Gedina laying down on beach

Profile: How Singer And Songwriter Gedina Seeks To Empower And Transform Individuals With Her Unique Mermaid-Pop Music

Inspiring singer/songwriter Gedina truly believes in choosing to be your best, authentic self, no matter how messy that may look sometimes. Her Campus at UCLA had the opportunity to speak with Gedina about her new single “Transformer." She also spoke about her songwriting process and what she wants listeners to take away from her music. 

Gedina by the water Photography: Mark Sacro Her Campus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Why did you decide to pursue music?

Gedina: I came into this world singing before I was talking. I was inspired by The Little Mermaid because it was one of the first movies I saw and I truly was just inspired by song. Music was my outlet - is my outlet - and is also the way in which I connect with the world. 

HC: I know your brand is “mermaid-pop." How would you describe your style of music?

G: It’s transformative in nature, it’s relatable, and if we’re using metaphors here, it’s edible. It’s edible by a large population of people, and it has people moving through their authentic gifts as a human being to the magic of being human. 

HC: Could you describe your songwriting process? Do you start with the lyrics or melody? Verses, chorus, etc? What instruments do you use? 

G: Music happens for me when I am most present to what I’m doing, which means in the shower, while I’m driving, in the middle of a really intense, beautiful conversation, and when I’m intentionally sitting down to songwrite. In moments when I am not thinking, but I am being in my body and in my experience, the words of a verse will come to me, the words of a pre-chorus will come to me, or the last line of a hook. It's not consistent which part shows up, and ultimately I like to have the option to move whatever comes through me to any part of the song, knowing that the message will be conveyed. So, whatever comes out, if it serves the song then I’ll place it where it will serve.

HC: Do you use certain instruments?

G: Depends on if I'm writing alone or with people. If I’m writing alone, I’ll put up a loop on different apps and start writing that way. If I’m with somebody, it’s piano or acoustic guitar. And, one of my favorite tricks for if I’m feeling like I have writer's block or if the words are stuck somewhere, I'll literally write that down on a piece of paper: “I don’t know what to write right now. I’m feeling stuck, I’m feeling…” and then once I’ve started writing what’s actually happening, then the breakthrough will happen and the words will start to come.

HC: I love that your music is very dance-poppy and super fun. What made you decide to make that type of music? 

G: I went through quite a few years of taking myself on and leaning into the discomfort of old trauma patterns, neural pathways that get to be rewired, and I’d find that I would wake up in the morning and want something that sounded like Brené Brown, one of the most amazing authors out there, and felt like a Marianne Williamson guided meditation in song form. And, what I was finding was like folk music or spiritual gospel Christian music, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the straight pop music. I was seeing break up songs or party songs, but I wasn’t finding that effervescent music that was meditative but also had me move that I could put next to my journaling or while blow drying and curling my hair or putting my makeup on. I also wanted that music that reaffirmed my vision and reaffirmed what I was creating in the world that day. And so I made it.

Gedina vertical beach Photography: Mark Sacro HC: I’m interested in the production part of your music because it really gives a good idea of your vibe. When you’re writing a song, do you already have an idea of what you want it to sound like post-production? 

G: I know what I want it to feel like, I know how I want it to land in the body, I know what I want to provide to the ears and to the listeners’ experience. I’m not married to the exact instrumentation. Occasionally I'll walk in and say, “Let's start this on piano, let’s use synths on this one, maybe let’s pull in and use an electric guitar riff," but I’m not attached. It’s whatever will serve the song ultimately, and that’s a combination of mix after mix after mix after mix until we’ve served the song in its highest being. 

HC: How long does it usually take to produce and write for one entire song? 

G: We’ve made an entire song start to finish in two to three hours, mixed and sent off to be mastered, and upwards of years. There are songs that are still sitting in the catalog that we love and care about and will be finished one day when we can serve it completely, when it’s in integrity, and it’s wholly conveying what we want to convey.

HC: And now you have a new single coming out, “Transformer," another feel good track. Could you sum up what this song means to you?

G: I believe that everybody has the capability to step into ownership and responsibility for their life, and I believe that everybody is unique and special. We’re built of 30 trillion cells per human being. There is no configuration like each individual.

That being said, what everybody has to offer is available at any minute, and the song speaks to finding a way to transform into that version of yourself or even removing the layers that don’t serve, therefore returning to that pure innocence and pure authenticity. And from that place, I believe with what's happening in our nation and in the world, we’re being given a chance to say, “So what, now what? Now I’m my best self. What am I gonna do about it? Am I gonna complain about this, or am I gonna acknowledge the person who just gave me the best customer service? Am I gonna allow myself to have a messy day and grieve and own how I'm feeling, or am I just gonna be passive-aggressive and show up in the world as a tyrant on social media? Who am I choosing to be?”

With what's happening, we have a choice right now. We have a choice as an individual, we have a choice as a community, we have a choice as a state, we have a choice as a nation, we have a choice as a world to choose something that says that everybody gets to win because we all matter and everybody gets a voice because everybody matters.  

HC: What was unique about the writing and production process for “Transformer” compared to your other songs? 

G: I was raised by a single dad, and he’s amazing. He’s my hero, and I've watched my dad take himself on in the last decade. He’s always looking to be the best person he could be, but really in these last ten years, he's just said, “I’m ready to transform." I wrote this song as a dedication to the man I’ve seen him become. I tend to write from a place of story plus affirmation. The language that I’m using is intentional. Every word, every note, every placement, all of it. This specifically is personal because it’s how I experience my dad choose into his greatness and take ownership and authorship of his life to create something new. This particularly has that familial element for me.

HC: Your most recent single “Messy” has these lyrics “Everything's falling down on me and I like it,” which we love. Can you talk about what these lyrics mean to you specifically? 

G: My intention is to rewrite the definition of words that have people in self beat up, self blame, shaming, or self sabotage that have us in our shadow self. And with “Messy,” the intention is to rewrite what the word “messy” means. Like “I’m not supposed to have feelings, I’m not supposed to cry.”

I think of how men have been conditioned in our culture to think that if they cry, they're somehow bad or wrong. People are dying, people are losing family members. There's all kinds of things that are happening. People are learning how to work in new ways, and to just say, “It’s okay to be messy.” In fact, celebrating that I’m being authentic, that they're being authentic is missing. It’s a piece of connection. When we choose to be inauthentic and take it out on the world versus being like “Yeah you know what, today’s a messy day,” we don’t allow ourselves to connect if we choose that the definition of “messy” is bad. 

Gedina laying down on beach Photography: Mark Sacro HC: When you write a new song or part of a song that you’re really proud of, who is the first person you show it to? 

G: It depends. Sometimes I choose into a writing session and I’m with the people that I’m writing the song with, so they're the first to see it. I’ll share it with my fiancé, I’ll share it with a friend, sometimes I’ll write it in a comment as a caption for a photo, or I’ll be in the creation process and I’ll post it on TikTok. Or there's another app called Voisey. Sometimes I'll just write on Voisey and post it right then and there for whoever is following me on those apps.

HC: I know you have very diverse hobbies like surfing and martial arts. What advice would you have for people who have hobbies pretty different from entertainment, but are looking to explore music? For example, what if they don’t have a lot of experience in music theory or production but still want to put out songs? 

G: One of my favorite things is that how you do one thing is how you do everything, and if you show up in one area of your life as a badass, the invitation would be to look at the ways of being. For example, if you're a self starter, if you're motivated, if you're passionate, if you're analytical, if you’re rigorous and exhaustive with your method and your process in one area, it's really saying, “If this is how I do this in this area, I can also do this in this other area that is new and unknown to me.” Because you're bringing you everywhere you go, and if you show up powerfully in one space, it's because of who you are and that is available to you anywhere.

Of course there's going to be a learning curve. There will be a couple years or even days or hours or sometimes a decade of like, “Man, I know I’ve got all these gifts of who I am, and I'm still not seeing the results in this area,” but you continue to show up trusting and knowing that it will actually pan out. 

HC: Is there anything else you want to add or say?

G: The album is coming out in 2021- beginning of the year!

Gedina’s message that we are all unique individuals who should celebrate authenticity is a message that should be remembered every day. She continues to share these important life lessons through her feel-good, uplifting music. So don’t forget to check out her new single “Transformer” while you choose to be the best version of yourself.