We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Latin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
I find that instead of working on perfecting every project I work on, that creating as much material as possible helps me the most. Only a small percentage of anything I create is going to “good enough” for me, so the more I write, the better that small percentage will be. I allow myself to create work that I ultimately won’t release or want to use, knowing that not everything I create is going to be my best and that it’s okay as long as I am ultimately working and making new things as much as I can. I’ll be learning something no matter what the end result is of that particular project.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Right now, I’m really excited about my Big Band show on August 28th at Shape Shifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY. This was show I had planned for June of 2020, and I’m so happy it’s finally happening. I’ve taken my songs and orchestrated them for a 17 piece Big Band. Hearing my music played by so many incredible musicians is always a thrill, and I have new songs that I can’t wait to premiere. Though Big Band music has been around a while, I think that what makes this project unique is that A, Not a lot of vocalists/songwriters arrange their music for this type of setup and B. though my music definitely is influenced by jazz, I’d say it’s also R&B/soul, which is not too common with a Big Band. I’ll also be releasing a new song “I Don’t Know What’s Worse” on August 29th, a day after the show. This one has been a while in the making, so I’m looking forward to having it out in the world!
I love education, I love learning, I love being a student. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the skills I’ve learned in school and through outside classes and private lessons as well. Before I went to college, I’d never even written a song, yet I came out being able not only to write a song, but being able to arrange, produce, record, and mix it. I didn’t have plans to learn these skills, but I found that I didn’t always like giving so much responsibility to other people when it came to my music. This isn’t to say that I don’t like collaborating, I work with many other musicians and artists all the time and love the community aspect of music, but I found that sometimes it was difficult to articulate to another person what it was I wanted to achieve with a song. Now that I have the skills, it’s up to me to accomplish what I want, and I like relying on myself. I like being in the driver’s seat with my own music and not having to consult anyone or compromise with my own artistic vision. I like to talk to trusted friends and artists about my work and get insights, but at the end of the day, I get to make the decisions.
Sometimes people tell me that it’s a little too niche what I do and how I work, but I don’t really care. There’s no “correct” way to do art. My favorite artists and bands feel niche to me too, and that’s what I love about them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I LOVE THIS QUESTION. Some of these are actually things I did when my good friends from college visited me in May. I’m gonna answer this kinda messily and not super in order, but I’ll mention a bunch of things I’d want to do.
I’d take them to lunch at my favorite restaurant in the city, Veselka in the east village. We’d eat tons of pierogis. Then we’d walk to Washington square park, enjoy the music and the energy and just hang.
I am so into Citibiking, so I’d take them citibiking along the west side highway or really all around the city.
Most nights, we’d definitely check out live music. These are some of my favorite venues in the city – Rockwood Music Hall, the Blue Note, City Winery, Birdland, the Mercury Lounge, Maybe we’d go dancing afterwards at some bars clubs in the lower east side.
If they were down for it, we could get piercings done. Currently, my favorite spot for this is Red Baron Ink.
We’d probably spend some more time in the east village, hang in Tompkins Square Park, get Ralph’s ices or Davey’s Ice Cream.
I live in Murray Hill, so we’d pick up food and eat it along the East River at sunset, where the views are amazing! There’s also a restaurant near me called Norma, which I love for Italian and personal pizza.
When Broadway opens up, we’d definitely have to see a Broadway show, preferably a musical. There’s an amazing cookie place in Hell’s Kitchen called “Schmackary’s” and we’d have to get some after or before our show.
All in all, we’d spend a lot of time just walking around, as I love to explore on foot or on bike. Maybe a workout class at some point as well.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m a huge lover of education and I always have enjoyed being a student. I owe a lot of thanks to the many educators I’ve worked with throughout my life, but I will give a couple specific shoutouts. Firstly I’d mention Drew Gasparini, who is an incredible musical theatre and pop songwriter. In my teens and through early college, he was my vocal coach and songwriting teacher. He exposed me to a lot of music, when I really was only familiar with musical theatre. He introduced me to Ella Fitzgerald, Ingrid Michaelson, and even Sara Bareillis. I’d also like to thank some of my favorite college professors, who were not only extensively knowledgeable resources in front of a full classroom, but also spent a lot of time with me during office hours guiding me with my own projects. Mark Simos, Pat Pattison, Daniel Ian Smith, Gabrielle Goodman, Desiree Maira, Renato Milone, Joe Mulholland, and Simone Scazzocchio are amazing, and I owe them my gratitude
Other: TikTok: https://smarturl.it/CindyLatinTikTok
Live photo by Ariff Danial Other photos by Savanna Ruedy