We had the good fortune of connecting with Talk2Strangers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Talk2Strangers, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursue music because it’s what I was born to do. It’s that deeper calling that lies underneath the surface of everything I am. We all got gifts; some of us are more attuned to what they are & how to use them, but we all have something to share that comes from our unique experiences — I am just thankful that I even understand what my gifts are–.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
If you’re curious about why I call my music project Talk2Strangers it’s because it’s not about me. I don’t make music to be adored, to be famous or because I want to be elite. I make music because it’s therapy..it’s how I’ve translated my own trauma & the pain in the world around me. I don’t want people to see me doing my thing and think “I wana be like that!” Instead I want people to see me being so much who I am & hear me doing exactly what I was born to do, that they feel inspired to be exactly who they are & do what they’re born to do, This music is about building beloved community & providing a space for healing. It’s about how singing together lifts spirits & making rhythms together creates a collective heart beat.
Tell us about your latest release ‘Healthy Love’.
My latest single ‘Healthy Love’ produced by Troy Nōka & video created/directed by Gabriella Molina is OUT NOW on all platforms! Although ‘Healthy Love’ is fully inspired by my partner Pherian, it took around a decade & some years of enduring toxic love to get me to this point. By understanding toxicity as the “norm,” I had to learn (the hard way) how to understand my own worth & that my own needs are important, not just repeating what feels familiar. So even though it’s a total mushy, love song for a dude —the under current is the journey of divine self-love—something I’m constantly working toward, but happy to say I’m on the voyage.
What gave the director/creator, Gabriella Molina, the inspiration to make the ‘Healthy Love’ video?
Molina: Healthy Love came at a time for both Lo (Talk2Strangers) & I when we were making big leaps in healing within relationships. I’m pretty sure Lo wanted to work with me on this song because she knew I could relate and had similar struggles on the journey to finding a remnant of what a healthy love could look like. When you start to get a taste, & the nightmares start to slowly fade into the background, it’s like waking up into a new world, but there is no rosy filter, you don’t have to rub your eyes, it’s just there sparkling before you, a possibility of feeling and clarity you didn’t know was there all along.
It’s not Disney, it’s a real & grounded story that includes the depth carved form a long trudged path, it’s in the earth. It’s a lot to take in, & that overwhelming glory & abundance is what I aimed to create in the animation. Like the scent of a flower you want to share with the world, you want to say “ah, it’s here, here… can’t you smell it?” but you have to clear your nostrils, you have to travel through the mud, through the cave to arrive at the garden. You’ll only know when you have arrived, & keep arriving, that such beauty was possible.
How was it working with Lo aka Talk2Strangers on this project?
Molina: Working with Lo was a big joy, we both are Capricorns and particular about our craft and are hardworking, determined earthy sisters. There were many times throughout the process she would share an idea with me and I would say “Yep! Already on it,” like we were both able to see the vision of this thing. And a few times she had ideas I didn’t, that really made it a great collaboration. There will surely be more co-creation of music and art babies in the future.
Watch the Healthy Love video here!
*It is recommended that you watch the video in 4K, with the closed captions on*
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I have to shoutout my Pappy, Robert P. LeChien, who left this world 8/31/17. He was my best friend & biggest fan & he always supported me to pursue my dreams. Also grateful for my mom, Barbara; my step-mom, Georgiann; my 2 older brothers, Keith & Jay, & their wives, Heather & Beth. And a special thanks goes to my 7 nieces & nephews (Clarence, Josephine, Elizabeth, Miles, Avery, August & Bennett) who put up with receiving my songs as gifts instead of getting toys,
Shout out to my partner Pherian Williams, who is my next biggest fan. He hypes me up, inspires me, gives me roots, & is consistently there to help me with anything I need whether it’s deciding on cover art, or if it’s being in one of my music videos. We jam, we’re playful, & we love each other knowing life is a gift & time is sacred. Yall can thank Pherian for ‘Healthy Love'<3
Shout out to Troy Nōka, my producer/good friend. I’m eternally grateful for his never-ending pool of creativity & authenticity that he magically folds into every track. Thankful for his patience to help me continue to grow as an artist. Shoutout to Wiz Up Entertainment! Speaking of producers, shout out to Cole MGN for producing my first 3 singles & for always giving me the guidance to be empowered to advocate for myself in this hard to navigate music industry.
Shout out to my bestie/brother Adán Roberto Martinez-Kee for always being there to truly listen & for supporting me. Shout out to Black Monroe aka Stiletto Falsetto for always asking me to play shows with her & being an amazing support/sister in music & in life, shout out to the incredible Mimi Haddon for being the costume queen & providing me with the signature Talk2Strangers’ looks, & shout out to Jacquie Li for being an amazing photographer, MUA & overall lovely being & dear friend. Big shout out to the magnificent Gabriella Molina who put her heart & soul into the creation of the ‘Healthy Love’ music video. So thankful to my Talk2Strangers team!!!
The rest of my gratitude is owed to the people I’ve been honored to sing with, fanboi over, or play shows with in LA who have deeply inspired me. The people who pave their own way: the revolutionaries, the musicians/artists who will undoubtedly be in documentaries & who shape LA (& beyond) music/art culture as we know it today! There are too many to name, but some of those artists are: The Uhuruverse, Sunny War, Tolliver, Eddington.Again, & Jupiter Black. Look up their works & be MOVED!
Talk2Strangers is what it is because of the support from my loved ones, the folks interested in my music, & because of the incredible music community I am a part of in LA. SHOUTOUT TO EVERYONE who listens, shares, & sings with me!!!
1. Profile Photograph from Jacquie Li 2. Still from Healthy Love video created/directed by Gabriella Molina 3. Cover art Collaboration- Photo Cred: Jacquie Li; Composition: Gabriella Molina 4.-7. Screenshots from Healthy Love video (please watch the video in 4k & with CC on for the highest quality & best experience) 8. Photograph by Jacquie Li