KhmerLife Exclusive: Interview with Satiya
by KhmerLife on Mar 26, 2020
Born in Battambang, Cambodian-Australian artist Satiya is a singer, songwriter, and director currently residing in Sydney, Australia. He left Cambodia at a very young age. Music runs within his family. Satiya spent much of his life as a hairstylist and a businessman before getting into the Khmer music scene and becoming a well-known Khmer artist within the global Cambodian community.
Hi, my name is Satiya, I am a Khmer Australian artist.
How did you come up with your artist name?
It’s also my stage name I chose it because it’s different.
Tell us about the city you are from?
I was born in Battambang which is the 2nd largest city in Cambodia, the city is well known for producing great musicians back in the Khmer golden era.
What first got you into music?
My family had always been musical so I grew up singing at a very young age, perhaps about 6 or 7 years old.
Who inspired you to make music?
Hour Lavy which also came from Battambang inspired me to do music, he and Lokta Sinn Sisamouth are my greatest inspirations as well as Michael Jackson, James Brown and Elvis Presley.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
The type of original songs that I write, eg my 2 Mins song is a classic melody like the old times with the new sound of the modern days.
What is your creative process like?
My creative process usually consists of me being alone and listen to my surroundings like nature, birds, or some background music and most of the time, a melody just drops on your lap and I write about an experience I had or what I feel at the time.
Why did you decide to become a songwriter?
I decided to become a songwriter because I like to express myself through songs about how I feel about certain things in society or a relationship I see that people have.
Which song you have written is your favorite and why?
My favorite song that I wrote so far is the song called ” Khmer Love Khmer ” I’ve been exposed to Khmer communities all over the world and it’s a sense of pride for me to write it to express this is how I feel and what I wish to happen in our communities.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would like to collab with the new, young generation artists who have a vision for the Khmer music, like Vuthea from Klapyahandz and JDep. Their originality is something we should be appreciating and applauding. This is the new wave.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
I wouldn’t mind open a show for anyone who has been around a longer time than me, it’s all about survival in this industry but if you have survived and still going after a decade or two. I’ll give you all my respect.
Where have you performed?
I have performed all over the States, I also performed in Sydney and Phnom Penh, currently, I’m on tour in Canada.
What is your favorite city?
My favorite city to perform at has to be anywhere in Cali, just the vibes, the girls and the weather.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
My shows are happening now in Canada, then The States is next hopefully.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted your music?
The internet does wonder for me being an Australian artist because we’re so far from everyone else. It helps to expose my music to the world and helps people to have easier access to my music which tremendous for any independent artist like myself.
What is your favorite song to perform?
I like to perform all the Khmer traditional songs of the past, people tend to respond better. That’s why I’m currently working on new materials that have similar vibes and styles of the past.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
I admire Lok oum Hour Lavy and Lokta Sinn Sisamouth, I can never get sick listening to them.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
What I enjoy most about being a musician is that I get to do shows and see a different part of the world where Khmer people live.
What is the best advice you've been given?
The best advice I’ve been given is ” Do you, Be you ” no can be like you.
What's next for you?
I’m focusing on original lots of original songs and fewer covers. I want people to remember me as an artist who writes and survives on his own originality.
What is the best Khmer restaurant in your city?
The best Khmer restaurant in Sydney, I would say one that’s called Battambang. Very authentic and flavors are so like what’s in Cambodia.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
My message to my fans is I love y’all. Thank you for your love and support. Satiya is just getting started. Y’all gonna hear a lot more from me.
Do you want to give anybody a shout out?
Shout out to my homie Jdep I love you bro. When the time is right, we’ll make great music together.