When we first spoke to Cristina Lizzul almost two years ago, she had just put out her debut EP, Percipience and gave us some insight to her life as a Singer/Actress living between Los Angeles and Italy. She's proven herself to be an artist who's dedicated to the grind of making her dreams a reality as well as one who's passionate about sharing her raw experiences; channeling her thoughts and feelings through the art creative expression. Whether it's through an acting role, or writing a song, one of her main goals is to create something that people can feel; something they can relate to.
Cristina took a hiatus from releasing music in order to craft something reflective of this goal towards achieving authenticity. "I've still been working in the studio, but I wanted to make sure that the next thing I put out was perfect and mind-blowing... I didn't want to put out anything mediocre," she explained. "For the first year I was doing music, I had a lot of haters telling me I couldn't do both things at the same time and that I had to choose one or else I wouldn't be successful at either of them. I was naive and I didn't have the confidence that I have now, so I listened to them at first... But now when I think about it, it's like — hell no! Nobody has the right to tell me how to express myself creatively. I've learned to follow the music; music is sort of like a path for me... So I keep doing it. I keep writing, keep expressing because with everything I go through in my personal life, or even in the acting life, music is a path that's guiding me in a sense."
Following this path lead Cristina to create a lot of songs in the making of her upcoming project that she anticipates will be a full album. The first single she shared with us this past week, also accompanied by a new video was, "Apologies."
Of course we had to know -- what was the inspiration behind this track?
"I had broken up with a boyfriend that I had a year ago and I felt pretty bad about it. I jumped into something too quick and felt that we just weren't meant to be together; we didn't have much in common. It wasn't necessarily a relationship that I wanted... I jumped into it because I was afraid of being alone. I was like, 'He's a good guy, he cares about me, let's try it.' Then I eventually realized that, that's not what I wanted. I was kind of harsh with the way I broke up with him because it was out of the blue. I woke up one day and I was like, 'We're done.' We had a very emotional conversation and I'm very sensitive so the fact that I hurt him, hurt me — he was a good guy and didn't deserve it.
I find it fascinating that, in love, the people who don't fuck up are the ones that always get hurt. So this song was primarily used to apologize to him because I felt bad about it. I felt bad about hurting someone that especially cared about me and who meant a lot to me because I go by the saying, 'If you can't help anyone in life, at least don't hurt them.'"
Cristina went on to explain that, "Apologies" is going to be the first track to the album because she feels as though it's a song that really reflects a part of her. "I feel like I'm the type of person who, when I mess up with you, whether it's a relationship or a friendship, I really put a hand at my conscience and try to see where I messed up. I'll come and apologize to you and try to be as humble as I possibly can be; put my ego and pride aside," she explained. "This song reflects that aspect of my personality that I want to show on my album. Every song represents a thought or an aspect of my personality."
With a new project on the way, a busy schedule is there to complement it... But no matter how intense the grind gets, Cristina prioritizes balancing her mental, physical, and spiritual health throughout the process.
"I have my artist life and then I have the Cristina life where it's just running around and doing a bunch of errands — grocery shopping and things like that. I work out five to six times a week; I really enjoy working out, so I go to a 24 hour gym and do weights and cardio. I eat as healthy as possible and, I haven't gone lately, but I go to the mediation center. I feel like we should treat the mind and the soul the same way we treat our bodies at the gym — we've got to train the mind and the soul, also. At the end of the day, the only thing we can control, and the most powerful thing, is the mind... Yet for some reason, that seems to be the thing we have the most trouble with. To take care of myself, I have conversations with myself, express myself, work on myself; try to better myself every day mentally, physically, spiritually, and be very aware of my actions and how I interact with people."
Musically inspired by artists like Jhene Aiko and SZA, Cristina's music is a message that evolves just as she does. It's an open letter, in a sense... A vulnerable self-reflection which is why when she's songwriting, it's important that her setting is intimate and comfortable.
"With my upcoming project, I talk a lot about sacrifice, especially when it comes to struggling artists. I talk about sacrifice in my career, in life, in love and relationships... That's the overall topic.
I feel like I would like to be respected and acknowledged a little more. I'd like to try to help and heal people the way this album is healing me — I'd like to pass that along. There's a lot of songs people can relate to that a very vulnerable, very true. I'm revealing things that I've never revealed before. When I listen to my favorite artist's music, it makes me feel something. That's what I want to achieve. I want to make music where people are like, 'That made me feel something. I felt that, I relate to it.'"
The reality of the world today shows that, as a whole, we could use a lot of healing. More courage to be vulnerable, more courage to love, more courage to accept and respect people for who they are and what their creative contributions represent... But that type of healing always starts from within. Before we can change the world, we've got to master self-awareness, right?
From Cristina's perspective, "Even the most successful artists still have problems. Making it isn't the solution to the problems, money (yes it helps) isn't the solution to the problems either. I think it's important to find a peace within ourselves right now, while we're still in this position as humans."
SUNDAY WITH CRISTINA
"They always have a farmer's market down the street from my house, so I try to go there. I didn't go last week, but when I go, I always get these nice fresh strawberries and some fish. Then I've been having studio sessions on Sundays. My engineer, Sincere, will bring his equipment over and we just record; lay down music and vocals. Then sometimes I go to the gym."
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.