A delicate disruptor, Cehryl is a Hong Kong based artist that is quickly building momentum this 2021. With a uniquely sensitive yet rebellious outlook on the ever-changing world, she injects her curiously honest nature into her songwriting. With a classical background and a creative eye, she’s looking to establish herself beyond the musical sphere, planting ambitions in the film and visually creative universes. Cehryl took a moment to open up to SPIN about her creative influences, touring life and more. Check out her most recent EP, time machine here.
Who is CEHRYL and how did you come to life?
Cehryl is ………. me hahahah. Cehryl is an artist singer-songwriter producer from hong kong. Had been wanting to compose since a little kid. One day I uploaded a song to the internet and my life was changed forever kind of.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
Growing up I listened to a lot of pop so my songwriting process has a tendency to center pop melodies. Sonically I am influenced by my heroes of course. I love Chet Baker and 60s motown and Amy Winehouse and Nick Hakim and Alicia Keys, Frank Ocean, The Beatles, The Strokes, SZA, Earl Sweatshirt, Tirzah. Visually I like films of Wong Kar-Wai, Edward Yang, Jean Luc Godard, Agnes Varda. How things influence me, I have little control over.
What does your typical songwriting/production process look like? Is there a set formula or does it consistently evolve and shape-shift along with your ideas?
No set formula. Often my lyrical ideas come about way before I sit down to make music: I write fragments of poems in my notes. I record melodies in my voice memos. Sometimes they turn into songs.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
I do not feel successful hahah. But I’m grateful for everything that’s gone well for my music career so far.
The 2020 tour hiatus hit each artist differently in very unique ways, some struggling more than others. Enlighten us on your experience.
Prior to covid I was kinda kicked out of America abruptly. Came home to Hong Kong to civil unrest essentially. So covid seemed not a big deal to me at that time. I was supposed to tour with Jeremy Zucker though. Didn’t happen which was a bummer.
Tell us about one of your most memorable or cherished touring memories.
Anytime I’m playing with friends. The green room talk before the show with friends is the most precious. Even for the smallest venues and shows, those green room moments feel like…. a sense of: we’ve made it.
In what ways do you wish to inspire up and coming artists/producers that are aiming to get their chance in the spotlight?
I do not think about inspiring other people but when it happens i’m floored. I just hope my music makes people feel… dramatic and validated or reflect on their own lives.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give aspiring creatives that you either got from a mentor or that you wish you would’ve gotten?
Just to work really really hard on the music. Lose sleep over it, lose sanity over it.
As we’re looking ahead, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, how are you both planning to propel your career forward in 2021?
I’d like to tour again. play shows, write more music. I’d like to do more music for film.
Is there anything on the horizon that you can share with us?
Vinyl for something coming soon.
Take a chance now and manifest something: ______________.
In a few years and forever I am doing music (supervision + sound design + soundtrack) for film and am making really fricken good music. and not burning out or dying or lonely or existential.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Thank you 🙂
Check out Cehryl’s stripped back and personal performance below. For more exclusive sessions, head over to SPIN TV.