Footsteps crunch through what sounds like a sunlit clearing on the intro to Berlin-based producer Sofia Kourtesis' "Zaza," birdsong and all. Then, as gently as that pastoral picture was painted, the track morphs into an ambient techno jam that lives in the space between happy and sad. The Gold Panda collaborator told The FADER she used a vocoder on her voice because she felt "really exposed" and "wanted the music to be emotional, not my voice."
"This song is really emotional for me, it was written after a long time of living with sadness," she explained. "18 months ago, I was losing the most important person in my life which made me really ill. I was also coming out of a relationship at that time, and everything was happening really fast. I went to South America, where I grew up until I was 16, to spend time with the woman who was like a mother to me. Only three weeks later, she lost her battle with cancer and passed away. My thoughts were consumed with life and death, and I was in a dark place, but remembering the sounds that were around when she was alive inspired me to make music again. The outcome was this track, 'Zaza.' It helped me recover." Duchess Boxlabel will release Sofia Kourtesis' This Is It EP on February 28th.
Photo credit: Florian Raz