The music of quality is when a soul sings, and lines lay down on a paper reflecting strong emotions and memorable experiences. The British synthpop duo KALEIDA – Christina Wood (vocal) and Cicely Goulder (keys) – crept into the minds with the sounds of a heartfelt song ‘Think’ from the ‘John Wick’ movie, then '99 luftballons' from the ‘Atomic blond’ and now with their first album ‘Tear The Roots’.
While Paris is the fashion capitol of the world, London is the music capitol full of music talents and synthpop, which is experiencing a new round in its history thanks to KALEIDA.
- So Nordic pop, dark electropop, synthpop. How you would characterize your style?
Christina & Cicely: Dark and feminine
- Why 'KALEIDA'? What does it mean?
C&C: It means ‘beauty in form’ in Ancient Greek. We didn’t know that when we chose the name though as we kind of stumbled across it due to Cicely mis-reading one suggestion. It turns out the meaning kind of summarised what we were aiming for musically – simplicity, minimalism and structure.
- What did you do before you created KALEIDA?
Christina: I worked as a climate change policy consultant, and longed to be a musician. I still do the climate change work.
Cicely: After a couple of years of working various badly paid creative jobs post university, I decided to go for it and do my music. I thought that if I’m going to be paid terribly then I might as well do what I really love. It took me a while to figure out what area I wanted to work in – I assisted some film composers and started to learn sequencers like Logic but I found them a really fun a creative way to make my own music and songs too. After meeting Christina we spent a few sessions working together and things really came in to focus – I felt that we were speaking the same language; we wanted to make a sound world that we could both inhabit.
- How your previous experience helps you in the music industry?
Christina: My working experience taught me how to be organized and professional. It didn’t prepare me for the need to fight for what you want to make and be creatively or the fickle nature of the music industry though. Still learning there….!
Cicely: I’m not sure that anything can really prepare you for the music industry – it’s like its own thing completely. It still completely confuses me.
- Millennials are generation with their own rules, they are conscious users. Your music gets to the point, it's clean, minimalistic and speaks about serious things as for ex ‘Ailaa’ which was inspired by struggle of an Egyptian feminist and activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. It's seems that in every your track there is a deep sense. But ‘Tropea’ was too mysterious for me, and so did the video.
C&C: ‘Tropea’ is broadly about searching for transformation. The video is meant to be a sort of musical séance and to symbolize the creative process. It's also about the psychology of a duo.We made it with our friend Fritz Stolberg, who is a visual artist and filmmaker.
- Soundtrack at ‘John Wick’ conquered me, and I thought that its hard to find smth more ideal in cinema and music. But 'Atomic blond' with your cover of the Nena's ‘99 Luftballons' is so perfect that I can't put into words. Best cover of this song which I ever heard! And perfect German! It was hard for you to sing in German? Why you choose this song for the cover version?
Christina: It wasn’t hard because my mother is German😊 We chose this song because the makers of ‘Atomic Blonde’ asked us to do an 80’s cover about a movie set in Berlin during the Cold War. ‘99 Luftballons’, with its anti-war message (and moving melody), seemed like a good fit.
Cicely: Yes, Christina suggested ‘99’ – I kind of knew it from movies but we didn’t listen to it again, we just turned to the piano/computer, wrote something out and within a couple of hours the track was done.
- How do you choose songs for the music videos?
C&C: Hm, we just sort of chose as we went along. We don’t have too many videos at the moment but hopefully we’ll make some next year. We’d love to work with some choreographers and create something really visually exciting with dancers.
- Tell me about your mood for the first album 'Tear the roots'?
Christina: I was largely just really focused and driven to get it done. It felt like it needed to happen, it was ready to come out. It was quite an intense period.
Cicely: Yes, we felt strongly about making a body of work. It was like we needed to draw all the threads together that we’d been working on and just make sense of it all.
- With which difficulties did you faced during the recording of the album?
C&C: It’s hard when you’re working towards something but you have no idea what the outcome is going to be – you are constantly feeling into the dark and just using your senses to try and find what you’re looking for. We had very little money and Cicely had just had a baby so we were really juggling a lot to get there – it feels like we’ve climbed a massive mountain now looking back.
- Your favorite song in the 'Tear the roots'? Why you like it most of all?
Christina: Top 3 are ‘Convolution’, ‘Free’, and ‘Tear the Roots’. I guess they just feel the darkest and most powerful to me; they get to the essence of the emotional side of what we were doing.
Cicely: I’m not sure I can answer – it depends what I’m feeling.
- You prefer mostly black and white images – in the covers to singles, and rarely use color in your own photos. Why?
C&C: We wanted to keep it simple and minimal.
- Are you perfectionists?
Christina: No. Only for certain things. Like this record. I generally aspire to follow a ‘live and let be’ policy.
Cicely: Yes Christina is incredibly tolerant and patient. Thankfully as I am the complete opposite and like to be in control! I think that’s why I’m happy behind a computer and Christina is more free on stage.
- When will be your concert in Moscow?
C&C: February 8th at Glavclub Green Concert – come! (Buy tickets here)
- If you will have a chance to send one of KALEIDA tracks into a space, which one you will choose?
C&C: Think – so it could live on, on another planet!
Collages by Kristina Isiguro