Zion Lacroix is a Turkish avant-garde filmmaker and audio\visual storyteller; born in Istanbul, 1992 as Doğa Vurgun. Based between Milan and Istanbul, after his acquaintance with the underground culture, Zion wants to distort the common perception of 2000s pop aesthetics by shaping his a\v stories around skepticism, absurdism and voyeurism with a semi-oriental literary exposition.
Doğa, who discovered his interest in storytelling at an early age and started to build his alter characters in the audio\visual world; presents us his experimental projects in this field with the signature of Zion Lacroix
Exploring the limits of his mind through adventures in sound and text, Grena is the repetition of a signature first made by Emre Çelik in 2021.
Integrated with multi-instrumentalist Emre, Grena is getting closer to the universal collective day by day with its out-of-the-box musical presentations that it started and continues to create in Ankara. With each new piece, Grena continues the destruction of uncertain, unpredictable, boring and rote stories.
The EP talks about the dominance of our inner monsters in our lives and how our despair should not prevail over our hope in the moments when we succumb to those creatures.
Consisting of a radio edit and an instrumental version, the visuals of this avant-garde narrative about meeting our inner monster, which includes many musical elements from Turkish new wave to French synthetic tones, are produced by the artificial consciousness EXA, modeled and fed by Zion and Grena.
The duo, who came together for the first time in February 2022 with “Falanlar”, continues to strengthen their skeptical and observant chemistry after “MASKE” with “CANAVARLAR VAR!”.
How did you guys become friends and what made you want to collaborate on music?
We started to do music with Grena a bit more than a year ago. CANAVARLAR VAR! (Means: there are monsters) is our 3rd EP and the strange thing is we have never met in person before! I was looking for a producer for one of my poems that I wrote 6 years ago, cause I was willing to create an experimental track out of that. Then a friend of mine put me in contact with Grena, and told me that he’s really talented and looking for some new projects. So we met in a Whatsapp group for the first time and started directly to work on our first track “Falanlar” which is basically that poem that I wrote. He created a crazy base and added a second verse. Then we both worked on solo part, arrangements and at the end it became something really cool! Then we said, we should continue and create lots of things together since we’re both free (not linked to any label). We drop our tracks under the label “PRAISE” which is simply my old label based in Milan. So long story short, we are cyber-friends with Grena and we are working remotely from Milan and Ankara for everything. For now. Surely I’d love to meet him in person as soon as possible!
How did you come up with this concept and how did you develop it?
We often talk about personal and existential crises. I definitely think that growing up in Turkey has some influence on that. Every Turkish kid has two different sides in my opinion: 1) the one that s/he wanna be and 2) the one that s/he is. These two sides often clash. Usually the second side becomes our inner monsters and blocks us from dreaming/flying too high. We gotta step and stay strong on our feet. Unfortunately lately (especially the last 20 years) we are kinda emotionally and fantastically numb. So actually we just wanted to talk about these emotions and the conflict between these 2 sides in our latest song. It’s not a political song. Just a sincere letter from ourselves to ourselves. We just wrote and sang it. It was pretty fast. For the melody, we wanted to keep it nostalgic and dreamy as much as possible. So the audience can enjoy their journey.
How does your Turkish heritage play a role in your creativity?
Frankly, our Turkish heritage pushes us to be skeptical all the time. So that’s all we do. We try to create works that people can think about and question themselves, both visually and audibly. Türkiye taught us to think twice and to be careful about every possibility. We wanted to create a melody that takes us to the good days, and gives us a little space to think about whatever we want.
What’s the message of the EP?
The EP talks about the dominance of our inner monsters in our lives and how our despair should not prevail over our hope in the moments when we succumb to those creatures. The creatures might be anything, depending on whatever you’re struggling with.
What inspired this record sonically?
I would say: good old days. For me, my high school period. Everything was just perfect. I can still feel the excitement in me when we were walking through Beyoğlu to grab a beer after school. Nothing special, just a drink with my friends, without thinking too much except for a few exams. I don’t know if people hear that but I can get the nostalgia in the melody. It’s a tribute.
Walk us through your creative process and how you come up with ideas etc.
In my conversations with Grena, the longing for the past was visible. We knew it was time. Grena wrote the music in her head. We continued with almost no revisions. The only thing left to do was to get people to listen to it. We know that everyone is busy fighting their own battles, so we wanted to build a breathing room. This song may not be heard by millions today or tomorrow, but it will always be there somewhere. Those who don’t feel this longing today, will surely come to the age and position to feel it tomorrow. This song will always be there for those people. We don’t care about trends. If we wanted to make a consumable song, we would have done that. We love memories. We love the longing for memories. We just want to hold on to them and maybe get a little lost in them.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/grena/1550521795