Wednesday Q&A: Corina Corina
Written by The Dutch Guy on August 20, 2014
I dig following those, who have an ear for brand spanking dope new music and Adam Bernard is one of those brothers. And when he started tweeting about the new single of Corina Corina, I was intrigued!
‘Do You Mind?‘ was my first introduction to the sister and dayum! She’s smooth, soulful and dropping this hot little spark to set your speakers on fire with this laid-back R&B vibe!
And while I was peeping her latest album ‘The Free Way‘, Corina Corina hit me up herself for a virtual pow-wow. And who am I not to sit down and get to know the sister behind the jams I just fell in love with:
The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?
Corina Corina (CC): Sure, but what’s in it for me?
TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?
CC: I’m soooo hung over, I need coffee!
TDG: What was the last furry thing you touched?
CC: My all black cat, Meeka. She’s nuzzling with me as we speak.
TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
CC: A woman who either REALLY gives a sh*t or REALLY doesn’t. There’s very little moderation in Corina Land.
TDG: What are your (musical) roots?
CC: My father is a blues man and I was named after a blues song so there was a lot of that in my childhood. When I was in middle school I fell in love with hip hop and R&B and it became my obsession, still is to this day.
TDG: How would you describe your sound?
CC: Lyrically driven electro-soul.
TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?
CC: I guess I’m lucky, songwriting is pretty natural for me, I almost never struggle with it. I usually just write when something moves me. A lot of times it happens on subway rides, I’ll be moved by something and need to let it out some way. I usually just let it all out and modify and structure it later, when there is an instrumental or a track to fit the words around. Melody always comes to me naturally as I write.
TDG: Which aspect do you enjoy the most while working on new music?
CC: Watching an idea come to life! It’s such a great feeling. I love sitting on a goldmine and myself and my producer are the only ones who know what’s coming. Willie Green (my producer) and I have such a great time recording and exchanging ideas, it’s so easy to work with him.
TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?
CC: I’m a connection-driven person. Human connection always inspires me whether it’s an emotional, sexual, or intellectual connection, it’s always what inspires my writing.
As far as live shows go, I’m very inspired by a lot of my peeps who are incredible performers: Open Mike Eagle, Ill Spokinn, Maya Azucena, Homeboy Sandman…
I’m always inspired by the old school vocalists: Ray Charles, Aretha, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash… I could go on and on! Lyrically, I’m inspired by Nas, he always fits in there somewhere!
TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?
CC: That’s THE most important thing to me! My music is always deeply personal and when it resonates with other people I feel like that’s the payoff. I love seeing people really GET what I’m doing, whether it’s through my live shows, videos, or the songs themselves.
One of the main things I love about touring so much is meeting people in other cities and asking them about their hometowns and what their lives are like. I’m always down to try the local beer and take shots with the people!
TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?
CC: Hell yes! I can’t imagine doing any of this without it. As we speak, I’m promoting a video, a tour, a huge NYC birthday show and I’m answering your questions. The best part is that I haven’t even gotten dressed yet!
It just creates a much greater reach and allows me to keep in touch with people I’ve connected with all over the world!
TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?
CC: Man… Good question! I don’t really know! I haven’t put a whole lot of thought into creating an “image”. I think I’m interesting enough that I just present myself as I am. I think that’s what makes me stand out. I’m honest and I say weird and crazy sh*t that a lot of people can relate to.
TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
CC: That’s a hard question to answer! I’m not really sure. Again, you present myself pretty accurately and as an indie artist I’m lucky enough to have complete control over my “image.” If anything, maybe people don’t see me as a well-rounded person and only latch on to one side of me. But I feel like I’m doing a terrible job of answering this question, I might have to ask around!
TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify playlist?
CC: I’m into Schoolboy Q’s ‘Oxymoron‘, Open Mike Eagle’s new album ‘Dark Comedy‘ and Lana Del Rey’s newest ‘Ultra Violence‘ right now.
Those are the albums I can’t get enough of at the moment.
I never ever get sick of listening to stuff like Gregory Isaacs, Fleetwood Mac and Tracy Chapman when I’m just chillin out.
TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?
CC: I don’t remember who actually told me this but I’ve learned from watching a lot of my peers that it really all comes down to human connection. Show up, support other artists, be nice to EVERYONE and make sure people love me as a human being first and foremost. I call it the “don’t be a dick” policy and it’s worked very well for me.
Another thing that comes pretty naturally to me is that I am OBSESSED with my career. I think about it 24 hours a day and it always takes first priority. I think I was just born this way, it’s not something that can be forced and it’s definitely at the expense of having a well-rounded life but I don’t know any other way to make things happen as an indie artist other than to be relentless with it and completely obsessed.
TDG: The end of the summer is near, but what do you have in store for us this year?
CC: I have been working really really hard this summer. In addition to having three jobs (yes, 3!), I’ve been planning a tour, doing shows and I’ve shot 3 videos. At the moment I’m doing a 3 week tour across the midwest called the ‘Inked America‘ tour with a great multi-genre artist named Tattoo Money. We’re incorporating a documentary about tattoo culture in the USA in addition to all our live shows.
After August, I’m going back to my hometown or Oakland, CA to make some moves on the West Coast. Going to focus on touring and setting up shop out there the way I have in NYC.
I’m also hopefully going to learn how to DJ and do a lot of writing!
TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?
CC: Don’t only support the art that is easily given to you. Do your research & find what resonates with you on a personal level & support it! There’s so much great art out there that isn’t getting it’s proper shine because people aren’t looking for it. Do yourself a favour, go out there & find it!