Being born in the United States, but having spent significant parts of her life in Kosovo, Nita Kaja, the lead vocalist for SYTË, is no stranger to the feelings she writes about in the band's upcoming single "Up in the Air."
Following the release of their 2020 album 'Divine Computer,' this single continues SYTË's trend of creating vibey yet intentional music that their fans can either groove along to or find their meanings behind the lyrics.
Recruiting the talents of London-born Qendresa, there is an artistic versatility that is brought to the table as the dynamism compliments each other's skill set. The effervescent hues of the soothing Indie-Pop/R&B melodies exuded take you into an interpersonal offering of euphonious tenors. The melodramatic essence of this record conveys a unique contribution of feathery timbres from Nita Kaja as the soul-infused timbres of Qendresa adds a punchy charisma reflective of a boisterous persona.
Upon first listen, you could easily mistake the lyrics for a break-up song. However, when digging deeper into the lyrical context, Nita Kaja's motifs structure a weighty message of goodbyes to the hardships and joys that she has faced in the past four years of her life, facing her with the ability to overcome any obstacle.
We adore how the filmic component of "Up in the Air" showcases the group out and about in the city buoyantly fashioning authentic memories in each scene displayed as the series of footage is stitched together in a manner that takes a saddened goodbye and transition it into a passion-filled love letter-esque extension of gratitude. Utilizing nostalgic effects that pop up in transitioning scenes to filter through the cinematic approach in a comforting way that ties you into the wistful spirit of the song.
"Up in the Air" unites a vast array of talents, recollections, and the jaunty quintessence that SYTË carries with them in each melodic creation. Redefining the beauty of hidden goodbyes, SYTË drives the rhythmic escapades of this sonic and visual feature home.
Hello SYTË, welcome to BuzzMusic, and thank you for chatting with us about your latest project "Up in the Air." Where did the inspiration stem from for this captivating release?
“Up in the Air” is about my (Nita) struggles with having an obscured concept of “home” and a divided identity as a diaspora kid who, culturally speaking, feels neither “here nor there”, unsettled, or “up in the air”, which is a common theme among the Albanian diaspora community—including London-born Qendresa. For some backstory, my parents were refugees in the Kosovo war in 1999 and they luckily escaped to the US, where I was born. Though my life was primarily led in New York/New Jersey, I spent every summer in Prishtina, Kosovo until I finally decided to move here altogether right after high school (a decision that was partly fueled by meeting and falling in love with Drin, my partner & fellow band member). I was only supposed to be here for a year, but life kept happening and my return to the States kept getting postponed. The positive side of this excruciating pandemic is that it has served as a call to action for me to make a big future-defining decision that I’ve been putting off the past four years; Drin and I have decided to take the necessary steps to relocate to New York to continue pursuing our shared dream. Without context, “Up in the Air” can be understood as a breakup song, but it’s essentially my goodbye to the most intense, beautiful, challenging, and growth-inducing four years of my life.
What was it like working with Qendresa to bring forth the sound of “Up in the Air?" How did this collaboration be and what is the significance behind it?
Working with Qendresa was such an amazing, easy-going experience; it's special, considering its SYTË's first collaboration with another artist. We haven't known Qendresa for too long but we had immediate chemistry and an organic connection that really shines through in the song and the video. She came to Kosovo for a concert and needed a live band so the guys accompanied her. One thing led to another and she hopped onto the song we'd been working on. Her contribution to the song means a lot because she and I share the same story: we're both diaspora kids who grew up with deep love and longing for the same motherland.
Could you please share what it was like filming this music video? How long did it take you to create all of this footage that we see?
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we had so much fun bringing this video to fruition, in both Prishtina and New York. The whole point was to keep it real, raw, and intimate, and the process of achieving that sort of feel just cannot be forced. You have to be surrounded by people you really click with—who just won't stop cracking jokes and hyping you up all while capturing beautiful footage. We all felt so comfortable and spontaneous; lots of laughter behind the scenes. With that being said, I'd like to give a huge thank you to Lau, Klement Brahaj, offJimmer, and Denis Buñaku for radiating the best vibes.
With many accomplishments under your belt, what has been the highlight of being SYTË?
In our 2 and a half years as a band, we've had the chance to experience things that make us feel infinite happiness: performed more than 30 shows (including Sunny Hill Festival where we got to open up for Dua Lipa, Pop-Kultur Festival in Berlin, and Indoor Inspired Showcase by Gigmit), got to travel (and get paid for it!!!!), had our name featured in the international press, heard our songs on the radio, had our album featured on Apple Music's "Indie Around the World", made some lifelong friends through work, getting showered in love and appreciation by people we've never even met and the best part of it all is that things can really only go up from here. Thankful to say that we're really savoring the journey!