1: How did you decide on the name, “VARYA"?
Varya is my real given name actually :)
2: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a creative profession?
I would say try to build your life in a way that allows for creativity, rather than put all the stakes into becoming this one thing. Creativity needs air and playtime and downtime, it cannot be forced. So when you decide that it will be your living you are more likely to just squash the very purpose of it before you have even begun. Just play. Create because you want to, because it brings you joy or you have something to say that needs a vessel... The rest will sort itself out. What is yours will find you.
3: Do you feel open minded about what you listen to? Do you like going out of your comfort zone?
There are a few genres that I am less inclined to listen to, for sure. But for the most part I would say my taste is all over the map. Most of the time, the music I listen to could not be further from the music I create myself. I also feel like I go through seasons of what I am interested in. It changes so much through time.
4: What outlets do you find out about music from? (Record stores, magazines, samplers, etc.)
I love letting my Spotify run wild and start playing radio-style. In the past 5-10 years that's probably how I've discovered majority of new music for myself and yes, it's definitely taken me out of my comfort zone more than once!
5: What is your favorite format to listen to music on? (CD, Vinyl, etc.)
I do love a good vinyl and have a small collection myself. If I had to choose, that would probably be my favorite format. Just something so magical about it. But in truth, most of the time I'm just on Spotify either in the car, my headphones or on my google assistant at home.
6: How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business?
Oh, so much! The obvious answer is that so many musicians have found ways to make and release their own music and manage their own careers thanks to the internet. But, even more importantly, I think, is that so many people were given tools to just create, to express themselves. For me, the new music business and the internet has sort of levelled the field between the big guys, the famous musicians and the average joe, at home with the guitar, who, for all we know, is more talented than Lady Gaga but just weren't given the same opportunities. Now the floor is far more open than it's ever been before and everyone is welcome to dance.
7: Who was the first band/artist that became your favorite band?
The first names that come to mind are a couple of Russian or Ukrainian Rock artists like Zemfira and Okean Elzy. Later on it was Radiohead. I could listen to them for years straight it seemed!
8: If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
Maybe Dodie. I can't even say that our genres align hehe, but what I love about her shows is that people come to feel all the feelings! And I love that energy so much. I definitely play to give people exactly that kind of space.
9: Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
I knit quite well actually. I can listen to an audiobook or watch a show for hours and days while making a cozy warm sweater or cardigan. I love it.
10: What was the inspiration for your song “Lady, Please”?
Lady, Please was a song that I have written with, probably, the most caution I have ever had while writing a song. I knew that it was going to some dark places and was afraid that it was too much. But ultimately I needed to write it to process some feelings of my own. To me it's a song about grounding oneself. The "lady" in the song is wanting to fly, "Alice" is falling down the rabbit hole all in search of a wonder and to turn away from daily struggles and life's sorrows that we all have to deal with. But that wonder, that "flying" can be fatal as well. So to be this song was a call to bring that lady (maybe me in some ways) back onto the ground and find some ease and acceptance with the world around her as well as herself.
11: I heard that you are a doula. What made you want to be one?
Being a birth doula and educating new parents of newborn care was something that sort of fell into my hands. It's what pays the bills but it's also something that I was naturally good at and found absolutely fascinating. As different as this job is from making music, for me it actually really compliments it. It's incredibly selfless work. I get to see people at their most vulnerable and I guide them through these moments. It's what my music does for me and I believe that's what It does for many of my listeners as well. I get to witness life at its rawest and most honest, I get to see new life come to be. It fills my heart and definitely fuels my creative soul as well.