Juicy Jukebox Presents an Exclusive interview with Cybele

1.What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it ?

One goal that I have had of this year is to have my own EP out. In terms of the number of songs that need to be written I have enough, but I still haven’t tapped into exactly what I want to have recorded. I would say I’m not that close to reaching it because I have been extremely busy with performances and what not. Well, that, and the fact that I’m also indecisive with exactly what I want to communicate through my music — so much to say, but I want to be more focused in what I say. This summer, I will spend more time completing my EP and hopefully I will reach my goal. Although I have been writing incessantly, I just haven’t been able to find as much as time as I would like  to in the studio.

2. How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today ?

I don’t really know what I would call “home” per say. I was born in Paris, France, I was raised in Beijing, China, and I have lived in California for the past five years. I would say that the new R&B and rap songs have definitely influenced my writing style and encouraged me to make music that still maintains a touch of this urban sound but also diverges from it. It inspires me to make music that is “fresh” as the youngins call it, I guess. I would say that living in China, before, we always caught on to trends much later than when they hit the United States. Now that I’m living in California, in Los Angeles, I am immersed in the megalopole of trends and culture-defining moments. That definitely plays a huge role in my music.

3.Let’s talk about your debut single “Anything.” What was the inspiration for this song ?  

The inspiration for my song truly comes from my grandfather. He has been one of my biggest role models. He was a Chinese immigrant that moved into an America somewhat plagued by hatred, racism, and discrimination (as the Chinese Exclusion Act had been abolished not so long before), yet despite this, he prevailed and worked hard to become a Physics professor at Yale for nearly fifty years. After retiring, just weeks later, he found himself in a near-death drowning accident (which I bore witness to as a six-year-old), worsening his condition already impacted by Parkinson’s disease. He is still recovering from that traumatic brain injury to this day and he is still enduring intensive therapy to recuperate but I have never, I mean never, heard him complain. My grandmother is also amazing as she has cared and provided for him ever since. She also became a professor in the sciences as a Chinese immigrant. She faced tremendous adversity as well. They are both living proof that you can do anything, accomplish anything, and live through anything as long as you are determined, you work hard, and you believe that it is possible.


4.What has been a favourite performance of yours so far ?

My favorite performance of mine so far, I would say would have to be when I sung at the Apollo Theatre. I have never felt more invigorated in my life. Even though I was much younger, being on such a legendary stage where Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys once began their careers was such a memorable moment for me. I almost felt like I was being carried by a higher power, that something holy filled me up and it felt like I wasn’t even performing. And it felt so light and spiritual. I was just so euphoric in that moment. I’ve never seen and heard a crowd as encouraging as the one from Harlem.

5. Are you currently in the studio working on new music ?

I am not working in the studio right now, because I took a bit of a hiatus to work on my writing first but this Spring, I hope to be in the studio very soon day-in and day-out. I’m very excited to see my engineers again. I miss them so much and I miss the vibe that we had in the studio. I’m really happy to be returning home soon. It gives me so much joy just thinking about it.

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