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In the Bag: Cintia Lund

Youth and self-awareness are two qualities that don’t usually go together, and yet Cintia Lund possesses both. It’s possible that singing since the age of 6 may have something to do with it. That love of song inspired her to pick up playing the guitar at fifteen and a similar wish to improve that craft has her now on a journey of melodic discovery. 

A mix of Swede-Spaniard, she’s equally unassuming and self-possessed in person with a style best described as a female Beau Brummel. The 22-year old Canary Islands resident splits her time between New York and Madrid.  We meet up with the chanteuse on an overcast day in Brooklyn during her break to see what’s in her bag and talk about inspiration.  

Why are you in New York (at the moment)? I came to close a music video and concert project.

What sort of creative (field) are you? Music, I am a singer songwriter.

In one word, how would you describe yourself? Alert.

What inspires you? Anywhere peaceful where I am alone can inspire. New York City inspired my début album “NEW YORK ANTHEM”, it’s a 12 song love letter that describes moments in the city.

Packing strategy? This really depends on where I am going. For this trip, layering was important, we weren’t planning on going anywhere fancy so it was mostly jeans and t-shirts with a warm sweater and a waxed jacket. The jacket held up especially well on the rainy and windy days in Iceland.

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Whats in her bag. Cintia tends to travel light. Not pictured, galoshes and the clothes on her back.

How do you capture creativity? Most of the time I see things around me (people on the street, art, movies..) that gives me ideas to take into my territory and work with those ideas.  It depends, these days we’re over informed with social media. I see more beauty in organic things: at a concert I pay attention to the musicians, the performance, the expressions of their faces, the sounds and their attitudes.

If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like? I think it would taste of cherries and red wine mixed with bitter and sweetness.

What’s playing on your music player now? Lately I been listening over and over to “Love Letters” by Corners.

If you could choose a theme song to represent yourself  it would be “These days” by Nico because it has a melancholic vibe.

What are you reading? “Just kids” by Patti Smith, I found this beautiful book on the floor in the East Village.

You never leave home without My iPhone.

How do you capture ideas that might be helpful in your work? As a sing songwriter I’m always alert to things I could use in my compositions, especially with lyrics.  Dialogues in films are inspiring. I can also have a conversation with somebody and they’ll say a work I like in that moment–I’ll write it down or record it on my phone so I have material to work with when I compose. I sing in English and as it’s not my mother tongue I see the language in a different perspective.

What is your idea of creative happiness? I enjoy every step of the creative process. My favorite moment is when I share it with the world. I performed recently in front of a big audience and won a music competition in Spain. There were important people in the industry there and the press results were satisfying.

What motivates you to get out of bed every morning? I like to know that what I have to carry out ahead of me, and start it with coffee, breakfast and a cigarette. Look at emails and organize myself.

How do you keep yourself interested in your work?  To get into my creative zone, I’d like to be completely alone in my apartment or room so I can let go everything I have inside without worrying whether it’s a silly idea. I put in front of me things I find beautiful, listen to music I like in general to get motivated and transform those ideas into my world.

Any rituals that you do to stay sane? The only ritual I have is to take a big, long breath before going on stage.

How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce? If you want to make it happen it is the kind of situation you just figure out the way to do it even if the result is not what you initially thought. There’s always ways to do what you want. I think everything is possible.

What are some of the things you do to relax?  Cooking something good and watching tv so I don’t think.

Greatest investment to yourself All my equipment–camera, laptop, phone, instruments and my outfits. The clothes define me and with these tools I t what I want to say with the music.

What does your typical/daily schedule look like? I’m a musician so I don’t have a clear schedule. I play guitar everyday to compose new music or rehearse. Sometimes I really get into it and three hours later…the time just goes by!

When on deadline I try to complete with whatever I have to finish so it doesn’t affect my mental health. I don’t like to worry and have it in the back of my mind.

Do you take any days off? I take a day off when I have been very productive. After a big show I feel like I deserve to relax and eat candy, haha!

Please describe your state of mind when you are creating something. Exacting is the way I feel when I create–productive and calm and nobody can stop me in that moment.

How do you know when a piece or project complete and needs no more work? I don’t believe in perfection. Everything I do can always be better, but most of the time I just want to share already what I do, to see how people react to it. With music it’s constantly tinkering sounds and adding instruments so when do I know it’s finally done? I just need to feel proud about it!!

How do you balance your life with creative endeavors? I don’t need to balance it, my life consist on constantly being aware and inspired my life is music, my life is art and I like to think that it

Lowest moment experienced: It happened at the first performance I had in the city (WHERE??) it was an open mic. I was nervous and forgot the lyrics. It was embarrassing and I thought I could not continue. My friends kept telling me if I never failed I’d also never succeed.

How did you work through doubt? With their support I realized it was an experience and just kept playing. After 20 gigs I was more seasoned and comfortable knowing what I was doing.

During those stretches (winters) between creativity, what do you do? I have rituals when this happens–I just let it breath.  I’d watch a movie from the 60’s or listen to music I like to get back on track, watch artists I consider successful on stage and set up that as my motivational goal.

What are the 2-3 things you personally find most invigorating or helpful when you’re stuck? When that happens I take a nap and let it breath for a little while, and go back to it. Usually when I’ve had some time in between I look at it with a different perspective and everything comes together. I’m interested in filming too, and for instance, when I’m editing a video and I don’t know how to continue and feel that there’s something missing, I go ahead and just watch other music videos to see their techniques and study how other videos are edited.

Has rejection ever affected your creative process? No, I can’t satisfy everybody–of course, I’ve had some negative comments about what I do or how I look, but that does’t affect me as a musician–I’m a public person. I know that some people would like it and some won’t.  There’s a lot of haters out there, which I actually don’t mind, having haters make me feel important!

What person (living or dead) would you like to spend a day with? Andy Warhol, he’s my main inspiration. It would be great to talk to him and see his point of view about society today. I mean, what he would create with all the advances we have today? Film some short movies with an iPhone, or something like that?

Do you consider him a creative genius? For me, he’s a genius because the concept he had of the factory and putting all these artists, working together in a nice collective. Because of his peculiar personality. Because he’s pop–pop is fun and controversial–he made it happen with a tomato soup can!!

Does too much information make creativity fail? Yes and no. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with too much information, I prefer to have fewer options to work with so it’s easier. On the other hand, how much information is too much when it comes to research about something I care about?

How do you think one can expand their creative mind and abilities? By doing something creative everyday. Even a little thing! Take a nice picture, sing, expand your abilities for anything, surround yourself with creative people and collaborate with then so you can pay attention to their techniques and use that learning in what you do.

Do you think that creativity is part of human nature or is it something to nurture and learn?  I’ve always been creative in art and music classes when I was little. As I’m older, I have some knowledge now about composing music, using a camera and film, so I’m much more creative!

Why are you creative? I am creative because I have the need to create everyday. My roommate laugh at me when I turn our little apartment into a photo studio just to post a nice photo on Instagram.

What would you like to be remembered for My music and personality.

Tips for fellow creatives you’ve found helpful: You only live once, and even though it gets hard sometimes, eventually you’ll see results. So, just stick with it!

“New York Anthem” is available to stream at Bandcamp. Cintia will be performing on December 15 at Berlanga Cinema with several female musicians as a part of a women’s collective.

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