All The World's A Stage
Singer-songwriter Cintia Lund gives us a peek into her creative process.
all the world's A STAGE
interview with CINTIA LUND
FEB 2016 // Officially, Cintia Lund is an indie-folk singer-songwriter, but that barely scratches the surface of who she is. Cintia, who grew up between Spain and Sweden and started her career in New York, is a multimedia artist who dabbles in everything she can dream up. She tells us about her creative process and how to live in your own imagination—no matter where you are in the world.
Give us the rundown on your background.
I was born in the Canary Islands. My mother is Spanish and my father is Swedish. I love to tell the story of how they met: my father was visiting from Sweden on vacation. He met my mother on a bus and asked her if she wanted to have a Coca-Cola on the way to the beach.
Soon after I was born we moved to Sweden and I lived there until I was six. Then we moved back to the Canary Islands and I lived there until I finished high school. I moved to New York right away and was there for three years, but then I had problems with my visa and I couldn't stay any longer. I was like, okay, where am I going to go now? The situation in Spain is bad, and I hadn't lived in Sweden very long, so I decided to move to Stockholm. It's a better place for music.
How did you start getting interested in music, fashion, and art?
My Uncle Fernando, definitely. He’s how I found all my influences. He lives in New York, and he’s involved with fashion and painting. I traveled with him quite a lot, to places like London, Miami, and Los Angeles. He introduced me to that world when I was young. It’s because of him that I was exposed to that stuff and thought differently than other people my age. I remember I would always ask him for fashion advice as a child. He’s the reason I went to New York in the first place.
What made you decide to stay there?
The first time I went to New York I think I was 16 or so. I remember the first time—and this is why I love New York so much—getting into a cab, going over the bridge, and seeing the whole skyline. That was shocking for me, like, wow, I’m actually in New York. And then somehow I ended up living there for three years. I didn’t even plan it, it just kind of happened. I can’t explain it. It changed me.
Changed you in what way?
New York affects everybody. It’s just so different. First of all, you see the weirdest stuff ever. Nobody will be judging you on the street. Everyone’s doing their own thing. You have the freedom to be yourself and so much space to do it.
It seems like you don't care about vulnerability. You just do what you want.
Yeah, I don’t have any vulnerability. I don’t even think about it, I just go ahead and do things. It’s actually a mix of Spanish and Swedish philosophies: I have a passion for life, I enjoy what I do, but I’m also very ambitious and hardworking. I hate when people say, “I wish I could do that.” Then do something about it! And that’s something I got from New York, that non-stop thing. I go with that energy.
Like the last summer I was there I had so many concerts it was ridiculous. I had one, and then things just started rolling, rolling, rolling. I had twenty concerts in two months. You play, grab a beer with people after the concert, wake up, and do it again. It was exhausting, but it was so fun. And made me feel more comfortable with performing.
What are you going for in your performances?
Performances are not just about the music. They’re about the sounds, but also the way performers act, the way they look. Fashion is one of the most important things. When I’m on stage, I want my outfit to represent my music and transmit my personality to the audience. It has to be something a little bit special, a little different, and always natural. I never force things, and I don't do it for anyone but me.
I either go all hippy dippy, with flowers and long dresses and light makeup, or I go more Factory, with black tights, big rings, Chelsea boots. I also started using a megaphone. It’s such a cool, weird thing. It sounds retro, and people don’t expect it. I go around the audience with it, and it helps me connect with the people. It’s cozy. I always use it now.
Your work is like a peek into your own little world. It feels like you're a kid who has the most fun when she's playing in her imagination.
Yeah, in one way or another, that’s what I’m trying to do. Cintia Lund is my stage name—Lund is actually my Swedish grandmother's last name. I started using it when I was 12. I would dream about people introducing me on stage and I thought it sounded good. "Ladies and gentlemen, Cintia Lund!" Now Cintia Lund is the world I create. I make my own music, do my own videos, take photos myself. My roommate must think I’m crazy because I’m always doing photo shoots around the house with big makeup and crazy outfits. But I think its fun.
How is it being back in Stockholm?
I’m coming back to Sweden after 12 years, and Stockholm is still a new city for me, so I’m still discovering things. A lot of things inspire me. The people I've worked with here have been very hardworking and talented. It's great. In New York, sometimes it feels like everyone you meet is an artist who talks about collaborating, but everything is up in the air. In Sweden, people might not be as friendly as in New York or Spain, but when they say something they mean it.
It's also been fun being here because I get to play all around Europe. I had gigs in Italy and London and I have one coming up in Madrid. After my experience in New York, I really feel like I can play anywhere.
What do you see for your future?
I just want to continue to make music for the rest of my life. I really care about what I do, and I do it with passion. I’m recording an album now, so when I'm done I'll be sending it to record labels. All my songs have something to do with New York in some way. I see myself ending up there, but who knows? New York is all about changing, changing. When you go back, who knows what it will be like? I'll just do whatever feels right. ✰