As the dystopian pop artist reminds us, “You’re not confined to this reality or this body.”
Musician Jasper Lotti has seen visions of the dystopian pop world she built in her 2019 album XOSkeleton come to life over the past year. Further probing into the relationship humans have developed with technology, her recent single ‘Sword’ discussed the complexities of finding love while navigating an ever-growing digital world. Her latest EP Kiss Tha Future offers a more pensive, personal reflection of love and death in dystopia. Leaning into her fascination with the human psyche, the idea of shifting realities has informed the musician’s new exploration of divinity and mythology. Combining glittering, heartfelt melodies with dark, gloomy electronics, Lotti’s music aims to sonically transport you to the inner workings of her mind, encouraging you to find your own escape, to create your own world—if only for a moment.
Document Journal spoke with Jasper Lotti about the evolution of her dystopian pop, her mythological inspiration, and how finding strength in herself has helped her grow over quarantine. Lotti’s personalized playlist features some of her favorite healing frequencies and relaxing tunes to help you unwind into your own reality.
Harshvardhan Shah: Your previous project XOSkeleton was described as dystopian pop. How do you feel about this genre of music now that so much has changed since the EP came out?
Jasper Lotti: The world feels thrown into another dimension since the XOSkeleton days. But since we’re pretty much living in an Orwellian dystopia, this project feels more like a soundtrack to now. I created the term “dystopian pop’ because I was drawn to the fantastical connotations. But now that we’re living in it, now that fantasy has become reality, I feel like creating a new fantasy.
Harshvardhan: What made you create this dystopian world for your music, and how do you see your style and visuals evolving?
Jasper: I’ve always been fascinated with distortions of reality, especially how dystopia can be an internalized state of being. We exist across platforms and the physical world in such a warped hodgepodge. My visuals used to be just me trying to mess with people through absurd takes on reality.
I still strive to challenge people, but more so through symbolism. I’ve detached myself from reality instead of commenting on it. I’m going darker but also more divine in my visual language. It sounds contradictory but it’s not. Light cannot exist without darkness.
Harshvardhan: What aspects of reality are you drawn to when creating worlds for your music?
Jasper: World-building is everything to me. I imagine the world and the characters in that world, then I create a soundtrack. I see the world as a child, finding fantastical and divine aspects of life and blowing them out of proportion. I’ve really been into how our human realities connect to mythology and archetype, especially goddess archetypes.
Harshvardhan: How did you spend your time during quarantine? Did your process change in any way?
Jasper: I found so much solace in my body during quarantine. I never realized how much I depended on my external environment to give me solace, energy, and entertainment. Everything I needed was inside me all along.
I would say my process was amplified. Normally I create melody through intuitive movement and collaging of voice notes and journals. But for this upcoming project I put myself in trance-like states to channel a deity, so it was more intense. I’m a very extreme person!
Harshvardhan: Your most recent EP, Kiss Tha Future, explored a softer, more dreamy side. Where does this project fall in terms of your world – what can we expect from your new sound in the next project?
Jasper: Kiss Tha Future was about my grandfather’s passing last year. One of my grandma’s last words to his body was, “Call me back.” She even kept his phone alive for a while and would wait for his call. This soul-device connection inspired me. I created a soundtrack exploring love and death in dystopia.
I don’t think my sound has changed too much. I would say it’s even more pop-leaning, but the conceptual foundation has [changed]. I’m evolving from dystopia into the divine. It’s still an altered reality, but inspired by what innately connects humans to higher dimensions.
Harshvardhan: Are there any artists that you have discovered and inspired by in between this time of putting your new project together?
Jasper: Alice Coltrane will always be a huge inspiration for me. I’ve also become a total Buck-Tick fangirl, absolutely obsessed with Atsushi Sakurai. I’ve also really gotten deep into anime, to the point where I feel more comfortable in those worlds. Attack on Titan, Fushigi Yugi and Inuyasha kept me sane.
Harshvardhan: Have you been working on any visuals for your new music? What can you tell us about your next steps?
Jasper: Oh yes. I have a new album coming out soon, we’re working on those visuals right now. I can’t give away too much, but I am shedding this skin. A transformation is on the horizon.
Harshvardhan: Your playlist has a lot of calming, frequency-based music. Tell me more about it?
Jasper: I call this playlist Reality Shifting. I feel like I’ve undergone this process to transition into a manifested version of myself. I want this to feel like a blank slate. Listen to this while relaxing or right before you sleep and detach from your ego, use your mind to explore the desired reality. Shift into Harry Potter or your favorite anime and go on adventures with your favorite characters. You’re not confined to this reality or this body.