You’ve been busy with music recently. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to over the past few months?
Over the past few months, I have put an emphasis on songwriting and on perfecting my craft. I would say that over the last few months I have been really passionate about rehearsing with my competition show choir, working on songwriting, discovering new sounds from the past and present, writing, reading, and trying to acquire as much knowledge as possible about what it means to be a person. I think that this is instrumental to writing the best music possible and understanding what my purpose will be in the music industry. I have been dedicated to this and I don’t intend on stopping anytime soon. I am going to be performing for a Women in the Music Industry conference as part of pre-Grammy events within the next few weeks so I am busy preparing for that.
Where did your love of music come from?
When I lived in China, my mom hosted Music Together classes because my school didn’t have much of an arts program. I loved the sense of family and community that came from hand clapping and singing nursery rhymes. I loved music instantaneously. I fell in love with performing after my mom bought me tapes of singers like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, and especially Madonna. What catapulted my love towards music was ABBA. I must have watched Mamma Mia at least eighty times throughout the course of my childhood and I have a very vivid memory regarding ABBA. There is even a video of me wearing a blond wig, a bright purple leotard, and huge eighties sunglasses singing along to “Dancing Queen”. When I spent some of my summers in the French countryside to visit my grandparents and cousins, I even directed and staged musicals. It came so naturally to me and the idea of playing dress-up was Heaven. I loved portraying characters that were audacious and dramatic, but I also loved to sing for people.
What has been your reaction to all the success you have been having?
I am so blessed to have such incredible support from everyone. I don’t take anything for granted and I know that what I have worked for could slip away. I want to keep putting out my absolute best and giving everything I have got to make sure that I always represent my best self for everyone. Especially since there are a lot of young girls, I want to be a positive role model for them.
You are making waves in the music industry. What has it been like releasing your own music into the world?
It has been a very scary experience. A scary but scary good experience. Everytime I release music I am always taking a risk and so long as I am doing that, I am growing. I love to make music and I love to connect with my fans. It has been really positive so far the feedback that I am receiving and I hope to keep going. 🙂
What has been your favorite song to record and why?
My favorite song to record has definitely been “Psycho”. Even though it’s one of my lesser known songs, I had a blast recording it. I worked with Guillermo Marin, an amazing collaborator and sound engineer who is just simply incredible at music. He is so talented and he is very attentive when it comes to the smallest detail. He keeps me very focused, and he won’t the slightest thing go by without making it perfect.
What do you hope to gain out of your music career?
I hope to gain fulfillment. I hope to have a meaningful career and I hope to be known as someone who always speaks the truth, even when it was not convenient or always accepted by everyone. I want to help people realize their self-worth and I want others to know that the only true inner peace is secured through looking within and doing things that bring out the best in you. I hope to enlighten and illuminate a new generation of youth.
What do you think is the benefit of having a following on social media in the music industry?
Outreach. The benefit is simply being able to speak and share your art with so many people. It’s quite amazing to have individuals instantaneously share with you their support on your new single or your new cover and I think that’s completely different than just putting a song on your Spotify or onto a music platform. It also helps with promoting the music because you are in control of what you put out. You are in control of how you promote it and how others perceive that.
Does your fanbase have a name?
We do not have a name yet. Do you have an idea? I was thinking something along the lines of the “Cybellion” or “Cybellians”. I think I would need to ponder more. We’ll all know when the time is right and when I’ve established what I’m really about.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
I want them to see me as the friend who gives them advice. I’ve been told I could be a therapist or a psychologist. I want to be the person to say “This is what you have been missing” or “This is something that you need to hear”. I want them to know that I am there for each and every one of them and that life is not always about being independent all the time, staying headstrong. I want them to know that they can count on me for support. Life is not easy.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
I would say I definitely use Instagram the most to stay connected with my fans. Instagram is really nice for connecting with them because I get to see all of the things they post and share my support with them just as they do with my content. Instagram allows us to have two-way relationship. For that, I’m really grateful. Instagram has done a great job of evolving over the years to facilitate this contact.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
The craziest fan encounter? Well, I haven’t had a crazy real-life encounter (yet), but I will say that one fan (along with fellow fans) found my number and just spammed my phone with voice messages and they were so cute, asking all of these questions. I was really touched and I thought it was adorable but I did have to change my contact information after that.
Will there be an ep/album out soon?
Hopefully beginning next year or the end of this year. Currently, I am just working on my piano at home and I’m in the writing zone. I need time to get to know myself first and figure out what my album would try to convey about me. I’m focusing on exploring new sounds and genres for now. The album is most likely something that will come later because I want to take my time with it and make sure I’m doing everything right. I don’t want anything to be too rushed.
What’s an average day for you look like?
I normally wake up around 6:30 am. I meditate. From there, I normally state affirmations. I go to my bathroom to wash my face and apply skin cream. I get dressed, put on my Puma sneakers and head downstairs. I eat breakfast, consisting of fruit and cheese, and sometimes a rice cracker. From then on, I typically make sure my day is scheduled out and then I get started on some assignments. This could be for my school or for some auditions that I need to prepare. Then, around 11 am, I go to show choir practice. For lunch, I stay healthy by eating a lot of salads and drinking plenty of agua. For the rest of the day, unless I have an audition, rehearsal, or performance, I songwrite, do schoolwork, read, eat, eat some more, and produce content. The day typically ends at midnight — It’s a terrible habit that I have developed but I am still working on it.
You also have been involved in some amazing charities including the Ascencia Homeless Shelter, Los Angeles Christmas Toy Drive, American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Cancer Walk, Save the Animal Rights Campaigns, and the 1990 Institute. How did you become involved with these cool organizations?
How do I become involved with them? People are sometimes looking for something specific like a young singer who can sing in different languages or has a certain repertoire, or they hear me sing at one event and contact me regarding another event or find me through social media platforms. From there, assuming the organization is something I believe in, we discuss what songs would be appropriate for the event and I give myself time to prepare. I am so blessed to be able to sing for these cool charities and it’s so rewarding. Everytime I go, I’m like ten times happier than I would’ve been. I especially love seeing children smile and it makes me think of myself when I was younger and smiled because I loved music so much. It also allows me to have a voice on issues that I’m passionate about.
Do you have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Have grit. Have purpose. Do things that will help you achieve fulfillment. Live for others. Don’t live in the pursuit of happiness, it will be found once you let go of that requirement.