By Bridney C.
It is a pleasure to interview Erycka Ortiz for the Sweet Scoop.
The New London-based artist and New London Talent Show Alum envisioned being a singer-songwriter since she was a little girl and her epiphany of being a rising star happened over a series of writing and home-studio sessions. In 2018, at the age of 19, Erycka decided to pursue music full-time, built her home recording studio, and has been unstoppable since then.
Ortiz, now 20, has performed at numerous sold-out shows and released two EP’s, Confessions and A Sad Girls Diary. She will perform at Cultured Studios in New London, Connecticut on July 26th to promote her new single, “Blue Monday” and she will debut several new songs.
In this edition of 10 Questions, Ortiz shared what inspires her to write music, her new single: “Blue Monday,” and her symbolic connection to butterflies.
Bridney C: Tell me about your concert on the 26th. Are you nervous or excited? What can we expect to hear or see from your upcoming performance?
Erycka Ortiz: My show on the 26th will be special. The majority of my songs that are a part of my set never had the opportunity to reach a live audience. My audience is growing little by little which is exciting but also a little scary. With any song, I write it comes from a real place.
With my shows I want it to be real and I want it to be honest. I want people to walk away feeling empowered and vulnerable. There’s strength in vulnerability and I feel you will get that from coming to a show that’s mine.
BC: You are releasing a new single named "Blue Monday." Are you performing that song on the 26th? What was the songwriting process for that song? And why the title, "Blue Monday?"
EO: So blue Monday captivates an Alternative Pop-R&B vibe. Writing this was easy. I wrote it in like 10 to 20 minutes. The inspiration came from a couple of things. I wrote it from the perspective of two people having strong feelings but the timing was off. One of us was damaged, but there’s a willingness to try and go for whatever this connection is.
When writing I sometimes see visions in my head of what the song is or what I feel it could be. I saw a journey through the days of the week and that for me was “I’m fucked up, and I have all these things going on, but at the end of the day I still want you.” I was someone who used to use substances to distract myself when I partied on weekends, but when Monday came all my problems came rushing back. I felt it was a nice way to synthesize all those things, which is now Blue Monday. And yes, I plan to perform it on the 26th and I plan to release it on the 27th.
BC: How do you handle pressure and stress before performing?
EO: (Laughs) I feel like I’m always looking for new ways to cope with pressure. That feeling will always be there and it’s about learning to navigate through it rather pretend it’s not there. Feeling those things are good. It means you care. So before any show, I just remind myself this is what I love and what happens on that stage was meant to happen.
BC: Which song you wrote is your favorite and why?
EO: That’s hard. I’m super proud and love everything I’ve written thus far, but in terms of growth, I’d say the entire “A Sad Girl’s Diary” bundle. Those 3 songs were challenging for the listeners sonically and I feel on that project I proved to myself I am a good writer.
BC: What originally got you to write songs?
EO: I’ve always been a writer. English was my favorite class. I love words and the things you can create with them. Words are the bridge builders and they are powerful. You can create and destroy with words. I started with poetry, writing stories about love and heartbreak in middle school.
I still remember the name of my first song “Boys Don’t Cry,” and now that I am thinking about it I should revisit that idea. I had no idea what I was doing at that time so I gave up. It wasn’t until I started to realize I was craving to create deep down and one day I did. I pulled out my MacBook in class clicked on garage band my best friend heard what I was creating and told me it sucked. So I closed it feeling a bit discouraged but I came back to it and never stopped since.
BC: What kind of things inspire you to write?
EO: I can’t write something that isn’t real to me, and it all comes from a real place. An idea, a memory, a feeling, a smell, a sensation, but also storytelling is something I do and telling stories also come from the lens of another. I sometimes write about something someone close to me is experiencing.
BC: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
EO: Billboard Music Awards for sure. I’m a performer and I want to be if not the first, but one of the first trans artists of color in the music business to make it to that global stage. I want to break those boundaries. I believe I can do it.
BC: On your social media, I often see butterfly emojis associated with your posts. What does the butterfly emojis symbolize?
EO: Butterflies symbolize that I am forever evolving and growing. Who I am now will not be who I am tomorrow. It’s a reminder that change is constant.
BC: What emotional or spiritual connection do you have with butterflies? Do you feel butterflies symbolize freedom, independence, and confidence?
EO: To me, the butterfly reminds me of freedom and delicacy. It’s unique. I feel the experience I have is unique, but through all the adversity that comes with it I am free and that is something worth getting out of bed for. No one can control or contain me. I am free. The butterfly is a representation of that.
BC: What critical feedback do you most often receive?
EO: To be less expressive with my body and emotions while performing but that won’t ever happen (laughs).