Voimaa Shakes Up Tradition with Native Flute Instrumental “Voimaa”
Voimaa is a Ukrainian-Canadian artist who specializes in high energy instrumental pop. She embraced the world of music early in her childhood, allowing herself to be pulled into the worlds of pop, folk and new age music by legendary artists such as Lady Gaga, Yanni and Alborada Peru. At age 12, Voimaa discovered the Native Flute and invested her efforts into mastering this instrument. She stood apart from her Native Flute peers because most of them played the instrument for tradition, but Voimaa had the opportunity to discover new sounds with the flute. She has the unique ability to be able to evolve her native flute technique and combine it with other genres the way that traditional players are unable to. Voimaa has taken advantage of this quality and given the native flute aspects of pop and dance to create a new sound entirely. Traditional native flute songs spotlight the flute with a subtle instrumental background. Voimaa shamelessly introduces the many edgy, alternative sounds that make up her music style to the native flute genre.
Her new release “Voimaa,” which is part of her recent EP project also called 'Voimaa,' strays from native flute tradition. She incorporates an electronic dance background that compliments and highlights her flute playing abilities. Voimaa shows her audience how committed she is to the instrument by performing intricate melodic phrases and riffs. She includes a trap-like beat, and the song continuously builds up its energy like many dance-pop songs. Although not usually seen together, the intriguing flute-electronics pairing is one that will entrance its listeners. The lively background track seems to give the song a three-dimensional effect. Voimaa draws from her pop, folk and new age inspirations when she creates her songs. “Voimaa” is a clever combination of Native Flute instrumentals and electronic dance energy.
Listen to “Voimaa” here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Voimaa! Growing up you were a fan of many genres including pop, folk and new age. What drew you to learning the Native Flute, and why did you commit so intensely at age 12?
I was drawn to learning the Native Flute when I first heard it in the film score of 'Where The Spirit Lives'. The movie was being shown in our 7th-grade history class and addressed the horrors of Canadian residential schools. All together the themes of the film and the sound of the instrument left me overwhelmed. I resolved that I would not stop until I got my hands on this instrument and played it. Needless to say, I was successful in my resolution and the rest was history!
You are known for your creativity and musical expression by not conforming to traditional Native Flute music. How has the Native Flute fan-base embraced your style?
The truth is my fan base lies mostly outside the Native Flute community. Most people who listen to my stuff are festival-goers or younger folk who want something different to move to. That being said the Native Flute community has been pretty awesome about things. Generally, people are happy to go with something different, diversity is the spice of life as the saying goes.
You have released 2 EPs (LUNA & LACUNA) and one single (P.O.P.) in addition to your recent EP “Voimaa.” Can you tell us how your music style has changed over time?
My music style has grown up with me. Like many other folks who play the Native Flute, I started off playing new age style music and mostly improvising - thinking that was the respectful approach to the instrument. As I became more aware of the flutes' roots and cultural context, I realized I was misinformed about so much regarding the instrument. At this point, my style started to shift towards dance and instrumental pop. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that the Native Flute is a diverse instrument, capable of far more than it was being given popular credit for. Not to mention, I had no intention of misappropriating another culture's heritage for my benefit by performing and profiting off of their traditions. When I was younger I did not understand the difference between appreciation and appropriation, as an adult not only do I understand it - I value it a great deal and my music reflects that.
You have been a fan of famous artists including Lady Gaga, Yanni and Alborada Peru. Can you elaborate on how these artists influence your music style?
All these artists have had a huge impact on my life, Alborada Peru and Yanni were the backbones of my musical education. I used to listen to their records for hours either improvising along to their tunes (badly!) or learning their songs by ear. I most certainly can credit both of them with my improvisation skills and early ear training. In my later years, discovering Lady Gaga had a massive impact on my artistic sensibilities. I was magnetized to Gaga's unapologetic, artistic, and educated trifecta. I love that her albums always had a theme and purpose, nothing was random- everything carried a deeper meaning. Her work became a standard of artistic integrity to me and I shall always aspire to meet it.
What can we expect to see from Voimaa throughout 2020?
At the moment there are lots of new songs in the works. The past year has been very tumultuous and that makes for good material so I am excited! This next project will be focusing on what it means to be alive, as I am a strong believer that music is the consequence of life. I am excited to explore collaborations with some great artists (who shall for now remain nameless) and dabble a bit more into the trance side of the dance genre. In short - prepared to be surprised!