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Based out of Brooklyn, NY, songwriter Nicole Rodriguez has been honing her craft under the name Pearla exploring a diverse range of sounds and influences. Her new single “Somewhere” builds off of her EP release earlier this year and finds Rodriguez employing her dynamic vocal range to a mesmerizing effect.
To learn more about this artist on the rise, we sent Pearla some interview questions. Check it all out while streaming “Somewhere” below and look for more from Pearla soon.
Hi, Pearla! Congrats on your new single. Can you tell us a little more on who you are and how you first got into making music?
Hi, thank you! I am a singer/songwriter from Freehold, New Jersey, now based in Brooklyn, New York. I really like monkeys and poetry and I always keep Cheerios by my bed. I have been singing since before I can remember and writing songs since I was about 12. My grandpa was a musician named Jeff Pearl and I named my project “Pearla” after he passed as a tribute to him.
What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?
I usually always write alone with a guitar, and only when it is absolutely necessary to get something off of my chest (which is often). I love Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, and I feel really inspired by Joanna Newsom, Bjork, Conor Oberst and Fiona Apple.
What is “Somewhere” about? How did it come to be?
“Somewhere” is about feeling lost. I wrote it during a time when I felt like I had no control over my life. I started having these very physical panic attacks but I didn’t know what they were at the time. I actually had one in the session for “Somewhere.” I asked my collaborator Jon Buscema to take me to the hospital because I was getting really itchy and my mouth started tasting like pennies and he was like “dude, you are having a panic attack” and then started playing those bells that are at the beginning of “Somewhere.” And then all of a sudden, everything I was struggling with came to the surface and turned into a song. I definitely felt much better after writing it.
“Somewhere” is a bit more electronic than your previous releases. How did you arrive at this sound?
This one was a collaboration with a good friend and producer Jon Buscema. I rarely ever do collaborations but Jon really helped me to tap into a side of myself that I hadn’t explored before. We also didn’t want to have any boundaries while we were creating, and all of these sounds were very explicit representations of how I was feeling at the time.
Is “Somewhere” indicative of where your sound is headed on your new album?
Like I said, I don’t like setting those types of boundaries when I create. The one thing I can promise is that the sound will always reflect the emotions that drive the song.
Any new artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto?
I love the new Phoebe Bridgers album Stranger in the Alps.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?
I am also playing a show at Bushwick Public House on November 10th. Opening for this awesome Toronto band called Little Coyote. Time TBA.
Any parting thoughts? Open platform!
Thanks for listening!