CRYSTAL MURRAY

In the lead up to her new EP, the Parisian artist chats about her latest single 'CREEPS' featuring Elheist, the humble beginnings of Gucci Gang and her favourite artists of Paris' thriving music scene.

You just dropped your latest single ‘CREEPS’ at the start of the month alongside Elheist, what were the inspirations for the track?

 

'CREEPS' is a song I really wrote while recording, it was kind of a freestyle at first and the more I listened to it, the more it felt like a story and I could relate with some of the lyrics that were coming out naturally. I decided to re-write it and talk about one exact night I spent in a club in Paris, where just by the way I looked, I felt like I was different. I really wanted to catch that exact feeling and make it sound powerful. Elheist, I met her one or two years ago, it was very briefly but we had a connection super fast and even with the lockdown and not being able to travel, we stayed in contact. When I was producing the single with Lonely Band, even before the lyrics came out, we knew it was her we wanted to feature.


How did your collaboration come about and how was the process of working on the track together?


I knew the moment we started playing with the instrumental that I wanted Elheist to come on board. I called her up, she loved the vibe and we rolled with it!

 

You also recently released the video, what were the influences for the aesthetic of the visual and how was shooting it?

So the whole mood was kind of Maison Close vibe. We liked mixing a very sexy/classy aesthetic, with a rap song. I wanted to spotlight the word « freaks » and amplify the beauty of it. The cast is wearing all black  - almost feel like a cult vibe is going on lol! The director sent us a mood board video with what he wanted to do with the camera and me and Stephy Galvani (my artistic team) wrote the story on it, and chose the artistic direction with the styling, and chose to have add a performer in white to bring an extra element in.  

"I feel deeply connected to this project because it was the first time I was letting my emotions out."

How did your collaboration with Thee Dian come about for your last single of 2020 ‘GGGB’ and what was the process of creating that single?


Dian called Thee Dian, now is somebody that really marks a time in my life. I was always putting together music alone. Thee dian is the first person where artistically, and spiritually we matched and it really helped me get out of my comfort zone. 


She’s the first artist I signed on my label Spin Desire. We both work on each other's projects and really really get along very well. “GGGB" is a fun song we made to show that I could go out of my comfort zone and mix different influences in the bases I have in music which are jazz, soul and R&B. It was also a way for Thee Dian to make her first step into music organically.
 

Last year, you released your debut project ‘I Was Wrong’, what themes did you want to explore on this project?


'I Was Wrong' was a test project, what came out of me naturally in the first years of doing music with producers. I wrote “Princess" when I was 14. I feel deeply connected to this project because it was the first time I was letting my emotions out. It's like a baby discovering how to walk. I'm happy I did this project at such a young age because now I feel like I have the possibility to go anywhere musically. 

 

How important was it for you to show your range as an artist on this first EP and not restrict yourself to any genre boundaries or boxes?

So important! You can not put a teenager in no box - she’s gonna want to go the opposite way!

"The next project can’t be put in a box, but you can categorise them in emotional boxes."

How was working on this debut EP and what sounds were influencing you at the time?


At that time I was really using what I knew. Me and my family comes from afro-American gospel. Singing for me, is a therapy and music is for people to feel your sadness, your happiness, and your emotions for them to relate to and not feel alone. My influences were Minnie Ripperton, Macy Gray, Betty Davis, women that screamed their emotions for other people to feel and relate. They still are my influence for the next project but I think this time, I’m influenced in a more mature way. 

How has your process or sound evolved since working on your upcoming project and what can we expect?
 

I twisted my bases. I took what I knew and put them into things I didn’t know, like alternative rock, electronic, uk garage - sounds that you can also listen to without lyrics. I really worked on the production of every single instrumental, then I worked on the melodies and lyrics. The next project can’t be put in a box, but you can categorise them in emotional boxes. 

 

I think people gonna be a little bit surprised if the only song they have heard from me is “Princess”; but if you have followed the evolution, I think it totally makes sense. 

 

"I don’t think that what is out there right now defines me perfectly. The mood I'm in right now will really be on the next project ..."

If you had to choose two of your tracks to best show your range as an artist, which would you choose and why?


I don’t think that what is out there right now defines me perfectly. The mood I'm in right now will really be on the next project, so I don’t want to give too much away. But right now, my two favourites songs out in the world are "August Knows", an intense song that I love to sing, and I think “CREEPS”, because playing between my low voice tone, mixed with rap is what challenges me the most, more than singing sometimes.

 

How did you first become involved with Gucci Gang and how did it put you on the path you’re on today?

 

Gucci gang started very naturally, four girlfriends who loved street wear and vintage shopping. Everything escalated very quickly after we started, and the media made us some super over the top influencers, when really we were just kids with cool sneakers. From then on, we started doing different and new things - like modelling, DJ'ing and of course - we went to a lot of parties. I learned a lot, because at the age 14, I was working with adults and people really treated us like adults, which was nice for a minute but at some point, I just felt used by the media and brands. But from that I met so many incredible people, which made me stronger and maybe a little be more woke than when I started. 

I'm happy all that happened because I'm 19 now, and I already feel like an artist. I already want to start my own thing, create an army of artists for the new world. All the shallow world I know and lived it, now I just surf on it and return to my techno parties without any FOMO. 


Being from Paris, are there any local artists you would recommend? 


YES SO MANY! Paris has been rising so much. First of all, you know already my love for Thee Dian. Also one of my favourites is LE DIOUCK my love from the boy band Nyoko Bokbae (which includes Boy-Fall but also my favourite French DJ Bamao Yendé.) Jwles and his brother Le Lij, Also love La Grace

Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?

 

Macy Gray has been my main inspiration, since the beginning.  "Related to a psychopath" is one of my favourite songs that feeds my blood - even today she’s still one of the main inspo. What inspires me today is feeding my music - the more I do go deep into my music, the more I am inspired.  I’ve been inspired by ANTI - the whole album - by RihannaKid CudiHandle With Care”.  Santigold.

If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would you choose?

 

Serpentwithfeet

Thee dian

Le diouck 

Ojerime

Santigold 

 

What’s coming up for 2021?

 

AWHOLELOTTOFBEAUTY

MUSICMUSICMUSIC

 

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