Maxim Meyer-Horn

11 Apr

Kidä: “Reality is Kind of Absurd in its Own Way”

Ava Leoncavallo really is the definition of a hybrid artist. Under her moniker Kidä, the Italian-Egyptian creative creates musical worlds that help you transcend to a different reality and lets you lose track of time. On the day of the release of her debut EP ‘Burn to Make It Glow’, Kidä made time for us to discuss her artistry and how it is to work for iconic brands like Dior, Prada, or Fendi.

How was your release day so far? What have you planned for today?

Today, I’m actually just going to be in my home studio working on my next project. That’s my big plan. (laughs) It’s funny because I somehow already feel disconnected from these songs. They feel like a different time, and they represent different emotions and memories that don’t feel relevant to me anymore. I already started working on this new record, so my head is already so wrapped up in that project. To the world, it’s the big debut but, for me, it feels like I’m dropping off luggage.

What does Burn to Make It Glow mean to you? 

It was very cathartic, and this whole record was sort of a way for me to kind of rewrite my own traumas. The meaning of this album is the process of being in this place where burning but knowing that all of that is going to turn into something else. It’s ultimately what the album became.

Why did you decide to name the project after the final track “Burn to Make It Glow”?

It perfectly sums up the meaning that I’m trying to communicate in the most summarized way. (laughs)

We have a big admiration for your song “The Garden”. What is it referencing?

“The Garden” was a song about a breakup and growth. I was obviously in a place where plants grow, so I used it as a metaphor for wanting to forge ahead.

The artwork of the EP is breathtakingly beautiful. What vision do you want to portray with the cover?

I have a big surrealism fetish, which sort of bleeds into all of my work, especially in the visual work. This visual world that has been circulating around this project is this imaginary landscape, which was some sort of a safe space in my head. It’s just the process of turning it into real visuals that I can share with other people just felt like another way to connect with my audience.

Where does your fascination for surrealism come from?

I guess just fantasy. Reality is kind of absurd in its own way, so I feel like surrealism is just an antidote to that. It’s creating your own reality. People will always be attracted to mythology and fantasy because it’s a form of escapism.

Surrealism also wants to trigger the unconscious mind. Is that something you try to do as well with your music.?

To be honest, this record Burn to Make It Glow is a lot more bombastic, but it was that way deliberately. It’s my first EP, and I wanted it to be super impactful. It’s not as much drifting into this realm of femininity or anything else like unconscious. It’s quite to the point, but in the future, these themes will seep through much more on the records because I’ll have more space to explore rather than have everyone pay attention instantly.


You’ve recently created a visual essay for the New York Public Library. What was the starting point for the utterly stunning An Infinite Playground?

The starting point is that Willie Mae reached out to me. It’s an organization for young girls and people of the LGBTQ+ community to learn about music. They reached out to me and asked to make a lesson for the New York Public Library. At first, they asked me to make a video where I’m going through different skills, and I sat in my apartment trying to film something. It felt so cringe, and I couldn’t do it, so I decided that it would be better to make this visual essay. It was an easy way for me to communicate because it could wander more.

You also work as the composer for brands like Gucci, Prada, Dior, and Fendi. Do you approach making music differently when it’s under your moniker A Portal To Jump Through?

When I’m working for clients, in a way, I’m able to detach from my own narratives, feelings, or world of references. It expands the instrument profile that I would use, and it’s completely different for me. When I’m working as a composer, it’s like my inner-scientist in a way. It’s a much more utilitarian approach to creativity whereas Kidä’s world is so much more operating from animal instincts. When I’m composing, it’s much more measured.

Does composing help you understand who you are as Kidä?

Naturally, they bleed into each other. I’m, for example, stewing in similar references. Like when I’m writing a score for Gucci with all those beautiful strings, I’m listening to all these magnificent classical songs that day. Naturally, that will be in my mind when I start to write a song for Kidä, and I’ll be wanting to use some middle-eastern strings like in the “Enter”, for example. So, of course, they’ll overlap.

Are your future projects going to sound very different from Burn to Make It Glow or will there be similarities?

It’s like when you enter a movie or video game, and you enter one landscape, there will be a new scene where you enter another landscape. It will be like this. It will still be me, and you’ll be able to tell that, but it will be a different world within Kidä world. That’s the best way I can describe it.

Kidä’s EP Burn to Make It Glow is available on all platforms.

Photography by Lola Banet
Make-up by Sonia Kieryluk
Styling by Falash
Metaly Pieces by Zwyrtech

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