Josa Peit is no newcomer to the music scene, but with her debut EP, Constellation, released on Brandt Brauer Frick’s imprint, The Gym, it’s the first time she’s produced her very own sound. The eclectic eight-track album features a synthesizer, vocodor, wurlitzer, bass, drum programming, percussion, and of course, her own voice with the result that no one track sounds like the other but they all come together like a trippy collage.
‘Confession’ is characterized by funk while ‘Constellation’s gritty organ creates a psych feel to it. The B-side features two remixes of ‘Constellation’, one by Max Graf and Glenn Astro who turn it a echo that could come from outer space, the other by Dexter who adds layers of funk and hip-hop. This daring production with shades of house, psych, disco and bass brought to you by the sound-scape sculptor defies familiarity and is definitely worth a listen.
DJB managed to catch Josa for an interview, so she could give us a broader insight into her music and exciting new album, along with premiering the her new video, ‘Constellation’.
Let’s start from the beginning of your career as a musician. Your voice was featured on Stuttgart-based Dexter’s album ‘The Trip’ and two of Nostalgia 77’s albums. How did this happen and what are some highlights?
The Dexter collaboration actually emerged from working with Nostalgia 77. I dropped Ben from Nostalgia 77 a message on MySpace. He was into some stuff on my page and invited me over to London so that I could try and sing some of his tunes. I am so glad I went for the ride. We ended up writing and recording The Sleepwalking Society and even went on tour. It really paved the way for my music career and there were lots of highlights on the path. Dexter did a fab remix of ‘Simmerdown’ off The Sleepwalking Society. That’s how we ended up collaborating on the psychedelic The Trip. Now he is on my current EP with a great rework of one of my own tunes. Coming full circle, which is so nice. Sometimes I wonder where I would be musically if I had not walked into that record shop where someone recommended getting a N77 record that day!
What gave you the courage to create your own music and what difficulties did you encounter in producing your first album?
Having a label behind you that really pushes you to become confident in trusting your intuition and musical ways was fantastic. It made me go the way I had always wanted to with my own music. I stepped out of my comfort zone with singing, and went into playing and recording all the parts. It was definitely challenging; you never know what stands at the end of a production. I tried not to get lost in finding the absolute best, rarest sound, but rather focus on what I had at hand and work with that. Ironically, I found that with this limit I actually had more space. Overall it was great to great music freely with a bunch of rad forward thinking musicians behind you like Brandt Brauer Frick.
What is your debut EP, Constellation, about?
It’s about constellations among people, about moving through such existing constellations, about energy you need to create and experiment. ‘Sly’ asks, ‘If I do, would it be like me’? ‘Confession Room’ challenges some ideas on how a track should be made. So overall the EP is about doing – despite there being questions that can sometimes hold you up. It’s funny analyzing it. Now I realize that while I was making the record I kept looking at a postcard on my desk a good friend had given to me. It just said DO.
Every track on the album is very distinct from the rest. You mentioned in one interview that the whole record evolved during minor crises. Why is that?
Talking about themes I think the tracks really allude to one another. Sometimes you get stuck and you focus on something else to take your mind off things. That is how I made Constellation, which came together quite quickly and ended up being the central piece of the EP. The minor crises of getting stuck meant I had to do other things more intuitively. It ended up being quite an honest, natural way of putting the tracks together. So the EP started to take a more natural shape through getting stuck.
How would you like your music to be remembered and what is success for you?
I think it is so exciting to get feedback from different corners of the world with people being able to relate to the music. I love listening to music that isn’t particularly stuck in its time. So it would be fantastic for me to listen to my own stuff later on and still hear one or two elements that can be applied to current times.
When you listen to music are you more of a beat or lyric listener?
I am always quite beat driven, but I love being drawn into good lyrics. Listening to John Martyn or Richie Havens is great because the music is so good, but it would not be the same if they had not been such brilliant songwriters. I think the same is true for more beat driven stuff. It is like the lyrics are the elevating element that really push the music to another level. Whoop.
Constellation is now availabel to purchase through all record stores.