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Meet Katarina Gleicher of Fyohna in East LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katarina Gleicher.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Elliot and I met in school. I was writing mostly folk music, but the new music I was writing felt really different. It was actually sort of an identity crisis for a me. I just didn’t really understand at the time that I was allowed to change. I felt like everything I had done before was some weird journal entry that I didn’t want anyone reading, which was an interesting feeling after already having put it all out there. It was disorienting to feel so foreign to music because it was something I had always felt so held by. I found myself feeling a strong sense of grounding in dance while this other part of me was reclaiming a new self-acceptance and opening up. I was actually mostly dancing, rarely was I playing any instrument. But I felt more connected to music than I had in a really long time. I think that’s what helped me move away from such a rigid relationship with music and I started thinking about music as little patterns all working together to carry you through a playfully manic feeling.

Elliot was on his own path writing electronic music. We met at the perfect time because both of us wanted to explore something new within our art. We got to know each other’s tastes and naturally decided to try something together. We wrote Misjudged and my world just sort of exploded. I think we both knew that this was something to keep going with and it wasn’t a one-time thing. We collaborated with our friends Aron Forbes and Chris Spilfogel to bring the songs to life. This year Hayley Brownell (of Changeling) joined our project and we have gotten to experience FYOHNA expand to another exciting phase. We’ve maintained a mind toward absolute collaboration and FYOHNA has almost accidentally become this ongoing journey that has developed into this extension of all of us. We’re really excited to be releasing new music next year!

Has it been a smooth road?
I think that as an artist you live in vulnerability. It’s not easy for those of us to access such tender spaces in a world that can not always be so tender. I think that being a writer is to feel it all… and that can hurt. But when I can quiet the noise and the fears and just get back to the heart of the feeling or thought, all of those challenges of “being” get really still. And that feeling is ongoing, I don’t think there’s a point, for me at least, where that road ends, but that’s the reason I keep writing songs. It’s one of the ways I can see a little deeper into myself. There’s an incredible release when it happens, just a lot of clarity and for a while, things make sense. I used to think of writing as these blips of inspiration that comes when it wants to and leaves when it wants to, but lately inspiration feels more like a mountain that I can choose to walk through, whether I am awake enough to notice it or not.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
FYOHNA is a pop-ish music group. Between all three of us, we have decades and decades of our own separate experiences in music and in everything, and those different perspectives are what make this collaboration unique. We’re all very close to one another, even before we grouped up as a band, and we hope that comes through in the music and on stage as we strive to be more connected to ourselves and to each other. It’ll be really cool to look back in 20 years and have these scrapbook photo album collections of the music we got to make together. We feel so lucky to have this.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I won’t pretend to have any idea where the industry is going. I would hope that that isn’t an important factor in the creative choices we make. It’s important for us to have a healthy distance from social media, stream counts, blog reviews, etc. I think we’re always trying to find ways to make the most out of the things we create and adapting what we do to the current landscape of whatever industry we fit into. I think something that’s always been really important in music is community. Supporting artists and building a welcoming and safe space to lift each other up.

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Image Credit:
Erik Bergamini, Jessamyn Sheldon

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