Artistic impulses don't arise from nowhere, they are adopted, reshaped and repurposed, made new and real for the artist over time. As a fellow creative, the landmark of inspirations that are scattered across the topography of peoples' careers is always fascinating, rarely-offered insight into the hazy process of creation. We asked some of the artists, previously interviewed for Musta, on the creatives who inspire them.
Josiah Hyacinth: 24-year-old creator, photographer, creative director and writer based in Manchester. Interviewed by Tomiwa Gbadebo.
Who or what was your inspiration when you began your journey?
There was a Youtuber called ‘Princess’, who was my friend in university, she is the reason I started YouTube. She used to vlog at the time, and she would capture everything, and it felt cool to be a part of because she used to find the value within these moments that seems almost ‘regular’ and make them distinct memories. It started to give me that push that “Hey Josiah, you can create these things”. It was a big inspiration to me to truly explore this idea amongst all the other creative ideas I had the desire to do. So, she was the first person to show me that maybe I could pick up and a camera and do this… really create something great.
When I started began vlogging, there was a guy named Casey Neistat, who took the content creation from a level of ‘here’s one thing I did in my day’ to truly using his platform to talk about things he cared about, likening them to be like short movements. This inspired me to take that step further, to not just create content that people consume and enjoy, but to create content that can also challenge people and potentially create change.
What inspires you to continue this creative path?
Simply, I thoroughly enjoy it. It allows me to make a direct impact. It allows me to tell stories, which I love doing. The beautiful thing about telling stories is that you have to be present within the moment, allowing me to find the marvel in the mundane. Overall, granting me the ability to live my life at a higher frequency because I’m always looking for the beautiful part of a story that may seem sad to others. So, my quality of life is elevated basically.
Sasha Samara: 24-year-old indie-pop singer-songwriter based in Northern Ireland. Interviewed by Anna McKibbin.
Who were your early inspirations? Who are your current inspirations?
I think the earliest inspiration was Hayley Williams and Paramore. I have a really distinct memory of being on a family holiday and listening to their self-titled album. There were these interludes on that album that were just ukulele and I remember thinking “Oh my word, someone is using ukulele on a rock album!” So Paramore and also Dodie…playing the ukulele and a career on the internet were both things I really wanted.
These days, my inspiration is…hold on let me just get up my Spotify to talk about one Taylor Swift. As a songwriter she really is best in the game, she also is a huge inspiration in terms of how she runs her business. Who else? Phoebe Bridgers, also! Bombay Bicycle Club’s last album has been really influential to me in the way that I write. Japanese Breakfast, also a good one…The Staves…and I’m going to end my list right there.
Love The Staves.
Best in the game!
Best in the game, but quietly best in the game. They are like the Haim sisters if Haim took a Xanax and chilled out.
For you what defines an inspiration? What is something you look for in other musicians that you find interesting?
I guess I am interested in boldness. Musicians who are willing to show their personality. So much of music has a polish and sheen over it, but I just think it’s amazing when musicians can share their heart in a way that resonates with people. So many musicians have reached into my heart and met me where I’m at…that’s what I want to do with my music.
How has your taste developed as your music has?
I mean pop-punk is a great place for any teenage girl’s taste to start, but gradually I have veered more towards pop. I think when I was younger, I wanted to present as cool, and now that I have reached my mid-20s I unashamedly love pop music. Exploring even more mainstream pop music into more indie-pop, exploring people who are really pushing the boundaries of pop or even just making pop really well - that has become really important to me. A lot of people see it as bland or soulless and actually no, it’s really good! It’s really enjoyable! That’s why I’m always interested in people who are making it weird, that’s what I’m trying to get at! I ask how do I get there? How do I make it weird?