical influences when you were starting out? How have they evolved over time?
I guess my very first musical influences are very guitar-based, such as Jimi Hendrix, Pat Metheny, and Jeff Beck. More recently, If I had to narrow it down to a couple of artists who had a very big impact on my artist project, they would be Bonobo, Tame Impala, Jon Hopkins, Jamie xx, Four Tet, and Tourist.
Describe your sound in three words.
It’s hard to describe your own music, but I’d say colorful, dreamy, and organic.
How did you become involved with Foreign Family Collective? What has it been like to work with a label?
It’s been great! It doesn’t feel like working with a "label" in a sense–I just feel like I’m working with just very passionate people and it really feels like a family (no pun intended). I honestly feel like a part of why I felt comfortable releasing this EP, which is so different from the music I’ve done before, is because I knew they’d understand my direction and support it.
What drives you to create music?
Writing music, even if I don’t release it, is one of the most important parts of my life. I’ve been writing songs since I was 12 or 13–since I’ve had a guitar. I think It’s a great way for me to channel emotions in general, and honestly it’s a bit of a form of therapy for me. There’s something incredible about writing a song you’re proud of and listening to it back... I’m addicted to that feeling.
"There’s something incredible about writing a song you’re proud of and listening to it back... I’m addicted to that feeling."
There’s also something beautiful about the fact that I’ll be able to listen to these songs when I’m older and reminisce on memories. It’s like an imprint of the person I was when I wrote them; I think that’s kind of cool. All of this might sound very corny to some people, but I’m sure people who write music will understand it.
Tell us a little bit about “RUMMELSBURG”. Who or what inspired it?
At the time when I wrote "RUMMELSBURG" I was really stuck and uninspired on my music, so I took a trip to Berlin to clear my head and try to write some music. I was staying with my friend and producer Yann Lauren, who’s one of my favorite people to work with, and he showed me this voice memo from Imani, a singer friend of his. It instantly inspired me and we chopped it on Ableton and started the base of this song.
This track went through so many different versions before we got to the final one, but I always thought there was something special about it, so I kept working on it for months. I’m really attached to it–it’s one of the songs that feels the most personal to me that I’ve released so far.
What was the most rewarding part of the project?
As I said before, this track took so long to finish, but I always felt like there was something special about it. When a song is still a demo, it feels like you’re the only person who can understand its potential. When I finally arranged it the way I liked, I was so happy.
Walk us through your songwriting process.
It changes every time, but I guess I often have some sort of concept or type of song I’m trying to write for periods of time. Right now, I start a lot of my music with the drums.
As the second song to be released off your upcoming EP, RÊVES, how does it help to set the tone for the rest of the project?
I guess it’s the most "pleasant" song to listen to in the sense that it's not as hard-hitting as the other ones. It adds some softness to the EP. I feel like all of the other songs are a bit darker and having this song there adds another dimension to the project and highlights the subtleties of some of the other songs.
What other sonic elements can fans look forward to seeing?
Definitely a darker sound compared to what I’ve released before–it feels more visceral. I was really inspired by UK Garage, Breakbeat/Jungle, and techno music while I was writing. The BPMs are faster than some of my other music and I’ve added drum sounds and tones I don't usually use.
"I was really inspired by UK Garage, Breakbeat/Jungle, and techno music while I was writing."
Is there one unifying concept behind the EP or is each song an individual idea?
I don’t think it’s about anything in particular, but it does reflect this state of introspection or dreaminess that I was experiencing when I first moved to Europe. It's kind of about being stuck at home for months and moving to a different continent. That’s why I named it RÊVES, which means "dreams" in French.
Do you have plans for more visualizers to go with the songs already?
Yes, there are some!
If you have one, what is your favorite song on the EP?
I think "RUMMELSBURG" is my favorite. I’m really attached to this song for some reason. I usually don’t listen to my own music, but I find myself listening to this one often! I’m still proud of the whole EP, but "RÊVES" is a special song to me as well. It took a very long time for me to figure out how to make it sound the way I wanted.