Winter is coming, which means one thing and one thing only: cuffing season has arrived. Between the frantic rush to find someone to cosy up to, rest assured there will be the fair share of toxic masculinity and dating horror stories to fill up your WhatsApp group chats. And one artist who has made it her mission to regale us with her insight and messages of of empowerment is self-proclaimed “cyber-pop” figurehead Princess Cyberspace.
The multi-media art project of model, actress, and songwriter Rebecca L’Amore Morgiewicz, LA-hailed Princess Cyberspace has no qualms about dishing out truths with her sombre amalgamation of warped-electronica-meets-dream-pop with mesmerising vocals – this time exploring toxic relationships in the middle of a pandemic when it cam feel like there is “no escape”. And the visuals are a trippy feverdream of scenic desert-shot scenes spliced with haunting imagery of Morgiewicz restrained to a bed.
We caught up with the artist and talked lockdown, love in the time of apocalypse, and making music for aliens…
Hi Rebecca, how has lockdown been for you? How do you think this time has impacted your music and creativity?
Hi! Lockdown has been boring as hell for me. I am a very extroverted person and love to host events and DJ, so ever since bars and clubs have been closed down, I have been forced to become more of an indoor cat rather than an outdoor cat. With that being said, my creativity has been a bit thwarted. DJing has come to a halt, as I do not feel very inspired by livestreams without a live audience, and music/film/video production has been difficult because a lot of people are afraid to interact in person. Unfortunately, independent avant-garde artists are seen as extremely non-essential. Maybe this can be seen and heard in my latest work? I guess that is up to the person who is consuming it.
Who did you grow up listening to? And where do you pull most influence from?
I grew up listening to David Bowie, The Smiths, The Who, Weezer, and No Doubt. I would go into my family’s record collection and choose whichever CDs had the best album covers and beats. I would say, at a young age, I was mostly influenced by David Bowie and The Smiths. As I grew older and began to explore more sounds, I began to feel inspired by The Velvet Underground and Nico, Lady Gaga, Grimes, and Prince. However, to this day, my inspiration is changing daily. Primarily my inspiration comes from popular vintage music from Europe and North America.
Why the name Princess Cyberspace?
Prior to moving to Los Angeles, I was living in Boston/Berlin and working in mobile technology. I’ve always been a wordsmith of sorts and wanted a website, Instagram and Soundcloud for my music, and art that described a hot girl in tech (because this was very rare at the time). I went through various options and eventually found that Princess Cyberspace was available on all platforms. Lucky me. It just stuck.
How would you describe your genre?
My latest song/music film, “Born To Suffer,” is Avant Garde with a Nu Nu Wav twist.
Congratulations on “Born To Suffer” – what is the song about?
“Born To Suffer” is a song about being stuck in a toxic relationship and not able to escape it because of Stockholm Syndrome and the fear of being alone during an ‘apocalyptic’ time. This song, like most of my music, explores the fine lines between love vs. hate and right vs. wrong.
Why do you think this song is important in 2020 at such an uncertain and tumultuous time?
I think the beat itself is ominous and unsure. Prior to making the song, Ari Ingber (who produced the beat) and I went for a hike. This was exactly when COVID-19 was announced and all air travel was halted. Normally there are 100s of airplanes in the sky flying in-and-out of Los Angeles. There were absolutely no airplanes in the sky. This was ominous. I could just feel the emptiness and pain of society when I wrote this. I truly can’t explain how or why I felt this, but I just did. I guess that is what makes me a true popular culture artist – I am able to feel the emotions of the world/universe as a whole and digest it into art.
The video is retro/nostalgic but has an element of futurism to it – what were you trying to convey?
I was trying to convey visually exactly how I felt while making the song. I also gave the editor, Adrian Orbe, a lot of creative freedom. Him and I see eye-to-eye when it comes to art (we are both half Filipino, I wonder if this has anything to do with it?). Having worked with him before, I just knew that it was going to work out. I just have to describe what I want to him, and he creates it. It’s like magic, really.
You’ve explored themes of clinical depression, Stockholm Syndrome, toxic relationships, and psychedelics in your music – how is it delving into themes so personal to you?
Expressing themes and ideas that are so personal is definitely uncomfortable, especially when you are not only the performing artist, but also the writer and producer. However, I hope that people can truly enjoy, connect, and relate to the art, and feel compelled to share it with others who have great taste.
What do you hope people will take from listening to your music?
As an independent avante-garde artist, I feel as though I am always a few years ahead of the curb in America. From my music films, I hope that people can relate. I also hope to inspire other women in the arts to express themselves and not be afraid to take risks for their art. And also to be fearless in an economy/society that certainly doesn’t favour powerful women from diverse backgrounds.
What’s next for you and what are you excited about in 2020?
It would be nice to eventually be signed to a label as an artist because it is very difficult to do all of this on my own. If I do get to that point, however, I certainly want to make sure that my creativity isn’t hindered, but instead embellished and documented properly to leave a legacy that will continue to inspire people/androids/aliens forever.