Aug 31, 2020
With a voice as powerful as her personality, Warner Music Canada recording artist CARYS is well on her way to becoming Canada’s next pop sensation.
Canadian singer/songwriter and actor Aviva Mongillo aka CARYS is the powerhouse behind the unapologetically authentic hits ‘No More’, ‘Princesses Don’t Cry’ and most recently, Crush.
On the new single, CARYS said: “No matter what stage you’re at in your life, developing feelings for someone new makes you feel like you’re 6-years-old again. I always feel happiest when embracing my childish side and writing Crush was one of those times where I really felt it shine through. My collaborators, Gavin Brown, Kasper Larsen, and I wrote this song about the week that my partner and I met, which all 3 of us happened to be present for. We met during a songwriting camp and I remember stressing to keep things very professional, but it was clear there was something between us from day one. I’m trying to prove that I mean serious business and then I’m giggling with this dude I barely know in the hallway. It was really pure and genuine and I’m glad I have this song to keep that memory close to my heart forever. I hope other people feel that same giggly happy feeling when listening to it as I do.”
Having not even reached her first full length debut project makes the 45+ million career streams all the more impressive. Establishing her voice in 2019 came with some challenges, but the release of her third single “Princesses Don’t Cry” propelled the songstress to new heights. After its release, fans took to TikTok and do what any good fan would do, make it viral. Now with over 1.5 million videos to a clip of her song and 18 million views on the official music video, it’s easy to see the progressive musical influence shift taking place here.
Now the pop sensation in the making is gearing up to release her debut EP ‘To Anyone Like Me” this fall on October 2nd. Popular TV caught up with the singer to learn more about her upcoming EP and the story behind her hit single ‘Princesses Don’t Cry’.
1. Tell us about your new single, ‘Crush’ and how this song came to be.
I wrote it in Copenhagen with Gavin Brown and Kasper Larsen and then it was later produced by Ryan Stewart. It was inspired by the beginning of me and my partner’s relationship. The way someone can just come out of nowhere and make serotonin gush from your brain!
2. The single also comes with the announcement of your debut EP! How long have you been writing ‘to Anyone Like Me and is there a message you want to send with it?
We’ve been working on this project for over a year and I really feel like I’ve grown with it. The songs are fun and bright and the subject matter is largely about seeking validation. Growing up, I didn’t feel like anyone really understood me and it still affects me today. I’m starting to truly accept that I don’t have to perform a certain way to gain love and approval from others. We are perfectly worthy of love exactly as we are. Even if we sometimes feel like the odd one out, if we love ourselves, that “oddness” become our power.
3. What was the story behind why you created Princesses Don’t Cry?
I cry at everything! The story I told myself back then was that I was weak and dramatic but I now see it that I’m just an open and empathetic person. I wrote PDC to detail how it felt to constantly be told not to cry, not to do this, not to do that, blah blah blah. How it felt to be told that the way I honestly felt was wrong to feel.
4. What made you choose the stage name CARYS?
A saying I live by is “do everything with love”. Carys derives from the Welsh word, caru – which means love. I chose it because of its meaning and because no artist had that name yet.
5. You are both an actor and singer/songwriter. Which avenue came first and which do you feel a more personal connection with?
I started acting when I was 6 and it was the first thing I really felt connected to because I love stories and loved to imagine being inside of one. But then I really wanted to start writing the stories so I did. And then those stories became songs when I learned how to play guitar. It all kind of fits together, I don’t think I’m more connected to one or the other – they all tie back to stories. I just love stories.
6. Is there a role or dream that you’re currently chasing?
The right roles come to me when the time is right and the more connected I feel to myself, the easier it is to just feel out what I need to be doing in the moment. I feel very successful already. I’m doing what I love to do and everything on top of that is a bonus.
7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
8. What is something you wish more people knew about you?
That I’ve been sitting here for ages trying to think of the perfect way to answer this question to bounce off the “don’t take yourself too seriously” answer in the last question. I wanted it to be clever but also sincere. I’m gonna keep thinking about it, I’ll get back to you.
To Anyone Like Me Tracklist:
- Love (Validation)
- No More
- When a Girl
- Princesses Don’t Cry
- Maybe I’ll Call You