Flaviyake [flah-vee-uh-ke] is a Pop singer and songwriter, Grammy Recording Academy and NARIP (The National Association of Record Industry Professional) member. She is known for reinventing herself in every new music video.
Flaviyake was born during an earthquake in Chișinău, the largest city and capital of Moldova. As a child, she believed that her real parents actually lived on a different planet and that they had sent her to Earth as a punishment. In fact, for some considerable time, she did not believe that her biological parents were her real parents. It is for this reason that celestial themes are commonly used in her songs.
Her name is a hybrid of her Latin name Flavia (meaning ‘golden, blonde’) and Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, who became her favourite designer after she attended his exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London in 2010.
Flaviyake has established a career writing songs, in both English and Russian, for herself and other artists. She released her latest song “From Nowhere”, on March 16, 2016.
1. What is your typical day like?
I start mornings drinking a latte. Actually, I just put coffee into a cup of hot milk and add sugar. It tastes intense and sweet. I don’t like any water in my coffee. Then I check out my emails and a very special calendar that tells me what this day is good for, like what kind of food is healthy to eat today and what colours are good to wear to look more attractive and likable. I don’t have the whole colour palette in my wardrobe to follow it. Then I work on a song for other artists if I have a project, also I try to practice my own songs almost every day. I workout almost every other day while listening to an audio book or watching a movie. Before bed, I read a book about music. These are the things that I do on a regular basis. Other stuff is always different.
2. Who or what inspires you?
Lady Gaga inspires me a lot, because she seems to be the only Pop artist nowadays who is using her fame 100% by introducing art, fashion and legends in her artistry. If you have a chance to walk the red carpet, why wear an ordinary dress? Lady Gaga is using every chance to show people something they’ve never seen before. Oprah Winfrey is a very inspirational person as well. I like her openness in sharing her life stories and what she learnt from them.
3. How would you describe your personal style?
Experimental. Some people suggest that I keep releasing songs in one genre, but I enjoy writing different kind of songs. This is the greatest thing, to have freedom to write what you like while you are an independent artist. My friends even call me the “gangsta writer” when they see what I write for other artists in Moscow. I cannot limit myself to one genre.
4. You've lived in 5 cities and 4 countries. What has been your favourite city to live in so far and why?
Los Angeles is the only city where I felt like home straight after stepping out from the airport exit door, and the only city where I got a feeling of loving every day of my life. You wake up, it is sunny and smells of pine trees. The LA people ask me if I am confusing them with palm trees, but I say that they always drive and can’t smell it, but if they walked the streets they would smell pine trees. In LA, the weather is everything, and you can drive to many great national parks and feel like you're on Mars.
5. You've worked in a lot of creative industries. Can you tell me about your career as a writer and the book you're working on, From the G-spot to Enlightenment?
This book will include my citations about sex, love, relationships, music, success and life in general. The wisdom that I learnt from my life experience and want to share with others. The citations will be accompanied with my photos from different times.
6. How did you come to be in possession of a piece of Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress?
That was a funny story that can happen only in Hollywood! I came to Los Angeles just for 6 days to attend some music events. One day I went downstairs to have breakfast and all the tables were taken, but there was one seat left at the table to share with a man. I took that seat and was silent, I didn’t want to disturb him and was too shy to say something. So he started the conversation. I told him that I like Lady Gaga and he said he preserved her raw meat dress! He is a taxidermy master and musician as well. His name is Sérgio Vigilato. He invited me to his work place. He cut a piece of the meat left from Lady Gaga’s dress that he is still keeping on the mannequin used to preserve her dress. I also took photos with pages put in frames from the newspapers that wrote good articles about him preserving the dress.
7. What have been some highs in your music career?
I had been developing my music career in London and was getting constant invitations to perform 30 minute sets of my original songs. I also performed at the biggest Japanese events in the UK. But then my visa expired and I had to leave the country. That was a very painful time for me. You know, when you put so much effort and spend time developing your reputation and good contacts and one day you lose everything because of bureaucracy. I felt so broken that I didn’t want to live anymore and couldn’t even talk. But soon my song got through an online contest and was aired on BBC6 Music Radio. Then I was discovered by a Moscow publishing company and started writing songs for their artists. I felt I could do more and went to Los Angeles to improve my songwriting skills. Finally, I started recording my songs on a new level with American producers.
8. Do you ever get discouraged working in the music industry?
There are some negative aspects like in any other field, but I say if it is the same everywhere, then it’s still better to get disappointed in what you love than doing constantly what you hate.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Keep experimenting all the time and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. The stage gets bigger with the artist. All big things start from small.
10. What's next for you? Do you have any tour dates planned?
At the moment I am not playing live at all. I am focusing on recordings. Nowadays it’s all about the Internet. Once you get a big audience on the Internet, you start getting invitations to perform live. Performing live is very time consuming and even expensive if you don’t have a band and have to pay musicians, buy outfits, pay for rehearsal space and also travel expenses. I am investing in my recordings and music videos instead now. I am going to film “From Nowhere” in a Californian desert and “Alien”, and then release new songs and film videos for them.
Stay up to date with Flaviyake here:
Official website www.flaviyake.com
Interview by Glodeane Brown
All photos from Flaviyake's official website