Get To Know... Berry Galazka
Exploding onto the scene at the tail end of 2020 with her debut single ‘Men Can’t Hang’, Polish American songwriter Berry Galazka has something to say, and she’s here to make sure you listen. With her bouncing hip hop hooks and careless RnB cool, the newcomer is just beginning to lift the curtain on her alternative pop vision. With the recent release of the track’s accompanying music video, directed by Paulette Agnes Ang, we caught up with Berry to talk about the political intent behind her song writing, angry women, and lockdown rug making.
How would you describe your music for our readers?
A permission slip to be irreverent.
What are your main influences, musically and otherwise?
Stromae I come back to again and again, everything he does is out of this world. Currently listening to a lot of The Growlers, daydream Masi, and Still Woozy. Art and artist interviews give me a lot of resonating moments. Old Salvador Dali interviews. I’m re-reading his autobiography and he’s as wild a writer as a painter. I relate to Rene Magritte’s approach to art, he was very tongue in cheek and reframed everyday things in funny ways. I’m also reading Magritte’s collection of interviews which I was excited to find. No coincidence, he and Stromae are both from Belgium. Something in the Belgian water… Modigliani and Basquiat’s very fast way of painting inspire me because I write really fast. I don’t believe in second drafts.
You were brought up in America in a Polish household - how does this blend of cultures contribute to you and your musical style?
The only music my mom ever really played was Polka, Reggae and Salsa. I had to really forge and discover my musical tastes. I also went to catholic private schools my whole life where Friday church hymns were the extent of my music exposure. When I was fourteen, I found ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Pink Floyd and ‘Reality’ by Bowie in my uncle’s collection and thought I’d made the greatest musical discovery ever. I really thought “I am the only person who knows who David Bowie is.” Then I pretty much exclusively listened to Pink Floyd, Bowie, AC/DC, Ramones, Dead Kennedys and Bad Brains. I liked angry and intense music because I had a lot of repressed anger from going to catholic school in the South and being taught to be a good girl, which I think a lot of women resonate with.
What is the idea behind your debut single, ‘Man Can’t Hang’?
The idea was rage and my own liberation and embodiment and exalting feminine energy. There is a deep seeded hate towards women, feminine energy and embodied women. Our state of being is constantly criticized; if we’re soft we’re seen as weak but when we're hard we’re seen as bitches, whereas men who display a blend of feminine and masculine traits are in-touch with their emotions and sexy. I wanted to bring rage back, women’s rage. I wanted to attack, gaslight and objectify men, rendering them an accessory. If a man is angry at this message, they’re part of the problem. Feminine energy is water, it moves and shapes. Water is fluid and frictionless, yet it carved the Grand Canyon. I want women to stop being distracted, unfocused, questioning ourselves so much. At the end of the day, man can’t hang, don’t waste time trying to convince them if they don’t want to listen. Men are welcome to keep their boys club, check their mommy issues at the door and circle jerk around Elon Musk. If you’re a man who can hang, come join us.
You had a great reaction when the single came out at the end of last year! What was that like?
It’s been amazing to see the response to Man Can’t Hang, honestly. I didn’t expect such great feedback for my debut single and to see me on so many amazing blogs - landing on New Music Friday was surreal. I SCREAMED. My producer biLLLy and I worked so hard on the song, so it feels like wow, ok, all that work was worth it.
How have you been occupying yourself throughout the various lockdown periods during the pandemic – been up to anything interesting?
Well, my taurus moon really leans into the whole staying inside thing so I quite enjoy that. I’ve been obsessed with rug making videos on YouTube and now I really want a tufting gun. I also just like saying ‘tufting gun.’ I will eventually get one, I am starting smaller with hand making smaller rugs by punch needling and I’ve been working a lot with clay. I’m creating a whole handmade merch line which I’m really stoked about!
You’re pretty active on TikTok, making lots of astrology themed ones in particular! Do you think TikTok is an important part of music culture nowadays?
I do, I discover so much music on TikTok and I love the culture. It’s fun, reckless, silly, super creative. I think it’s the best way for fans to interact with music, and the artist being able to see it. The listener becomes part of the creative process making a dance or challenge to a song. What blows up is totally unpredictable. I love being able to click my song and see who’s made a video with it. I’ll be posting new songs and demos there, my merch making process… What I post there is so different from Instagram because it feels more loose and carefree.
Any American artists who should be on our radar this side of the pond?
I love Ashnikko’s new album!
What’s next for you?
The ‘Man Can’t Hang’ music video is just out! I collaborated with Paulette Agnes Ang who’s a friend from High School, she directed ‘Balenciaga’ for Princess Nokia. After that there will be more new music and an ep. I’ve already finished my next project and continue to write and produce myself more, so I feel like there will be a lot of music in 2021. And rugs. Handmade rugs.