At 24-years-old, Kristina Bazan is already considered one of the most famous digital influencers in the world. She's not just an international 'IT girl' however, having also turned her hand to becoming an author and a singer-songwriter. Recently releasing her single VR, we got Kristina to let us in on the 7 artists that made her who she is today. This is what she had to reveal...
1. David Lynch: David Lynch influenced my taste of music massively, I love how he uses sound in his work to direct the story and the emotions of the audience, creating tension, suspense... Angelo Badalamenti who is the genius behind most of Lynch's movie soundtracks has been a huge source of inspiration, especially when it comes to that retro-futuristic 80ies vibe, with a lot of sensual, dark synthesisers. I discovered Lynch's work when I first saw Mulholland Drive which is one of my absolute top 3 favorite movies, and of course afterwards I tried searching for explanations, when there are none. And that's the kind of wonderful education towards art Lynch offers his viewers, is to stop trying to explain everything, each person perceives things differently and that's the beauty of it. You can make up your mind any way you want. And in that sense he is very generous, so instead of imposing his own perspective, he lets you choose what you believe in. I love that, and I think no artist should actually justify or explain his work. I love how he plays with the idea of reality, he's a very important figure when it comes to surrealism in my opinion. His films are so atypical and out there. Also he is an amazing painting. You can tell that a lot goes on in his mind, and he needs to release it through creation.
2. Annie Lennox: I love a woman who challenges perspectives and who is confident enough to even challenge her own femininity. She's a very atypical, anti-conform artist who always pushed her audience to be more open minded, tolerant and especially she managed to do this by still staying relevant in the eyes of a massive audience. Sweet Dreams will always be one of my favorite songs, and I love how in every music video Lennox always invited new characters and story plays. That's what makes her such an incredible entertainer.
3. Kate Bush: I have been mesmerised by her songwriting from the very first moment I discovered her music. First of all, I truly respect this woman for the discretion she's kept around her private life throughout all her career, while so many were always, and are always capitalising on their private affairs to promote their music. She's never done that. I absolutely love how many of her songs are inspired by books, or movies. She's a true story teller and you can tell from her interviews that she's just in it to create. She doesn't care about all the fame drama that goes along with it.
4. PJ Harvey: To me, PJ is a real rockstar. And when it comes to females in this industry, especially in rock that's predominated by males, she imposed herself and her style so incredibly well. Her energy, her attitude, charisma, songwriting everything is so timeless and authentic. It's not easy to defend that kind of direction if you don't have the power or the confidence to fully do it.
5. Björk: Another female artist that always voiced her opinion beautifully, and very intelligently. I love how she manages her career, again by being discreet, without justifying her work or giving too many explanations. She's a real artist experimenting with sound, educating her audience, taking risks. Music isn't supposed to be a total manufactured product out of a factory. She always played with formats, layers, her voice itself which is so atypical. I love the way she's raised important topics about women in this business, how in order to attract a big audience people say you have to sell your soul or your body, when it is not the case. And you just have to stick to your principles and values, it's more difficult but in the end it pays off. And she is the proof of it. People want quality and people want a researched project with a real depth.
6. David Bowie: Bowie is really a massive influence for me for many various reasons. When I was about 15 or 16 and was dreaming about becoming a singer, it felt like such an absolutely unrealistic fantasy... So i watched this documentary about him where he said that he never felt like he was a good singer or had a good voice, but that he was a tremendous story teller and especially entertainer. That really put words into what I felt. I never thought my voice was any special, but I could feel inside that I had so many stories to share. As a man, I respect him so much for pushing the perceptions and boundaries when it comes to masculinity, and what it means to be a man. You can be a man, and wear a dress. It doesn't compromise anything. He did this by still appealing to a massive masculine audience. He has always let his imagination live and run wild, constantly re-inventing himself, he was so incredibly profoundly creative, imagining alter-egos and even character names because that's what it is also being an artist, you let different sides of you speak. Also he's been massively important for me because he's a multi-tasker. He's not just a singer, he's an actor, an art-director everything... He never limited himself to one thing. Because why? People dont' like those who change constantly, and yet David managed to do it so perfectly.
7. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, aka Daft Punk: I've been a massive fan of Daft Punk ever since I know myself. I think I first heard their music when I was 13. They actually started the band the year I was born, which is totally a sign (or so I'd like to think) and they influenced me absolutely massively. I remember growing up an listening to their podcasts, I think I watched every existing video or recording of them speaking about their creative process. Again to me they are story tellers and I love how they too, never capitalized on their private life. No one knows who they are, of course if you really want to know you can now find out thanks to the magic of the internet, but I think fans out of respect for them, give them willingly this privacy. People care for them for their work, the rest doesn't matter. Also the fact that they are Parisians who managed to make music for the entire world to dance to is very inspiring to me little european soul. It means no matter where you come from, you can touch the planet. I feel like they are young at heart, still connected to their imagination. I don't feel any cynicism or pessimism in their music, it's only good energy and pure celebration of music. In fact, their music is so beautifully layered, even though it's predominantly happy, there is always a lingering darkness, melancholy and question. Of course, coming from a tech nerd, I connected to them first and foremost because they so openly discuss technology and relationship humans have with it. I think they are incredibly avant-garde already talking about artificial intelligence at a time when we weren't as advanced in the filed as now. But they were always influenced by science fiction and that is also how they seemed to have created these iconic robot costumes. They found this sacred middle ground of making commercial music without compromising the artistry, proving that the audience still wants to hear real, handcrafted music. I am sometimes quite envious of their masks, it must be so incredible to create behind a character, it just somehow makes you feel more free to do what you really want without having your image affect the perception the audience will have of your work.
You can check out the official music video for VR below: