To say Cairo Gold has a textured artistic style would be an understatement. With vocals reminiscent of Amy Winehouse and eclectic influences that range from east and west coast hip hop, to the classics like Nina Simone, she is cutting a refreshingly original path in the music industry. He self-titled EP debuts a healthy sampling of what she is capable of and there is more music to look forward to this year!
We had a chance to get to know this burgeoning singer/songwriter whose vocal ability is stunning and outlook on life, wise beyond her years. She confided that this wasn’t the path she saw life taking her saying, “I was not brave enough prior, I didn’t think I could sing. I always wanted to, but didn’t. And one day that changed.”
She has used music as an outlet to express her emotions and you’ll be glad she did! Learn more about Cairo Gold below, including the incredible story behind her name. Be sure to follow her journey on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
The Feature Story: You’ve got quite the story and start in the industry. Let’s start with a little of your background. What was the catalyst that got you writing and singing music in 2012? Have you always looked to be a singer/songwriter?
Cairo Gold: The catalyst was I would say was heartbreak and not really knowing what to do with it. Not necessarily just from the boyfriend type of heartbreak, I think it was just a little bit of a lifetime up to that point of emotions that really had nowhere to go. I picked up a guitar and it just seemed to be the right place to put them, you know, into music.
TFS: What is the meaning of Cairo Gold to you, or its significance as your artist/stage name?
CG: Cairo Gold is the name I go by and my stage name. It is an interesting story. I was on social media, I was on my Instagram account and somebody had direct messaged me saying, ‘Look I don’t want anything from you, just let me preface what I’m about to say. I had a dream that you were in Cairo and that you were a princess and you were sitting on a gold throne. I don’t know you but I had this dream about you and was scrolling through my discovery feed and I saw your face and you were the girl in my dreams.’
I was like whoa, such a trip. I thought it was pretty significant and so I kind of took it as a sign.
TFS: Ideally, if you could choose, what first impression would you like to make with those discovering your music?
CG: I would like to ideally give off the first impression of a strong, but very vulnerable and honest person who just wants to sing and write about things that are real and significant in my life. That can be relatable, you know. I’d like people to be able to relate and find me relatable. I think that the best part of being an artist is being able to relate and in turn find some sort of comfort and solace in that.
TFS: What are some of the influences or inspiration behind the EP?
CG: I mean sonically the inspiration was to maintain a classic sound with current sensibility. It’s always interesting approaching music nowadays, things have definitely changed. I think consumers are used to hearing a certain type of sound and people want the newest new. I definitely am into that and I love it! I have nothing against riding the current wave, but I also make sure I can maintain something classic and soulful within that. I kind of drew inspiration from what I loved growing up. I listened to a lot of Motown, a lot of classic rock, a lot of Zeppelin, a lot of Al Green, like just kind of all over the place with the classics. But you know I also have a lot of influence in hip hop, both east and west coast. And I just kind of wanted to marry the feeling of the two worlds really.
TFS: Since you are inspired by an eclectic mix of artists from Led Zeppelin to old school rap, if you could pick one of your influences to write a song with at this moment in your life, who would it be and why?
CG: That’s a good question. You caught me on that one. There is so many I could think of, but maybe I would say if its today, asking me today who I would want to write with, I’d like to probably sit down with Nina Simone. She’s got a very interesting story and I’d say she endured a significant amount of pain and shame and judgement and rose throughout that and became one of the greatest power houses of all time. I would love to sit down with her and create something with that woman.
TFS: Moving forward, what are some of the plans and goals for your EP and artistry? Will you be touring this summer?
CG: I’d say ideally touring will happen, but the first line of action is to continue putting out some more music. So we put this EP out and it kind of got like a sampler almost of these are the different styles – it’s kind of an eclectic group of music. The next things coming up are three singles, I’m currently working on them. And maybe leaning into a little bit more of the urban side of things with these next three. Plans to do that and talking to a few people about some collaborations. That’s very exciting to me right now! Then after that, we’ll see where a tour is going to lead me. Hopefully someone cool to jump on the road with, you know.
TFS: As a fresh up and coming artist in the industry right now, what do you see as some of the biggest challenges?
CG: I think that the challenge is to maintain your individuality. Social media is really dictating a lot of what artists are producing. I wouldn’t say everyone, but mostly. I think the challenges are to understand what the audience wants to hear, but also maintaining individuality. We live in a time where consumers are kind of dictating what the artists are making. Whereas back in the day, artists would dictate what consumers had the option to listen to. Artists were artists and I think it’s really important right now to maintain the mentality of like, I’m going to create this amazing music because this is authentic to me. Not because this is what everybody else is doing and what everyone thinks they want to hear right now. The challenge is to find something to surprise people and get them excited about something new.
TFS: Who are some of the bands and artists in your playlist right now?
CG: Let me pull up a playlist while I’m talking to you. I like such a wide variety of artists. I actually made a playlist the other day of what I was currently listening to. I’m listening to a lot of this writer duo that turned into performing artists called They. I love their music! Who else do I listen to right now. I’d say Post Malone is fun. There’s another band on my label that I like, The Unlikely Candidates. I think they have some really cool music. I am really loving Portugal the Man, love, love, love those dudes. Love their music! I recently had somebody get me into Nude, I think they’re really fun! I love them. And still, you know what, I still listen to the classics! I still bump Dre and Jay Z, like classic hip hop. Which I shouldn’t even call them classic right now!”