interview: The album ‘ANDROGENISE’ by Carδamo is a showcase of diversity and vibrancy

"It is a self contained exploration of my growth as a marginalised individual, struggling with connections with the world around me"
29 August 2023

Carδamo, also known as Cardamon Rozzi, shines as a beacon of authenticity and self-expression in the dynamic world of independent music.

A musical universe that is filled with emotion and challenges conventions has been created by Carδamo, a neurodiverse and queer artist.

ANDROGENISE is more than just an album; it’s a vivid techno-hyperpop sonic journey, a profound journey of growth, identity, and courage that resonates deeply with marginalized individuals who are navigating the world.

Rozzi reveals: ANDROGENISE is my life. it is a self contained exploration of my growth as a marginalised individual, struggling with connections with the world around me. It is ultimately a story of courage, however. Having now connected with my true self and expressed the pride that comes with the communities I am a part of through the album, I believe that ANDROGENISE is a perfect representation of self-discovery.”

Through the album’s mesmerizing melodies and introspective lyrics, Cardamon Rozzi delivers a narrative of courage that stems from embracing one’s true self. Carδamo explores a diverse array of sonic landscapes within ANDROGENISE by carving a unique path.

The queer album is an intricate tapestry of genres, ideologies, and cultures, masterfully woven together.

The album’s title track, ANDROGENISE is a stunning example of fresh hyperpop. It features experimental pop vibes mixed with catchy melodies. Another standout track is “Sonic heroes is the moral of my moral compass,” together with the unique sound of Daddy Techno Dream Punk. Lastly, don’t miss out on the lush melodies and pop punk anthem vibes of ¥AKUZA.

In the end, we have here a lush musical alchemy resulting in a refreshing and immersive experience that challenges categorization.

Carδamo is one talented artist that knows how to keep listeners hooked. Their music draws inspiration from the likes of SOPHIE, A.G Cook, and Count Baldor, blending genres effortlessly.

Carδamo is not just an artist; they are a genre abolitionist, a trailblazer intent on expanding the boundaries of popular music. Their thrilling energy and deeply personal performances inspire audiences to take part in a journey of self-discovery.

Their lyrics and music are totally influenced by the super cool post-dadaism vibes in Gen Z internet culture. They’re all about reflecting and shaping the ever-changing scene of modern creativity.

ANDROGENISE it’s a reflection of Carδamo‘s unapologetic embrace of their identity. Their artistry weaves together personal narratives and universal experiences, creating a sonic narrative that speaks to the heart of the human experience.

While many artists stick to the same old formula, Carδamo‘s offering breaks free from conformity and initiates a fresh new era of music that is full of diversity and vibrancy, just as our world.

If you wanna dive deeper into this fascinating artist, make sure to check out our Q&A session below. It’s a great way to get to know them even better.

Trying new things and being open to sharing a soundscape with someone else is very intimate!

Could you share with us the inspiration behind your album ‘ANDROGENISE’ and how it reflects your personal journey of self-discovery and expression?

So, the album is kind of a scrap-book of different experiences and emotions that all culminate to form my expression. I think each track is a look into certain aspects of my psyche and takes inspiration from different experiences I’ve had as a queer person. For example, ANDROGENISE specifically deals with body confidence and finding love, NBNBNBN is the euphoria of discovering what my gender was, and understanding there are others like me, SCREAM ABOUT is the loathing that comes from growing up not knowing who you are, along with the arrogance that I found while putting on a brave face when faced with prejudice. I won’t do all the tracks but generally each one is a really small mirror in my heart that allows people to see small details realized sonically.

The album’s description mentions that it’s an exploration of gender and sexuality. Can you explain how these themes are intertwined with the music and lyrics?

So, lyrically, I tend not to overthink. I like to just wait for things to come to me and if they make sense, then they make sense. Lots of the album is quite on the nose, because I think when discussing gender and sexuality, it’s important to be clear when communicating with yourself. If you’re unable to word things simply, it’s hard to claim that you understand them. Equally once you’ve done that, it’s a lot of fun to play around with metaphor and creative imagery, which is why the latter half of the album has tracks that are somewhat more surreal.

How did you create your stage name and artistic persona by drawing parallels between your experiences and those of the character from ‘Bee & Puppycat’?

Oof, well the stage name is just my chosen name minus the “n” for no reason at all other than the fact that I like the sound of it, and the δ is just a nod to my Greek heritage. As to why I chose Cardamon as my name, I feel like the little dude from Bee and Puppycat was so inspiring. He goes about his life doing what he can, wildly mature for his age, organising people around him to maintain some semblance of stability, where in reality his life is rather tragic. I just resonated with the guy so quickly, and I had been thinking of changing my name around that time anyway so it just made sense!

Collaboration appears to be a significant part of your creative process. Could you give me some insight into how collaboration with other artists influences your sonic soundscapes and overall artistic vision?

I love love love collaborating. I tend to relinquish control over the broad characteristics of a collaboration, and this leads me into new territories, which I think is the foundation of my musical growth. Trying new things and being open to sharing a soundscape with someone else is very intimate! It allows for a relationship beyond human companionship to be nurtured. I think having recently worked with ‘Flourish’ so much, I am now regaining a passion for more “orthodox” pop music, and I think I’m doing the exact same for him but with “experimental” pop music. It’s really a good dynamic we have and I’m so glad it exists! My musical vision has always been to expose myself and others to new things, and get people to take music less seriously. I think that we should just have fun and be cathartic in any way we deem valuable. Whether that is writing a break up song with a lil Texas loop at the end, or an interlude about longing to have had a pet frog.

Your heritage is mentioned as half Italian and half Cypriot, infusing diverse musical influences into your compositions. What steps do you take to incorporate these multicultural layers into your music?

Well, the obvious one is language. I like to include other languages in my writing. Pierre schaeffer’s “acousmaticism” is a thing I like to go back to a lot. Sounds for the sake of sound, beyond their explicit meaning, and I think other languages just have other sounds that I like to play around with! Also, growing up listening to Greek laika music and loving it so much prompts me to put some spice in there sometimes ykno. Stay tuned though, this is gonna be a lot more prevalent in future releases…

Your music is an invitation to embrace imperfections and build connections based on honesty. Can you explain how this philosophy is brought to life in your musical style and performances?

I don’t really do professionalism that much. I really don’t enjoy hiding my true feelings and I think that comes across in my music. It’s very raw and on the nose at times. My performance style is also very haphazard. I love to plan a performance and do something really big, but ultimately if I’m just gonna jump on stage and have fun, then you can expect there to be plenty of silliness and unprepared antics. I also really cringe at artists that take their craft SO deathly seriously. If you’re a Yebba and you just do have that crazy talent, then fair enough. But ultimately lots of us are just good at making air wiggle in a way that makes people go “yeah sick” and I think it’s important to remember that if you’re gonna try and take that experience and formalise it, you’re definitely masking that energy in some way, which makes it a little less “real” in my opinion (which means nothing, do your thing, I am literally just a weirdo with a laptop).

What are the three artists that you listen to the most on Spotify?

Dorian Electra, Yelle, Amaarae – They are very different haha, but at the moment it’s these guys, they just all make me shake my ass.

In your opinion, what changes would you like to see in the music industry?

Inclusivity is obvious. I think corporations need to actually start incorporating marginalized communities into the mainstream. At the moment, “queer” is still a token for diversity. (Not to say that we are the most marginalized by any means, but I am white, so I don’t have first hand experience on how racial prejudice in the industry affects people for example.) I think the music industry is kind of gross, but to be honest all industries are. Rather than wanting things to change, it’s more important to find your own way to push boundaries, bend rules, expose problems, etc. I’m much more comfortable doing something than just complaining about it. DSPs should also just pay us more though, like 0.3p a stream is kind of a mad one…

What do you think about the importance of authenticity in the music industry?

Literally I had to answer this question for my masters’ degree. I couldn’t think of a better answer than “it is as important as you make it” authenticity is inherent, the perception of it is what people have a problem with. I can authentically write a radio-friendly pop music that is true to my understanding of myself and lyrically quite personal and musically “my vibe” but if people are used to hearing something else from me then they might perceive it as inauthentic. The importance you as an artist place on that reaction directly affects your next move, your next song, topline, production, etc. which one could argue makes it inherently less authentic. Point being, just do what you want, and if someone tells you you’re a sell out or being fake or something, don’t let it get to you.

What three words would you use to describe your sound?

Bloopy, Weewoo, Quack. I refuse to elaborate.

Or

Cunty, Weird, Energetic.

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