Please introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and what you want people to know about you.
Hi! I´m P!PEllA. I am a 23-year-old dream-punk artist and professional lyricist from Houston, Texas. I just released my first and second singles in 2021 and I actually just graduated with a Masters in Global Entertainment and Music Business from Berklee College of Music Valencia in July.
I make music for a few reasons. I have always had a deep love for storytelling but not the attention span to write a novel, so when I started writing lyrics it felt like the perfect outlet for all of my creativity. Another reason is that I think I have something to say that people can relate to. I have suffered with mental illness my entire life and I know how difficult it can be to find people who relate to the rollercoaster that comes with OCD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. So, I write music for the people like me who just want to express those emotions but don´t know how to.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
First, I think most people get confused when I call my genre ¨dream-punk¨. It´s a mix of dream-pop and pop-punk, with some influences from around the world so it doesn´t fit directly into any existing genre that I have found. It really fits with my aesthetic, which is kind of modern-royal-core, though it’s pretty much just a lot of black flowy skirts and crowns.
A few things that set me apart is that I write and perform in different languages, mainly English, Spanish and Korean. My EP ¨Danc!ng w/ Anx!ety¨ that is coming out at the end of this year will have my first officially released Korean song, so I am very excited about that. I am also a dancer and I like to incorporate choreography into my songs for music videos and live shows as much as possible.
A fun and unique thing that is coming up is I am hosting a split genre virtual show called ¨Royal Opposites¨ on August 20th! It´s going to be half acoustic folk and half pop-punk.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you wanted to do what you do now. Who did you tell first? What has it been like since that moment?
I was 7 years old and watching Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for the first time. The battle scene came on and the most beautiful song I had ever heard started playing. All of a sudden, I had this swelling in my chest and I felt like I could fly or something. It was very overwhelming! I knew that I wanted to chase that feeling for the rest of my life.
I originally wanted to create film scores and I told my mom that. But then I joined my first choir almost immediately after and singing gave me the same feeling that the Battle Song did. So, since then I have always tried to surround myself with music.
I have a kind of image synesthesia so I look for music that lets me see images that I like and that has led me to the genre of music that I am currently making. There have been a lot of ups and downs with self-doubt and fear. I almost quit a few years ago. But then I got to Berklee and I surrounded myself with music and musical people. I was able to feel that swelling in my chest and I never want to even consider giving it up again.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
Stage fright. I don´t know when it started because I didn´t always have it, but some time in high school I got so scared of going on stage that my legs would shake and I would blackout and not remember what I was doing. I was fine when singing with choirs or with my band but if I ever tried to go solo, I couldn´t do it. Eventually, I thought I was never going to be able to get on stage again and I was so heartbroken. I didn´t start getting over it until I joined a dance crew in college.
Dancing on stage actually helped me start to get more comfortable again. By the end of my senior year in college, I was a choreographer and I had the confidence to get on stage as a singer again. Berklee only helped that further because I was able to make my own music and show it to people who were also musicians and music business hopefuls. Now, I can´t say that the stage fright is totally gone, but I have found a way to use it to make an even more authentic show.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
I would do anything to sit down with Max Martin and get his input and advice. He is one of the most incredible songwriters and producers of modern music and I think even to meet him for 5 minutes would be enough to completely change my life.
From a collaboration standpoint, I´d love to work with Day6. They are a Korean pop-rock band and their music was the soundtrack of my time living in Korea so it would be amazing to get to work with them one day.
I think my last one would have to be someone who might take me under their wing as a mentee and show me their tricks on being awesome, so it would probably be Hayley Williams. She´s just so cool and I think she would give really good insight and constructive criticism.
I mean there are a bunch of artists I would be honored to meet and work with, but I think those three are at the top of the list.