Ko aka koala is an independent music artist who fuses pop with groovy, dance-floor inspired sounds. Working independently, the singer has the power to create musical soundscapes, visuals and an artistic identity without the constraints of a label. The artist's latest release, 'I don't want anything to do with you anymore', once again underlines Ko's power to control every aspect of her art, from songwriting to production. With Copypaste! Ko aka Koala talked about how she is still learning about herself as an artist, how she started out as a DJ, the importance of having full control over all aspects of her art and her upcoming song 'Zero Sugar', which is out on 12 July. Photos by @koakakoala

Apple Headphones Corset: @_yueqiqi Shoes: @grounds.official Butterfly Necklace: @lohavete

How would you describe yourself as an artist and the music you are creating?

I feel like I'm still getting to know myself as an artist. I think that I'm very experimental. I don't put myself in a box and I just try to create things intuitively and create what feels right to me.

Are there any consistent themes to your music?

I think it's emotional but also funny.

Apple Headphones corset: @_yueqiqi Shoes: @grounds.official Butterfly Necklace: @lohavete

How important is it for you to have full artistic control over all aspects of your art (ie your songwriting, production, imagery)?

I think it's really great to work with other people and to get multiple minds on your art. But I do have a hard time letting go of creative control because I do think it has to feel true and right for you. To me, it's become more and more important.

You started out as a DJ. When did you realize you wanted to explore different forms of creativity, like songwriting?

I always wanted to do more with music, but I think the first opportunity I had to get started in music was DJing. It was really cool because I got to play so many different types of shows, and it introduced me to so many different types of music. It was really just a learning experience to dive in there.

Do you have a go-to memory of a night of DJing somewhere really special?

I have always loved DJing at Heaven because the crowd just loves any kind of music, and you can be experimental and do whatever you feel like doing. I will actually be performing at Heaven later this month. And it's their ten year anniversary.

Black and White Fur Coat, Hat, Gloves: @heurueh Leather Studded Top and Shorts: @ashtonmichael

Can you talk a little more about the idea behind ‘I Don't Want Anything to Do With You Anymore.’ What's the story behind this song?

It's about being, like, just as angry as you want to be in a situation. A lot of times, you just want to cut someone off. For me, it doesn't even have to be a huge thing that they did. And you're just like… “I don't want anything to do with them anymore.” But I also like the juxtaposition of it because I feel like we are really quick to cut people off nowadays because people don't seem permanent. And that's something I struggle with and I want to work on for myself; giving more room to allow people to make mistakes and to accept that.

What is one thing you would change about the music industry if you could?

I don't know if this would be changing it because I think it's constantly changing right now and nobody, not even the people who work in it, understands where it's going to go. But for me, it has been hard because people in the industry will be like, “You’re an Asian American artist…. Well, who's your audience?” And I think rather than looking at it from the music perspective or looking at the artistry, it all has to be analyzed.

Yeah… Like you wish that the art could maybe speak for itself more?


Dress: @mikiosakabe

Are you going to continue to wow us with singles or can we expect another album or EP?

I think it'll just be singles for now because making an entire album is a lot. There are a lot of things to put together and I feel like I can be more experimental with releasing singles. But eventually!

What is your favorite element about your upcoming song, “Zero Sugar?”

The song is a city pop song, and it’s partially in Japanese. It’s my first song that is in a different language. So I think that's going to be interesting.

Dress: @mikiosakabe