Photo Credit: Alex Oh
Meet SATICA, an R&B artist whose artistry is shaped by her upbringing as a daughter of Cambodia immigrant fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide. At an early age, songwriting became a critical outlet for SATICA to express her innermost thoughts and served as a cathartic release from the tensions she experienced at home. As a result, SATICA’s music is emotional and deeply personal, stretching through the intersections of pop, R&B, and hip-hop, and showcasing her growth as not only an artist but also a woman navigating life in Southern California as a Southeast Asian woman.
Since the release of her debut EP Drippin’ with Moving Castle in late 2017, SATICA hasn’t stopped writing – from penning tracks for K-Pop icon Tiffany Young (Girls’ Generation) to being featured with Shawn Wasabi.
Today, the Los Angeles-based singer releases her sophomore EP dear april, ily. Produced by long-time friends and producers Mike Derenzo, Donyea G, Jordan Blackmon, and Moving Castle co-founder AObeats, the EP is a deeply personal snapshot of SATICA’s life. The title of the EP is inspired by the childhood nickname her brother gave her, April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Dear april, ily is fueled by the adversities of her childhood raised by two refugee/immigrant parents and growing up around PTSD, mental illness, and depression. The EP offers an account of the person SATICA was, is, and wants to be.
The opening track “who’s protecting me…? (love isn’t selfish)” details one’s true character and the nature of their intentions. It’s gentle in its sonic arrangements and carried by SATICA’s honeyed vocals. SATICA takes inspiration from a time when she was writing poetry long before writing songs. It’s where her love of creative language started. “Who’s protecting me…? (love isn’t selfish)” is a poignant, inquiring narrative on how SATICA is at crossroads with the people entering her life and coming to realize which side are they really on.
“Ode To LBC” is a love note to the city SATICA grew up in. The tale reflects the initial steps she took in her music career, a move to the City of Angels, and the heartbreak that comes with a 7-year relationship ending. The track is guided by subtle R&B accents and longing vocals. Emphasizing the lyrics, “I turned around and call my best friend, I needed some advice. I turned around and count my blessings, I’ve been doing alright,” SATICA recognizes every lyric she sings brings her back to the place she will always call home.
SATICA’s introduction single off the EP was the dreamy “Take A Walk.” The track highlights her tender vocals that float above a faint guitar and smooth bass line. Its subtle build offers listeners something to grasp onto before it emerges into R&B mastery. “Take A Walk” has SATICA trading ego and pride for happiness no matter what’s at stake. It depicts a time of maturity and personal development, showing SATICA as being vulnerable and honest with herself in order to find peace within and without.
“Son of a Gun” features the collaboration between SATICA and friend, LGBTQ+ artist SAKIMA. Melding R&B, electronic, and pop echoes and accentuating killer harmonies, the track is a dynamic offering that expands SATICA’s sonic universe. Tapping into controversial issues like gun control/violence, “Son of a Gun” is a dark, but necessary exploration of an increasingly problematic issue in our society.
The final track off the EP is “Check$,” a song dedicated to SATICA’s mother. As the daughter of two Khmer Rouge genocide survivors, SATICA has watched her parents sacrifice their own well being to make sure she had a fair chance at a better life in America. From PTSD to mental illness, it’s been a constant battle driven by dark times and mixed emotions. Forfeiting the idea of a traditional career path, SATICA is pushing through in attempt to give the world to her family. Until then, all she has to offer is love and that’s okay. “Check$” was accompanied by a music video directed by Tony K. along with assistant director Alex Oh. The video was shot at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier (Long Beach, CA). It also features old film footage of SATICA’s childhood and displaying a profound love for her mother.
SATICA says this of her EP, “‘Dear april, ily’ is an insight on my perspective on love, where I’m from, my upbringing, as well as issues in our current events. Every single song on this EP came from the heart and came to life with no other motive other than the need to express.”
Dear april, ily is out now via Moving Castle.