valentina cy: finding the beauty in heartbreak

are you really like that? do you want me that bad? is the perfect line to sing when you don’t want the same anymore

There is a very thin thread between “Jersey Boy”, the latest single from Los Angeles-based singer Valentina Cy and Lorde’s now classic 2013 album “Pure Heroine”, but not really.

What sets Valentina’s newest track apart is an austere, acoustic, more visceral sound that lifts the listener by their bones as the heavy bass thumps in their chest, but the similarities are obvious: the minimalist production of the track, the snappy, clean guitar, and the volatile harmonies that appear between lines like a lost love haunting your dreams. Valentina’s otherworldly warble tells the age-old tale of a too-good-to-be-true relationship that comes to nothing except heartbreak. When the singer wakes up from the spell, she comes back questioning the object of her ambiguous affection, repeating “are you really like that? do you want me that bad?” as if it were a mantra. It is a short song of two minutes something, perfect to put on repeat and think about what, or who, you’ve left behind.

yeah: what styles of music have had the biggest influence on you as an artist? 

valentina cy: I am heavily influenced by early 2000’s hip hop and pop. I’m obsessed with the production from albums like Justified, Monkey Business and The College Dropout. 

what inspires your music?

Bad first dates or great first dates. People who tell me I can’t do something. Doomed relationships. Weird friendships. 

what is your creative process like?

Everything I write is from experience and (what my parents like to say) way too private. Each song starts in a different way. It can start with drums, a whistle, piano, guitar, or just vocals. I am constantly bursting with ideas so I often find myself recording voice memos when I’m driving.  That’s how quite a few of my tunes have started. 

describe yourself in three words:

Impulsive, passionate, creative  

what’s your morning routine?

I don’t have a morning routine. I have some consistencies, such as drinking coffee and brushing my teeth, but aside from that there’s no regularity. I might wake up at 7 and start making music immediately, or I’ll stay in bed till 9:30 and then go walk to a coffee shop,  or I’ll go on my deck and start crocheting as soon as my eyes are open.

do you have an anecdote to share from while you were recording your new EP ‘I didn’t mean to fall each time’?

Photography: P. Mastro

As I was making this EP I realized I was making my own Truman Show version of life where I romanticize everything, and narrate it while its happening. Hopefully people like jamming out to my musical diary. 

what do you love about new york?

 I feel as though in New York there is such a lack of judgment when creating art. The status quo is to be different, therefore people get to access the truest depths of themselves and be as quirky and real as they want to be. 

what’s the story behind ‘jersey boy’?

I met a guy in a club a couple of months ago, fell in love with him in the first 5 minutes, then after a week I realized maybe we weren’t twin flames (and it broke my sensitive little heart). I was given approval by Le Jersey Boy to put some of a voice message he had sent me into the song. I sent him the song after I made it and he liked it, and I liked it, so here we are!

what music do you listen to now?

I have been listening to a lot of Stromae, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, and Oliver Malcum. Sometimes I put on random French or Icelandic rap playlists because I like hearing different languages and I also like the fact that I don’t know what they are saying.