If I didn't have an emotional outlet, I think I would combust.Oneiric Escapism United States - Published: 8th February 2019 - - Words & Questions: A Lonely Ghost Burning -
Pressing down gently but with the wearying constancy of hot, muggy weather, the emotional weight present in the the work of orion lake is a musical manifestation of slumped shoulders. The sadness-infused solo project of New Jersey-based Christina Hernandez featured on the fourth volume of our Oneiric Escapism series, her debut EP, angelface, offering an almost reticent, disenchanted play at hope amid arduous periods of submission to lovelorn sadness. A Lonely Ghost Burning spent some time getting to know Christina, who touched on motivation, shyness, and the beauty of finding people you connect with.
Christina: I’ve been writing songs for about a year-and-a-half, but I’ve always been a writer, since I was a kid. I’ve been inspired by my various favourite artists growing up, like Kurt Cobain, Lana Del Rey, Grimes. Sufjan Stevens is one of my favourite artists ever — I think he’s an amazing songwriter.
Christina: Honestly, I didn’t expect to work on the things that I’ve been working on. I just came into it not expecting anything, and I think that’s the way it should be. I find myself putting a lot of pressure on myself in my writing and whenever I make new songs. It really should be simple — you just open up Logic or whatever, and you go. From there, that’s where I get my ideas. I open it up, start seeing what sounds good to me and then work on the lyrics from that.
Christina: Not very long. I go with whatever I’m thinking about at that moment, or I can go back and think about my memories — it’s so vivid still in my mind, I can just write it down easily and create a story from that.
Christina: Yeah, I doubt myself a lot, and I know I shouldn’t. Sometimes it gets hard dealing with anxiety, depression and stuff like that, but I just try to change my thinking. If I’m thinking negatively, like, “I can’t do this. I wish I could do this”, I’m like, “Well, I probably can do this. I can try, and see what comes from that.” So, I’m trying to think more positively in that aspect.
Christina: Yeah, actually. I think of my first project that I put out, angelface, and of course I’m proud of it, but at the same time, I’m like, “Wow! I see this mistake, and I wouldn’t really do that now.” It’s kind of my past self, and I like that I’m moving forward. I’m currently working on a kind of eighties new wave direction, because I grew up on a lot of that too. I’m excited to work on that.
Christina: I think, probably, with the self confidence aspect of it. When I was making angelface, I had a small idea, and I just went with it. I got with my friend and producer, Staten, and we just worked on it for a year or so, and we came out with it. I think now, I understand more about planning: that I need to plan more of my ideas, because I’m bad at that.
Christina: I don’t want to say sad, but if I’m upset, it’s a lot of fuel to write my feelings and emotions. I’d prefer if it was quiet. Most of the time it’s me in my room, and I’m usually alone. I like to make it atmospheric with the lighting, and I just make sounds and start writing.
Christina: I don’t think it does. I can look back, and I remember the feelings of when I wrote it, but I don’t really feel that way anymore. It doesn’t really affect me negatively in that way.
Christina: [laughs] That’s another problem: I kind of struggle with motivation. Sometimes, honestly, I think the answer for me personally is to isolate myself and just be alone and come back to those things that inspire me. I like to go on YouTube and watch my favourite artists do interviews; I like to watch things in the studio, and how they made certain songs.
Christina: Love. Everything is about love. All my songs are love songs, for the most part, and I feel that they always will be.
Christina: Oh yeah, I always feel like I could be improving on so many things. I’m just trying to take criticism and advice, and I’m trying to put that into my work. Maybe work on my voice too — control it better. And learn more about my voice and how I want things to sound. I wanna just always be learning.
Christina: I mean, I produced most of my songs, but I wouldn’t really call myself a producer. I guess I would say I’m just an artist — a girl in her room. I’m a writer. I used to write poems all the time. I’d say I’m more of a writer than anything.
Christina: The only thing that would irritate me is if I were to keep doing the same thing — the same sounding songs. Other than that, no, not really. I just want to experiment; I want to do more different things.
Christina: I’ve been listening to a lot of Björk lately, and I’m obsessed with her. I’ve never really dived into that, never really listened to her stuff. I really want to start experimenting more with that. I love The Cure – so much. That’s kinda the new direction I’m going in — I want to do more stuff like that: new wave, dark, but also uplifting sometimes. I don’t know if I’m really envious, but I take a lot of inspiration from everywhere.
Christina: I think I gain a lot of perspective, not only on myself, but other people as well. After you release a song, and you get the feedback of people — whether this spoke to them or not, whether this helped them or not — I think that’s the real thing I wanna do. Does this affect people in any way? Hopefully, positively.
Christina: I don’t think it’s been that difficult. Whenever I release a song, I put it out pretty much everywhere. Most of the attention that I’ve gotten was started through the internet. I think playing more shows would increase that — I’ve only done one show so far, and I would love to do more.
Christina: It was a Boston show, and it was just me with the mic. I thought it was gonna be that I’d bring my own equipment, but they had their own DJ and amps and stuff. So, basically they were playing the tracks that I sent them, and I was just singing.
Christina: Yeah, I think it’d be a much better experience, because I’d be more comfortable. I’d love to bring live instruments too. I’ve love to do that someday.
Christina: Oh, it’s very important to me. If I didn’t have an emotional outlet, I think I would combust. I have many feelings, and I’m a writer. I like to talk about experiences so I can get them out in a song and leave it in the past and move on.
Christina: At the end of the day, I just want people to get an understanding from my music. I want them to resonate with me, and if you’re feeling shitty, that’s alright, because I do too — that’s why I wrote this song. [laughs] As long as people like it, and it’s making people feel comforted, that’s all I need.
Christina: Yeah, and it’s very crazy to me because I’m such a shy girl, and I used to be even more shy and withdrawn — I still am, but it’s gotten better. To hear feedback like, “Your music has helped me so much”, and all this stuff, it really means the world to me. It’s crazy.
Christina: It’s gotten easier for me throughout the years. Nowadays, I’d be more comfortable reaching out and talking to other artists, like I have before. I think it’s a great thing, and it’s just growth. I think in every artist’s life, there’s a huge turning point, and there’s growth that happens from that, and I think that’s what’s happening with me right now.
Christina: I mean, I am orion lake. So, you could honestly think whatever you want of me, but at the end of the day, music is the most important thing, the most important outlet, the most important device to have with you. I think, as long as you listen to the music that you like, and you’re genuine about it, then everything’s good. Just be genuine with yourself and the music, and that’s what I hope that I’m coming off as.
Christina: Yeah, I think so. One of the closest people to me is also an artist and a producer. I worked with him for angelface, and I’m working with him now. I think it’s amazing to find people like that who just vibe with you, have the same kind of mindset. It’s just ideas and communication. It’s a beautiful thing. That’s all I want: I just want to work with people, make music, and do shows. I just want the experience of it all — to have fun, meet people, and see how it affects them.orion lake featured onOneiric Escapism 4
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