Side Project

Side Project

Side Project is made up of Anja and Luka two 20 year olds, from Zagreb, Croatia. I didn’t hear about them for quite a while because the Croatian scene is growing really quickly. I first heard them play on Valentine’s Day in Zagreb as warm up for Teen Daze and I fell in love. They are a little bit introverted, but as we all know many great artists are. They are currently trying to get their music out of the Croatian borders because their sound is international. Side Project’s sound is like The XX but on another level.
They released their first album ‘Things Which No One Else Should Know About’ (later TWNOESKA) last autumn and they say it fully represent their sound- a little bit dark, mysterious and poppy with a huge influence from an electronic background.

I was lucky enough to catch up with the duo to ask them a few questions about Side Project, their process of making music and what the future holds for them.

How and when did you start making music?

Anja: We first met each other in high school. There was a student exchange in 2012 in our school and we were hosting some Hungarian students. We went on a trip to Zadar with them and Luka took his guitar. He was already singing and playing in a band, while I didn’t know if I could sing. I mean, I went to music school where I was playing flute, but I never thought about singing. So we sang together for the first time on that trip and we figured out that our voices are a perfect match. We started doing some covers just for fun and that was the start of Side Project.

Luka: I also went to music school where I studied the piano. So it was great because we both have a musical background.

Is everything you write in English?

Luka: Yes, I can’t properly express myself on Croatian. It’s really hard for me to express my feelings in Croatian because English has many more words than our language.

Anja: That is my problem too, so everything we write is in English and it will stay that way.

Where do you produce and record your music?

Luka: Everything we do is at my place in my improvised studio in my bedroom.

Anja: We are very lucky because Luka has a bunch of equipment so we set up our own studio. We’ve never recorded in a real studio and actually we don’t know how it would work out.

Luka: The biggest problem is that, like many other artists, we are always searching for perfection, so it often happens that we don’t like something in our vocals and then we’ll play it on repeat, for half an hour at least, until we figure out what we don’t like. The problem with studios is that you have to pay for them and in that way you limit your time of creative thinking because if we book a studio we are forced to come and make music, while doing it in out our own little studio we can just hang out and jam. That way we have more freedom with our art and that is what art is about.

Side Project

Side Project

Did you start working on your album from the start?

Luka: No, hahahaha, actually we were ashamed of our first song after a month. The second song we recorded made it onto the album and in the end became the title of the whole album. After that most of the songs we made ended up on the album.

Anja: After a year we had the form of an album but we didn’t have enough money to release it so we released some songs from it just to get feedback and we changed some things in a few songs as we had learnt so much more about writing and producing.

As you both have a musical background is there any live music on the album?

Luka: Most of it is made in Fruity Loops but we have some live guitar on a few songs on album.

The album is truly melancholic. Where do you get your inspiration?

Luka: Love, friendship, our relationship and our thoughts about life.

What kind of music do you usually enjoy?

Anja: I read somewhere that musicians don’t have time to be on point with new releases. And I must say that is what often happens in my case, because when we’re in the process of making music we listen to it a bunch of times and search for any mistakes. I listen to music more than Luka because he is producing and writing all the time while I don’t do producing at all, lyrics are my field. I mostly listen to music whilst I’m on the tram.

Luka: While the only place where I listen to music is the tram.

Anja: But we really love Rihanna’s new album…

Luka: OK, I’ll add something because I don’t want it to be just Rihanna hahaha, we also love Moderat, Jamie XX, James Blake, London Grammar… as you can see mostly artist’s with a melancholic sound.

What is next for you two?

Anja: We’ll work on new music a lot, we have bunch of new tracks already and it is still in a kind of melancholic vibe but with a new twist.

Luka: There are two extremes: we went in a lot darker, with a kind of industrial side, but there are a few party songs which are still melancholic but fresher than those on our last album.

Side Project’s new album is out on Bandcamp now.


Patricia Pajk

Mostly listening to hip hop and electronic music but I'll listen to anything. I always try to find something new and explore music as much as I can. If I have to put myself in some kind of music genre box, I would put myself in "good music" box. P.S. I'm maybe Croatian but I'm living in a land of glitter, unicorns and festivals.