Eileen: A bit about the author
Eileen Syrop is the founder of Bay Creatives; an integral addition to nasi magazine; and a singer, songwriter, and young creative in the Bay Area just forging her way. Read on for some of her own responses to questions she's been asking other artists in the making of Issue 001.
What do you do creatively?
It depends on how I’m feeling. Occasionally I’m messing around with graphic design or making oil paintings. Sometimes I’m producing beats on Logic or doing photo shoots. Most of the time I’m curating events / art shows and recording vocals.
When and why did you start?
Music is my main focus now. I’ve been singing my whole life and I’ve been playing piano for almost 10 years. I started producing in 2013 after downloading Nano Studio for iPhone. I got more serious about it all in 2014 when I was living in SF taking pre-college courses at the Academy of Art University. I was all over the place with my art while almost everyone had one focus they excelled in. I decided to experiment and see what would happen if I just dropped my other pursuits and focused on making music, producing complete tracks and developing the lyrics I had saved in voice memos and notes. That experiment turned into a way of life for the years to come.
Where are you from? Where are you currently based?
Born, raised, and currently living in Hayward, CA. But you’ll usually catch me in Oakland or SF.
How has where you’re from influenced your art?
There’s no place like the Bay. It’s so diverse in culture and the people are simply nice. There are so many places to pull inspiration from, people are so happy to share their ideas and ultimately their version of success. Everyone’s rooting for each other. You’re never marginalized to one art form, medium, style - there’s room for it all. I’ve always felt free to create whatever . Making art, surviving, it’s not a competition out here. We’re all trying to make do with what we’ve got and help each other in any way we can. It’s not like that 100%, but it’s like that here more than any other place I’ve ever been.
What inspires your work?
I find inspiration in everything. It’s everywhere without trying to be. The most common places are experiences I’ve had, people that have influenced me, the way I feel about something or someone. I almost feel like everything I do is to have more to sing about. Like heartbreak for example. I don’t mind it because it makes for stronger lyrics.
Why do you make music?
I couldn’t NOT make music even if I tried. I come up with at least a new song a day without even trying. Lyrics and melodies constantly flow into my head — it’s kind of crazy actually. Sometimes, I’ll just be running errands or in class doing work and a whole chorus to a song will just surface in my head. I have hundreds of these ideas recorded as voice memos on my phone, as pages and pages of lyrics in my notes app. It’s just a matter of investing time to develop the ideas I have stored. I get super overwhelmed with everything in my life and out of it. Simply existing is so much for me to process! Making music helps me process that sense of being overwhelmed, it helps me process any sort of experience or feeling — have a better understanding of it and maybe help anyone else feeling the same thing come to a better understanding as well.
What are you currently working on?
I’m getting a debut album organized, but since the debut is at its very starting stage (refining the sound I want to go for, people I want to work with, concepts to focus on, etc.), I’m working on a smaller, casual release in the meantime. I’m developing music video concepts as well.
What do you have planned for the future?
Better quality music with a distinct sound that can’t be compared with any other artist’s. Everything I’ve put out is so flawed (to my ears at least) because I’m always rushing the process. I’m 17 trying to get through my last year of high school, get into a good college, trying to support the creative community by throwing collaborative events, running Bay Creatives, working multiple jobs to afford it all, and a bunch of other pursuits. I have so many ideas just waiting to be expanded upon and it drives me crazy. I’m planning on taking a gap year when I graduate so that I can try to solely pursue music and see where it takes me. The way I see it, I’m currently doing a lot WITH my focus being split between school, work, and event-throwing. If I got rid of all of those factors and did nothing but make music, I think I could create something amazing…we’ll see.
Check out her work at eileenshoji.com
By Eileen Syrop
Photos by Loren Ochoa