Check out our interview with fresh up and coming artist Viviana. She started performing when she was the tender age of 8 and hasn’t stopped since. Viviana’s music is all about the battles with her own sexuality, mental health, and relationships. She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and share these private feelings and thoughts with her listeners so she can let others know that they are not alone.
Having grown a lot since the start of her career, this singer-songwriter just released her latest single “Weather” today!. This new track is about the conversations you have with your significant other that seem insignificant but also escalate due to underlying issues.
Follow Viviana @fakelupe
Hi Viviana, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Houston, TX. I study at Berklee College of Music as a songwriting major. I am half Mexican and half Venezuelan, proud gay woman, in love with people and the way the world works, and also terrified all at the same time. I am a huge advocate for mental health, and I understand the importance of always being honest with how I am feeling. Feeling Feelings is dope, and it helps my art in so many ways.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Anxious, loving, creative
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I started out as a dancer and I wanted to be on Broadway for the longest time. It was my biggest dream; I wanted it so bad. Then I went through some pretty serious mental health struggles which prevented me from dancing. It turned out to not be the healthiest thing for me. All throughout my struggles with depression and anxiety, I started writing. It helped me so much to be able to put how I was feeling into a song. It was easy. I started writing and writing until I had so many songs and nothing to do with them. I decided to record my first LP, I Mean What I Say in 2019, which was a collection of 8 songs that I wrote from 14-16 years old. Since then, I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Brutally honest, heartache, humor
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
One of my biggest musical inspirations is Phoebe Bridgers. The way she is able to write heartbreaking lyrics while still including humor is amazing. I think she is a genius. Another inspiration of mine is Julien Baker. Her song “Appointments” got me through so much. I chose to make music because I need to tell stories, and I need to tell my story.
Do you play any instrument?
I play guitar, ukulele, and a bit of piano.
Do you ever get nervous?
SO NERVOUS. I am a very, very anxious person. Every moment before I actually get on stage is terrifying. But once I am on stage, I feel better, I wouldn’t go as far as to say it all just slips away, but it definitely gets better. I’ve had anxiety since a super young age, and I’m getting better at dealing with it.
Tell us about your new single “Weather?”
“Weather” is an upbeat, humorous song about mediocre conversations. It’s about wanting to talk about something more serious and just completely avoiding it. It’s about that awkward space in between what you really want to say and what you end up saying, talking about the weather, how you lost your keys, or what you had for lunch. There is a desperate need for human connection that the person in this song just isn’t getting.
What’s the story behind the song?
I was having a conversation with my dad. I really wanted to be open about my sexuality, but I just couldn’t. It was on the tip of my tongue, and he knew it too. My coming out experience wasn’t the easiest. I went through a lot of avoiding what I was feeling. My dad and I started talking about how hot it was. It’s always hot in Texas; this wasn’t some new revelation. I got the idea from that conversation.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I have an idea for a concept album that I really really want to record. I have around 10 songs finished already. “Weather” would be included in the album.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
Sharing stories and words that I hold close to my heart is my favorite part about what I do. Honesty is so important to me, and making taboo topics like mental health and sexuality not taboo anymore through my music is so important to me.
What is you favorite song? And why?
This is an impossible question to answer, but if I had to choose, it’s “Yo No Se Manana” by Luis Enrique. This song has gotten me through so much. It’s a salsa tune, so it just makes you want to dance and sing and be happy. I love this song so much. It helps with my anxiety because the lyrics are basically saying, “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so let’s just enjoy today.”
Any loves other than music?
Watching baseball with my family, writing poetry (and I actually enjoy writing essays too, which is super weird), and being with people I care about. That is the most important thing to me.
Best advice ever given?
Go to therapy.
How’s a typical day in your life?
I wake up around 10AM, I do my online classes with Berklee (usually it’s ear training first.) Then I do homework, hang out with my friends and my girlfriend, write some music, and call my parents to catch up! Very repetitive days, thanks to COVID, but still fulfilling. I also love going for walks and getting out as much as I can. I listen to music while I walk and pretend that I am in a movie, and I’m the main character. I have to entertain myself somehow!
Name one your strengths?
Honesty, honesty, honesty. It’s so important to me to be honest about how I am feeling and about past life experiences. I know it can help someone if they know about my struggles because then they feel less alone. That means everything to me.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Staying up late, waking up next to my girlfriend, and feeling like I have absolutely nothing to do. That makes me feel so free. Having some french toast with blueberries for breakfast and watching Avatar: The Last Airbender on TV. Going out for a walk maybe to the Boston Public Gardens and just breathing actual fresh air instead of the recycled air of my tiny apartment. Maybe writing some music if I feel inspired. Just taking it easy and relaxing.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
“Anything” by Demi Lovato. Her songs are crazy (and crazy high)! One of my favorites is “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore.” “Stone Cold” is another banger.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Feeling free, feeling light. Taking it moment by moment. Having people I love around me and spending time with them. Being able to breathe.
Favorite cheat food?
I struggled with an eating disorder for many years, and the most important thing I learned is that there is no such thing as “cheat foods.” It’s all about balance, everything in moderation. Categorizing foods into good or bad is never healthy. All food is good food!
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself doing music as a career. Being able to live doing what I love. I see myself happy with where I’m at—maybe living in New York or Los Angeles, wherever life takes me.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I love wearing black; I would say grunge-y. I love playing with masculinity in my style.
What do you think of Social Media?
It is good and bad. Good because people can express themselves and connect with people they normally wouldn’t be able to. Bad because of the harmful standards it can create. It can make people, especially younger people, feel like they are not good enough. Like their body isn’t skinny enough or their skin isn’t clear enough. It is so important to understand that social media isn’t real, it doesn’t show all of the difficult parts of life.
Where can we follow you?
Movie: Instructions Not Included (No Se Aceptan Devoluciones), makes me cry every time
Travel Destination: Banff, Canada. I have so many good memories there.
Sports Team: Houston Astros all the way!
Cover – Koko Art Studio
Stand-up Photo – Dheva Askorn