Saphir’s name has been all over SoundCloud for the past few years. She’s worked with some of your favorite artists; it is fair to say that people need to get to know her. In an exclusive interview with UVC, Saphir proclaims her advice on toxic relationships and starting music, how she met Gizmo, her opinions on females in the underground, and much more. 

For people who don’t know, how old are you and where are you from?

I’m 22 years old and I’m from San Fernando Valley. 

You’ve been in the underground for a very long time. How have you seen it change? Do you like how it’s changing?

I’ve been in the underground for 5-6 years now. In the beginning it was kind of really sorta just teenagers or people in their 20’s who were just doing music innocently and for the fun of it. We weren’t even in our adulthood and were just figuring stuff out. It was just really pure all the time. You’ll be on SoundCloud finding cool producers and new artists and not a lot of people sounding like each other. I think it’s because that underground scene was just happening, like Bones, Raider Klan, Yung Lean or Spooky Black were such a huge influence to start that. It was really a fun place to be with not much judgement. There weren’t many girls either, so it wasn’t like how it is now where girls are like “Oh I don’t like you/I like you” type thing. So it was an interesting, really cool and historical time. The underground to us was a sacred place, and for it to turn into what it is now it has its pros and cons. Now, it’s almost like we went through a whole high school type simulation, like how some went off to a cool college AKA getting signed or getting on tours while some of us are still flowing on the wave. Its brought a lot of amazing opportunities for us. It’s so sick now for being in it for so long, I have that respect where wherever I’m at I can instantly have a promoter hit me up and get booked and that was something I wasn’t able to do before. I think that if everyone figures out where they want to go with their music and how they want to go about it then that’s fine. If labels can make those come true then great. So I don’t hate it, it gives people their careers and more stuff they wanted to do so that’s sick.

What do you want to see more from the underground, especially from females?

If girls could get on more tours with rapper guys who are in our scene, that’d be really cool. Having some girl openers or headliners, I’m not trying to underestimate anybody though I just think that would be cool. I would love to see girls really just dropping projects and going at it. I just want girls to know that if they can do this right now and are setting the example that they’re doing this independently, then I’d love girls to just give it a shot as much as they can and let that be the new example for the next generation of independent female artists. And I know there already are, but this is like a different category especially for the underground you know? I think so many things are possible with or without a label, and I’d love to see a lot of girls take the independent route and see where it takes them.

I feel like girls should be more supportive towards each other in this scene, what about you?

Yeah, definitely. I still think it’s super early. it’s just there isn’t a lot of us in the scene right now. There’s really just a handful of us at the moment. I can name a lot of guys but not many women. They either just quit because things get in the way or because it gets hard like most people do you know.

That reminds me of your Masked Gorilla interview when you were going off about not wanting girls to put out for stuff. I really admire that. Would you want to add anything to that point? 

When you’re working hard to do something, and I know there’s different avenues getting to your goals, but I just really admire when people can just do it themselves against all odds, against the obstacles, against the rejection. Maybe it’s just how I was raised since I come from a super Hispanic and Israeli/Jewish family. My parents came here with 0 dollars in their pocket and not knowing English, so I think they put it in my brain that I have to work hard and doing it in the way where I have to deal with the shit and go through it and prove to people I can do it and have that respect. There’s other ways to go about it but I’ll rather just do it the hard way, that’s just how I am.

Do you have any advice or tips or support for females here who are in an uncomfortable situation around guys? 

If you want to be strong-minded and are really focusing on the goal, you can’t just ignore this kind of behavior. Obviously I’m not excusing men’s behavior because it is incredibly wrong and unfair. Just get your shit done, but if it comes to the point where it crosses the line, you have the right to leave. I’m not saying to deal with it, it’s good to speak authority onto other producers, but it’s so scary at the same time because you can be saying something to the wrong person and there goes your opportunity. It’s discouraging, so you have to be strong-minded. I definitely still to this day deal with people who have fucked me over and who have disrespected me, but in my business/goal perspective, I’m not allowing that to get to me, because I know that if I do, it’s going to hurt and affect me. In the long run I’ll get to where I need to be. If you feel like you’re not in a good position, tell them to fuck off and that’s it. I feel like women in the industry no matter what are going to deal with these types of guys, even if they have the best team or people, there’s always going to be a scumbag, You either have to be strong enough or ignore it because shit like that happens, or call them out and tell them to fuck off and cut them out, just stay strong. Success is the best revenge, and that’s when you have a voice to speak up, because then you’re going to have a platform to talk about these kind of situations. You just have to be a tough bitch. Don’t let that shit get to you. I’ve been told the worst of the worst, but if you know for a fact you have something you can offer and know it’s different, nothing and nobody can take that away.

You are such a diverse artist, you go from an EDM type style in “Vampire” to full out rapping in “Goblin”, how hard can that be since you’re not in just one sound? 

It’s so weird because being a diverse artist has been a blessing and a curse. It’s hard for people who want to help me to kind of categorize me and guide me to a certain way. I just feel constantly inspired by things, and I think in my head instantly if someone is like “I need you on this beat” or if I hear something, I don’t think I can not make a song over any beat, I can figure out a way, it just matters how I feel in the moment. I always tell people I feel like there’s a super third dimension person God giving me this information, and I just feel like I have this language that’s just spewing it out, I just don’t even know if it’s my subconscious. Where these melodies are coming from, I’ll start hearing shit or playing it or voice memoing it and there we go, it’s just so weird.

How do you pick a beat then? 

I either hear a beat, go on Traktrain and find something, but usually I go with something like Dead Robot and more and we’ll just cook up in the studio. We just add in kicks and drums and everything, and yeah it just builds.

I see a religious trend in your songs, like “Martyr” “Prayer” “Pagan Princess”. Does that mean anything? 

I’ve been very much more into like wicked dark stuff, watching a lot of movies and documentaries, and learning about the culture towards witches. I’m not gonna be like “I’m a witch” or anything, I’m just looking more into biblical terms and honestly I did that because my favorite band is Avenged Sevenfold and they got their band name through the bible. So I was like what is my biggest influence? I wanted to find something that inspires me that I can kind of vibe off of, and that was definitely them. They would always title their stuff shit like “Blinded in Chains” and “The Wicked End”. I just thought that was so sick. 

Are you religious then? What’s your spirituality?

I’m not religious, but I do practice Judaism and the holidays. But I’m not a super hardcore Jew. I’m definitely more of the spiritual side of like the Law of Attraction and universe and vibrations, I definitely work a lot off of feelings and like the 6th sense. That’s honestly how I’ve managed to get by. So I think that’s spiritual, but I don’t want to be like “Crystals under my bed” you know. I promise I’m not talking out of my ass that’s just the way of life for me haha.

So you’re Jewish and Hispanic, as somebody who is Hispanic too, I know how tough they can be if you’re pursuing something that doesn’t involve college. How has your family reacted to you pursuing music? Do you have any tips for those who have strict parents?

My parents weren’t too strict, I wish possibly they were more strict on college but it’s fine. But at the same time they were strict with other stuff you know. Definitely had those moments, they thought rock music was devil music. But my parents were super chill, they were always supporting me with my music. But they do see it more as a hobby and see it as a “starving artist” sorta thing and I’m just like “No I’ll prove you wrong.” I really went from being that 13 year old who was literally going after bands and wanting to talk to singers and now I’m really doing that and meeting these people and playing shows like these artists. I show that to my parents and they’re still not quite understanding about it, they still support me 110% but they’re still skeptical because I haven’t blown up yet. It does get discouraging but I don’t blame them because it’s a gamble. But I’m willing to do it because this is what makes me happy. I think that if you have the opportunity to get an education, do that. If your parents got you that college fund and everything, do that. Because I know a lot of people who didn’t go to college and wish they did. My best advice right now to a young musician is just don’t fuck up anything and really have that side job, because I do have my side hustle while I do my music, and work at it. I do make enough from my music but I do love me my moisturizer haha, so a side hustle isn’t bad. It’s never bad to have a profession or license or degree, always have that in your market.

What do you do when you have writer’s/creative block?

I either listen to a bunch of music that I have never listened to, or I haven’t listened to in a minute. I just be like “What were the bands that inspired me back in the day?” So I’ll take an old Muse album, because “Starlight” was my favorite song when I was 12, and I saw them in Vegas, and then something just happens. Or I can be super cynical and think of a dark time and trigger some type of emotions. It’s a little fucked up but you get a good song. Sometimes it doesn’t happen and you need a break. My inspiration really is misery. But I don’t want to feed off of that all the time. When I’m really sad though, I be writing my best songs. 

I see you’re a big fan of Escape the Fate. How has that influenced you music wise?

The first song I heard by Escape the Fate was “Not Good Enough For Truth In Cliche”. I think that was before he got locked up, and I remember seeing videos of him and I was just like “His voice is so fucking different than any of these other bands.” I was so obsessed. I was like “I’m going to follow this dude for 2 years until he’s out of jail, and I’m going to meet him.” So, get this, I’m 13, and by the way I’m good with my manifestations, I literally go out of my way at Warped Tour and go and get a picture with him, and then I go to his 2nd show which was Falling in Reverse at the Chain Reaction. If you type in Saphir and Ronnie Radke on YouTube you’ll find a video of us talking. I fuck with his stuff from Escape the Fate days.

How was performing in Prague with Gizmo?

It was pretty gnarly, we didn’t know what to expect. Being in the middle of nowhere and being together and being each other’s best friend, it was surreal. Our first show it was chill, it was literally like a Ham show. The second show was definitely one for the books. Fun story, we’re performing. I’m nervous as hell, whipping my wax pen like crazy. And there’s no insulation in this venue, I could barely breathe. We’re playing our set, going back and forth with songs. We barely ate and I was barely drinking water. I have nerve damage on my shoulder, where if I pull a certain muscle, it gives me an instant migraine and I throw up. I’m playing “Martyr” and I’m going crazy. All of a sudden I just feel it all coming out, I’m puking on stage. I pass the microphone to him and he continues the song for me like the great boyfriend he is. I go to the back and wash myself off, the promoter throws me this shirt of random merch, and I’m back on stage performing “Catastrophic”.  I’m in pain, but everyone’s moshing, so it didn’t even matter anymore. I was so sick after, but you know what, when in Prague… haha.

Where’s a place you really want to perform at? 

Russia, for sure. And Brazil. My soul needs to go to a Russian rave in like Moscow and party with all my supporters. This is my manifestation, I’m ready to go to Russia and ready to go hard.

That reminds me, where are most of your listeners? I know a lot of artists can see their listener demographics, does this mean you have a lot of fans in Russia?

It’s more honestly in Brazil, I have a fat ass Brazil base. I’ll love to definitely go to Rio. They’re like 13% of my fan base. Russia and London are getting there, those are the top 2, then it’s like Australia.

That’s so cool. Here’s a fan question. How did you meet Gizmo?

I’ll make it a small story. I knew of him back like 4 years ago? I remember his profile, he had a girlfriend at the time so I didn’t try anything. I thought his music was cool, but I didn’t say anything in respect for the relationship. In 2017, I literally was just living my life, and he randomly direct messages me. Usually I wouldn’t respond back to messages, but I had a gut feeling that I need to talk to him. He sent me an open that we did together, and I was like this is amazing. My heart dropped. As this is happening, we’re talking more and more and I’m like “Wow he’s so cool, we get along so well.” I was so scared because he was coming to LA and I was just nervous. Finally he’s like “I’m out in Anaheim, let’s meet out here.” So then I go there, thinking “This can go one or two ways.” When he got out of the car, I was just like “Woah, wow, you’re that beautiful?” Ever since then, we just been hip with each other. I’ve never met somebody so amazing like Gizmo. He gives me so much inspiration to go way harder on things and just pushes me. He’s such a good influence on me. I don’t give a fuck what anybody else thinks, I live with him everyday 24/7, we’re each other’s best friend. He’s like a light, he’s the best thing ever, he’s just so sweet.

Your makeup, hair, and style is so eccentric. What’s the root of all that?

I had no idea what the fuck I was posting on my Instagram for years. I knew my style, I always loved listening to rock music. I just didn’t know how to style it. I was the kid in school who wore a vest with patches. I think style comes from a place where you can’t be afraid to try something different. There really isn’t sort of like a box to stick to, I just think it really comes to looking in your closet and putting two and two together. I always go on Instagram too and look at what people are wearing and look for a cheaper version. I be balling on a budget, going to vintage stores. Some of the stuff I have are super old so I love collecting those and adding that to my fashion.

Favorite makeup?

I love Huda beauty and Kat Von D. I’m not that perfect at it, but I get the gist of makeup.

Your stage presence is fucking bomb. How do you channel all that energy?

It all started out in high school when mad people would talk shit about me. People who would call me a poser and shit, saying stuff like “You aren’t a real metalhead.” That totally affected my self-esteem to this day so that kind of rejection made me so angry from the inside that I have to go hard. I just have to. Even if it’s 0 people at the show, I just give my all. I feel like there’s no need to be afraid to perform, everyone has their own version, like a slow performer or performing like Billie Eilish. It’s really just up to you. I just love giving that presence to people and feed off that energy.

Who’s a rising artist you really like?

Freddie Dredd. He’s a friend of Gizmo’s, he’s really awesome. 

How do you deal with heartbreak? 

I always tell people it’s all timing. It’s easy to be like “If you look at it from the glass half empty,” there has to be a better way to explain it. When people split up, I hope people make the mental decision of not getting back together. I think in life we meet people and sometimes it just doesn’t work anymore, so we can’t fight that sort of rejection that the universe is giving us because it’s going against the current. If this person isn’t understanding or giving you what you want and it just isn’t working, that’s a clear sign of that person’s feelings. If you can accept that that’s how it is and it doesn’t have to be only that person can only make you happy, then you can move forward. Timing is so fucking fast, time goes by so quickly. I really hope that all the girls who are going through heartbreak know that you should be spending time on yourself and making yourself happy and not thinking about that person. Things are over, you need to start fresh and like a brand new life. It’s all about accepting it and knowing that it will be better, because it will get better. I think people are really stubborn with their thinking, it’s more that it’s your next chapter. You’re gonna look back and be like “I wish I wasn’t crying over this person.” It’s a really deep topic I can talk about for an hour but you get the gist of it.

I relate to that. Relationships can be hard.

Yeah, in the future I definitely want to create a YouTube channel and really get into the depth about basic understandings of how things need to end. I feel like a lot of people end up damaged after a relationship because they blame themselves and stuff, and I don’t want that for people. I want them to know that it’s just life, no bad thoughts.

Few tips on leaving a toxic relationship?

Have a supportive friend group, even yourself. Don’t ignore the red flags. They’ll just come back in the future. Of course a relationship has its good and bad days, but if you feel like there is something negative that has been affecting you for more than 2-3 days, why do you think that’s okay for you and when you can change that? You have to recognize that the person you want to be with is going to be the person who makes you feel secure, and not somebody who makes you feel bad.

Shout-outs?

Shout-out to Gizmo, to MK Ultra, shout-out to Celestia, to Isabella, and more, but shout=out to all my supporters and shout out to Juul, wait I meant Stiiizy. I suffer from migraines and wax helps me lol.