Saakred on silence, never getting stuck creatively, and architecture
Meet Saakred, a performer, musician, videographer from San Antonio, Texas and based in Austin, Texas. "Pushing in and out of gender performativity and post-colonial identities, what began as an earnest attempt at self-healing, quickly grew into a conceptual stage for testing the limits of public vulnerability and sensorial experimentalism."
Interviewed by #bbatx Committee Member Deeksha Srinath
1.) Could you tell me a little about your process for creating? What to you constitutes an environment that supports your creative process?
Silence, a very silent environment for me is ideal, then when I’m in it, I’ll put some music on, often times my own tracks or vice versa, but I think it’s really important to separate the dictation of the creative process from where its actually coming from. Music is so powerful. It can really dictate the direction. I’d love an enclosed empty white box with huge walls so I can really make the visual work I'm trying to make, a studio essentially, but I chose to invest in a recording studio with my housemates instead so I work in my room or in our front room. It’s pretty much a huge empty room that we can use for anything but it's too open so I mostly stay in my room—silence and private space.
2.) How would you describe your work?
My visual work, infantile. My music ... a refined, confident unorthodox monk tryna to find his way back home, i.e the metaphoric temple of god...if god was truth and if truth was actually true.
3.) What helps you when you feel stuck or creatively stagnant?
I'm never stuck or creatively stagnant. I'm in mud all the time, but not from lack of imagination, more like sociopolitical / physiological concerns that are harder to control. But even then, mud is rude and has to dry eventually. I can sit there fanning it with a leaf until it's dry enough for me to chip away at or I can surrender and wait for the sun. Either way, its gonna dry and I’m going to get out.
As far as creatively, I have enough ideas for every artist in America that doesn't.
Lack of imagination to me is indicative of a certain level of privilege, because imagination for me, is a solution to suffering. So if you're not suffering, you're not dreaming, but I'm coming from a great place of suffering so ... it's just a personal theory. I never had time to wait to escape. When I needed to go, I needed to go. So you color, you make music, you stick your head in a speaker, there are plenty of ways to escape!
It's more than that, now that I'm older it really is about problem solving. Solutions for the progression of humanity really, that's what I'm interested in now.
4.) Architecture and new technology play a prominent role in some of your projects. Could you tell me about what drew you to creating with these disciplines as focal points?
I love this question. No one has ever asked me about architecture but it truly is very important to me, only because it dictates ever aspect of human living. And not just human, really universal. There is the architecture of space, jungle, ocean, sandwich, bathroom, easier architectures like that of a city, building, room and then there are the harder to explain architectures—the unseen ones, like sadness/trauma/madness—things that do eventually show themselves in physical manifestations, but when trying to map the foundation, the structure, the grandeur, I mean, you're really talking about a lifetime of study.
When I was younger, I really thought I was going to be an architect.
My uncle was an architect, and maybe it was the idea that one day I would design and build my mom a house that drove me. I remember doing renderings of the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower when I was like...9, I swear, it's ridiculous but I'm still so proud. Shitty drawings really but pretty good for a kid! Regardless, I've always been a forward thinker, again back to my theory around imagination. It's really just come to a point of realizing the architecture of my lived experience is being dictated by someone I'd probably never be friends with, so I try to do everything in my power to rebel. Sometimes I'll even walk backwards. The beautiful thing is that I made good friends with an actual architect, Arturo Vilchis—an incredible thinker, cinematographer and friend, and he has helped bring some of my visions to life, you know like making sure nothing's gonna fall on top of anyone. My friend Ellie Pritts too, also brilliant, helped code this other digitally interactive sound project I envisioned. I'm only 29 and I have about 15 projects that are in various phases so, in time, in time.
5) Tell us more about your upcoming projects and how we can support your work.
I’m sitting on 40+ unreleased tracks. I’ve been working on a 12 track LP for a year and half on and off. It's the longest production for an album I've done, but I think it will be worth it. My goal is to finally find a label and stop releasing independently. The dream is a distribution deal, management, booking, the whole nine yards, but regardless its gonna happen in time for SXSW with or without anyone.
Until then I'm gonna start digitally releasing a bunch of tracks quickly and suddenly, on Apple and Spotify so just type in Saakred and hit Follow. Releasing an EP before the next new moon. Stylistically very different than anything I've done, but you'll get to be the first to hear some of those tracks for the first time at BABES FEST. I heard there might be limited edition preview cassettes for sell too.
Mmm. Last way to possibly support, in a city like Austin, tell your friends that work in the industry that I'm looking for label support. Tell them I've got two tickets to paradise, and one is reserved for them.