The first release from Calista Kazuko’s forthcoming album, Empress, ‘Come To Mama’ finds the High Priestess of Pop Macabre assuming the guise of Cleopatra with a characteristic mix of sensuality and sense of humour. Guided by a hypnotic bassline, mazy Arabian melody and pentatonic harmonies, the music sets an Egyptian backdrop to an ambient groove and sweetly meandering vocal that belies its take-no-prisoners intent: “Ruled them all / Now it’s time to rule you…”
Launching the Empress campaign, ‘Come To Mama’ – co-produced by award-winning film composer Guy Dagul and recorded at London’s Rattle Studios – considers the power, sexuality and stories of some of the most influential women in history: the Empresses. As Calista says: “Along with celebrating fierce, fabulous women, the ‘Empress’ album addresses hardships women are continuing to fight globally. Although we’ve come a long way, the struggle for equality continues.”
The video, directed by brilliant young filmmakers Philip Reinking and Tom Linton, places Calista as a contemporary Cleopatra amid dancing hieroglyphs – a posse of admiring boys, helpless in the face of our heroine’s beauty and power.
Released in September 2019, Empress finds Calista continuing to modify the norms of modern songwriting. Each track tells a story about a different Empress, resulting in a concept album that challenges complex themes while never losing its sense of fun: the song ‘Cake’, for instance, finds Marie Antoinette on Tinder!
High art, high class, high gloss, high drama – meet Calista Kazuko, the High Priestess of Pop Macabre. Hers is a femme-fatale fusion of sophistication, glamour and smart lyrical garrottes.
A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for cinematic genre-bending and controversial boundary-pushing, Calista studied classical/jazz piano and composition at London’s Royal Academy of Music, and has since been performing and winning fans across the world with her dynamic voice and captivating songs. Following the success of the critically acclaimed ‘Project: Love Me’ EP, Calista is now sharing tracks from her highly anticipated debut solo album, ‘Empress’, out this autumn. She founded and launched charity-based arts collective Voice of Aiko in 2018 and is currently penning her first piece of music-theatre, Mary Quake, with playwright Stephanie Martin.
Having composed several international floor-fillers under pseudonyms, Calista’s impact in the world of music is matched in that of fashion, where Stella McCartney has used her tracks as catwalk openers and Parisian fashion house Jitrois actually named its couture ‘Callista’ jacket after her.