Hi! Thank you so much for doing this interview with me I’m really happy to be here today. I’ve been rolling, I’ve been busy. These past few months have been amazing and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store. I’m trying to finish the year off strong. I’ve been writing a lot. I’ve been singing, dancing, expressing myself a lot. I’ve been in the studio a bit. It’s been so much fun doing all of this. I’m so grateful that I get to pursue what I love doing and what comes naturally to me.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Anything”?
Anything is about liberation. Honestly, that’s what it meant to me when it first came out. It’s about being fearless to face the world and tell the haters “love it or hate it I’m not going to be paralyzed by fear to avoid criticism, I’m going to do what I was born to do no matter what comes my way.” Not only does the song have a powerful and important message, but it’s also a song that I think has a universal message and can be danced to, hummed to, bopped to, sung to, almost anywhere.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I would say my Grandfather’s Parkinson’s and my Grandmother’s optimism inspired me to write the song. My Grandfathercame to America from China via Brazil in the mid- 50’s and despite having to learn a new culture and language, he became a chaired Professor at Yale in Physics, with students and colleagues from all around the world who love and respect him highly. Unfortunately, in his mid-50’s he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease which as you know is a very devastating disease. Decades later, he is still fighting to lead the best life he can despite the many, many challenges. One of the things I admire the most about him is that not once have I seen him complain. Never. His fortitude, his gratitude for life, for love, and for every moment is so admirable and I can only aspire to be as gracious as he is. My grandmother, also a Chinese immigrant, has a doctorate in education. My grandmother’s nickname is Sunny. She is that type of woman. They got married young and raised three children (including my Mom). Now, my Grandmother helps to take care of my Grandfather; she always stays positive and finds a solution to any setback. I’ve never seen her complain. Ever. What they have gone through together and their enduring love was a big inspiration.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Well, I did recently release my lyric video which I think counts — it is visually aesthetic piece. Right? I mean, I might release another video but right now I’m really focusing on my music and constantly developing my craft on a day-to-day basis. It’s important that I keep growing and progressing as an artist.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing and recording process. There were so many drafts for the writing process. It was back and forth with the Jam, the producers who I collaborated with and it was perfecting the lyrics over and over again. I just think that’s the main part of it. Just working on the song until it’s perfect. The recording process only took one session. It was super fun to go there and to just have fun with the song. I especially loved doing ad libs at the end because I get to show not only my personality a bit more but it kind of reminded me of the reason why I love music so much— it’s liberation from all the struggles of the outside world. Every piece of pain gets expressed and is expressed in music, and then one feels liberated.
What role does NYC play in your music?
What role does NYC play in my music? What role does NYC not play in my music? NYC was the place where I first started developing my love for musical theatre. It was were I went to see so many Broadway shows and admired the showmanship of these flawless singers and dancers. Not only was I entranced by that, but later on, I started listening to NYC hip hop and R&B. People like Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, I mean. Those women played a huge part in forming my musical vocabulary and in forming my sound and my taste. Not only are they phenomenal lyricists but they are able to capture every bit of pain in their lives, every bit of bitterness, and weave it into melodious gold….into literal jewels for their listeners. If I ever got the chance to work with them, I would be overwhelmed.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
I have been working on quite a bit of new material. I am working now more on R&B / Hip Hop music that dips into the pop genre but I’m still staying true to my sound. I’ve just been having so much fun arranging harmonies, coming up with new word plays, laughing with the sound engineer, working with tone and texture. There are so many more ways that I enjoy writing and recording music. I feel at home in the studio. It’s just like breathing for me. Yes, I think that is one way to put it.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
MMMMmmmhhh. I do not have any specific tentative release date in mind but I will tell you something. I’m going to be doing a lot of more empowering songs. Especially for my ladies. OOh. We have a lot to talk about.
Any plans to hit the road?
Not any time soon at least. I need to focus more on recording for now but once I release a little more, possibly then.
What else is happening next in Cybele’s world?
What else is happening in my world… Well, apart from singing, I’ve been focusing on my studies, in particular, I really love history. I’ve been focused on my show choir material and on dancing. I’ve also been modeling a bit. I’ve been having so much fun… and can’t wait to have a ton more.