Witty, wise and experimental, rising artist Psyclo thinks of her music as escapism–therapy which paves the way for her to heal.
The comfort she finds in her music is also what she hopes to pay forward to her listeners. Born in Shenyang, China, Psyclo – whose real name is Ming – spent a large part of her youth away from music, an existence that was far removed from who she is today; a relentless singer-songwriter with plans of releasing new music every month.
A creative person by nature, Psyclo has always been attracted to the fantasy-infused world of anime as well as hobbies such as painting. Delving into both these aspects of her life she says, “I don’t like to paint a specific thing, I don’t want to picture the entire image before I paint, I love to see what the painting can be turned into at the end. So most of the time I have no idea what I’m painting. As for anime, the stories, the music, the characters are so unique and I feel it can never be remade in the movies or tv shows.” Looking at her music through a similar lens of creative freedom, Ming is most excited by the process of turning abstract ideas and thoughts in her head into songs.
Speaking of her musical journey thus far, the artist – who described herself as a “music idiot” – says, “I have always loved singing, but I’m not that good at music theory so for a long time I thought in order to make music you need to be the master of music but I was wrong. Having the entire world of knowledge won’t do anything until you take the first practical step — just to make something for fun. I made a few songs, and I did more, I learned more, I kept doing it and here I am now.”
She adds, “I loved watching anime and I loved the music in there, so it’s not that I’ve never listened to any music. Listening to music was just never my hobby. I didn’t have a laptop or a phone until middle school, and I would use my spare time on watching anime back then, I started listening to more music when I was in college. “
A lover of Hip-hop, Death metal and Hard rock, Psyclo hopes to release a rock EP someday but for now she’s content without a defined sound; something fun and organic is all she’s after. Talking about her April release ‘friEND’, she says “It literally took only 2 days from writing to production to finishing recording ‘friEND’. I was going through a heartbreak and it was my way to vent, I hate to deal with relationship stuff.”
While Ming explains that are lyrical inspirations are often a mix of made up stories, stories that surround and her own feelings, her upcoming single ‘Watch Me’ is similar to her prior release in that it explores controlling relationships. Explaining the inspiration of the new track, which came out last week, she says “The track talks about the possessiveness of relationships, but the idea started with me watching the fish swimming in a tank. What a miserable life to live in a space like a tank, you have nowhere else to go, just watching other creatures starring at you sometimes, watching them having their own lives to live all day. The fish are being fed and well taken care of but man it sucks to be like a fish in a tank, especially for those little fish who were born in a tank, they never got to see how big the world it can be. Their safety is assured but I’d rather die than living in a fish tank. Metaphorically people can trap themselves or others in a tank too, people can be the fish also can be the ones who own the fish.”
She is refreshingly blunt about the effect that her Asian heritage has on her music. “Music is a universal language; people can come from different parts of the world and have the same feelings. The fact that I was born in China doesn’t set me apart unless you’re a racist” – and takes a similar practical, no-nonsense approach when asked about her bucket list “Make a living, have sell out shows, tour the world”
Ming is wise where it counts. She recounts the best piece of advice she’s been given “sometimes wrong choices bring us to the right places” before delving into the story behind the advice. She says, “I used to regret a lot, spending all day feeling bad about myself, blaming myself for being dumb, I would try to recall EVERYTHING I did wrong; the times I trusted the wrong people; the times I said something I shouldn’t have or I didn’t do anything when I should stand up for myself or for others. And I saw that saying online, it was like a bright moment for me and it’s true that I’m here now because of all the choices I made, all the good and the bad, I’ve grown up so much, learned so much. The last time I was comforted by this advice was last year when I finally realised I was gaslighted for a long time and trusted someone I shouldn’t have.”
But she’s also child-like, flippant at other times. Talking about how she came up with the name Psyclo she says, “I was trying to come up with an artist name so I sat down with a paper, wrote down all words combinations that I like, and I picked the sound of psyc and clo.” About the other names on the list, she adds, “Belly button, Blood Bank, Open on Holidays, Brainwashed Society.”
On the topic of her personality, it would remiss not to mention her genuine love for the people who support her music. Describing something that recently made her smile, she says “A DM from a fan yesterday. It really shined my world and changed my perspective. I saw some hate comments on the internet, I ignored those but I did think about it. I learned something new from the DM and hate comments just can’t get me anymore.”
Influenced by varied artists from Falling In Reverse, to YUNGBLUD and Juice Wrld, Ming recently hit 100 fans on Spotify and she’s proud of the fact. She exclaims, “I don’t know where I’m heading to but who knows, I love making music, I’ll be releasing new music monthly.” She admits that as someone with many ideas she often struggles to finish things she starts. She says “Sometimes new ideas come up in the middle of a production and I would be really wanting to work on the new stuff so then I have stuff that never got to finish. Having the same passion at the end of a project that you had when you started it is something I’m working on.”
Still learning and growing every day, Psyclo is fired up and in her own words “just getting started” – so exciting things up ahead for this unique, charming personality.