This Norwegian Copenhagener followed the life of Japanese taxidermy-sculpturist Chika Matsuda to create something completely new.
Copenhagen-based Norwegian artist, Hôy la, also known as Ingri Høyland Kvamstad, has dropped a fantastically weird music video for an experimental pop track called “Saturday”. The visual, filmed in a town called Nagano, features native Japanese artist, Chika Matsuda, who works with taxidermy in her esoteric sculpture pieces.
Overall, the combination of the visual and music create a very earthy and human yet surreal vibe, which highlights the contradictions in Matsuda’s art as well as society at large. (Caution to our vegan viewers – there are some dead lil animals in there). We talked with Hôy la about her influences, what inspires her about Japanese culture and the challenges of following creative passions. Dive into this weird world and find the deeper message within!
So tell us about “Saturday” – how did the song and music video come to be?
Summer 2018, I decided to realize my dream of going to Japan to make two music videos. I had the ideas and locations ready for the first one (Purple), but for the other one, we decided to have a more open plan, meet up with some interesting people and gather locations as we were traveling around. I had set up a meeting with Chika Matsuda through a friend in Nagano, where I was playing a show. All I knew was that she was working with dead animals, which I thought was super cool. She turned out to be the most inspiring and warm person, and told us about her life, art and country. So we decided to he make the video solely with her.
What initially drew you to Japan as a place to perform and expand your art? Japan is just something special. The streets, the architecture, colors, people’s pragmatic approach to daily life and the surroundings is just so inspiring. I visited for the first time in 2015, and I’ve been dreaming of – in some way – bringing all of that into my art. I hope to go back doing a more extensive tour at some point. The underground and experimental scene is incredible.
What was the process like, executing these concepts? Was it a smooth journey from the first idea to the actual materialization of it? YES! Haha well, it was different working with this video than some of the previous ones. I had an hour-long interview with Chika in her atelier, and recordings from the whole day – there was so much good stuff. I really wanted to include it all, but had to leave some out. But I felt we captured her warmth, her weirdness and humor! I really want everyone to see the video, so they can get the life lesson and inspiration we got.
Combined with the visual art aspect, what is the general feeling or message you wanted to leave with the audience in this production?
We wanted to show the surreality of Chika’s art, the very special feeling and aesthetics of the museum, but most importantly her warmth and humor. Chika showed in her very own individual way how a lot of young people are struggling to find the balance between their passions and happiness. We are all fortune hunters, and sometimes we get fucked up working so hard on figuring it all out that we forget to be happy!
To get a bit more broad, why or how did you first get involved in music? I’ve always loved being creative doing all kinds of stuff, but I first got involved in music when I was around nineteen years old and went to Højskole. I met a lot of new people who dared me to sing and play music. At first, I was obsessed with learning the upright bass!
So how did it develop? When did you begin working on producing your own music and what was that process like for you? Is it important for you to self-produce? I think it is just the way I create music. I was never schooled in composing or songwriting, so it’s not a separate process like I guess it is for some people. I mix, arrange and compose intertwined. It’s important for me to be a part of the whole process and be the one with the overview, but I have learned that it is super important and nice to let other people in and some times totally let go of the control.
What are some of your influences – from early on to the present? Oh my, so many! Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Carole King, Melody Gardot, Stan Getz, Björk, PJ Harvey, SBTRKT, Little Dragon, Massive Attack, Portishead, Lykke Li, James Blake, M.I.A, King Krule, Smerz, Noname, Linkoban, Excelsior, Tirzah, CTM, Astrid Sonne & Miryam Solomon.