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Rising New York superstar Simone talks about her musical journey on tour

New York City, known as the “Big Apple,” is home to many talented people. New York has produced a wide range of musical talent, from superstars like Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and Alicia Keys to artists like Jennifer Lopez, who proudly calls her identity “Jenny from the Block” and hails from the Bronx. Hopefully, Simone will join the ranks of famous singers from New York City by sharing her music with her fans and community.

Teen Magazine had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Simone and hear her story of how she went from being a regular girl in the urban jungle of New York to an artist with hundreds of thousands of fans and listeners.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Meet Simone

1. Can you tell us a little about your background and how it has influenced your music?

I grew up in Manhattan and I think my upbringing in New York is a big reason why I've always been so interested in art. My parents were very supportive of any creative endeavors I wanted to try and always encouraged me to be as expressive and imaginative as possible. I was the kid who annoyed everyone because I was always singing.

2. Can you describe a moment when music had a profound impact on your life?

My whole life changed when I started playing guitar and writing songs. I grew up very shy and quiet and never really knew how to process and communicate my feelings. Writing songs helped me understand myself and my true feelings.

3. Looking back on your journey so far, what has been the most rewarding experience in your musical career and why?

Getting to know the people who listen to my music is always the most incredible and surreal thing. There's really no way to describe the feeling I get when I meet someone after a show and they tell me they traveled hours to be there, or that they've been listening to my music for years. Conversations like that are moments I'll never forget.

4. Can you describe your songwriting process?

I feel like I'm subconsciously writing all the time. I see the world through the lens of a song, so when I sit down to write, it feels like a collection of lyrics and ideas that I've collected throughout my day, week, or entire life. I always approach writing a song with intention, because storytelling has always been the most important thing for me. I have to figure out what I want to say, and then I just have to make it rhyme.

5. How do you stay motivated and inspired as a musician?

I'm always trying to learn new things because I think that's what makes life interesting. I find the more I consume, the more inspired I am to do things. I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books – not even about music, but just things that interest me and that I like to think about. It keeps me creative.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

6. You just finished your “Open Book Tour: Chapter Two”. How does performing in such an intimate and unique setting affect your connection with your audience and the way you present your music? What inspired you to choose bookstores as the venue for this tour?

I've never had a more personal experience with the people who listen to my music. I literally looked into all of their eyes while I sang my songs. It couldn't have been more intimate. I'm so grateful that people were willing to come and experience such an unconventional show like this. That was really the goal. It was so much fun.

7. How do you prepare yourself physically and mentally for a tour? What rituals or routines do you have to stay grounded on the road?

I'm really lucky because I can't drive so my dad got to come on tour with me which was the best thing. Having him around kept me sane. I think one of the hardest parts of touring is being away from home for so long but being with my dad meant I had a sense of home everywhere I went. We tried to explore as much as we could in the little time we had in each city which usually just meant finding the best local record store. But doing things beyond loading up, playing the show and unloading helped both of us feel more relaxed and human.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

8. How do you balance your personal life with the demands of being a musician? What do you do to maintain a sense of normality?

I'm very introverted by nature, but I can be extroverted when I need to be, which I think helps. Being a musician requires a lot of movement and energy, which is a lot of fun, but it's nice to have a home life that's more calm and relaxed. That way I never really crave one or the other because I feel like I have a healthy balance between the two. Therapy helps too.

9. What do you hope your listeners take away from your music?

I can only hope that my music makes people feel something, because that means it touches them in some way. The music that touches me the most is the music that puts into words what I couldn't say. If someone feels that way when they listen to my music, that's pretty cool.

10. What can your fans and listeners expect from you in the future as you continue to develop your music career? Are there any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations you would like to tell us about?

I have a new EP coming out this year which I'm really excited about. I'm really proud of these songs and can't wait for them to be released. This project feels the most “me” out of everything I've released so far so I'm really excited for people to hear it.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Funny Questions

1. If you could be any character in a TV show or movie, who would it be?

I just started watching Sex and The City, so I'm going to say Carrie Bradshaw. Unless she gets super problematic, I'll take it back. I'm on episode 8.

2. If you could collaborate with any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to sing with Ryan Beatty one day. Even if it was just a karaoke night and he didn't know who I was, we would be brought on stage together. That would be amazing.

3. Favorite food?

There's a restaurant in Manhattan that makes the best burrito I've ever had. I think about it all the time. But I stay away from it.

4. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the music industry?

Work with women.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three things with you, what would they be?

A stress ball, a guitar and an iPod with downloaded music because I was prepared.

6. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably blue, because jeans are blue and I don't think red pants would suit me.

7. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

Last week I played a house concert in Brooklyn and my show wasn't until 11:30 p.m. It was crazy.

8. Something you never leave the house without?

My headphones. Most of the time I don't listen to music at all. I just don't want people talking to me.

9. Your hobbies besides music?

I have a Letterboxd account, so that's a big part of who I am. I watch as many films as I can. I've only seen 55 so far this year, which is embarrassing. I need to step it up.

10. What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up and immediately look at my phone. The rest of the day is a mystery. I'll probably write a song. I'll probably call my mom at some point and complain about something. I don't know if I'll go out or not. I'm unpredictable in that regard.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Keep up with Simone!

If you're keen to learn more about Simone and can't get enough of her, or if you've been a fan for a long time, follow her on social media and visit her website! Her new EP “Someone You Remember” is also coming out in September and you should definitely stream it!

Instagram: @simonemusic

Tick ​​​​Tock: @simonemusic

Website: simone.com

Youtube: @simone