Creating A Community, Understanding Obstacles, & More
We love all the creative vibes you've been putting out into the world! You seem more determined than ever! How would you describe how you've been feeling while creating this era of music with your album, “Pegasus"?
It’s really exciting but also stressful! It’s so crazy to think that this has been going for almost 2 years, even 3 counting when I wrote some songs of the album when I first moved to NY. There was a moment that I really just wanted to move on and release something new but I knew I had to finish this, give it justice, make it complete. Which is something I felt I hadn’t achieved with the 3 videos I did for it. This summer is the dawn of the era, I have 2 music videos that I’m releasing, I’m doing magazine projects related to each single and some shows I’m doing outside of New York. I feel proud of creating a whole body of work with this, if you look back you can definitely see how it is a whole world which has been my goal since day 1.
How has "Free As Fire" helped you overcome obstacles you've faced in your life, what's the story?
I don’t think the song itself helps me but I think it's a reminder of the one that helps me overcome. I wrote this song last year, I was in a really bad place. I felt I was going nowhere with my music, I felt I didn’t have a place in any of the “scenes” in town. I couldn’t get any shows, my apartment sucked, I wasn’t getting any better at dance school, I just felt stuck.
I came home one day, had a fight with my roommate and then just went to my roof crying and did a voice memo, and there it was, “Free As Fire”.
The song is definitely inspired by God and my faith as Christian. The whole idea of thinking that it’s all going to be alright even in the darkest moments is a big part of what faith is and I think the world needs a lot of that. People are looking for hope and for meaning, to fill a void that's deeply rooted within them.
My relationship with God has been the thing that has kept me going, and has filled that longing. Once you realize the creator of everything loves you and is actually watching over you and you can interact with him, your perspective of life changes. I can literally have -$50 on my account and be chilling because I know God always comes through. There is truly anything you can be, you are Free as Fire, by grace through faith (yes I’m quoting Selena’s ig bio lmao)
We know this track has been a collective effort with instrumentals from your friends in NYC, how has this collaboration brought you closer to the people around you? How will this influence the future of your work and community?
I think the track is more of a summary of the whole journey of the first 2 years of mine in New York, all the people in it I was very close with at the time. For example Jeremy Rompala (from the band Magazine Husband) who played the guitar and did back vocals on the track and in most of Pegasus and who I pretty much co wrote a lot of the songs in the album with. We moved to the city at the same time and we were both 18, we just met at open mic nights in the West Village, we bumped into each other so much we became friends. I stayed at his place when I was evicted from an airbnb that I stayed at with like 20 international students and workers. His girlfriend Jessie and my friend Eisley (who I produced the music for his play) were also in the track, we used to get together in their apartment in Harlem and sing, write and drink cheap wine. My friend Zach who played the trumpet was my homie for a while too, he plays in this band Sus Life and he just has the best heart. He’s more involved in the Brooklyn hip hop scene and I met him at a show I did in Bedstuy called Sunday Sunday (shout outs to my girl Fun!). When I told him about the track he was super down and just came to the studio and killed it. I also had Js Onca from the Music Inn (a shop that I had an open mic where I used to play every Thursday and that is still one of the few places I can truly call home) on the percussion. All these experiences came together and collided in the session where we recorded the track.
I think this song really exposed my passion for making music and collaborating, I really remember just feeling so happy in the studio when we were all recording, everything felt so right. I love making music with other people, I want to do more of it forever!! I’ve been producing for other people and working with more instrumentalists, I think this track is truly a gateway into what my new music will be like.
Pictures by @pheral_lamb