Bangkok is a city filled with talented and fascinating people. In 27 Questions, we interview notable Bangkok personalities, learning about their whims and aversions, important life moments and their hopes and dreams, all revealed in about the same amount of time it takes to sit through a round of speed dating. 

Bangkok is continuously becoming a place people come to for music, especially with the string of music festivals gaining an international reputation and the number of talented DJs and musicians who reside in our city. One particular personality who is spearheading the way in her very own music genre – a mix of electronic pop, soul and R&B – is the singer-songwriter and producer Pyra.

The songstress-producer had a busy 2018 with the release of her new EP, Better Being: Suriya, which saw her on tour to destinations like Burning Man, Tokyo and of course Bangkok’s homegrown music and lifestyle festival, Wonderfruit, where she performed a moving show that ended with crowds and fans enveloping her in hugs. From directing her own music videos to creating music that is authentic and true to her artistic style, she has garnered a certain amount of respect in Bangkok’s eyes and was an interesting choice to interview. Read on to get inside the creative mind of Pyra and find out random information about her, from her favourite scent and movie to the things she likes and dislikes about Bangkok.

Artist name: Pyra
Full name:  Peeralada Sukawat
Age:  26
Neighbourhood:  Thong Lor
Occupation: Songstress-Producer

What is your life motto?

Try everything at least once.

@onlypyra at Wonderfruit, credit: @somroxy at Wonderfruit
What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Bangkok?

You know, the best experiences in life aren’t about the experience itself but more about the people you’re experiencing with. I’d say the best meals I’ve ever eaten are always at the gathering in my own home with all my best friends and their +1 (people they love). I’m the chef.

Who is your role model?

No one. I’ve been asked this questions many times and the answer has always been the same. I don’t have a role model or an idol. I believe that everyone is capable to be something great beyond their imagination. If you set a ceiling to that then it’s hard for you to surpass that person.

@onlypyra was recently touring in Vietnam.
What was your first job?

I landed a singing gig on the national Mother’s Day album together with Bird Thongchai when I was 9 years old. I guess you could count that as a first job since it’s the first time in my life I got paid to do something.

What is your drink of choice?

A cup of really good coffee (as in, no Starbucks). My love for coffee is immense and I can also craft my own latte art designs. Haha.

When was the last time you drove a car?

An hour ago.

@onlypyra recently toured in Tokyo to promote her new EP.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Rise and shine! My latest EP is titled Better Being: Suriya. Suriya is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘the sun’.

Pyra’s cover art for her latest EP.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hotpot! Sukiyaki and shabu shabu from all around the world.

What is your biggest regret in life?

Not doing something, as in not taking the action to do something. 

@onlypyra touring in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, credit: @yuki_hatakeyama_
What do you hate most about living in Bangkok?

Politics and the state of capitalism we’re in.

How often do you prepare your own meals?

Twice a week.

What is your greatest fear?

Heights.

@onlypyra while she was touring in Singapore
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Fried chicken.

What is one movie everyone should see?
What is your typical Sunday like?

Everyday is the same for me. I love what I do so I don’t feel like I need to take a day off. Work-life balance is a lie. You should find something you really like to do so it never feels like a working day. I know it’s easier said than done but I really wish everyone could experience the same thing.

Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?

Birth.

What makes someone a real Bangkokian?

I think it’s knowing how to optimize their time in correlation to the heavy traffic.

Example:

  1. Leaving 1.30-hr earlier to get from Thonglor to Sathorn (if you wanna be in a car ride) at 5PM if you wanna be there on time but be late if you want to be ‘the real Bangkokian’ although not recommended
  2. Using Grab (app) to call taxis, deliver stuff or buy you food
  3. Using Skootar (app) to run your errands
  4. Using Line and Facebook to buy everything via “bank transfer” lol (when will we shift to website e-commerce and pay via a more secure gateway system I wonder…)
  5. Literally calling every single restaurant, mall, or service before going to see if they really have the product or items you’re looking for. I do call big malls to ask if they have what I want for sale.
What is one song you know all the lyrics to?

Not gonna lie…my songs only. I hardly pay attention to any of the lyrics when I listen to music. So remembering it is out of sight. But I believe a good song should be able to convey that particular emotion with instrumentation and arrangements.

@onlypyra spreading her love at Tower Records in Shibuya, Tokyo
If you could banish someone from Bangkok forever, who would it be?

Nobody. Who am I to judge as I’ve never walked in their shoes. The world needs more kindness, let’s not do that.

Where do you go when you want to be alone?

I quite like the company of myself. I’ve been alone everywhere. Solid introvert.

What is one thing you’ve never revealed to your parents?

Oh you mean the 100+ things I never revealed to my parents? I know a lot of the Asian parents can’t take honesty.

What is your favourite scent in the whole world?

Carpet or cubicle divider textile scent of Bangkok Bank (Ekamai Branch).

Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, what is one important lesson that they taught you?

Life. Once you’ve received the chance to live, never give up on that.

Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life? Why?

No one can survive in this world alone. Me too.

@onlypyra and friends during Chanel’s Sabai Style party in Bangkok
What is the last dream you remember waking up to?

A very intense, first and only lucid dream experience where I slaughtered the demon within me. I woke up with my recurring depression cured. It’s amazing what your mind can do.

Cover art for Pyra’s new EP
How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear the most often?
What was the best moment of your life?

Performing on stage and touching the crowd’s heart.

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.