Unpredictable, charming, and hypnotic: The Belgian artist Tsar B creates unique, chilling vocals accompanied by a naturalistic rhythm. Often portrayed with a violin, her music ignites intuitive movement while getting skin-close to the listener.
How did you get into music as a tool of self-expression?
I think that it started with me getting my first mini rent-violin around the age of three, it was really good for my self-expression already, I think I smashed it in two back then… My mom recently sent me a video of me playing it actually!
What has been the most unexpectedly inspiring sound you have ever sampled?
I’m really in love with my cheese grater as a snare with loads of ‘attack’. Or once there was this parrot that sat next to me singing this song and I made a whole beat with it.
Which cultural influences do you take into your music?
I am really really into baroque music and renaissance music. A lot of chord progressions I got from Bach, and some miserable singing inspiration I borrowed from Monteverdi.
The violin seems to be a vital part of your oeuvre. Can you tell me more about your relationship with this instrument?
Before having boyfriends, I always had girlfriends and they were my violin. You know, you never have one violin. First, you get a quarter of a violin, then a half, then 3/4th, and so on. They grow with you. I always had fights with them, they interested me for half an hour only and then I got bored or aggressive (I was a very wild child), but they were my loves, my muses, my heroines. I lost it a bit when having my first boyfriends, but now they’re back in my life, and the others will have to share.
Your music is deeply hypnotic and mesmerizing. What are your favorite visual motives to translate your acoustics to?
Hard to answer, I think my music may sound a bit like a trip through a galaxy with all its colors.
What is your favorite escapism tactic?
Napping. I need my naps multiple times a day. I feel light, then, relieved. I count to three and I’m gone.
What do you currently dream about?
I dream about my dog giving birth to little chicks and me trying to catch them but I can’t, and they pop into popcorn. Really sad endings… And I dream of babies I have to carry but they’re too soapy so they slip out of my hands. I think I have some issues with control. Might study a bit on this, on myself.
What genre/ tool/ instrument would you like to explore in the future?
Great question! Some flutes, like the duduk flute for example… but deformed.
For Numéro Berlin, Tsar B exclusively created a playlist:
Interview Yuliya Maltseva
Picture courtesy of Lennert Madou/ Tsar B