Under The Influence: 10 Questions for a New Year

By Jonathan Shuffield
Music is an ever changing and detailed landscape.  If you just look at the surface, it can be beautiful and smooth, but if you follow the heartbeat beneath it is a nuanced and vibrant tapestry beyond your imagination.  There are hard working musicians and vocalists all over the World you may not know if you don’t look deeper.  We are happy to shine our spotlight on some amazing queer artists you will definitely want to add to your playlist!  
(Feel free to email editor@thequeercentric.com if you have suggestions for us!)

GlassBattles (Los Angeles)

How do you approach a New Year? Resolutions/goals or…?

❤️‍🔥 I think like most people, I used to set a lot of goals upon the new year and crown it “my year” for a long time. Now I am just trying to appreciate the day I have and plan things with hope and creativity. And the possibility of Taco Bell at some point.

How has your music changed or been influenced by the pandemic? Has it?

❤️‍🔥Oh, I think it’s definitely changed. Interestingly though, it’s been what I’ve wanted to do – being more honest and vulnerable with my feelings whatever they may be: anger, sadness, joy, sexiness etc. I want everyone to know me and where I’m coming from without trying to abstract it as much. 

Do you have new music on the horizon?

❤️‍🔥Aaaaaabsolutely. I have a new single out soon, and many for the rest of the year. ‘Nights In Cyberia’ as an album is going to be a nice, long rollout with a lot of cool things on the horizon musically.

What are some essentials on your playlist currently?

❤️‍🔥I’ve strangely started listening to a lot of movie trailer music. The drama babe. It’s very inspiring. Otherwise my go-to songs right now are “Washing Machine Heart” by Mitski, “24 Hours” by Agnes, “Cream” by Prince, “Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex, “Godhead” by Garbage, “Flip It” by Mercy Collazo, “maybeidontthinksobutithinksobutidoubtit” by SNG, and a lot of others 

What is your favorite song that you have recorded so far?

❤️‍🔥Right now it is a tie between ‘Violeta’ and ‘Darling’. I know that’s corny because they’re my most recent, but I really went in with a no-holds-barred approach to being angry and empowered, and also nostalgic and sad. 

Listen to Violeta – https://youtu.be/JVZ7YUjjbd0

Listen to Darling – https://youtu.be/oYKrJG2zlVs

Finish this sentence “Life without music is…”

❤️‍🔥A lot less pressure. Just kidding. I think life without music to me is very senseless. As an artist, I’m an escapist at heart so the power of a song to take you somewhere else is vital to me and so many over the past couple of years, especially.

What excites you about making music?

❤️‍🔥SO MUCH. Creating a new story, watching people react to a new level of myself every time, hearing a barely-there idea come to fruition, the visuals…you name it and it’s my favorite part.

 A musician to watch (other than yourself of course)

❤️‍🔥Is there anyone else?? Jkjkjk. I would say Mercy Collazo, Kaleena Zanders and SNG. Some may accuse me of being partial because I have the honor of being their friends, but I truly believe they are all on the cusp of something spectacular; especially in an industry that still turns its nose down to queer people of color. To me, Mercy is like the child of Radiohead and Adele, Kaleena is the child of Grace Jones and Cece Peniston, and SNG is the child of BlackPink and Rihanna. They’re all very inspiring.

Live performance vs. creating in the studio

❤️‍🔥I’d have to say creating in the studio. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE performing, but I am in my comfort zone when I’m recording. Being able to try out different things and hear a bare instrumental come to life is honestly magic.

If you could make one wish for your listeners this year, what would it be?

❤️‍🔥It would be to stream my songs on a constant loop all day long. Just kidding, I think it would be to not be averse to listening to full bodies of work from an artist, and to stray away from the overload of just singles coming through the streaming platforms. And hopefully I wish to inspire them to try something that feels authentic to them.

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