Written by: Thanita and Kanin Phuvanatnaranubala
Photo Credit: Pyra Official Website
Fresh off being the first Thai artist to ever play Burning Man, Pyra’s success as an independent artist has not been an easy one. From struggles with unsupportive Thai family
Her newest EP Better Being: Suriya captures her spirit with intensely transcendent sounds and angelically sincere vocals. Inspired by Taoist philosophy, she produced this EP to cope with depression, and hopes – in turn – to help those who may share her experience. Pyra is one of the local artists joining Wonderfruit 2018’s diverse lineup coming together this 13-16 December in Pattaya, Thailand. She has taken the time off her current Asia Tour to chat with us about her musical journey, insights into the industry, the wonders of Wonderfruit, and more.
Festival Squad: Can you tell us a little about yourself, who you are, and where you are at in your musical journey?
Pyra: I’ve been in this industry since I was 9 years old when I had my first album. But now, at 26, I think I’m in the beginning stage again after I’ve released Better Being: Suriya EP in English. Shifting my direction to do all English songs felt like I had to start all over, but the feedback has been amazing. This EP has taken me to so many cities across the world, including Burning Man 2018. I also just finished a show in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, after doing 5 shows in 3 cities across Japan.
FS: You’ve been to Wonderfruit before, but this is your first time officially playing. What is special about this festival, and does it feel to be a part of the lineup this year?
P: This will be my fourth time going to Wonderfruit. Since the first time, I told myself that I have to play here one day. And finally it’s happening this year. I did play there last year, but for the privately sponsored stage Marcel, so this is the first and only official booking at Wonderfruit: ‘only’, because Wonderfruit doesn’t book the same artist twice. I’m super excited and will create a special show just for the festival. It’s going to be extra artsy for this one.
Wonderfruit is actually my all-time favorite festival. People say it’s the “Burning Man of Asia.” I’ve been to and played at Burning Man, but I think I still prefer Wonderfruit. As a Thai local, it’s way easier to get there compared to Burning Man, and tickets are much cheaper. Also, it’s toned down and adapted to Asia. There are so many activities, and they are a little less crazy, as we take away those orgy-domes and the bike rides out of the equation.
FS: Everything in the world now is changing so fast, and the music industry is no different. How do you think the music industry has changed, in terms of producing and consuming?
P: Well, it’s cheaper to produce music compared to 20 years ago. Now, you can have just a computer and headphones to produce music. That’s why we have so many more artists coming up now. However, since it’s so easy to produce and release music, there’s a lot of music releasing every day, and a lot of them are low in quality. Conscious listeners would know what’s good and what’s not, but a lot of non-expert listeners may be mistakenly educated.
FS: If you could book a studio session with any artist dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
P: Hans Zimmer – he’s the living legend.
FS: Last but not least, in the Wonderfruit theme, what kind of fruit are you?
P: I’m a ‘fig.’ It’s purple (my main color), it’s exotic – just like me being Thai, and using its art to influence my music. It’s mythical just like my aesthetics. It’s rare, and hard to find, just like me: I don’t usually do pub/clubs gigs in Thailand, I mainly do festivals or play abroad in other countries.
So come and catch the rare Pyra (or
And hey – why not enjoy the rest of the festival weekend as well? From empathy engineering, VR eye-openers, to the secrets of Sakes, Pyra is just the tip of