The 405 is always here to bring you the latest on rising artists. And today is no different.

Meet Satica. The Long Beach native is a pop singer carving out her own path. She recently released an EP, Drippin’ and dropped her latest single, ‘You Are Here’. The track is longing, sensual pop jam that showcases Satica as a pop artist with the pen of poet, ready to transform her and her family’s experiences into beautiful works of art.

I caught up with Satica via email so we can all get to know her a little better.

Where did you grow up and was music a big part of your childhood?

I grew up on the Eastside of Long Beach which was a really ghetto part of LB that was filled with a bunch of other Cambodian families who were refugees after the Khmer Rouge Genocide. It was also filled with a lot of POC’s and that city in itself has lots of culture behind it, growing up in that area definitely shaped my character a ton. Music was definitely a big part of my childhood. My parents weren’t really musical but they always played Cambodian Karaoke in the house and they loved Michael Jackson, so my siblings and I were always surrounded by music. My parents were also extremely strict on my siblings and me, so we weren’t really allowed to hang out with friends outside of school. So for fun, we made really cheesy home videos to old '90s R&B songs to kill time.

If you could choose two artists/bands to encapsulate your teen years, who would they be and why?

This question made me giggle because I’m thinking of all the strange phases I went through during my teen years. So, if we want to talk about early teen years, I definitely want to say Panic! at the Disco. I totally went through a strange emo stage in my early teen years and listened to a lot of emo/ punk bands. Panic! at the Disco was definitely my favorite out of all the emo bands. It’s just so fucking good and still holds up today, which is amazing. Pretty hilarious photos came out of that phase, but also a lot of great lyrics came out of this genre which I truly feel like it had some influence on my current writing. Another artist that encapsulated my teen years during the latter-half would definitely be Bon Iver. I have so many vivid memories of listening to ‘Blood Bank’ and ‘Beach Baby’ around the time I was learning how to drive, so it was a weird transition into slowly becoming the adult I’ve always wanted to be and building my own autonomy.

When did you decide you were going to pursue music as a career? What was your family’s reaction?

I think I’ve always known that I was going to pursue a career in music, or at least try. I’ve wanted to be a singer ever since I was 4 years old. There are so many home videos of me singing and dancing when I was younger and it is the only thing that I feel completely passionate about. I think the moment I decided I was going to actually pursue this full on is probably around 16 or 17. I decided to go to a university anyways after high school because I knew that’s what my parents wanted but also knew that once I graduated, I was going to pursue music full time anyways. And that’s exactly what I did. Growing up, my mom always told me to just keep music as a hobby. My parents weren’t very supportive of me pursuing music as a career. Since my family really struggled financially most of my life, having money was so important to them; they always stressed that I should get a good paying, steady job so I could support my family in ways that they couldn’t do for us. So of course they aren’t super thrilled that I chose one of the most difficult industries to get into, but they do overall support me at this point. I think they know that whatever they say isn’t going change my mind, and they’re getting too old and tired to really care. I also haven’t had to ask them for financial help ever since I graduated high school, so I think to them; I’m being responsible and independent, so they’re happy about that.

You have stated that your parents’ life experiences as refugees and the trauma that comes along with that as having a role in their “nurturing your creative spirit”. But would you say their experiences and stories influenced the way you approach art or use art to speak on difficult subjects like loss and pain?

Oh, 100%. I feel that expression is a way of healing. Talking about loss and pain openly isn’t very easy. It took me a really long time to come to terms with personal traumas that I’ve encountered growing up and even just being able to speak about it without crying. So it was easier for me to do it in a more indirect way such as poems and songs because it could be interpreted differently, and to know what I actually felt or was trying to say took a little dissecting. I also had 5 siblings and grew up in a tiny 3-bedroom apartment, so having a regular diary would just mean all my siblings making fun of my deepest darkest feelings. So expression via poem or song was like a secret code to me, no one really knew what it meant except for me.

I read that you wrote K-Pop songs for the label SM. Was that experience early on in your career? What was it like working for a major company like that as a young writer?

Honestly, I am just really lucky to have my managers. They picked me up when I was about 20, and really nurtured me. I was definitely still early in the development stages when they first started managing me, and they work a lot in Asia and with SM in particular and would show them my songs. I think maybe 2 years ago, relatively early on, they liked one of my songs called ‘Shades’ and my managers thought it was great because I could have some money in my pocket and I would have a placement, so I gave it to them. It was very indirect and I had already written the song so it was really easy and I was super thankful.

What has it been like to see K-Pop edge closer and closer to total world domination and rightfully get the respect it’s long deserved?

It’s really cool to watch Asian artists get the recognition and the respect in the music industry they deserve. For the longest time Asians were very underrepresented in the entertainment industry and I think they still are to some degree. But it’s been amazing to see people trying to break the mold and I think K-Pop and K-Pop artists have done an amazing job with western cross over. I mean, the music is insane- the visuals, the dancing; if you are not being entertained by K-Pop, I don't know what entertainment even means.

Switching gears a little bit, was it easy for you to transition from writing songs for other artists to writing and shaping ones for yourself?

I think it’s been really natural and easy to me. Before I can call myself a performer, singer, artist even, I would call myself a writer. I’ve been writing songs since I was 12 years old and out of all the little parts that make a song really, the most satisfying part to me is when you’re writing it and you get that final playback when you’re done. Still, when I write, I don’t really tailor the song for a specific person unless I’m in a session for that particular individual. I just enjoy the creative process and I love trying new genres and styles just to challenge myself as a writer even it doesn’t particularly fit in with my artist project. So at the end, I decide which ones feel the most like me and align the most with my personal sound. The other songs are still really wonderful songs that I love, but maybe it might be not in the same genre, or something that I’m not particularly going for on my personal project. But since I let the vibe of the session dictate what kind of song I’m creating that day, it makes it easier to decide which ones I think should be for me and which ones to shop.

When it comes to ‘You Are Here’, did the lyrics come first, or the music? And in a larger sense, do you have a set process when writing songs, or is it mostly go with the flow as ideas come to the surface?

For ‘You Are Here’, I kind of came up with the melody and the lyrics all at the same time. I remember being in my bedroom on a Friday night and I was supposed to go to a show, but for some reason it didn’t happen and randomly the melody of the first line “We can take an Uber to the beach babe,” popped into my head, and I pulled out my voice recorder and started freestyling and came up with half the song that night. I think I was having a session the following Monday where I was introducing AObeats and Mike Derenzo (the producers of ‘You Are Here’) for the first time and having like this master plan of coming in with this song so they could bond and have like producer fun time because I really wanted them to get along.

So the next day, I matched the melody to some chords on the piano and brought it in, and we had a fucking blast. And all three of us have been working with each other ever since.

I don’t have a set process. It’s definitely the energy of the room for me that will really guide how the session or song will go; but I usually keep a list of concepts and ideas on my phone that helps me write.

If ‘You Are Here’ was the soundtrack to a movie scene, what situation would be playing out on screen to fully embody the power of the song?

I imagine the scene being in a bedroom with two people who definitely have some sort of history together. It’s dark with a faint white light coming from the moon, ever so gently through the windows. The sheets are white and their limbs are tangled in each other. They’re pillow talking about all the adventures they could go on, along with all the beautiful places to see, making fake plans for the future. But all great things come to an end and one is left alone with an empty longing heart wishing, ‘You Are Here’.

Lastly, if you could give one piece of advice to young songwriters, what would it be?

The advice I would give is being hyper aware. You can find inspiration with anything, so keep all your senses aware and always write/record down what sticks out to you the most. You never know what can inspire you to write a song, so allowing yourself to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel what is right in front of you or even in the past can be so powerful and will give you a long list of things to write about outside of your own personal experiences.