Ayşe Hassan, former bass player for Savages and half of Kite Base, has created a project that portrays the irrationality and darkness of our society by stripping us down to our most vulnerable, and social state. The name of this, ESYA, stands for holding a mirror up to us all.
First of all, how’re things going since your EP release? I never really think of things in the terms of how they’re going as I’m constantly writing and
playing live – working out how to improve upon each experience. I feel I’m at a point where
I’ve taken the leap and I’m trying a number of things I’ve never done before and it’s
overwhelming yet exhilarating. Nothing stays the same forever – It’s something I have to do.
This release was an EP. It’s the 2nd of a triptych of EP’s. An Album will come next year, but
will be its own body of work.
What was your first experience of music or art that shaped who you are as a person,
as well as who you are as an artist? I don’t think there was one thing. I think it was a combination of my upbringing that
contributed to my love of bass and music. Always hearing music in the house, going on
family trips to the seaside with the radio turned up loud and the exposure to friends and
family members who would share music with me.
From the age of about 8 I used to have many sleepovers at my cousin’s house. She would
always have her favourite radio station on for us to listen to whilst we were falling asleep.
The music would seep into my dreams and my subconscious.
Your music is wonderfully dark, how do you get yourself into the kind of mental state
to create this in your music? Is it sometimes difficult to break out of? This comes naturally, although I may smile a lot – I know how hard life can be for people; be
that mentally, physically. From the age of 19 I spent a lot of time volunteering with a charity
that supported people who were emotionally distressed or suicidal. I know how fragile mental
health can be and how important it is to look after yourself. I believe every human at some
point in their life will experience emotional distress, it’s important to talk, to share our stories
and not suppress these thoughts and feelings however dark they may be.
The music I create comes from a frustration and anger but also of wonder and hope. It’s an
integral part of my being.
Bandcamp bios are usually fairly bland, but yours is interesting and provoking, what
are the kind of “complex and contradictory ideas that can exist inside one person”
that you wanted to address with your newest release? This exploration of the above comes from the experiences I’ve had in my life. I’ve spent
many years talking to people and naturally, that makes me think about my own personal
decisions and feelings but also about humans in general. How we have been shaped by our
society, how we are bound by social conventions and how we are governed in our every day
lives exploring my interest in anthropology.
I generally think about the duality and contradictory nature of some humans; how what you
might want, might not be what you need, how a person could be perceived as good and bad.
How you can have intense contradictory emotions for a person or an experience, how we
say one thing but think another. How this all impacts our relationships, experiences and
These releases are about the human condition. Because I am human and perhaps it’s in my
nature to want to explore… Your art reminds me of soundtrack music to a futuristic dystopia, something akin to
1984 or Farrenheit 451 mixed with John Carpenter or Blade Runner, what draws you to
the kind of soundscapes that you create? Do you perhaps picture something entirely
different to accompany your music? Thank you x What I picture is reality, truth, honesty – I’m about holding a mirror up to a
person, a society and showing what is real. We all have choices and we can all make a
difference, influence change.
Moving from savages to solo work must have some strangeness to it, how does it feel
now to create something that is in many ways even more personal than ever and
releasing that to the world? Is it more difficult to do this perhaps? It can be overwhelming but I suspect that’s because of fear. I did have similar feelings when
releasing Savages records, but you have the support of 3 others so that can be a bit of a
It feels vulnerable as I put my heart and soul into everything I’ve ever released. I have made
peace that people have opinions, as long as I can stand behind everything I release – then
that’s all I can do. What do you hope to achieve in the remainder of 2019? My main concerns are releasing my third EP and creating an event around every live show. I
want my shows to be a space where it’s ok to feel something, get lost in the music and to
connect with others. Going back to my house party days where people connected through