WOM Interviews – Cindy Louise

Cindy-Louise Unveils the Heavy Metal Alchemy: A Journey from Pop to Rock, Collaborations with Red Helen’s Erick Gerber, and Global Impact – Dive into the Dark, Empowering Soundscape of ‘What You Made Me’!

In this interview with Rock & Alt Metal Artist Cindy-Louise, we’re diving into the dynamic world of Heavy Metal, exploring her journey from Pop to Rock, her collaboration with Erick Gerber of Red Helen fame, and her unique blend of influences, including giants like Sleep Token and trailblazing female-fronted bands. Join us as we unravel the layers of Cindy-Louise’s music and artistic evolution.

Your musical journey started from Pop, and now there’s a focus on Rock and even some Alternative Metal. How has this evolution influenced your sound, and what draws you to the genre?

Cindy-Louise: Honestly, I seldom consider a specific genre and rather focus on the components that will optimally convey the narrative of the song I am composing. My emphasis is on emotional expression, which is why my repertoire is quite extensive, and why I focus on specific elements in genres at a time. However, I am steadily refining it and discovering my distinct style, which I believe can aptly communicate every narrative I pen down.

Erick Gerber, recognized for his role in the South African Progressive Metalcore act Red Helen, played a significant part in your single ‘Outcasts.’ Could you provide more insight into your collaboration with him and elaborate on how his background and influence from Progressive Metalcore elements have shaped your music?

Cindy-Louse: My experience working with Erick Gerber was deeply enriching, and his writing approach has significantly shaped my own. It has enabled me to write on demand, rather than relying solely on spontaneous inspiration. Additionally, I have collaborated extensively with him on various aspects of guitar composition, particularly on how he utilizes specific sounds to complement my emotions and lyrics. His mentorship has led to a considerable expansion of my knowledge.

Sleep Token has emerged as a powerhouse in the music scene. How has their music influenced you, and are there specific elements from bands like Within Temptation and Evanescence, with prominent female frontwomen, that resonate with your artistic vision?

Cindy-Louse: I believe my musical style echoes and often draws parallels to Within Temptation and Evanescence, largely due to the similar vocal tones we share. Moreover, our shared appreciation for classical elements, particularly my incorporation of operatic notes, further strengthens this comparison. As for Sleep Token, I am an avid admirer and could pen an entire article about them. Their innovative and meticulous approach to structuring music never fails to astound me.

The Nu Metal genre is experiencing a revival. As an artist who explores diverse genres, what’s your take on the resurgence of Nu Metal, and do you see it influencing your future work?

Cindy-Louse: I am always eager to explore new genres, but my primary focus at the moment is perfecting my unique sound. This intensive process occupies most of my time, leaving me with minimal opportunities for additional experimentation.

Your music has gained traction globally. How do you perceive your recognition reaching international audiences, including fans in Portugal? Is there a specific message or feeling you aim to convey to your listeners in Portugal and beyond?

Cindy-Louse: The message I always want to invoke is to be your truest self.

‘What You Made Me’ is described as an interconnected narrative. Can you delve deeper into the conceptual depth of the EP and how each track contributes to the overarching story you aimed to tell?

Cindy-Louse: The EP tells a story of pain, healing, and most importantly, acceptance. The track WHAT YOU MADE ME incorporates opera training adds richness to the high, angelic notes, enhancing the overall atmosphere and theatrical elements, while the intense, notable guitars offer a perfect balance. Overall prepare to be profoundly moved by this shattering sensory experience.

The EP is noted for its theatrical rock aesthetic. How did you approach the instrumental arrangement to capture the intended emotional depth? Are there specific elements in the instrumentation that you believe enhance the overall experience?

Cindy-Louse: The pivotal role that layering distinct vocal tones played in the creation of every track cannot be overstated. Tactical use of dark, light, and even whispered sounds, in conjunction with airy operatic notes, yielded a haunting melody. The complexity of the structure and key demanded careful consideration when crafting the narrative and lyrics. These elements combined to create a unique, enthralling soundscape.

As you transition from your previous work to ‘What You Made Me,’ how has your sound evolved, and what were the deliberate choices made to bring a distinct identity to this EP?

Cindy-Louse: I penned down all three songs consecutively, fully aware that they were destined to be released as a whole rather than individual singles. I believe this decision was largely influenced by the specific sound I was pursuing. Imagine a chilling blend of early 2000’s music with a Game of Thrones vibe. They harmonised impeccably when played together. The unique character of these songs lies in the ingenious fusion of classical vocal techniques with rock and grunge vocals.

Looking back at your musical journey, which of your songs to date holds a special place in your heart, and why? Is there a particular track that resonates with you on a deeper level, whether due to its creation process, personal connection, or the emotions it encapsulates?

Cindy-Louse: I hold an immense affection for “WOMAN OF MY OWN DAMN MIND,” primarily because I believe it was the pivotal moment in my evolution as a writer. It was during this phase that I began to comprehend my unique style and the way I yearned to write and deliver music. It’s a piece of art that holds a special place in my heart, it is my favourite song to perform live.

Collaborating with CaliBeats on ‘What You Made Me’ is acknowledged as a remarkable experience. Can you share how this collaboration unfolded, and what distinctive contributions did CaliBeats bring to the production that enhanced the EP?

Cindy-Louse: In my collaborations with Calibeats on various projects, his insightful grasp of my vision and impressive ability to bring my creations to life have consistently astounded me. Undeniably, he is a premier choice to collaborate with, combining an easy-going demeanour with utmost professionalism.

Having participated in the Mediterranean Opera Festival Program, how did this experience influence your approach to creating ‘What You Made Me’? Are there elements from your classical training that found their way into the EP?

Cindy-Louse: Classical music indeed carries a profound passion, and in that regard, it’s absolutely true. However, let’s not overlook the sheer brilliance and excitement of being able to belt out operatic notes and meticulously refine my voice in such a manner. It’s not just cool, it’s a unique and thrilling experience.

Could you delve into the creative process behind the artwork for your singles and their associated music videos, particularly considering the visually striking nature and the potentially darker underlying elements? How do these visuals align with and enhance the overarching themes and essence of ‘What You Made Me’?

Cindy-Louse: My mission was to reflect my inner emotional state through the depiction of a cover art, specifically embodying a fae warrior who, despite her struggles, is aware that her battle is far from over. Her spirit, along with the enchanting encouragement of nature, compels her to persevere through her journey. This captivating image was captured by the highly skilled photographer, Shaun Leighton. The way the light pierces through the trees in this shot adds a beautiful and dramatic effect.

When envisioning performing tracks from ‘What You Made Me’ live, do you anticipate any specific challenges or exciting dynamics that will add a new dimension to your live performances?

Cindy-Louse: I believe singing all three consecutively could present a challenge. However, I am confident in strategically placing them in my set to harness their powerful energy without overexerting myself.

If you had to convey a direct message to your fans about ‘What You Made Me,’ what would it be? Is there a particular emotion or experience you hope listeners take away after immersing themselves in the EP?

Cindy-Louse: I aspire to evoke a potent sense of empowerment in my fans through this melody. While it paints a picture of anguish, its essence is not rooted in the pain but in the triumph over it. It chronicles the journey of emerging more resilient at the end of such trials and tribulations.

In this enlightening discussion with Cindy-Louise for World Of Metal, we’ve delved into the depths of her musical evolution, from her journey through Pop to the harder genres. The collaboration with Erick Gerber of Red Helen has added intricate layers to her sound, showcasing the fusion of diverse influences, including the impactful sounds of Sleep Token and the empowerment embodied by bands like Within Temptation and Evanescence. Cindy-Louise’s global reach, coupled with her dynamic vision, promise an exciting trajectory for both her and the dedicated enthusiasts in Portugal and beyond. We extend our gratitude to Cindy-Louise for sharing her insights and look forward to witnessing the continued resonance of her music in the vibrant music world.

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