Crystal Joilena is a talented musician who has recently released a new single with a music video. “The High Priestess” is a feminist anthem by a remarkable artist creating a unique sound. We had the chance to chat with Crystal and ask her about her music and her thoughts while getting to know her as a person and musician better.
Hello Crystal! I am very happy to talk with you. How are you doing these days?
It is very lovely to speak with you! I have been doing alright, I’ve been suffering with a lot of autoimmune issues and have been in and out of doctor’s appointments/scheduling surgeries to improve my quality of life, I’m taking it one day at a time. Other than that I have felt more on the positive side and have a greater appreciation for life, I’ve been considering it a blessing disguised as a curse.
Hope you feel better soon! Congratulations on the release of your new single, “The High Priestess”! Can you tell us more about the song’s inspiration and its significance to you?
Thank you so much. The song is dedicated to The Divine Feminine and has many different meanings. On one hand, it is heavily influenced by my own shadow work and also exposing hidden secrets of many things to myself, it’s about the ups and downs I’ve had to face (and many other individuals have had to face) in the music industry. There is a lot of indecency and lack of respect for women that needs to be handled, women are the creators of everything and should be treated with the utmost respect. I don’t like some men’s descriptions of women in music, or how they have treated us as “just another pretty face making music” because it is absolutely not that way and we have so much to offer, definitely way more than any person saying these things has to offer.
It doesn’t fly with me, I always end up calling them out, whether it’s in person, or in writing. The lyrics “Your veil is at it’s thinnest” and “Your simulation is in fragments” attains to a lot of deception in the music industry as well, especially higher up people taking from “smaller” artists and using their personality, art and concepts they come up with as moodboards for their own artists and getting exposed for it, even if a large majority of people don’t realize it’s happening. It’s unfair to others, but industries are all about money obviously, the only thing we as artists can do is continue to work hard and know that the art we create will always reach the right people and let go of any control.
Some of the positives of the music industry are the connections and friendships we make along the way, the fans, how we convey our pain and personal lives to others, the messages in the art that people who suffer through the same things are meant to hear, and that we are able to leave art behind for the world to remember us by, nothing else really matters too much, it’s all a simulation.
That’s quite deep and interesting! How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
I would describe my sound as a mix of R&B, meditative, operatic, alternative, and metal. I can’t really name a similar artist, I guess I am just doing my own thing without much care, it’s whatever comes to mind and whatever I want to work on in the moment.
Brilliant! Can you explain the different emotional connections you feel while interpreting someone else’s work in the covers you are famous for versus expressing your own ideas and feelings via your own songs?
I feel a lot of things, I have ADHD and I’m hypersensitive, if a song speaks to me..that is absolutely the song I want to cover, if a fan requests a song and I also feel a connection to that song, I will absolutely want to do my own rendition, I’ve been reimagining covers since 2014. Before making my own rendition, I will listen to the song non-stop and get into the mood, put myself into the position of the artist and try to nail every emotional note. I have never covered an artist or band I didn’t absolutely love.
Let’s play a game! I will set a scenario in an alternate universe with new rules and see how you’d react to the different situations.
In a universe where you are the queen of a country, what would be the first law you’d make?
Be kind to everyone, please. There is too much hatred in the current universe, let’s make the one where I am the Queen better.
In a universe where humans can choose either to be able to teleport from one place to another or travel back and forth in time, which superpower would you pick?
Although time travelling is very interesting to me and I would love to meet me in all of my past lives and see what it was like in many different decades, I would choose to teleport from one place to another, my mother, sister and her side of the family all live in Melbourne, Australia, being able to teleport back and forth from here to there would be a dream, I don’t get to see them too much because we live completely separate lives on two different sides of the world.
In a universe where you are on the brink of a nuclear apocalypse and could only save one music album from extinction, which album would you choose?
“Harem” by Sarah Brightman, it is a very inspiring album to me and I can’t imagine life without it.
In a universe where money does not exist, but instead, people pay for things by making other people laugh, how rich would you be considered?
That certainly depends on who thinks my jokes are funny, but I think if laughing were currency, I would definitely make way more of an effort.
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up together, what food would you imagine your music would taste like?
That’s actually a hard one, but I do hope it is as refreshing as strawberry shortcake pudding, that dessert creates a feel-good emotion for me, but then I’m sad once I have finished it, because I want more.
In a universe where a theme song plays whenever you wake up announcing the start of your day, what would your song be?
Currently, that answer is “Alkaline” by Sleep Token, I listen to that song a lot when starting the day and it inspires me.
Thank you for playing, Crystal! I hope you enjoyed this!
Have you experienced sexism and how would you handle it? What advice would you give to young people facing discrimination?
Yes absolutely, I’ve faced discrimination. I either will call it out, or I won’t react to it at all because it’s not worth my time and it doesn’t change anything in my life, because I know it’s a load of crap and while words can be like knives sometimes, have now become meaningless to me, I’ve learned to not care. I would tell young people to keep being them, and that it doesn’t matter what someone else says or thinks, clearly the person speaking about someone else has issues themselves that they need healing, wish them luck on their journey and brush them aside because they aren’t worth the time.
Thank you for sharing your experience!
When you put out new songs, there’s more to it than just creating the music. You have to handle tasks like advertising, promoting, and using social media. Among these activities involved in making music, which one do you like and dislike the most?
I hate advertising myself, I never know how to do it in a proper way and I usually need a lot of guidance. I am also way happier when I’m not constantly on social media, but I have to be to promote myself. I do like the interview portion because I am able to explain myself in a more adequate way that would otherwise be completely vague if I didn’t explain anything in detail.
Thank you for giving us this interview, Crystal. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
That is about it! Thank you so much for the interview!
Being a feminist has been normalized as an irregularity through our patriarchal society, so I'd rather be called a "decent human" than a "feminist man". I breathe Metal and Rock and have a screwed-up sense of humour.