New Jersey’s Saturn, Alexander may be reserved but her music speaks volumes. A lyricist with intent, listening to Saturn feels nostalgic & refreshing. Her flow is fun, you can tell she enjoys making music & finding clever wordplay—her verses definitely leave some food for thought. Last year brought the release of her first EP, entitled IOU, a project very near to Saturn’s heart—as its composition encompassed all the trials she had endured at that time. IOU is “just as raw as the feelings I went through when I wrote it.” This month marks the first release of the year for Saturn & a long awaited return, ushered in by “St(ART)” prod. IAMKRT, an upbeat track laced with her signature flow.
I had the pleasure to talk with Saturn about IOU, St(ART), her accomplishments & plans for this year. Check out the interview below.
What’s your favorite hobby? I wanna say something cool like “in my free time I actually graphic design” but it’s honestly watching anime. The feeling of finding a new anime that piques my interest is the best.
How long have you been into anime? Since I was about 9. I remember we didn’t get cable until we were 10, but there was this mysterious VHS tape on it with like 3 hours of Toonami on it, sailor moon, DBZ, + Tenchi Muyo and although we couldn’t actually watch tv, we just rewatched that tape haha, and then Cardcaptors + Pokémon came on what used to be WB17 in Jersey.
What has to be your favorite anime? Of all time? I would have to say full metal alchemist/ Full metal alchemist brotherhood, I even have the homunculus jawn tatted on my chest. It’s really a prolific thing. The concept of “God” or “the universe” + the speech at the end with the dwarf in the flask is crazy.
FMA definitely seems like a big influence to anime lovers, do you think it had any effect on your creativity? Definitely, definitely. I don’t think you can watch it and not pull some inspiration. The way things are explained, how things are written, the writing is really something special as well, I find that anime usually has some beautiful writing.
What about your writing, could you describe it in three words? Translucent, labored, + ambivalent. I try to be as forthcoming as I can with my writing, but I also really really stress sometimes, because I’m always thinking of better ways to say something, better ways to communicate, because I always feel like I’m feeling at least 10 things at once. I tend to place my feelings above everything sometimes, and it translates into every avenue of myself, even writing.
“My first project was a mess in the best way.”
Would you agree that makes for a better experience musically? That much emotion being evoked all at once is powerful. That’s true, but I tend to over analyze everything and sometimes it gets to be a lot haha, but I do feel as though it makes for some pretty cool music. I’m just mad I still haven’t gotten the whole “hook, verse, hook” style of writing down yet. I just write however my pen takes me.
What was your first project like? My first project was a mess in the best way, I went through so much in such a small time that it felt like the songs were light years apart. I feel like there’s a tone shift towards the end of IOU, and it’s indicative of exactly what emotions were swirling.
Do you think it’s a good representation of you music style & feel overall? Were you experimenting? Definitely, growing up people always said I was “eccentric” which I know sounds a little strange, but it goes hand in hand with what I was saying about feeling so much at once. I was always trying to express myself in every way possible. How I dressed, drawing on my sneakers, all that haha I’m rambling, but saying all this to say that what I like musically is all over the place, so I feel like the feeling of the songs jumping so much fits me well, and makes for a more interesting music experience for the listener.
“I think I’m currently one of the better versions of myself, and I’m really taking my time, and not rushing it when it comes to music while letting it flow naturally.”
When did you start recording IOU? Did you spend a lot of sleepless nights in the studio? I Started Recording IOU in April, of ’16. Half happened while me and my boyfriend were together and I just recorded everything at our apartment. Then, we broke up, so I was recording at my little brother’s studio at my parent’s house, but I was raised serverely Christian so I couldn’t curse in raps there, and I respected that but I had to express how I felt completely. I didn’t know where to do that, but then my best friend saved me (shout out to Jojo) and talked to one of her best friends, and he let me record the last tracks in his garage. It usually doesn’t take me long at all to finish a song, maybe an hour at most, but because of all the bouncing, it took so long to finish. (Me and my boyfriend got back together so it’s cool now I can record at the crib again which is cool haha) my bad I know I’m rambling again.
Did your boyfriend inspire many of the songs? Yes yes. My boyfriend honestly helped me believe it was possible for me to actually do music, he’s actually how I learned he makes music (so much better than mine, haha) and he produces, he’s really amazing. But he inspired CrushOnU, Untitled, and MakeMyDay* and when we took that break, that’s where that shift happened in the project.
Is he the most supportive? Do your friends know about your music? Yes, and we sort of have a friendly competition it’s really great. My best friends know, but really only them I don’t really like to broadcast it I don’t know why, I’m weird haha.
Where are you now musically? You’re back together with your mate, it’s a new year, you can express in the studio exactly how you want. What kind of music are you creating? I would like to define it as music with the utmost clarity. I think I’m currently one of the better versions of myself, and I’m really taking my time, and not rushing it when it comes to music while letting it flow naturally. I feel like I’ve progressed a lot, and I haven’t been at it for that long, so I feel like I can only get better from here and it’s super exciting I feel like me a kind music helps me find me as cliché as it seems, it always keeps me in check, a “To thine self be true” type of thing.
What process or ritual do you go through when you’re writing a piece? What artists inspire you most? It depends on what I’m writing. Honestly, I just go on SoundCloud and play some things, and whatever catches my interest instantly peeks and emotion, and based on what it is I might smoke, seclude myself, put on some anime, and get to it. I’m weird because I really don’t listen to the instrumental while I write, only for about 1 min. I can’t write + listen to what I’m writing to it clutters my brain. I need quiet when I write. Even when I watch anime, it’s on mute but has the subtitles so I can always be watching (shoutout to my boyfriend for that I picked it up from him haha) but my favorite artists and the ones that inspire me the most are Pharrell, Commissioned, Mary Mary, Chance the Rapper, The Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, YoAstrum, EricAston, Etta James, I could really go on for days.
Did you meet your goals last year? Yes, although they were really loose goals. They were only to finish the tape, pay all my bills, get at least 1k plays on all my tracks, and stay sane haha and I accomplished all of them! So successful year, ayeee.
Well You got more than 1k plays, quite a few. How does it feel to know people like your music? Ahhhhh, I was hoping nobody asked me this because my answer is weird haha. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen One Punch Man, but I kinda feel like Saitama. I make music for myself, I’m actually pretty selfish. I feel like I like my music and I do it for me primarily, to prove to myself I’m not pussy + I can do whatever really that I put my mind to, so since I like it I kinda feel indifferent. Because even if everyone hated it, I love it and that’s all that matters to me. I’m so happy that people like my music it’s so cool, I didn’t expect it though, and it always catches me off guard because I just be in my own little world haha.
What about the latest release, St(Art) what’s it about & how does it make you feel? Well, when I first heard the production (Shout out to the homie IAMKRT) it instantly put me in a good place, it’s a really bright track, and I wanted to word it accordingly. It’s going to be part of a tape I’m looking to drop in March, called “Truth is.. I’m always annoyed”, and focuses more on the positive, while also doing its job in reflecting the everyday nuances of life and my micro aggressions which are going to be sprinkled through ought the whole tape, from different angles.
What’s your ultimate goal for this year? Do you think you’ll become ready to share you work more? My goal for the year is to become completely confident, and self aware at all times. I feel that these are huge stepping stones in just growing as a being, but they would also enhance my music tenfold. I believe once I do that, it’ll enable me to be more open and less weird about my music, because I see it as just that. My music, it’s kinda like a diary so it means a lot to me, and I really only toss out Sound Cloud links to people I feel like might be able to fuck with it because of a level of understanding. So that’s why I’m so protective over openness when it comes to it. I don’t know, you just never really know anyone’s intentions these days.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists? That they can do anything. Nothing is out of reach, and as much as it’s been said, the only thing holding them back is themselves, and they shouldn’t let anyone get in their way, even them.
Is it hard to overcome negativity? How do you handle criticism? The best way to overcome anything negative to me is to identify First that it makes you upset. Once you can do that, it makes it so much easier to realize that it isn’t the end of the world, and that you won’t let this negative thing ruin your day, or your moment. You can always do better, and if people don’t see that light in you, it’s just your job to make them believe. Now it’s a project. Gives you something to do.