The collective shock and subsequent loss of all in-person social channels during the pandemic was a life-changing moment for everyone. For Belarusian melodic techno artist, Lacularis, it plunged her deep into her darkest emotions and offered a path to transcend them. And, with less than two years of experience, the classically trained musician has entered the world of dance music with the purest intentions. Her budding catalog of emotive, starkly beautiful music has landed on labels like Natura Viva Black and Androgyne Audio.
For someone with so much evident inborn talent, it's surprising to hear that music was not a part of her home life as a child. "I never heard my parents really listen to music at all. I know they reading books, watching movies, but I never heard them listening to music."
Despite the sonic silence at home, her mother insisted she enroll in a music school to get proper classical training. She excelled at piano and dobro, an acoustic guitar with a metal resonator built into the instrument's body. The strict discipline gave her an aversion to classical music, and for most of her life, she enjoyed hard rock and metal.
That is until she moved to China at 20 years old, where she says she didn't listen to much music at all.
When she was 20, she led a successful and pioneering VR company in Belarus. Sales were great, and the government showed interest in her product. But in 2014, a staggering financial crisis swept her country, leading to a devaluation of the Belarusian ruble of over 30%.
It became more difficult to import supplies to sustain her business. "We couldn't really buy dollars. And all the suppliers on the companies were connected with currency because everything that we sell came from abroad."
At the same time, she was facing a personal crisis of her own. "The other reason, why I escaped from this country [was] because I had to get married. And honestly, I just was scared," she explains. "So, I closed my business. And I ran away to China. China was the first country that I found on the map. And I stayed there for five years."
For five years, she called China home. And by chance, she was on a short trip back to Belarus in January of 2020 to update her passport when the border to China was closed. As it dawned on her that she may not be returning home to China (and her lovely dog) anytime soon, she entered a deep depression.
She was born in Belarus, but she felt like a stranger after being gone for so long. "I have no friends here. I have no career. It was really difficult because I didn't know what to do next. It's complicated in your mind to accept it. And I needed to express my feelings, my sadness, anxiety. And I found music."
When she says that music saved her life, she means it. It pulled her out of the first depression of her life and gave her a newfound purpose. The same ambition that propelled her to start a business and move to China motivated her to seek help from a newfound community in the music industry to help her on her journey.
She says that she continues to make music because she feels that expressing herself this way can break the stigma around mental health issues. "I want to make music. I want to express my feelings. In Russia, nobody really cares about mental health. Nobody can understand you."
And now, with her newfound purpose, she's stopped pinning for a return to China. After spending over a year so mentally distraught over her situation, she's learned that the greater reward was discovering her inborn talents and nurturing them. As a result, she has no desire to return to her previous life.
As she continues to reconnect with her childhood musical training, she also wishes to reconnect with her childhood traditions of travel.
"When I was a kid, my parents always took me on trips with them. I fell in love in with trains and airports. People around you, always exploring something new. It's just a priceless experience. It's romantic."
Lacularis truly believes she can change the world with music. In 2020 she was vocal about her opposition to the arrest of Palestinian DJ Sama' Abdulhadi. She says that while she often prefers to let her music do the talking, artists' power to move the needle is undeniable. And when there is an issue that requires your voice, you must speak up.
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