Flaunt Premiere | SATICA "dear april, ily"

by Jalyn Eaton

LA based, Cambodian singer SATICA releases her second EP “dear april, ily”, an ode to herself and her upbringing as a first generation American. On “dear april, ily”, SATICA leaves her heart on each track, opening up about some of her most traumatic and life changing experiences. Flaunt got the chance to catch up with the artist and take a deeper look into the process behind the EP.

SATICA, Photographed by  Alex Oh

SATICA, Photographed by Alex Oh

Could you tell us a bit about your upbringing and how it has had an affect on your music?

I had a very humble upbringing. I grew up on the east side of Long Beach to refugee parents. I was the youngest of six. So I have a pretty big family. When [my parents] came here, they came with practically nothing. So, adjusting to American life and assimilating to the culture and the language and everything was tough for them. They were still recovering from the war. Living in America was just… different. I spent a lot of my time being creative. Music was a huge outlet for me.

Which war were your parents were recovering from? 

The survived one of the largest genocides since the Holocaust. It’s called the Khmer Rouge. My parents are Cambodian, and it basically wiped out a third of their population. It was a pretty traumatic thing that they had to experience. It caused them to have a lot of mental issues that carried over into my upbringing.

SATICA, Photographed by  Alex Oh

SATICA, Photographed by Alex Oh

Outside of singing you have credits as a songwriter. Is there a specific medium of art that you prefer? 

Definitely songwriting. Actually it’s two-fold. I like poetry, and I like songwriting. It depends on what my emotional needs are. I like poetry because it’s a lot more freeform, and when you write songs everything has to be sonically pleasing. So there’s more confines to what I can write about. I actually like the songwriting process more than I like singing. It’s more fulfilling for me personally. 

What should we expect from your upcoming EP, “dear april, ily”? 

A lot of honesty! This is the first time that I’ve ever had a  project where it wasn’t like I was just writing it just to write it, or I wrote it because I wanted to have fun. Every single song, from start to finish, was very emotionally heavy for me. It’s a lot to be sharing with the world, but I’m happy to do that. I’m excited for it to be out, and I’m excited to tell my story. I’m excited to share my heart.

Does it scare you to be that vulnerable with such a big audience?

Oh my god, yes!! I put out a song called “Check$”, which is on the EP, and I dabbled into my mom having a very severe mental disability. She was clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia. I just remember putting it out and being like “Damn, I just told the whole world about my childhood traumas”. It’s a lot, but I figured that the more you talk about it, the easier it gets. It’s anxiety turned into strength.

SATICA, Photographed by  Alex Oh

SATICA, Photographed by Alex Oh

Where did the title “dear april, ily” come from?

People always get confused about my name. I do go by SATICA. Satica is actually my government name, but everybody at home in Long Beach knows me by April... The title is a reminder that I have to love myself, even in these times of transition and times of ups and downs. 

What’s one thing that you wish the international world knew about modern music coming from the Asian diaspora?

I wish that people would listen to music for the music. Not necessarily like “I have to identify with this because I’m Asian” or “I don’t identify with this because I’m not from Asia”. Sound is sound. If you like it, it’s because you like it. If you don’t, it’s because you don’t. There are plenty of Asian artists that are very versatile and make amazing music. Just keep an open mind. Support good music with a good message.