Check our interview with talented pop/soul singer/songwriter Deniz Reno from Toronto, Canada.
Reno’s debut solo EP ‘Narcissus’ was released on November 8th, 2018. She has followed up the release with two music videos for the singles ‘Over’ and recently ‘Fools Rush In’. New visuals for the singles ‘Selfish’ and ‘Miles Away’ are expected to drop in the coming months.
Hi Deniz, please tell us a little about you?
I am a singer songwriter and creative based in Toronto Canada, although I consider myself to be a citizen of the world due to my love of globe trotting.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Adventurous. Creative. Daydreamer.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
I don’t think I could credit just one person. I have been blessed with really unique creative parents and have had the pleasure of meeting really fascinating people along the way from whom I have absorbed massive amounts of information and philosophies on life. If I had to go back through history I was really inspired by Leonardo DaVinci as a child because of his extraordinary multidisciplinary talents and the impact his vision has had on the world to this day.
How did you get started in the music business?
When I was 16 I typed up a resume and walked over to the offices of Sony Music Canada to ask for an internship. To my great surprise they hired me and that was my first official entry into the industry part of the music business. It was an invaluable experience.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Soulful. Honest. Evolving.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I was born into visual arts but as a child always gravitated towards music. I learned to play flute at a very young age and spent a copious amount of time listening to records while I painted at home. I would sometimes stay up late at my parents’ studio and hear echoes of live concerts from the city central stadium blocks away and dream of one day performing for large audiences. I think that’s where the seeds were planted. I would start pursuing singing and songwriting years later after we moved to Canada.
Do you ever get nervous?
All the time. There was a period in my teens where I would get so nervous my throat would just lock up and I wouldn’t be able to breathe or sing. It was very frustrating and I knew that if I couldn’t get over it somehow I would never be able to do what I loved. It took years for me to relax on stage, there was a lot of inner work involved.
What is your next goal as a musician?
To make new music and constantly evolve in my craft. I have had a good couple of years where I went through some really powerful life experiences and I gave myself the freedom to just surrender to the flow. I didn’t put pressure on myself to write as there were other things in need of my full attention. In the past few months I have released my debut solo EP after years of working with other artists and now I feel even more inspired to write new material. There are songs that are being born every day and I am just excited to see what happens.
Do you have a Tour coming up or where we can see you performing?
I am going to announce a few shows on my site in the coming year overseas, so you will have to watch for that. I won’t be planning a full tour until the next record.
Now tell us about your new EP “Narcissus?”
Narcissus is a four song EP that I co wrote with my producer Mike Schlosser. It deals with the stories and emotional dynamics of being in a narcissistic love relationship. We started writing the record back in 2015 and it kind of got put aside as I was juggling other projects and I felt that I needed to reshuffle some of the songs that were initially on it. In the end I removed two songs and added ‘Miles Away’ which we recorded in mid 2018 and the EP finally got to see the light of day. I chose to release it on my own label, Taksu Records and it has been a tremendous labour of love.
Deniz Reno - Fools Rush In
And you single “Over?”
Over is the debut single off Narcissus. It explores the darkness surrounding a loss of a relationship and the emotional turmoil that the partner of a person with narcissistic personality disorder feels as they are being discarded from a relationship. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to shoot a music video for Over in Bali, directed by Edward Demin, starring Russian ballerina Valeriya Savvina who has previously worked with Lady Gaga. It was a spur of the moment idea and we created a beautiful black and white visual narrative for this song that I’m very proud of.
What we can expect of Deniz Reno in 2019?
I am so excited for 2019. I will be releasing the music videos for my songs Fools Rush In, Selfish and Miles Away, from the Narcissus EP. I have started work on a follow up EP and you will also hear a few collaborations with my friend and colleague Matt Lange. I don’t like divulging too much but I have some epic projects in the works that will be revealed throughout the year that I am excited to share with everyone.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Haha. For some reason ‘Scrubs’ by TLC came to mind . Anything that fits the mood really.
Name one of your strengths?
Tenacity, when it comes to pursuing my dreams.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being at peace with yourself regardless of what you have or have not accomplished. Being able to be present in the moment and enjoy yourself for who you are and life for what it is.
Any loves other than music?
Too many to name. Visual arts, extreme sports, literature, horses.
How’s a typical day in your life?
There are no typical days in my life, for which I am eternally grateful . I can’t say that i have a routine, right now I’m on a two week winter break from filming and I have been waking up and playing piano every morning, doing a bit of reading, working on new material, doing yoga and getting ready for the epic year of adventures ahead.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Sometimes it’s going to the beach and writing a new song, or going for a surf. Sometimes it’s driving to a drop zone and going skydiving or hiking in nature.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love making cold press juice or chopping up an avocado with tomatoes and adding some greens and nuts for a quick salad.
And your favorite cheat food?
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Leonardo DaVinci. I would love to just sit and listen to him talk for hours about everything he’s ever done. I love hearing stories about people’s lives and their work and how incredible would his stories be?! I also would like to know who the Mona Lisa really was.
Do you support any charities?
My family has supported Smile Train, it’s a nonprofit organization and charity providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates. I have also done volunteer work with orphanages in Indonesia in the past two years which was a life changing experience.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Happy and continuing to make a positive difference in people’s lives through music, writing and art.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Depends on whether I’m living on an island or in the city, but I had a good laugh the other day when a friend of mine described my style as “Ashram Chic”. I don’t know if it is, but I thought it was funny.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s a multifaceted beast. It really depends on how and what you use it for, it can be either extremely effective or equally as destructive.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: The hottest fires make the hardest steel.
Song: Desert Rose – Sting
Movie: Cloud Atlas
Travel Destination: Bali
Food: I’m Vegan. I love Indian, Middle Eastern, Japanese Cuisine. Flavors that have a kick to them.
Sports Team: New Zealand All Blacks, literally because of the Haka.
Photo Credit: @deminedward