Akira Galaxy: Destined for Dream Pop

Destined to become a celestial dream pop artist by her birth name, Akira Galaxy transcends the boundaries of conventional soundscapes and dives into interstellar explorations with her music. Constantly indulging in the arts and creativity, Galaxy is driven by explorations of human nature, the light and the dark that we have within, and by humanity and its mysteries. Communicating this through her unique, ethereal sound and sultry voice, the Seattle-born artist is a fresh sonic force in the dream pop scene that strives to bring her listeners an immersive, thought-provoking musical experience, while also constantly working to explore her own creativity and evolve as an artist.

We spoke to Galaxy about her musical journey, how she finds her inspiration, and her latest EP, What’s Inside You.

Photo credit: Silken Weinberg and Angela Ricciardi


How did you first get into music?

I grew up with my parents being huge music fanatics. The first show I went to was when I was three years old. It was the Gorillaz. The Ramones were constantly playing. My dad tried to get me into them when I was probably around four years old. From that, I kind of went on my own adventure to figure out what I was into and started working at a record store called Easy Street Records and volunteering at this music venue called The Vera Project. And that helped me find my own individual love for music. My parents were into pretty heavy rock music, and I definitely was attracted to that. But also, being around other students, you naturally kind of have to go through a little bit of a pop phase. Hilary Duff was my woman when I was like four years old. I would watch her movies and listen to her music, and I remember taking a hairbrush singing her songs. And so I went through a little bit of a journey through pop music. Then I remember going to Coachella when I was 13 or 14 years old, and my dad was like, “you have to see this band, Queens of the Stone Age. You have to see them.” And I was so exhausted. I remember, before they went on, I was sitting on the ground with my head in between my legs, just about to fall asleep. And then they come on and I just remember my eyes lighting up and being like, oh my goodness, wow, I want to do that, man.

What was the musical style like when you first started, compared to what it is now? 

I always had little twinkles or little sparks of what’s going on in my music now for sure, especially lyrically. A lot of it’s like the 10,000 hours rule, you know, it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to get really good at it. And you can, for the most part, get good at anything by really putting in the time. And I think poetry really, really helped me with that, to develop my own lyrical style.

Photo credit: Silken Weinberg and Angela Ricciardi


What attracted you to dream pop, specifically? 

I feel like it’s strange because I think my whole musical identity and creative identity revolves around this theme of light and darkness, and the light within the void. I mean, for starters, when I’m in my darkest times, for the most part, is when I create my best stuff. And the only way I know how to get through those dark times is to create some kind of light out of it. You know, it’s the only thing that you can do, and the only thing that makes me feel good. And I think maybe subconsciously it also comes from my birth name, Akira Galaxy. 

How do you usually find your inspiration? 

I feel like it is essential to constantly be infusing knowledge into your mind, to get in a space where the music flows out in a natural way. I think the best music comes when there are no obligations or pressure, and that can be hard. That can be hard sometimes when you have a whole team around you. But I think you need to block that out a bit and just feed the creative through watching films and reading books. I have a bookstore right by my house in LA that I walk to almost every single day, and I’ll go scan the poetry section. I probably know half of that section by heart. Also, picking up Greek mythology books and dissecting those and trying to understand the mysteries of human existence that they’re talking about and the exploration of human nature… 

Dream Pop as a genre also has a very visual side to it. How do you incorporate that into your artistic persona?

I think it still goes hand in hand with the lightness and the darkness. I’m really inspired by French noir films and film in general, anywhere from the 30s to the 60s is really inspiring to me. And I think it’s really, really important, the visual aspects. It kind of helps tie up the loose ends of the story a bit, you know? It helps really bring the story to life for the audience to see. 


Photo credit: Silken Weinberg and Angela Ricciardi

And what’s your songwriting process like usually? Is it usually lyrics driven? 

I usually start with guitar, but I have about six stacks of notebooks just with lyrics in them. So I  start with a guitar and when I’m singing melodies for that chord progression my subconscious mind will just feed out things that are happening up here, that maybe I’m not even aware of in the current state. And sometimes I’ll even go back to songs from a year ago and think, oh, that’s what was going on. 

What was the thought behind your recent EP, What’s Inside You?

It was a time of reflection, love, loss, and human connection that I don’t necessarily like to delve into. Everything that was happening during Covid, you know, it was an intense time, to have that stripped away from you. I think it was just like reflecting on a past version of myself and then coming back to being around humans and realizing how important that is for my existence. You know, I remember the first time I got together with someone, we were driving by the lake, and I just felt like I was high on mushrooms, you know, the first time after being away from people for like 3 or 4 months. So yeah, it was just a reflection of the loss of that.

Who are some artists that you’re influenced by? 

I love AIR. I also got really into Radiohead records, In Rainbows and Amnesiac, during the time of me starting to write the EP, so that was a big inspiration. I love the Cocteau Twins. But I don’t know if there’s a way that I incorporate them into the music. It kind of just comes from my subconscious of those being the things that I’m into. They naturally make their way in a little bit.

Who are some artists that you are currently listening to?

I just discovered this band from Amsterdam called EUT, and they have this song called In Time that I’m obsessed with. The singer of Fontaines D.C., Grian Chatten also released a solo record last summer, and that record is amazing. I’ve also been listening to a lot of classical music, strangely. My mom had an experience with her grandma, my great-grandmother, where she was driving in the car and her grandma was only listening to classical music. And she said, “Why are you listening to classical music so much?” And she said, “Well, other music just triggers emotions that I don’t want to feel.” And I found that really fascinating because classical music, to me, the instrumentals are some of the most emotional. I think strings and piano are some of the things that I infuse into my songs when I want to really elevate emotion, you know? So I’ve been diving deep into the classical world, looking over Bach’s story and Mozart’s story, and it’s like, oh my goodness. Mozart was at his peak from 6 to 11 years old, and dissecting all these little details that are really fascinating.

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