Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I’m the host of it all – Angela. Growing in an Armenian immigrant family of dreams and hardships, I’ve been chosen to break a generational curse as the first-gen artist with a whole series behind me. I guess I’m the sum of it all: Four characters, one voice. but it’s really a healing process. A journey to understand myself further and re-connect with my inner peace. In 2019, during my transformation, I wrote an autobiography titled, “iam. Sincerely, Nobody.”
Somehow I needed my music to resonate with the story, so every single I release that’s part of the rollout is a new chapter. Every chapter is unique with corresponding acts, as my alter egos play out their roles. Being known as that “weirdo” and “no common sense” individual throughout my entire 22 years of living, I incorporated the labels into the personal series. Nothing negative, it’s all raw and lyrical honesty I emphasize. Whatever and however I write comes naturally to the mind and has been since I was 11.
My catchphrase – “How you feeling?” But the real question is do people actually pay attention? I always emphasize the meaning in my story along with the name “Nobody”.
Whatever I create and share is a product combination of my imaginative thoughts, observations, past trauma, and present emotions. As the chapters are written, I give them visuals which I’m actually working towards this year: directing and producing more visuals/short films for my music.
I have nothing to prove but to my younger self and beloved little cousin, that weirdness and eccentricity can go a long way. It’s appreciated, and the ones who judge otherwise have their own insecurities- which I also write about in my music too.
With so much to share but so little time, I’ll let my content and pen speak for themselves.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I’m fascinated with solitude. Being extremely observant and mindful of people, I constantly prefer to be at ease with my craft. The flow of my work is strategic, yet vibrant. I could care less about the noise and grind.
I have a difficult time being verbal in my explanations so that it makes sense, even in the way I hear and see music. It’s complex; I see colors and envision various scenes that I could paint on a canvas. Perhaps turn it all into a short film. I do this always with my music and have been since childhood.
My brain puts in the effort once my eyes close. As I slowly swift into a specific track, I see things. I could envision an animated character break-dancing, or a smoky, dim room full of peers high on the green. Disclaimer, I don’t do drugs. Never have, never will.
It’s another weird aspect of who I am, I don’t know how else to explain it. At least I write descriptively better than elaborating it. I can envision a stage in front of a crowd of anticipated people; set a clear image of how the lighting looks, stage visuals, timing, etc.
Does that make me some kind of strange creature? Someone unique? I mean everyone needs alone time to rejuvenate, but there are others I know who can’t stand to be by themselves. Solitude is for the dangerous, like me. I honestly have no idea and could care less. I bet you there are so many eccentric minds out there that are left unnoticed.
That’s one of my aims as an artist actually; to grow a community of “weirdos” and outcasts that relate to “iam. Sincerely, Nobody.” A crowd of outsiders, who are self-aware of their ‘Nobody’ beings upon planet Earth.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
Get this – music was my first language before I could properly speak. I began to form understandable sentences around 4. Armenian came around 6 years of age. As a toddler, I’d have a microphone and a blue teddy bear with me often. My father would insist I come up with a tune and just sing in front of the camera. The blue teddy bear’s name is Mr. Bean, and he’s still with me to this day.
There’s this saying that if you’ve ever had to perform in front of your family as a child, you’d go insane further on. I’m creatively insane, but not in the concerning route. So I’d throw these mini-concerts in our backyard with a karaoke machine. Keep in mind this was in the early-mid 2000s. Just singing nursery rhymes or jamming to Russian and Armenian hits. All in front of my parents and relatives. I’d always introduce myself with a “Ladies and Jelemen” (Gentlemen) before going crazy.
I guess I’m a natural-born performer. Confident, center of attention, and enjoying every moment. Whether I’m in a cheerleader outfit or pajamas, I somehow wanted to give a show, even in front of my toys – alone.
Here’s where the realization hit- in front of a mirror. Fast forward a few years later when I started to take singing more seriously, expanding my range. I was 9 and obsessed with Lady Gaga’s music. A mic in one hand, mimicking every key and move in the living room, alone at home.
In that same space, there was a large mirror. At some random moment, I’ll never forget, I just stood there staring at myself. I began to question my existence, why was I alive. Quite disturbing for a child that age, but it went to my head. What was my purpose? Why am I here, like why me?
Such a strange moment, and being alone at home in silence, once the song ended. I leaned in closer to my reflection, looking into my eyes, touching my face.
It might have been my first mild existential crisis, but all I knew was at that very moment- I felt that singing was my thing. I was born into it.
The exact moment happened later through my songwriting (writing in general). It was that same year, alone in the garage and in front of our old Windows computer. Kanye West’s “Heartless” blasted through the speakers and as I carefully listened, I was stunned by his words and story.
I took a paper and a pen, then re-wrote everything he said word for word. Back then there was no Genius site to find the lyrics, so I had to pause every 5 seconds to catch the sentences correctly. That was another moment where I truly felt I could write more and more, pour out my heart and anger. Everything I felt I jotted down, writing became my free therapy.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
Now that I look back at it: self-confidence. Despite everything else that occurred within my family and our four walls- my confidence plummeted after numerous rejections and comments on my image. Imagine being a young kid, aspiring to be noticed as a singer and performer by many- and then you’re hit with, “you’d make a better model than a singer with at that height and body of yours”. I was 12-13 years old around this time.
I bet you so many young girls find modeling amazing and opportunistic- that’s cool, but I never considered it. I wanted attention on my talent rather than just my appearance. I figured I’d stay low-key about my talents from then on, and focus on homeschooling. That’s when I became so hesitant to perform in front of people and put myself out there online- afraid of being judged and not comfortable with my presence.
Another challenge has been my mother’s well-being. Since her heel accident, I had to take care of her as much as I could. My older brother didn’t live with us at the time, so I was alone. Around this time I began to appreciate the piano more and enhance my songwriting.
Every night before I’d sleep, or stay up late to finish mass amounts of homework, I’d write. Just write and write- even draw here and there. I’d write to classical music and calm video game music playing on youtube.
This became so therapeutic for me that I’d write out my mind and emotions in notebooks, come up with songs.
I’d never perform these songs to anyone, or upload them online- it was all for myself and my mother.
It took years but eventually, I outgrew the fear. Without a mentor or anyone older to guide me through, I learned so much alone. I fought alone. I cried at night hearing my mother groan in pain alone. Sure I was isolated for a while, my only thoughts were music and mom. I never had the best social life or biggest hangouts- I’d lose friends, which lead to losing my trust in people ultimately.
Fast forward from my extreme solitude, I needed a fresh start. Everyone wants to move to the city with flashing lights and big dreams, right? That’s what I wanted after mom healed and everything went decent. I began to perform in front of crowds, even the well-renowned Siedah Garret when I was 17.
The confidence slowly but surely grew, cause of my writing- it takes a long time to heal, even to this day I still am. I found so much inspiration with a new, refreshing mindset. After my surgeries, it all naturally flowed. My instincts struck and reminded me of what I was supposed to do.
We did it. We moved to LA. From the small town to the crowd of nobodies wanting to become somebodies. Was it all worth it? Well… Let’s just say people are lessons, and those lessons make you become who you are today. It wasn’t as I envisioned it would be. I was 18, fresh out of high school, and naive. I figured there would be people in music that have genuine intentions.
It all comes down to independence- as I said before, being alone. I learned to accept that being alone on the journey is okay. I learned to not chase, but attract. I learned that self-confidence comes from trusting yourself and your passion. Confidence ignores all insecurities because they are illusions created by peers and society.
I may be 21 going on 22, still too young to say I’m too wise- but I find it true. I am wise from past experiences of conflict. When I look at old pictures of my teen self, I wish I could go back and give her a huge hug.
Warn her of the red flags, the signs. Tell her that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to and should never worry about opinions.
It’s her life, not anyone else’s. She never worried about anybody’s judgment but grew accustomed to the pathetic melodrama.
She feared being molded.
She feared for her mother, grew hatred against her.
She learned to accept herself, and that she is who she is because of past trauma.
Those times are gone, but the curse remains. We have to break it, creatively.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
The majority of the people I’d love to meet are deceased, sadly. But to elevate my potential music career? Let’s see:
If I’m going to meet all of them, I’d want to have a genuine conversation with them. After all, we’re humans in a de-humanizing era. We have to be there for one another, whatever happened to ask, “How are you feeling?”
I know it may be none of my business, but a human conversation is an honest connection. I’m not here for the basic “What do you do” questions. You know who would be fascinating to have some chai latte and ramen with? (Despite the HRDRV Records crew I’m teamed with) The XO Records team.
Hear me out, I know they’re a group and not just ONE person; however, they’re one of the greatest labels out there under The Weeknd’s name. I mean, how can you bail out on the opportunity to sit in a room with them?
To understand the ins and outs of how they accomplish it all, to talk with Abel (The Weeknd) about his genius craft and everything in-between. Look at Wassim and Amir, just the crew as a whole. That’s a team that knows what’s up.
I mean, how can you bail out on the opportunity to sit in a room with them? To understand the ins and outs of how they accomplish it all, to talk with Abel (The Weeknd) about his genius craft and everything in-between. I find his story very fascinating, and he’s so private which makes it all more interesting and respectable.
I’m always in awe of the process, not just the results. To witness music success stories is just glamour, but what about the struggle? The perseverance? The fails and lessons?
Another person I’d want to have ramen with, debate whether this world is a simulation or not, and learn from to excel as an artist would be Lady Gaga. Why are you laughing? She was the first worldwide artist I looked up to when I was 9. When all the young girls had their Justin Bieber or One Direction phase, mine was just Gaga (with Adele, Alicia Keys, and Beyonce blended in the hype altogether). Why? She got me through so much.
Before homeschooling, so many peers would bully me or flat-out ignore me as if I didn’t exist. Often I’d lose “friends” whom I thought were my friends. Gaga’s music – both “The Fame Monster” and “Born This Way” albums uplifted my sadness and confusion. I remember whenever I was alone at home, I’d blast Born This Way on my headphones and keep dancing.
Late nights, I’d write affirmations in my journal, “I’m born this way, I’m born this way.” It was a comforting way to reassure my weirdness and that I’m not just a kid with “no common sense”. Anyways, why wouldn’t I learn from her? The rebellious nature of her visionary work, it’s what I’ve always admired. I believe she’d make an incredible mentor, someone I can give my hand to and say “I trust you”. Someone with genuine intentions and remarks.
Someone who does what she wants regardless of the judgments and battles. Someone remarkably innovative that can change the entire game with one move. It’s powerful and humbling. Because my younger self was so into her performances and artistry (even to this day), I think she’d be down to kick back and converse with one of her greatest role models ever.
Am I writing too much? Let’s make this quick then.
Lastly, the third person: Donald Glover (Childish Gambino). So many ways to describe this phenomenal creator of a human being, but so little space for this. I feel my artist image and creative intentions are a bit similar to his, and I resonate with that. From writing, acting, performing, to directing- like the jack of all trades.
Having the opportunity to sit somewhere and share questions then visions with this man would be mind-blowing. His genius is truly one of a kind and I mean it. Ever since I listened to “Because The Internet” and watched his “Sober” music video, I grew enthralled as I did with Gaga.
Glover is someone I think would be down to share insights about growing further in the industry with the right people who believe in your projects. He started out as a writer when he was 23 (near my age), just to understand his beginnings and the process.
That’s all really for now. I have another list in mind, but I need to catch a break and heat up the soup.
Drop your social media links.