Based in Los Angeles, California, Chrisol is a Singer and Songwriter who fuses her Latin roots with her contemporary version of new wave Disco-Soul.
On September 18, Chrisol released her debut EP 'Lovely' which showcases the versatile nature of her songwriting.
Chrisol embraces a vintage quality by mastering the entire project on reel-to-reel tape. Influenced by musical legends such as Ella Fitzgerald and the Fania All-Stars, Chrisol shows us her own perspective of old-school soulful energy with each song of “Lovely.”
Named after the EP, her leading single “Lovely” embodies her very modern spin on soul. The relaxed beat echos with the electronic soundscape and is joined by the occasional finger snap and hand clap for effect. Chrisol’s silky vocals compliment the backtrack, and she showcases her talent as she peppers in some jazz effects with elegant trills of her voice.
Without going overboard with dynamic pitches her voice stays within a comfortable realm of the pitch, making the catchy melody easy to sing along to. Much like every other song from the EP, “Lovely” could double as a soundtrack to an old romantic film. The song closes with a saxophone solo that eventually trails off and leaves the listener wishing that they could hear more.
We know that each song from your EP was influenced by the idea that it could be a soundtrack to a film! Can you elaborate on your soundtrack theme? How does the song “Lovely” compare to the rest of the songs on your project?
When arranging each of the songs, I pictured them visually with a different protagonist and desire, just how they would in a film. I also wanted the EP to be sort of a sampler of my writing. So rather than one cohesive film, you can hop through different scenes with each track. I had the verses written for Lovely long before I wrote the chorus, almost a year actually. To me, this one kicked the cinematic theme because I envisioned some classic Gene Kelly-esque scene and "Lovely" is the song that the two main characters would waltz off too once they finally admitted their love to one another. Sort of a dreamy escape into a musical number but topped with some 808's. Could you describe the lyrics of “Lovely” and your message behind them?
The song is coming from a place of unrequited love. You have a person beckoning the other to stop overthinking and "just let it be lovely" because in the end relationships are all about what you're meeting the other person with. One half of the partnership is coming from a place of true old Hollywood romance, while the other has doubts (naturally) that they need to overcome to be able to float off into the adventure. There's also the underlying theme of escape in "it can feel as good as we want it to be," if love is not what you're looking for maybe you just need a way to make life feel good around you and sometimes we get in our own way and won't allow that to happen. When creating your music, do you ever experience the frustrations of writer's block? If so, how do you navigate this and overcome it?
All the time. I think each time I'm blocked it takes a new approach to overcome it. This is why it can be so frustrating because first, you have to play doctor to your own mind and get out of your own way. The process to get rid of writer's block looks different every time. That being said, there are some tricks that I turn to every time, and that generally helps me get back on track. The first is listening to music from a place of joy. When you're trying to create, it's easy for things to feel like work and you forget why you put yourself through this. So taking a step back and listening without critique or comparison is a great place to start. After that, I will turn to freewriting songs, poems, journaling...it doesn't matter...so long as I'm keeping that practice alive. You are known for blending a variety of genres into your music from Jazz to Latin to Disco-Soul. Can you tell us what genres inspired you during your songwriting process for “Lovely?”
When your genre blend it's hard to pinpoint what the common denominator is for each sound. So far I've discovered that one of the themes in these sounds is an indulgence. You can escape as far away as you'd like, dance freely, and love. I wanted "Lovely" to sound like a complete surrender to romance and freedom. Allowing someone to escape to that place in their mind that allows them to be the main character of the story. What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
The resilience of my community, both musicians and non-musicians alike. As BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) we're being tested and learning so much about the world we live in. It's been a hard year for playing shows but we're learning to use our voice to continue to create in other ways and invite meaningful conversation into new spaces. Rather than feel fear of alienating people, now there is more of a willingness to learn and I will happily continue down that path. Art and protest go hand in hand, also, Black Lives Matter.