FEATURES, MUSIC

Meet Bianca Varela, A Songstress on the Rise

Get to know LA-based singer Bianca Varela as she speaks on her upbringing, her craft, and plans for her music career.

In a candid interview, the LA-based songstress tells her own story.

Los Angeles is a nesting ground for talent in the music industry and to this day remains the city of dreams. For those independent artists still operating below the radar of mainstream music, they’re grinding hard to make their presence known and their goal to make it to the top is what keeps them going. Plenty of these artists are patiently waiting for the chance to share their talents and stories with the masses. LA native Bianca Varela is one of those artists who’s determined to let hers be known.

Hailing all the way from Los Angeles, CA, singer-songwriter Bianca Varela is making strides to take her career as an independent artist to the next level. Varela is one of those rare gems you seldom come across in the industry. She’s a young, passionate artist who cares deeply for her craft, drawing a lot of inspiration for her music from her own personal experiences. Varela’s music is unique and genuine as all her lyrics come directly from her. Her huge imagination challenges her creativity and allows her to share her vulnerabilities in her music. She’s been grinding on her own for four years now and finally she’s getting a chance to share what she’s been working on with her forthcoming project, CoolKids Travel.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with Bianca about her life growing up, getting involved in music, and the vision behind her new project.

For those that don’t know already, who is BIANCA exactly?

Bianca is a singer/ songwriter based in LA, born and raised in the beautiful city of Los Angeles.

Where exactly in LA are you from?

I grew up in Whittier and I always lived in multiple cities, but my main base is for sure Whittier, CA.

What’s your favorite part about the music scene in LA right now?

Well for me being an independent artist it’s allowing me to have my own creativity in my own projects and meeting different people, of course, and different producers. Being able to create whatever I want to create and being my own voice. I think that’s really huge right now in the industry. I’ve met beautiful people along the way during my career.

You started singing when you were really young, correct?

Yes, I was at my very first performance, that I could remember, in kindergarten. I got started in church, like in the choir, and from the choir I jumped into acting and after acting I just kept going from there.

What made you get into acting so young?

My parents were really busy with work, so it was kind of something to keep myself busy and I really did enjoy it and I actually was very good at acting. It was more so musical theater and different plays and such.

You were into poetry before you started writing songs?

Yeah when I was eight years old I would write different poems for my crushes [laughs], it was so cute. I had a like little diary with a tiny locket, so I started from there. Then my dad’s best friend was the one who introduced me to song structure and songwriting and from poetry we took it to lyrics and then from lyrics we took it to music. He really sat down with me, he would come maybe three times a week for a good six months and we would just jam out. He would play his guitar and just be like “how does this make you feel?” It makes me feel sad. Then “what does this make you feel?” It makes me feel happy. So he’d like start humming, then I’m like “what do I hum?” And he’s like anything, anything that you feel is going to connect with the melody I’m playing right now. From there he taught me how to do different melodies and from the melodies we’d plug in the lyrics. He really helped me out with song structure.

You had a really good foundation in music to be so young.

Yeah I would say, only because I was very interested in it and I kept doing it. My dad even bought me my own guitar when I was like thirteen and I would just stay on the guitar writing music for hours and hours. It was like my own therapy where I’m able to be lost within myself and be able to communicate how I felt.

Besides the guitar what other instruments do you play?

I play the piano, my skills are not that sharp, but I definitely have an ear. My mom actually threw my guitar out when I was eighteen so I stopped playing. Yeah I was really upset [laughs].

Would you ever pick up a guitar again?

Yeah I would, but I love my nails so I don’t know {laughs] you know. And I would play until my thumbs were bleeding so I don’t know if I would like that pain anymore, but I’m pretty sure I could pick it back up with some practice.

What made you take a career in music serious?

So after high school I went to a performing arts school for musical theater and every practice room had pianos inside. I would find myself songwriting and playing with the piano instead of doing my homework. I took extra classes for songwriting and I would talk to my professors about my music and different songwriting and they saw a lot of potential in me. Then it just finally clicked while I was in the practice room and I said, “maybe I should be my own artist because I can’t relate to these characters.” I felt so cheesy, and nothing I felt was genuine or real to me. So then I was like maybe I should be an artist or maybe I should song-write, maybe this is my path instead. So I dropped out of college, I was in New York at the time, I went back to LA and I started contacting different friends who were in the music business and I just went right into it. They showed me different tactics, programs and from there I just kept going with it.

Some of your biggest influences include Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, and Pharrell, growing up why was it so hard to access their music?

So I grew up in a very strict family, I wasn’t really allowed to listen to any of their music. I would sneak around and listen to it. I absolutely loved their sounds and the visuals they had behind the music. I was just so drawn to it to the point where I would watch their music videos over and over again practicing the dance moves [laughs]. You know that was me, I was the kid that was in front of the mirror for hours and locked up in the room just practicing the dance routines from Ciara and Missy Elliott.

What do you struggle with the most as an independent artist?

The music industry can be expensive, but over the years and with my experience I’ve had a lot of people believe in me, so I think it’s mostly about getting people’s support and having them believe in you and in your projects and having people help you. I’ve been doing this professionally for four years, but two years actually pushing out content and it was all about finding my sound, my message, what I wanted to deliver, what I wanted to create, and how I wanted my image to be portrayed. So that’s just all those little things you have to think about being an independent artist and I also thank God I have different mentors that have helped me in the process of my music career and I was able to get guidance from them from a marketing standpoint. So it all ties in together and it’s also a business as well, so it’s just putting yourself out there and having good people surrounding you who believe in you and help guide you.

It’s all good though [laughs].

How would you sum up your sound?

I would say rhythmic pop.

What kind of styles do you dabble in?

I say I have more of a colorful palette if that all makes sense, very smooth and melodic. That’s why I say rhythmic pop because I have a very high vocal range as well so I use my head voice or my mixed voice, depending on the song and what I create that day.

You have a new project releasing soon called “CoolKids Travel,” can you tell us what we can expect from it?

CoolKids Travel is a project for me where I was able to experience myself in the night scene of LA as well as the relationships that I’ve encountered throughout my years of doing this project. You’re going to hear a lot of dark music, very real lyrics, it’s just very real to me. Overall it just has a dark sound combined with some bright elements. I’m actually really excited about it I’ve been working on it for two years now.

Does the title of the project have a deeper meaning?

There’s a lot of kids that are traveling (influencers) I tied what social media is bringing into the project. On the project I’m experiencing different things and finding myself.

You put out the video for your song “Summer 18” not too long ago, what was the inspiration behind that track?

I actually wrote that in 2017, I was going through a break up. It was basically me saying goodbye to my summer lover and wanting a better future for myself.

Who are some artists you hope to work with in the future?

Benny Blanco (write with him), Beyonce, Missy Elliott, and Ariana Grande.

What’s your mindset for your career as we start the new year?

My outlook is always to create and keep pushing the content, just creating as much as I possibly can. Using my experiences in the past and learning from my mistakes to move forward. Now I’m working with new creative people more in a professional setting so I’m excited to experience that at the top of the year. Right now I’m still in the studio writing and creating more music, putting my ideas together.

Where do you see your career going within the next few years?

I’d like to be on tour, signed, and have an album, I would love that.

Do you have any labels in particular you’re looking at?

Interscope, that’s the dream and the goal.

What advice do you have for other independent artists who are working hard to follow their dreams?

Never give up on your dream, if it’s your passion keep working 110%. You work as if there’s no tomorrow. Make sure your content is top quality, everything is organized, and have a good team behind you. Don’t waste people’s time, don’t be lazy, and have a lot of patience. If you believe in yourself and you’re working as hard as you should be, then everything will align.

 BIANCA ON TWITTER

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