Being a maker takes time. It takes minutes to make friends, an hour to make dinner, days to make a dress, years to make a difference. For Anastasia Moiseeva, mastering the art of making has taken her a lifetime.

Anastasia, known by her stage name Zaritza, has been making music since she was a child growing up in Russia. She comes from humble beginnings, reigning from a small village near the Ural Mountains where life errs on the side of austerity. Her parents refused to let hardship prevent Anastasia from becoming immersed in arts and culture, sparking her interests in music creation.

She started with piano, spending her youth “studying, practicing and performing classical piano under an intense curriculum for gifted students”, said Anastasia. She won numerous awards, received a government stipend, wrote, performed and recorded her own music all by the time she was a student at a university in Russia. To say she is a forced to be reckoned with is an understatement.

The list of achievements kept growing after Anastasia packed up her life and moved to America just over a decade ago. It is always difficult to make a big decision like that. Choosing to leave your home behind can be scary, but clearly Anastasia saw it more as an opportunity. When moving to a brand new country, there is a lot that needs to be thought about, for example, housing and the cost of living. Both of these can be difficult, especially when Anatastia probably didn’t have any credit history in America. She must’ve looked for online blogs, like this website here for example, to see if she could find advice about how to apply for a credit card and take out a loan to get herself a home. It must’ve worked out because she still lives here today. Here, she continues practicing her passions and producing original content. She has performed at events such as the Newport International Film Festival and as an opener for the world-renowned Trans-Siberian Orchestra. She has even performed at legendary venues, including both the Metropolitan Room and the Rainbow Room in New York City. But her talents aren’t strictly musical; she is also a teacher at the Rock’n Music Academy in Middletown, where she ignites a passion for writing, playing and performing in all of her students.

Anastasia’s eclectic sound is a representation of her journey through life. Her music is a mix of romantic classical melodies that stem from her youth in Russia and electrifying passionate pop from the digitalized music scene in America. Like her background, Anastasia’s music is a complex collision of cultures that showcases how ideas can be broken down, shared, and reassembled.

“If music is anything, it is the spreading of an idea: the interpretation and expression of moods and emotions, the sharing of experiences and aspirations, the telling of stories – from tragedy to fantasy,” said Anastasia. “I believe music is the most profound and transcendent form of human creative expression: it reflects and enhances the full range of emotions and how we experience life, from small moments to significant events, and it can reach across, and connect all cultures and generations.”

Of course, every artist has their muse. Anastasia found her source of inspiration in the work of classical Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff, who migrated from Russia to the US during his adult life. Though he spent most of his time touring as a concert pianist, Rachmaninoff found a home in the New York City area and a summer home in New Jersey. That summer retreat was actually in the Navesink area, as Anastasia recalls, “on Locust Point Road in Rumson.”

Anastasia’s alias, Zaritza, draws from some of her other sources of inspiration. She adopted the name to help set her apart from the crowd and reflect her individuality.

“‘Tsaritza’ is the wife of the Tsar and mother of princess Anastasia, and since ‘tsaritza’ is the Russian word for ‘queen’, the name pays tribute to my all-time favorite band, Queen,” she said. “In addition, ‘zarya’ is the Russian word for sunrise, intense and bright, which always sounded beautiful and resonated with me. So I decided to combine these references to create a name that is appropriate to my personality, music, energy, inspiration and cultural heritage.”

When Anastasia brings her cultivated talents to the TEDxNavesink stage, she hopes to “share a little insight into [her] creative process with a community of interested, and interesting, people who are engaged by ideas, learning, discovery, culture and making.”

You can hear more about Anastasia’s compelling musical journey and learn the methods to her making at TEDxNavesink Makers 2016. Don’t make a mistake – get your ticket today.

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