Kristina Bazan | Please Put on Your Own VR Headset Before Assisting Others
“It’s funny, because I didn’t grow up surrounded by luxury or access to actual fashion,” fashion blogger turned electro-pop singer Kristina Bazan says. “I was born in Belarus at a time where there really weren’t any shops. I remember how hard it was to even find a magazine somewhere.”
Where does one gather their panache in a place where inspiration is tough to come by?
For now 24-year-old Bazan, it started simply with her mother’s perfume. “I just remember when my mom was using her perfumes, and the little objects that she had in her room were really intriguing for me,” Bazan says. “I just really quickly associated fashion with this really beautiful, mysterious world that is extremely unreachable—kind of like a world with only perfect people, where everything is kind of gorgeous and dream-worthy.”
Bazan took her love for fashion and created her own “dream world” online, launching a fashion and lifestyle blog, Kayture, in 2011, after her family’s relocation to Switzerland. She was working without a real precedent, and not everyone understood what she was up to. “At the beginning when I started blogging, my family was kind of scared because it was such a new thing, especially at the time in Switzerland... So for my friends and family, it really was like, ‘Oh, Kristina has a hobby, which is to spend her days online.”
This hobby, however, landed her name on the 2016 Forbes’ 30 under 30: Art & Style list, which quieted any doubts her family might have harbored. “It was the first time that my dad kind of gave me his approval. He’s a really rational guy—for him it doesn’t matter whether I work with Louis Vuitton or Dior. He doesn’t even know really what it is. But to be in Forbes—that means something for him,” she says, laughing.
From the beginning, Bazan pursued her own vision, tapping into both her fascination with and admiration for the art of fashion. She references the period of Alexander McQueen—a time when the spotlight was focused on artistry and story, not on the perpetual churn of “hype.” “Sometimes I get really disappointed to see that nowadays fashion is becoming sneakers and hoodies, with the industry adapting to this consumer-oriented era,” Bazan says. The foreseeable turn to #Ads has become paramount in social media. “Whether you’re a blogger or influencer or whatever you want to call it, the end goal is to influence people to buy products, that’s why brands hire you... and I’m not sure that I want to support this consumerism, you know? I think that there are more important things in life,” she says.
Bazan’s response to the perceived decline of narrative artistry and mystery in the fashion world, as well as an admitted frustration with the performative aspects of being an “influencer,” has been to integrate those core inspirations into a new medium—music.
“I think that music connects you to this inner essence that is the truth, to your humanity and feelings. Ever since I fully dove into my music project, I don’t even really go into stores anymore. I work with a few brands and sometimes I do some online shopping, but I even feel uncomfortable wearing labels or showing too much luxury in my feed because I don’t want to incite young girls or promote that kind of lifestyle.”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that she turns to another generation for her aesthetic inspirations. “I’m really fascinated by the movie industry and cinematography in general, so I actually find a lot of inspiration for my music in movies,” she says. “For example, I’m really into all the late ’70s/’80s dark thrillers and comic horror.”
Bazan’s EP, Ephv1, which debuted in late October of 2018, throws listeners into a constant roar of energy. Songs like “Killer,” “VR,” and “Old Soul” evolve gorgeous but eerie futures, creating cinematic soundscapes with background beats almost reminiscent of rolling film. Inspired by movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mulholland Drive, and Suspiria, her EP emanates that underlying level of the unknown, filled with changing shadows.
“I think that a lot of people were kind of surprised by the darkness that they found in my EP, the many subjects and many song titles that sounded really dark,” Bazan says. “But for me, it’s kind of a playful way to wink at the audience because, yes, I have a song called “The Devil,” but if you listen to it, it’s actually a love song that’s really sweet.”
At Lollapalooza Paris this coming summer, Bazan will be in attendance not just for the sake of seeing The Strokes— who she is most excited for—but to perform at the event herself. It’s her first major festival, and she aims to bring cinema to her musical performance, orchestrating a virtual reality experience to fully immerse her audience in their very own dream world. “I think for me that’s [my] ultimate goal— to be able to make people travel through their imagination, through sound.”