Having been born in the United States, but having spent significant parts of her life in Kosovo, Nita Kaja, lead vocalist for SYTË, is no stranger to the feelings she writes about in the band’s newest single “Up in the Air,” released on April 30th and featuring London-born Qendresa. Without context, the single could easily be interpreted as a break-up song. In actuality, it is Kaja’s “goodbye to the most intense, beautiful, challenging, and growth-inducing four years of [her] life.” Following the release of their 2020 album Divine Computer, this single continues SYTË’s trend of creating vibey, yet intentional music that their fans can either groove along to or find their own meanings behind the lyrics.
Hidden behind vocals and a track that define smooth and easy-to-listen-to, “Up in the Air” addresses the struggle and unsettled feeling of having an obscured concept of “home,” a divided identity. Despite the heavier message, SYTË doesn’t get lost in the content, managing to make the track just as fun as the accompanying music video, set to release on the same day as the single.
Kaja’s vocals are light and airy, with Qendresa bringing an unexpected edginess and added soul to the “Up in the Air.” The music video follows the group around the city, performed and cut together in a lighthearted way that transforms an intense goodbye into something more reminiscent of a love-note and a thank you.
Fans can stream “Up in the Air” and watch the music video on all major platforms.
How has COVID-19 affected you, your band, your community?
Even though we had released our debut album “Divine Computer” right as the pandemic started, thankfully we didn’t have it so bad. We had our first ever European tour cancelled, but we still performed a bunch for online versions of festivals.
Is this the first time you have collaborated with another artist?
We’ve never collaborated with any other artist before Qendresa actually! We never really planned to either, but this meeting just felt so fated. The pandemic swooped in and forcefully shut a lot of doors for us, but the silver lining was that it also forced us to look within and sort out all of the internal and existential issues we’d put on hold. As a result, I started thinking more and more about “home” and my struggles as a diaspora kid living in her motherland, all while contemplating what the next step with SYTË would be. As soon as I came to some conclusions, Qendresa magically showed up as the missing puzzle piece—a perfect match for a collaboration as someone with a similar story to mine but also a complementary musical vibe. It was so easy to work with her and we have amazing chemistry. I still can’t believe how easily the whole process of writing, recording, shooting, and releasing flowed.
What are you working on right now?
Since we released a full album last year, we are currently working on new singles that we started making during the pandemic. So, we will definitely have more material to release this year!
How have you pivoted your goals to reach new fans and stay connected with your current fans over this last year?
The pandemic just forced us to become more disciplined; while it seemed like the whole world was on hold, we fought to keep active and continued pushing to rehearse (with masks on) as soon as we could, worked on a lot of music, found more creative ways to make content and market ourselves, etc.
As the world starts to open up and more concerts are on the horizon, what are you looking forward to the most about touring?
The best thing about touring is that you get to travel and do what you love, in Europe you don’t need to drive for too long to pass country borders, so we definitely love to experience new cultures and make new connections with people while we’re doing what we do best, playing music! We miss touring so much, we can’t even think of anything bad about it hahaha.