Anji Kaizen (aw-nee / k-eye-zen) is an alt-pop singer and songwriter from Atlanta. Her music is characterised by driving melodies, powerful instrumentals, shredding, and her amazing vocals. Anji Kaizen is moody, dark pop, upbeat indie and alternative rock. Her music features elements from the aforementioned descriptors plus some more interesting features.
Monster is her latest track to hit the shelves, boosting Anji’s clout further. The track is dark, gritty and honest. There’s a strong Pop Rock vibe to the track that will have you grooving along to it. Anji Kaizen uses hard-hitting drums, a truly electric guitar, and a strong bass line to entrench you in the depths of the Monster. Featuring Cameron Berner, who does a mighty job on the track, Monster seems to trudge along with some psychological undertones. The track talks about being suffocated by the monster within – which seems to be hinting at how we all have our demons.
However, I find that this is more to do with personal circumstances, but it’s always better to hear from the artist themselves. Luckily, we were able to have a chat with Anji Kaizen. Read on below for more!
How did you come to discover your musical talent?
I started singing at a young age, dancing around the house and pretending that my life was a musical. My family often referred to me as “the noise” as they always knew where I was based on the sounds I was always making – singing, mimicking sounds, and making music.
Can you tell us a little about some of your influences and how they’ve helped you develop your sound?
When I was 13, my cousin Josh gave me Paramore’s “Riot” for Christmas one year and it totally changed the way I thought about music – it was so intense, rich and compelling narratively and I loved Hayley’s vocal style of aggressive, yet still melodic, sing-a-long rock and pop punk vocals. Other standout artists that have shaken up my musical world and inspired me to keep creating: Björk, Grimes, The Cranberries, Evanescence, Pvris, Chvrches, Lights, Queen, Green Day, Blink-182, Lindsey Stirling, Nirvana, The Beatles and more.
What is the inspiration behind Monster?
Have you ever trusted someone, let them into your life, and then seen them turn into an absolute monster? It’s earth-shattering. That was the experience that I had three years ago. Someone I trusted assaulted me… And it took a long time to be able to talk about it, to sing about it, but it’s been really healing to use my voice and speak my truth in the music I’m making now. I hope that this song gives others the courage to face their own monsters, too.
Can you describe what your process is like when you create music?
It starts as an intense emotion that I absolutely have to give voice to – and I usually record the starting song idea in a voice memo on my phone. Then I keep playing with it, reiterating the melodies and constructing the song until I’ve found the right words and added either some guitar or piano accompaniment. Then I take the song and share it with my band and producer, and together as a team we bring it fully to life.
Monster is a track that seems to be fuelled by some intense emotions, can you tell us what it’s about?
It’s about recognizing that we all have our inner monsters, our wounds and regrets, our angers, fears and our traumas. But ultimately we get to decide – do we want to become those monsters? Do we want to let fear and pain dictate our actions, or is there another way? In the song, I say “you could have been braver, but you gave in” because we do have choice. We can be brave, we can be strong, we can be courageous enough to face our fears and heal the past so that we don’t continue these cycles of unnecessary suffering. We get to choose who we become.
What’s next for Anji Kaizen?
There are currently over 20 song demos on my computer just waiting to get finished! It’s exciting, and we’re already working on recording the next single. I’m looking forward to releasing that next single “Blink” in 2022 and also launching a Kickstarter for the Anji Kaizen self-titled EP to launch a new sound. You can stay tuned on my socials @anjikaizen or anjikaizen.com