I recently had the privilege of interviewing pop vocal group Cimorelli, comprised of siblings Christina, Katherine, Lisa, Amy, Lauren and Danielle; via email as they unveil their newest release I Love You Or Whatever EP just this past week. We discussed the album, what the band wants listeners to hear and gain from these honest and inspiring melodies, as well as their favourite songs to record. Check out the interview below with Katherine Cimorelli (third from left in the above picture), and be sure to check out the new album on iTunes and on Spotify.
- Congratulations guys, on your brand new EP I Love You Or Whatever; this past few years must be quite the journey- can you tell us a bit about how the EP came about? What is the heart behind these songs and what do you hope listeners take away from listening to the project?
Thank you so much! We are SO excited about the new EP. So the inspiration came a while ago. The idea was that we wanted to create some really fun, summer jams people could listen to and have fun with. We’ve written a lot of deeper, more meaningful message type songs, as well as a lot of heartbreak ballads. So, even though these aren’t all love songs, we wanted to try something a little different that would be really fun and upbeat!
- For those who aren’t familiar with you and your music, can you give us a quick description of your music style, and also a brief synopsis of how you all came together as a band, and how you all decided to be a part of the music industry?
Yes! Our music style is definitely pop, but there’s a lot of depth to it, and there are a lot of other influences which come from how musically diverse all of our tastes are.
So we are all sisters and we grew up in a family of 11 kids. Our mom is a classical pianist and she homeschooled us and taught us all to sing at a really young age. We started our band in 2007 when us older girls were all teenagers and the younger girls were kids and pre-teens! We had a viral YouTube cover of Party in The USA in 2009 that connected us with the music industry. We moved down to LA in 2010 and signed with Island Records under Universal and spent 5 years working in LA in the music industry.
We did not feel like LA and a traditional record label route was a good fit for us, so in 2015 we split from our label and moved to Nashville. We have been running our band on our own for 3 years now with the help of our parents which has been awesome! We’ve released 3 full length albums, toured the world, and written a book, all on our own! We just released our new EP and we are playing some US shows! On a personal note, our oldest sister, Christina, is getting married this fall so that’s definitely a big thing in our lives right now as well!
- With these melodies (apart from the 3 spoken word tracks) being very ‘pop’; were there any artists in either the mainstream or Christian industry that influenced you when recording this EP? When making the EP, which music style (or even theme) came to you the easiest, and which style did you feel brought you out of your comfort zone in a good way? Generally, do you find it easier writing ‘faith based’ songs or relationship songs?
One of our inspirations was Katy Perry’s big, fun pop sound. And there are some EDM influences as well. Pop has always been natural to us so the whole EP came pretty naturally! We have been progressively being more hands on as we make new albums, so this one was our most hands on one, with a few other musicians assisting us on the tracks.
I would say it’s different for each of us. We all have totally different writing styles. We enjoy writing a variety of songs and I don’t think either style was too challenging, because faith and relationships are both such huge parts of our lives!
- Were there any difficult songs to write, sing or even record, either because they were based on personal experiences of yourself or others? What made you decide that ‘Superstar’ would be the first ‘single’ (which is pretty cool by the way!)?
Doing the spoken word pieces was totally foreign to us, so that was probably the hardest! We had never done tracks like that so it definitely pushed us out of our comfort zones. We love the artsy feel they added to the project though!
And we thought Superstar would be a fun lead cause it’s so ear-catching. Lisa did such a great job on the melody!
- As this is the fourth time you’ve used a pre-order option for fans to be more involved in your music (this time directly on your website as opposed to the last three on Pledgemusic), can you give us a quick rundown as to what you think the benefits of interacting with your fans on such a very personal level are. And for those of us not yet supporting you on patreon, can you also give us a quick encouragement as to why we should be supporting you guys?
Doing our first three full length albums on Pledge Music was such a great experience. We learned so much about how you could take an album from simply a collection of songs to buy, to being an actual experience for our fans. We are always pushing ourselves to go above and beyond for our fans, so we continually try to create new opportunities to interact with them! We went even further on this album and we’ve been doing tons of fun, interactive activities with our fans which has been awesome.
We would LOVE for you guys to support us on Patreon! If you don’t know what it is, Patreon is a platform where you can support our music and art financially, and in exchange you get cool rewards, such as exclusive and very personal videos we don’t post anywhere else, Skypes with us, and private livestreams! It’s a lot of fun and the fans who have joined have been loving it.
- As siblings, what are the challenges of working together, and having a barrier in place- the sister/colleague barrier, or do you guys act the same when working together and just hanging out? Are there any sibling bands (like for KING & COUNTRY, The Band Perry, Barlowgirl, About A Mile, OBB, Bonray, needtobreathe) that inspire you to be better at being a sibling band? What does working with family mean to you and what has God taught you through this ongoing process? Do you envision that working with family will be something that will be naturally ongoing in the near future- will your brothers join Cimorelli soon-ish (or maybe future spouses…)?
Working with your siblings can be challenging, because you have years of family history that can cause tension and disagreements. But there is also a level of honesty that is very helpful. We have thick skins with each other- bouncing ideas around and getting a “rejection” doesn’t hurt, cause you know it’s not personal. Also, there’s a sibling energy that is so unique and untouchable. We wouldn’t trade that for anything! In the end, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
I don’t even know what sibling group to compare us to! Maybe the Gardiner sisters? They’re the only other ones who have 6 sisters like us! We are actually great friends with them. They’re such amazing people!!
I think no matter where life takes us, we’ll always collab together in different ways. It’s just very natural for us that way!
- Do you guys have any regrets with leaving your label in 2014? As an unsigned artist, can you tell us your highs and lows, and what means the most to you when a listener connects with your music and their life is forever changed?
Absolutely no regrets! We love living in Nashville and doing it on our own. We learned a lot going the traditional route, but being independent is so incredibly rewarding. It’s a LOT of work, and it’s taken years to try to get down the organization of something so massive. We are still perfecting it, and that can be hard, but being your own boss is the best!
The fact that our music can connect with so many people is amazing. All we’ve wanted was to be positive role models, and we made a lot of sacrifices along the way to stick to that. The fact that we can positively influence people’s lives is an amazing gift and we don’t take it for granted!
- As you guys are filming cover videos every week, as well as inspirational/personal/motivational videos as well (e.g. ‘Who knows me better’, ‘What’s wrong with our fingers’, ‘Our morning routines’, ‘Our biggest insecurities’, ‘Being fake on social media’, etc); how do you guys come up with fresh ideas every week so that the videos don’t feel stale? How do you guys decide on the cover to record, where to film, and who sings which part?
We brainstorm on a regular basis and we are always on the lookout for new content ideas! We either do what worked well in the past, or we ask friends what their ideas are. As for covers, we choose from what’s popular or a great classic. And we know our voices so well that it’s easy to determine who should sing what part.
- What is next for Cimorelli in 2018? The Cimorelli Podcast Season 2? World tour next year? What do you hope God will convey, to yourself and others, as you tour and spread the message of God’s love to listeners and concert-goers? Are there any artists you would love to tour/write/record with if given the chance?
We for sure want to continue with our podcast!! We have some exciting projects coming out, but we can’t announce them yet, so stay tuned!
And we are so thankful to be able to spread light and positivity. We hope God will continue to use us as voices of Hope, that there is a better life out there than what this world has to offer!
- Next year is 10 years since you guys have been in a band, in an official capacity (10 years since you guys uploaded the Party In The USA cover!). What are some of the things you would like to do next year to celebrate? Is there a greatest hits project in the works (with some songs re-recorded)? Or maybe a hymns album, live CD/DVD, remix or acoustic album? Or all of the above? Perhaps a full-on southern gospel/bluegrass album or a rap album like Lecrae or NF? [just basically, any genre you haven’t recorded in before!]
Personally, we have been learning to treat ourselves a little more lately. As our YouTube and streaming numbers have been climbing, we’ve been talking about possibly doing a girls trip somewhere!
We are not quite sure, but maybe something in the film or TV or even documentary realm! Stay tuned! 🙂
- For anyone who is reading this interview and is feeling discouraged or down, either because of something in their life currently or something spoken over them, what can you say to them?
You have to remember that life is a series of hills and valleys. Sometimes you’re stuck on a steep, exhausting hill, wondering how you’re going to get to the top. But then you realize that when you get to the top, you see an incredible, breathtaking view- a new perspective. We would encourage people not to give up- if things are bad, they will not be this way forever! You never know what amazing “view” is coming up next.
- Other than I Love You Or Whatever, your own album; has there been an album that released in 2018 that has made an impact in your walk with God thus far? Is there any new album (that hasn’t released yet, and will later on in 2018) that you are excited to listen to in the near future? For me personally, I’m psyched to listen to new albums from Building 429 (Live The Journey), Austin French (Wide Open), for KING & COUNTRY (Burn The Ships) and Lauren Daigle (Look Up Child)!
We love For King and Country and we are excited to hear their new music!! And we love Cory Asbury’s song Reckless Love. We’ve been playing that live at our shows and it’s making a big impact on us!
- Are there any countries that you haven’t visited yet that you would love to travel to for concerts and/or just for holiday?
Yes- Australia! We haven’t been there yet and it’s such a a bummer. Hopefully we can get over there soon! Also, it would be really fun to do a girls trip to Hawaii!
- Are there any parting words, encouragements or anything else you want to share to listeners of your music that you haven’t discussed in this interview yet? How can fans connect with you via social media?
Thank you so much for reading this! We hope you will listen to our music whenever things are down, or even to celebrate when things are going well! We just want to create art that will be there for people no matter what, so hopefully it inspires people!
We are on YouTube (@cimorellitheband), Instagram (@cimorelliband), Facebook (Cimorelli), Musical.Ly and Twitter! We would love to connect with y’all there! Thanks so much for everything!
Be sure to listen to Cimorelli’s new EP I Love You Or Whatever that is now available everywhere! Also, check out their youtube page here, their patreon page here, and read our review of I Love You Or Whatever here as well. Below are also full streams of some of their past albums! Enjoy!