Cayey Cicada is a rising star in indie/pop/rock, partially because of his melodic and calm beats, but also because of the eclectic blend that his music transmits. With his latest single, “Numb,” he stepped further into the spotlight with his EP set for release in the winter.
In an interview, Cayey Cicada describes the various sources and influences that helped him start creating these fusions in his own music. Being from Cayey, Puerto Rico- where he gets the first half of his moniker- he takes his culture and his island wherever he goes and shows it in his music.
The interview with Cayey Cicada was done via email.
1. You moved from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles; where in Puerto Rico did you move from?
During my life I lived in different parts of Puerto Rico. Cayey was the last city of Puerto Rico that I lived before moving to California. The city is located on the Central Mountain range of Puerto Rico.
2. Your music really is a blend of a lot of different genres and especially from the Caribbean. Which specific artists really influenced you and when and how did you start getting playing music, and especially the electronic-based music you’re putting out now?
I learned the guitar lick from “Vagabundo” by Draco Rosa my last year of high school and that was it for me. I started to play reggae music with a couple of local bands in Puerto Rico until I moved to Los Angeles, Ca to continue my music career. There’s a big list of artist that have influenced me. Artist like Bob Marley, Ismael Rivera, Gustavo Cerati, Mima, Dabrye, Tribe Called Quest, The Whitest Boy Alive are some of my favorites. By loving so many genres I learned to fuse music that moves me in a big cooking pot like process with life seasonings. Electronic plays like a good plate to serve on.
3. This latest single “Numb” had a unique place of inspiration; where do you usually draw from for your music, lyrically or sonically?
I draw from both, one carries the other but I don’t know who leads. I would add visualization as a third starting point.
4. Your EP, I at least read, is due in the Winter. Is this still true? IS this single from this forthcoming EP and/or what else is in your plans at the moment?
My third EP is due in winter but first I’m releasing another single titled “Te quise”. Numb will be included in my next EP but with a different music approach.
5. Puerto Rico has been at the center of the news for a while now, for the hurricane or the political upheaval, or for any other number of reasons. Does PR play a huge part in your music culturally or politically, and if so, how?
Puerto Rico is a huge part in my everyday life. We are people with no fear to speak nor to help one another. We love to bring our island everywhere we go, and music plays a very important role in our views and expressions. My culture helps me grow each day.
By Antonio Villasenor-Baca