Roz Yuen is an Australian Berlin-based vocalist, songwriter and music producer. She returns with Awakening; an eagerly awaited Avant-pop concept album and an interactive and immersive online audiovisual experience archiving her thoughts, feelings and experiences during the pandemic. She creates a rich sonic world laden with soulful vocals that are blurred, harmonised, pitched up and down, bent and glitched in surprising ways against a backdrop of textual ambience and lo-fi dub beats. In a climate of social disruption and emotional upheaval caused by the pandemic, Yuen felt compelled to express her views on broader social, political and ecological issues through her music. The album and audiovisual experience are out 11 June 2021. This project was supported by Musikfonds e.V.
1. I’m not a morning person.
2. My favourite book is Just Kids by Patti Smith. I have two copies in my Berlin apartment and another copy in storage in Melbourne.
3. I would sacrifice chocolate for ice cream.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I’m mostly trying to answer the same question. What does it mean to be human?
2. How and when did you get into making music?
My Dad said he heard me singing to myself in my cot. In my late teens, I bought a multitrack and started recording demos in my living room with a band in Melbourne, Australia. Eventually I recorded my debut album, Tiny Goddess, a collection of French Yé-Yé inspired pop songs. However, I only started to self-produce electronic music when I moved to London in 2014 and I haven’t stopped.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Burial – Untrue
Brian Eno – Music for Airports
FKA Twigs – LP1
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Björk – Post
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
D.I.Y Art and Music scene where people will show up because of an amazing concept or venue. It’s not to impress other people or because of headliners. Audiences want to be challenged, transported or accepted for who they are.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Either Tempelhofer Feld or Teufelsberg.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I’d find a loophole. If sound is allowed, I’d create an epic Soundwalk and rally people around me to join in protest. Otherwise you’d find me a in brightly lit Berlin studio creating kinetic art sculptures.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I bought In the Bush by I Am Fya. She’s an independent artist based in Brighton, UK. She describes it as ‘joyous Kate Bush dub n dancehall flex’.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Musically it would be Brian Eno. I sat in on a media conference he did at the Martin-Gropius-Bau and his musical approach really resonated with me. I think we’d have interesting conversations. Otherwise, incredible visual artists like Andrew Thomas Huang or Michael Gondry.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Can I say a festival? I was part of the team behind Berlin Atonal 2019. Walking into Kraftwerk is always a brilliant but knowing I was part of making an event happen there is something I’ll never forget.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I love experimenting with new technology and creative approaches. If it serves as an aid in my storytelling and artistic vision then I’m not afraid to try it.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, I have two siblings. I love them and they love me but I’m not sure they understand what I’m doing.
Photo © Gabriel Strobel