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Getting To Knoworion lake


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.

Refamiliarise / Become Acquainted ?

The Interview

How long have you been writing songs for, and what was is that inspired you to start?

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.

How similar is what you’re producing now to what you perhaps anticipated when you first started writing seriously?

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.

How long do your ideas generally take to develop?

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.

Are there any especially prominent creative obstacles you face?

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.

When you’re going through those times of depression, does it affect what you think of the work you’ve already produced?

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.

In what ways do you feel you’ve most improved since you released angelface?

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.

Is there a particular mood you tend to be in when you do your best writing?

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.

When you listen to your own songs, does the sadness and despondency within them affect your frame of mind?

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.

How do you keep yourself motivated when the high of finishing or releasing a new song wears off?

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.

What do you feel is the most important element of an orion lake song?

Christina: Love. Everything is about love. All my songs are love songs, for the most part, and I feel that they always will be.

Is there a particular element of your craft that you think you could improve upon?

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.

Do you see yourself primarily as a vocalist, writer, producer?

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.

Is there anything that irritates or frustrates you about the style of music that you make?

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.

Is there another genre or artist that you’re slightly envious of?

Christina: I’ve been listening to a lot of Bj√∂rk 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.

What do you feel that you gain from being artistically, creatively, inclined?

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.

How easy or difficult have you found it to reach people with your music so far?

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.

What sort of setup did you have for that show?

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.

I get the impression you’d have preferred to have used your own equipment and been doing as much as possible yourself.

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.

Okay, so how important is is for you to have an emotional outlet?

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.

Is there anything that you specifically hope to communicate to people through your work?

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.

From the feedback you’ve had thus far, have people responded to it in the way you thought they would?

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.

Do you think that being more shy and withdrawn has impacted your ability to connect with other artists?

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.

To what extent would you like your creative output to define you as a person?

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.

And just to add to that: Have you found that the people you’ve dealt with so far have been genuine?

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

You can stay updated with orion lake on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and stream or purchase her music over on Bandcamp.

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