We Interview Hypnotic Actress And Singer Herizen
All about her brand new EP, visuals, Met Gala and more.
If you haven’t yet heard of the name Herizen, it’s about to get stuck in your head. The Cuban-Jamaican artist has been sending shockwaves through the TV and music industries, bagging (and nailing) main roles in Netflix’s The Get Down and USA Network’s Dare Me, whilst also releasing mesmerizing singles alongside her 2018 debut EP Come over to My House.
After praise from publications including i-D, Vogue, Complex, and Grazia, with Refinery29 affirming, “her talent is pretty difficult to forget,” the 23-year-old continues on an upward trajectory to unparalleled stardom. Herizen’s contributions towards several artistic ventures including being featured on Absofacto’s ‘Thousand Pieces’ EP and the soundtrack for Major Lazer’s documentary ‘Give Me Future’ continues to showcase her dynamic presence and versatility. As part of The FADER’s digital FORT 2.0 this year, the songwriter created small novelty ‘characters,’ of which the proceeds went to organizations and charities supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Herizen has just released her next installment of musical gifts with the highly anticipated EP Demon, featuring four magnetizing tracks, including the singles ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Range Rover’. ‘Hellboy’ introduces a new encompassing synth-heavy sound from the artist, with ‘Range Rover’ following suit. The visual for the latter – co-directed by Herizen herself – matches the moody and alluring vibe of the track, with Herizen stating it’s her “fuck you” song. “I wrote this song when I was coming out of the dark and into the light and killing what no longer served me and finally allowing myself to enjoy that chip on my shoulder no matter how much it hurt me to do so.”
Discussing the new EP, Herizen touched on her creativity and passion, affirming “I don’t want to stop making music. I’m not hiding from pain. I’m a human, and this is how I express myself.” Peep the brand new official visual for the title track ‘Demon’ here. And best believe you don’t wanna miss it.
What are the main ways in which you channel your creativity? How do you overcome a mental block?
Listening to new music/watching videos, taking long walks/drives, and sitting in silence till I go mad haha, these are some of the ways I overcome my creative blocks.
After receiving much love and support from a range of acclaimed publications, how does it feel to be so widely recognized for your craft?
Wow well, I didn’t know I was haha, so I guess that makes me feel good. Definitely gives my ego a boost! The more people I can reach with my art the better, it’s one of the reasons I do it.
Your tracks ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Range Rover’ have notably more of an alluring synth-heavy vibe than poppier tracks like ‘Social Jungle’ and ‘Focus.’ What do you think inspired your shift in sound?
Well, I write music based on how I’m feeling and the experiences I’ve had. The pop tracks you referred to were simply a different time in my life I felt more like dancing and being happy, I guess I’m going through a dark phase or coming back to it. I was always drawn to the darker side of things growing up especially with music, and not being afraid to show pain is something that really inspires me and drives me.
Your visuals are always bursting with artistry and never fail to tell a story. How do you decide on a visual to fit a track?
Thank you, I’m glad you think that! I think visuals play a very big part when it comes to writing music. For me, I can almost always write the treatment for the music video while I’m writing the song, it’s something that happens simultaneously like each song is an entire world within itself, and it makes it very exciting when I get to finally get it out of me and into the world.
Who are your top 3 music artists? This one’s tough.
Oooooo this one is tough, very! I don’t know if I can be honest to you by limiting it to 3! But I can give you 3 of my favourite artists that are inspiring me right now. Lil Peep, Mazzy Star and Grimes! I know it’s a bit all over the place but I personally think that they’re all in the same vein and make me feel the same something.
Creator of The Get Down Baz Luhrmann described you as not only a “terrific actor but a magnificent vocalist.” Just between us, which do you enjoy the most? Singing or acting?
While acting has grown on me and has become something that I enjoy doing and is very close and special to my heart, singing has been my passion since I could talk and it’s all I ever wanted to do and I will be making music till the day I die just like I’ve always planned.
Do you think being a woman of color has had any impact on you throughout your time in the industry?
It’s difficult to say because there’s so many ways to view it, it’s always only been a positive thing for me, I stand in my power and love all that I am, and I know it can be more difficult for us (women of color) but that makes me want to work even harder and become everything that I can be and make my mark! So I can encourage young girls that look like me to have no doubt or fear of conquering anything they set their mind to.
The majority of 2020 has been one huge mess. How do you ground yourself during difficult periods?
Honestly I know it sounds cheesy or cliché, but being with my family and working through all of our issues and holding space for the planets healing and continuing to create music and visuals has been really beautiful for me, and has been a nice break. That being said, I can’t wait for this to be over, I miss tour and performing for my fans and being able to meet new people, and I REALLY want to try new food! P.S. I could eat all day, I love food.
Can you give us a lil taste of what a Met Gala after party is like?
Honestly one of the best nights of my life, I can’t explain it any other way except it felt like I was Alice in Wonderland. It was an absolute dream.
What can we expect from your upcoming EP, ‘Demon’?
More pain, more pleasure, some silver and red, more heartbreak, bit of fairy dust, and medicine before bed.