Full of talent and drive, we had the chance to sit down with Cyn to learn about the stories that inspire the smooth sound of her music.
Not only is she an incredible singer, songwriter, and model, the 23-year-old has also recently graduated from DePaul University, where she completed a degree in Management Information Systems. We’ve been crushing on the LA-based singer ever since she introduced the world to her music way back in 2013. After building up online hype for many months, Cyn is finally preparing to release her debut EP.
Without wishing to sound too dramatic about the whole thing, Cyn might be the perfect modern pop entity. She shares exactly what’s on her mind on social media and interacts with fans like they’re lifelong friends. Her classic music vibes and narratives have caught the attention of thousands of fans, from Soundcloud users to industry heavyweights like Katy Perry.
Hey Cyn! First of all, thank you so much for having a chat with us! How are you?
I’m ok! I’m feeling blessed and so eager to wrap up the songs I’ve been preparing! Thanks for wanting to chat with me 🙂
Are you enjoying LA? Having grown up in Detroit and transitioning from Chicago must have been a big change.
I enjoy LA because I get to wake up and do what I love (write music) nearly every single day.
Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Chicago the city itself inspires me and there are a handful of people there that mean the world to me! I believe in a time where I can be permanently based in Chicago again.
As far as Detroit goes (Detroit suburbs to be exact), I have to be honest, I have never felt more disconnected from my roots as I do now. At the moment, my ideas surrounding politics and lifestyle don’t seem to line up with some of my fellow Michigan natives.
Getting a degree while pursuing music and modeling must have been hard to balance. However, you must be so proud!
I am proud! I feel good about it! Though, I felt cornered into getting a degree. According to one common perspective I seem to have, it felt like society demanded me to go to school and so, I did. Nonetheless, I am thankful for the things I’ve learned as a result of going to school and doing music on the side while also working parttime. I do not regret it I just wish my motivation to complete my degree came from a more genuine place.
At what age did you start playing music?
I started singing as a general passtime during my toddler years. I remember being on the swingset (even before Kindergarten) and making up songs with my best friend, Josie. I don’t remember much else but that I had an intense desire to sing.
I became more active in my elementary school’s music program by participating in the talent show and going out for solo parts.
In 2nd grade, I joined my church’s youth choir and also began to take piano lessons. From then on, I was always in choirs and musicals.
I was always very invested and passionate in these programs but also equally removed (lol I’m sure many of my peers and directors could nod in agreement at this statement). In my defense, I wanted to focus on my own expression thus I began recording myself at age 15.
Who are your musical influences? If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
A few musical influences of mine are Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Carol King, Jewel, and Sheryl Crow.
I would love to collaborate with Stevie Wonder one day his melody choices feel natural and instinctual when I compare them to the framework of my own creative decisions. This is because he influences me. Even if one can’t hear it, I make certain creative choices because there was a time or two when I was obsessed with his classics.
When you’re not busy making music or modeling, what are you doing in your spare time?
I’ve been reading a lot lately (Flowers of Evil, Loving Frank 2 books I’m in the middle of!). I also keep a journal religiously!
How’s your songwriting process? Do you tend to tell stories from your own experiences?
My songwriting process feels entirely instinctual, derived from emotions that are never calculated. Since signing to a label, I’ve been more open with my writing process. I used to only write songs with a producer whereas nowadays, I could write a song with 3 other people in the room (its different every time). This allows me to grow and learn from my peers while also widening my own voice and musical choices thus expanding my audience. I make it a point to have the final say in the actual words coming out of my mouth though.
My songs are 75% about my real life, every single word. If not, I’m writing about an experience described to me by a friend essentially writing the song for them.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was, “it’s not your critique, it’s the timing of your critique.”
To me, this means a critique of a song or a creative entity is welcomed and appreciated, but you must always be conscious and sensitive of when you choose to share it! You don’t want to be a road block on a fast track of something beautiful with comments and suggestions but then again, it’s important to voice the truth in how you feel about art that is ultimately meant to represent you.
We’ve had your Soundcloud tracks on repeat for the last few months. Could you give us any hints about what we might expect of your debut EP, and when we might expect it to be released?
Thanks for listening!!
I can tell you that my future releases will be 100% me! Totally reflective of my love life, my values, my wishes, my hopes, my stances (the list goes on)!
Things are sounding very pop, and I like that. I am a pop girl. Growing up, I had Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, etc. on repeat. I am so excited to share music in this lane. My voice and personality seem to be caudled ever so nicely in a pop atmosphere, allowing me to still retain my identity as someone new and different.
I can confirm that new tracks will be available before the year is over 🙂
How are you feeling about finally releasing new music — excited, sick, something else?
I feel like I’ve lived my whole life for this. A huge percentage of my thoughts have been dedicated to this moment, since I was a very young girl. Music is where all my investment and purpose lay. Releasing new music is like being granted more space to be the correlation is unhealthy, but it is undeniable!!
Songs about love tend to follow a certain narrative and structure, but it’s interesting to see how you have your own style and way of telling your stories. Has it been difficult to find ‘your sound’?
Yes, very difficult lol. Difficult in the sense that somedays it feels like a slight battle to be the artist I want to be. Sometimes, I find myself over explaining, trying to convince people of melodies and words that are so natural to me. Other days, the people I’m working with… they just get it, and I don’t have to explain a single thing or choice. I wish everyday could be that way, but I survive nonetheless and so does my art <3
Increasingly now, ‘believability and authenticity’ is what most labels are looking for in terms of marketing campaigns. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if artists are being honest, they just need to be believable. Is being honest important for the stories you want to tell?
Absolutely, 100%!!! When I am expressing myself through song, I feel like I am in my most authentic state. I can’t be fake with it, truly! I don’t know how.
Using your voice as an artist in the current political landscape is more important than ever. We know you’re really passionate about political and social issues. Do you feel some artists are afraid to speak up? Do you think it is important?
I know some artists are afraid to speak up I understand. The influence artists can have on anyone is nearly like a super power that needs to be heavily considered.
When it comes down to human rights though, I will never be quiet. In a moment where an individual is being denied their right to simply be, I will be there to aid in their combat.
No matter what life I happen to be living, I will do that!
We have seen you in a lot of pictures with Katy Perry! Has she helped you in a any way along your journey?
Immensely! I don’t want to say too much about this, but you will know the full truth of my relationship with Katy as I release more music 🙂
What’s a valuable lesson you’ve learned from music?
Something that comes to my mind when I read this question is a statement said by Socrates, “I know that I know nothing.” Every day, the details seem to flipflop on themselves and every song is like an entirely different life I’ve lived.
I said once in a sassy response, “I am dynamic,” and I left it at that, and that’s what I continue to learn from music.
F I R E S H O T S
Tapestry Carol King
Favorite place to relax in LA?
I feel most relaxed when I’m walking in DTLA.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
To the pyramids, in Egypt!
What’s hot right now on your Spotify?
90s alt pop!!
Have you read any good books lately?
East of Eden was GREAT!
Song that reminds you of summer?
Drops of Jupiter by Train!
Thank you so much for spending a bit of time with us!
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