Back in February of 2018, I interviewed Saya after going to her listening party for her debut project, Chills and Thrills. Since then, Saya has continued to build upon her career releasing another EP called Sugarcoated to great success, and her first single of 2019, 'One More Time'. Recently, I got the pleasure of reconnecting with her to chat about the new single, what has changed since we last spoke, where she sees this year heading for her and so much more!

You just released a new single called 'One More Time'... tell me what it’s about to you?

It's about how good my love is and about knowing my worth in a sense. I was actually sort of upset when I wrote it and I think that's why the first verse comes off a little aggressive, but I just let it be because that's how I felt at that point and I wanted to say what I said…like I'm just telling the person I wrote it for what it is. But as I continued writing it became this cute, playful, cocky song about knowing how I make this person feel with my love and being.

You wrote the song, and you did the visuals too for the video. Can you talk about how hands on you were with the whole process?

When I was in the studio and I was going through beats with the producer I was really set on writing an upbeat pop song that day and just wasn't feeling any of the beats I was hearing. I ended up playing Nicki Minaj’s 'Your Love' as a reference - which is one of my favourite songs, the beat and sentiment is just so cute to me and I wanted to create something similar. That ended up influencing the production and the producer worked on that while I wrote. For the visuals, I had a couple friends come to a studio with me and shoot cover art, we ended up doing a video too. It was shot all on VHS to stay consistent with my previous branding. I didn’t think we would have enough footage to shoot an entire music video in one location but it actually ended up working. I also ended up editing the video myself which was something that way new to me. In the past, I’ve done my own promo videos but never an entire music video. That was fun for me and was a little challenging, so I’m proud of myself. I also did the cover art too, this time.

I know visuals have been incredibly important for you in the work you’ve put out, can you talk about that?

Yes, my visuals and consistency is really important to me. For this video, I really do wish I had a bigger budget because I originally wanted to do a 2000s dance video for it. I’ve never done anything like that and I thought the song would be so perfect for that moment. Regardless, I’m still happy with the visual for the song, it reminds me of those '80s call girl commercials. My visuals will always retain some sort of vintage element to them though, even as I try out new things. I like everything I create to feel cinematic. I want to bring my fans into my own fantasies and I do that with my visuals.

You released two EPs in 2018, what have you learned in releasing those projects that you’ve taken with you into the new year and into this new song?

I feel like I’ve been gradually setting myself up to put out more pop style songs. The last track on my last project was really upbeat so I think it makes sense that I chose this song as my first release. Chills & Thrills was more experimental and slower while Sugarcoated had a better balance between slow songs and upbeat songs. I’ve learned so much especially with the process of creating and releasing Sugarcoated, just about doing proper rollouts on my own and more to do with the business side of things. I still feel like there is more to learn and there's always more to me that I haven't released when it comes to the music, but I think when the time comes for an album that I’ll get to that. Right now, I’m focused on making pop music the way I want.

How are these new thoughts influencing your songwriting and the music you’re making outside of this new single?

I’m definitely more confident within myself and my songwriting. I’ve been working more one-on-one with producers, but I still love collaborating with other writers. My headspace right now is just locked i to creating songs I’m proud of. I’ve never wanted something so bad and I work well under pressure. I feel like I can do whatever I want, I’m independent and there's just so much freedom to create right now.

And for a lot of artists that try new things and try to be experimental in their music, for you is it something that scares you as an artist trying new things and different sounds or as an artist do you like the challenge?

Yeah, I like the challenge. Recently when I’ve been in the studio, I’ve been choosing more challenging beats that I would have been intimidated to write over in the past. I used to think I couldn't write a pop song over certain beats, but I’ve let go of that way of thinking and have been trying new things and liking the outcome. I like pushing myself outside my comfort zone. That's how you grow as an artist. If you’re not trying new things, you’re just going to be stagnant doing what you’re doing and never evolving.

Do you feel like you’ve been doing this for a very long time or do you still like things are still brand new?

Kind of both. I’ve been doing it since 2016. Sometimes I get stressed out but then I remember that everyone's path is different and not to compare. I’ve managed to achieve things my 12-year-old self would have a heart attack over. I’m hard on myself and I think most artists are but I think it's important to remember how far you've come in your journey and how much more there is to be done to get to where you want to go. I also feel like I'm starting fresh in the sense that I don’t have a team, it's just me. I’m building myself up again and learning how to manoeuvre on my own in the music world. I feel like I did when I started making music and I think I needed to go through all the change I did to get to this point of wanting to go super hard in my music career.

And in these past 3 years, from what you’ve experienced as an artist, for artists that are just coming up and trying to build themselves up, what would be your advice to them?

I think the main things are figuring out your sound, building your brand and establishing who your target audience is. I tend to look at music in a business way now. The music is the product, but who are you selling it to? I would urge newer artists to educate themselves and learn as much as they can about the business side of music so that they understand what’s going on when things start to take off. Also, to take people's advice with a grain of salt because everyone has an opinion but that doesn’t mean it’s always right you know, trust your gut instincts. Everyone has their own way of doing things and you can learn a lot from others in that sense. Have good people around you who inspire, help and invest in your goals. Stay away from people who try to convince you to be something else and shape you into something you’re not - your vision and mental health come first.

What can your fans expect from you this year?

I have a bunch of singles that I’m ready to drop, I just need to figure out the logistics of everything. I guess I’m currently deciding if I want to release another EP near the end of the year or just do singles. I’m focusing on the music and making sure everything is executed properly, as I am doing it all myself. I want to make sure I’m giving myself the most exposure I can with the rollouts.

Do you finally feel like an album is on the horizon for you?

I’m actually really glad you asked that because I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’ve always wanted to release an album, but with the proper support. I’m very precious about the idea of what I want my album to sound like and how I envision all the marketing surrounding the rollout. It would be a pivotal moment for me. I’d only want to release an album independently if I had stronger support. Music is so quick now and my biggest fear is releasing an album and it getting lost in the mix of everything else. I think the time will come but I also might want to release a smaller project this year.

So, you want it to get the moment it deserves?

Yeah, because it would be really special. I don’t think people would expect it to be how I envision it. I have so many demos that are so different than the stuff I release that I would want to use as transitional songs or interludes. I feel like creating an album is like having freedom creatively, it can be whatever you want. It would definitely have to have the moment it deserves.

And last question, can we expect another single soon or are you going to let this new one breathe for a little?

No breathing!