April 2, 2018
Soul has found its latest home in one of Charlotte’s brightest new artists, Cyanca. Born and raised in Smithfield, NC, Cyanca found her talents in her time with the church during her youth. Now, after honing those abilities in tandem with her drumming and production skills, the local scene has a much-needed, powerful dose of R&B/Soul.
Cyanca just released her music video for “New Phone, Who Dis?” from her 2017 EP, The Isle of Queens, a release that displays the artist in her truest form as she expresses her heavy influence from Erykah Badu in the track “Badu,” and showcases her poetic lyrical delivery reminiscent of artists like Noname and Syd. On top of Cyanca’s musical ability, the EP exudes a deep understanding and appreciation of what it means to be both a strong black woman and a creative, and how those two identities flourish within one another.
The song “New Phone, Who Dis?” serves as Cyanca’s statement to those that would waste her time with flowery words, blatant laziness, or in a more devious context, the false drive that’s become rampant within certain creative circles. The serious words delivered by Cyanca’s silky, beautiful voice creates a sort of tantalizing juxtaposition that draws the listener in closer, hanging on her every word as she repeats, “If you can’t coincide with my mind, we can’t lay up… If you really ain’t tryna grind, we can’t be textin’.”
Directed by local visual artist Alexander Hall, the video is a peculiar representation of the song’s message, detailed to the core and delivered with a stunning clarity. It follows the video’s subject, a man who finds a money tree and spends frivolously, only to become wrapped in his own self-image and lose it all before he knows it. The video also features Charlotte Dreamville Records artist Lute, who portrays a thieving painter. His inclusion in the video is an interesting nod to the intro sample of the song, which shares an eerie similarity to Lute’s song “Home” featuring Elevator Jay. When asked to describe where the lyrics and visuals came from creatively, Cyanca said: “The concept was about setting standards and expectations for the company you keep. I wanted to convey the importance of keeping like-minded and goal-oriented people in your corner. If we not on the same page mentally or spiritually we ultimately can’t vibe. It’s not a wordy song because I wanted it to be simplistic and direct. The visual was more so Alexander’s idea. I wanted the video to give a warm nostalgic 80s feel. He has amazing eye for detail and created the perfect visual for the song.”
With such a visually mesmerizing video, Cyanca seems to know exactly what she wants and how to get it done. Charlotte has been waiting for an artist like this, and now after demonstrating her undeniable talent, it’s clear that the new voice of soul in the city could be Cyanca.