KANDIA – An Interview with Nya Cruz
Interview by Miriam Cadoni
Portuguese alternative metallers Kandia are back with their full-length “Quaternary” after four years. It looks like an eternity. But, several (private) events happened. On the whole, this had an impact on “Quaternary”. In this extensive interview, the singer Nya will offer an introspective story about her life. And, this new record. Enjoy!
So, Nya, welcome back to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you? How is this strange period treating you?
Unfortunately, not so well. I’m on my 3rd day of COVID. I survived for two years without having COVID. It was time that I got it [laughs].
Due to the Omicron variant, it seems that now everybody is getting infected with it. We are supposed to play a gig this upcoming Saturday. Luckily, I’ll be cleared from my quarantine on Friday [laughs]. Apart from that, everything is good.
Since its beginning, we keep track of Kandia’s career. The release of the “Light” EP back in 2008. Two years later, the full-length “Inward Beauty|Outward Beauty” followed.
There is then the second LP “All Is Gone” back in 2013. Would you mind recalling how you got together? Why so much time has passed?
At the end of 2007, we founded Kandia, when we were already involved in another band. And, we left that band because we wanted to propose something different musically. Indeed, we released all those records that you have previously mentioned. However, after “All Is Gone”, I was diagnosed with a thyroid tumor.
After that, the biopsy followed. And luckily, the result was better than expected. Indeed, it wasn’t a tumor. But, I needed to temporarily stop singing to focus on my vocal therapy because the thyroid is closer to the vocal cords. Subsequently to this forced pause, in 2018, for the remastered and remixed version of our debut EP “Light”.
And, we recorded 2 two new songs called “Clarity” and “Alone”. Then, we had a baby [laughs]. So, we had to stop focusing on our newborn. Of course, this event brought some thoughts about the band’s activity. After some well-thought plans, we started writing new material in 2019. Our original plan was to release an EP in 2020. The stand-alone single “Four Walls” was published out of this session.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has impacted our plans. Every cloud has a silver lining because Frontiers Music SRL announced its new project. And we decided to submit a demo. the songs produced from the last session, we received positive feedback after two weeks. Consequently, we started to negotiate for our current full-length “Quaternary”.
Since the signing of the contract with Frontiers Music SRL, it has been two years. Should you offer an overview of these couple of years, what would you reply? A lot has changed. Of course, this can play a role in who you are now and who you are as an artist.
Yes, absolutely. We already had four songs ready for the EP when we signed the deal. Then, this pandemic came. And, with it, a lot of uncertainty on how to plan the next steps. We had a lot of hope that the situation would end soon. We carefully discussed with the label about the release of “Quaternary”.
Because we expected to promote it live. Now, we are 2022. And, still, we won’t manage. However, during that time, this situation has influenced the general outcome of the album. And, I’m referring to how the sound and its lyrics should be. We wanted to have a clear message on the LP.
So, thematically our songs deal with anxiety, depression, relationships with human beings. And our role on the planet. And how we have ruined nature with our behavior. During these two years, I changed a lot. I’ve been struggling with anxiety. But I’ve learned from it.
“Quaternary”‘s release was on the 21st of January. And, as you have just mentioned, COVID has an enormous impact on it. So, when have you realized that everything was about to change during its production? And, when did you conclude that that material is any more suitable?
I never throw away any material because I leave the lyrics always at the last moment. Also, we were already aware that we would treat those thematics. But, the pandemic brought in is a real sense of what the human being is in its essence. One side of the medal is that we are so selfish. However, there’s the other side of it. There is a lot of altruism for helping other people. This situation has tested our innate sense of community.
And unfortunately, there was a staggering increase of abused women in their domestic households. Indeed, the pandemic has reinforced the lyrical aspect of “Quaternary”. The last important fact is the birth of my daughter. Now, she is four years old. What I hope for her is that future will change. For example, we have learned something from what is going on. It doesn’t seem like we are [laughs]. I’m hopeful.
What you have just said it’s personal. And, not everybody behaves correctly. Sometimes, you get irritated by it while you put a lot of effort into helping others.
Since your birth, you compete against each other. I don’t believe in that. Instead, we should teach children that we are a community. We should work together to reach our goals. And, I think it’s that competing against each other that makes us so selfish. The pandemic has highlighted all this. In the end, there’s a place for everyone. And we should not compete at all.
As mentioned before, in 2013 was released “All Is Gone”. How do you feel about that album right now? And, in which sort of place in your life were you at that moment?
Indeed, I was in a different place and state of mind. Even though I love the outcome, I wish some things were different. An example is some choices for my vocal parts. In the end, we humans are always unsatisfied with everything. It was almost ten years ago indeed. I wasn’t a mom, was a little less anxious [laughs], and less depressed.
If I try to draw a parallel between “All Is Gone” and “Quaternary”, is we are more mature. We carefully reflect on everything. So, it’s a serious album. I’m satisfied with “Quaternary” because I decided to do whatever I wanted. And what I should do.
One of the new singles, it’s called “Fight or Flight”. According to psychology, it’s one of the human reactions. What can you share about this song?
Yeah, sure. The song is about me [laughs]. I usually don’t write about myself. But there are a few instances where I do it. “Flight or Fight” is one of them. And on “All Is Gone” too, we have “Deviant”. Mostly, it is about the anxiety of the unknown. In particular, if you want to fight or not that hypothetical situation.
It starts to be a problem when it prevents you from daily life. Well, sometimes it’s normal. But when it comes to the point that you feel stuck because of that, we can say that it’s time to seek out proper help.
Due to personal experiences, I know beforehand what you mean in the song. So, I completely understand what you describe in it.
That’s great because I want people to identify with it. I know I’m not alone battling against this problem. More people are experiencing anxiety. And, the numbers are sadly growing. It’s not just the pandemic, is just everything from pressure at work to this capitalistic system. So, the song is about it.
The anxiety begins when a voice inside your head insists on saying that you are not capable enough. You have the sense that you have to control everything. If you don’t, you’ll be afraid to take the next step. I was pretty sure that listeners would have also read the lyrics and identified with them.
At the beginning of our interview, we talked about the release show. So, in that regard, which are your plans?
Next Saturday we’ll play our release show. Then, we have a festival already planned for this upcoming summer in August. We are also trying to understand how to organize some shows outside Portugal. But, the different COVID restrictions are somewhat a deterrent.
Also, Portugal is a small country, and it doesn’t make any sense to play constantly there. We wanted to travel to Spain, France, and Germany. But right now, we don’t feel safe enough to do that. You have to consider that the band is composed by me and my husband Andre’. And all the financial risks will be borne by us. We have to plan this very carefully. We’re in talks, but nothing is confirmed. And, we’ll wait until the situation improves.
I hope it’ll work out. Unfortunately, this was my last question. First of all, good luck and get well. Secondly, now it’s the space for your final words.
I invite everyone to listen to our new record “Quaternary”. It’s available on all streaming platforms. And, if you want to know more about the band, you can reach out on our social media. My final suggestion would be to listen to “Quaternary” from beginning to end without skipping any songs. The song’s order is not random because it’s supposed to be a journey to enjoy from the first to the last. Apart from that, please try to be safe in these crazy times. Thank you so much.