With a name like Saturn, surely fame was always in the stars. This emerging talent recently caught our attention with her video game inspired beats and unique delivery and lyrics. Holding her own amongst the current surge in female rappers, we caught up with Saturn, Alexander to talk musical memories, New Jersey and anime!
Hi Saturn! How are you? I’ve heard that growing up you were exposed solely to gospel music and the sounds you heard going to church. Can you tell us a bit about your earliest musical memories?
Saturn, Alexander: My earliest musical memories would be my dad playing the drums in church! I pretty much grew up in praise and worship, and I was always in the choir and all that. And I always thought my dad was the coolest ever for being able to play the drums, and so I dabbled a little and actually when my parents had their own church for a period of time, I was playing the drums myself.
When did you start listening to other music and was there an artist, record or style that grabbed your attention the most?
So when I was 18 I wanna say I started to venture outside of gospel. It started with Michael Jackson because at the time I was still in my parents’ house, but I remember the most captivating thing was when my boyfriend would come over we would legit just chill outside in his car and talk for hours, and he always had the most fire CDs that he made playing the whole time. From that, some of my favorite artists became Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, N.E.R.D., Tyler the Creator, and so on. Their sounds were just so subversive, I felt like I was swimming in the emotions they felt while they were creating what I was hearing.
That makes total sense, as I can hear a lot of different genres in your music, from soul and hip hop to future beats and even a baile funk beat in ‘Hack’. What are you listening to and what have been your biggest musical influences?
Haha thank you! From the time I was little, people would always describe me as ‘eclectic’, I feel like it just translated to my music. As for what I listen to, it’s mostly old stuff. Old gospel, old Tribe Called Quest, and the artists I mentioned before. I even have some music from some of the Pokémon games in my library haha. But I would say my biggest influence isn’t an artist, but art itself. Everything around me I feel like I soak in, and then give to the world back something that’s mixed with a little bit of me. I love the sound of live instruments, and I also love the in-game music in video games, and here recently I’ve been put on to some Brazilian funk and jazz (S/O Yoastrum) so that mixed with some hip-hop and gospel I think equates to my sound.
There seems to be a lot of momentum coming out of New Jersey currently with Topaz Jones, Angelo Mota, Mir Fontane and yourself. What is the music scene like there at the moment?
Yes, and shout out to them! The music scene in Jersey is definitely unique. You have everything from sophisticated trap to melodic sounds, and then me who’s just a weird mix of like everything haha. I think this is because with Jersey, we’re in but not of. We’re by major cities like Philly and NYC, but I feel like our sound is definitely different from theirs, which is super cool, but normally looked over. I feel like it’s getting the jumpstart it needs now though. Especially south Jersey. Because even when you do hear about a Jersey artist popping off, they’re rarely from these parts, and they’re normally closer to NY. So shoutout to Mir for that. But now that the eye is on us, we’re definitely sure to deliver!
I wanted to talk about your first project Truth Is, I’m Always Annoyed. Firstly the title is brilliant! And aside from the amazing songs, there’s a recipe for eggless mocha chocolate chip pancakes and a beginner’s guide to anime. I guess it’s an extension of creativity – are these things you’re interested in outside of music?
Haha thank you! Truth Is, I’m Always Annoyed is my baby. I feel like it really was a mirror into how I was feeling at the time, and I wanted to make it universal enough for others to resonate with as well. As for the recipe and the anime, yes! I believe everything is art. Food included. I actually cook a whole bunch and take it super seriously. (I bake too) if you look at any of my socials, it’s all on there. I want to actually keep finding ways to integrate my cooking with my raps. As well as anime! I love anime and I feel like it bleeds through in my sound. There’s nothing like it. The plots, the character development, it’s some different type of stuff that I feel like everybody should look into!
You described the aforementioned project as being an ‘introspective view to both sides of the topic of the everyday micro-aggressions that plague us all too often.’ Will there be a similar direction on your forthcoming EP Spectrum or will you focus on something different?
So Spectrum is going to be more universal. When it comes to song structure, I don’t really write linearly. Like I don’t really do “hook verse hook” or whatever it may be. I kinda tell a story but always from all angles. I bounce around a lot. So with Spectrum, I kinda wanted to take that concept, and stretch it into a project. Not that there won’t be “hook, verse, hook” on any of the songs, but Spectrum’s purpose will be to shed light on the fact that there is no black and white. Everything is a gray area and we’re all dancing in the in between.
Your track ‘A E I O U + Y’ features fellow female rapper Pinkcaravan!, how did that collaboration come about? Is there anyone else you’d love to work with?
Honestly, I don’t even remember! Me and Jas had followed each other for a little while, and when I was putting together the project we were in contact a lot just like chopping it up about regular stuff. And like one day we were really going through some shit at the same time, and had vented to each other about it. Later on, I found the ‘A E I O U + Y’ instrumental, and I thought it would be perfect for us to vent on. Especially since we already have that connection and I think it turned out pretty well! I would love to work with Tommy Genesis, Kehlani, and Lexxy!
You recently toured with Rico Nasty. What can people who didn’t get a chance to see you expect from your live shows?
Yeah, the Sugar Trap tour was mad cool! If you’ve never been to a show I’m a part of, expect a lot of crowd participation! I love to hear the audience’s thoughts and get them involved in the show. I think it creates a better environment to digest the music.
After your recent success you must be excited for 2018. What are your plans for the year?
Honestly, I’m just taking life as it comes! I’m super happy that people are reviving my music well and resonating with it. It means so much. I’m going to make Spectrum as perfect as I can and release that for everyone, whilst dropping some features, shows, and things in between!
We can’t wait to hear the album and see you live! Finally, Saturn, Alexander: what’s your favourite album of all time?
My favorite album of all time would have to be Channel Orange by Frank Ocean! It was perfection from start to finish, so much so that I can hear a track on it and instantly be transported to the time in my life when I heard it.
Thanks for your time!
Thank you so much for your questions they were so amazing!
Interview by Roxy Shah