“Don’t hate, because hate makes you frustrated on the inside. Love everything, love people, love the world. Be compassionate,” proclaims multi-dimensional artist PYRA whose recently releases Plastic World and Dystopia navigate the sphere of inequality through the themes of consumerist capitalism and depression respectively.
While the world is only just beginning to catch on to the visionary artist that is PYRA, the Bangkok born artist has raked up a reputation for doing it all on her own, previously producing, art directing and booking her own tours before ultimately signing a deal with Warner Music Asia earlier this year. From being the premiere Thai artist to perform at Burning Man (USA) in 2018 to earning Best Act of Zandari Festa (Korea) in 2019, PYRA whose name is inspired by the word ‘pyro’ burns with a flame for positive social change, viewing her artistry and rising fame as a vehicle to highlight issues of social justice: climate change, feminism, mental health and spirituality.
We buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know. Somehow, we earn less and less but everything gets more expensive. The rich gets richer, and the poor gets poorer. The divide is getting worst,” claims PYRA on social inequality and capitalism.
Scrolling through her Instagram profile, one can infer that the ‘dystopian pop’ artist combines the realms of music, art and fashion in a visual experience unmatched by her peers. ‘Instagram is my mood board. You will never see me following super hot boys and girl on my explore page, because all I follow are profiles documenting artists, art, typography, magazines and architecture,’ affirms the avant-garde artist.
Sonically, her songs have been developed with a renowned team led by Grammy-nominated producer Sean Hamilton who has worked with the likes of global superstars such as Justin Bieber and H.E.R. Yet, PYRA remains conscious in indoctrinating her culture in her work, including the Phin and the Thai mallet in her songs while her most recent music video Plastic World featured the traditional long tail boat and a Buddhist temple in its art direction, paying homage to her cultural roots.
I just want to represent Asia. I feel like a lot of us Asian artists try to sound like the West. It’s capitalism. We are so absorbed by Western culture that we don’t appreciate what we have. There is a lot of Thai art and culture that is overlooked. I think Thai culture is so damn cool,’ conveys PYRA as she champions for the rise of Asian artists.
Growing up listening to Kenny G because of her mother and whatever was readily available on the radio, PYRA first started her foray into music learning about music production. While navigating the domain of electronic dance music before transitioning to a more experimental phase, PYRA who used to be an antagonist against pop music has now embraced all forms of music and even studies popular hits of today. From her childhood days of listening to pop groups such as Atomic Kitten, Spice Girls and Britney Spears to hiding in the background as a producer, PYRA is now ready to fully emerge as an artist. ‘Whatever people have not seen, I like to do that. I like to do things that are not done,’ claims the cosmopolitan singer.
PYRA has had her dark days. She recounts her experience going through depression while working on her debut EP ‘Better Being: Suriya‘ back in 2018, recalling how making art helped heal her soul and in doing so, organically building a small fan base from the ground up who identified with her themes on mental health and struggling with depression.
I feel a lot of people who are depressed cling on to that depression and use it as an excuse for a lot of things in life, but they might actually already feel better. They still hang on to that so they can use it as a weapon for anyone who cares about them,” recounts PYRA on her addiction to sadness.
In moving forward, the singer has made strides to move past her inner demons, focusing on creating her best work while understanding her hard earned position as an artist to be the voice of the people. In her process of growth and having to put her best foot forward, she has had to slap herself back to reality and embrace her role as an artist to let her team of collaborators more adept in their fields do their job while lowering her own ego and pride.
Music is one mean to express myself,’ says the self-made artist. She believes that inspiration can be drawn from everywhere and engages her five senses in creating her art through multiple mediums. From cutting-edge wardrobe and makeup to ominous imagery, PYRA’s genre-bending brand of music promoted in the from of monologues carry a tinge of cynicism and a discomfort which would be the exemplary vehicle towards sparking social change and introspection in experiencing her art.
PYRA stands as a socially aware global artist on the cusp of world recognition for her distinct visual identity and fervour for social change through the power of art and music with a message. With three more singles and a series of music videos slated for release through the rest of the year, it would be no surprise that PYRA is well on her way to achieving her life mission of driving positive social change through her artistry and in doing so saving us from our dystopia.