How did you get your start?
I started composing at an early age with a toy-piano. I was gifted when I was four years old. I think I always loved to create stories out of my imagination that sometimes took the shape of writings, drawings and even songs. I would have loved to study music but sadly I did not and then I stopped for quite a lot of years during my university studies as a scientist. I really found out though that music and art (illustrating) was really my devotion and rescued my old high school keyboard from the wardrobe to get back to composing. But it was back in 2002 when I wrote and uploaded “I steal the leaves” to mp3.com. By then I was a composer “looking for a vocalist” but people liked the first demo as it was and I felt very encouraged to find out that I don’t only love to sing but also I cannot live without singing. I took Internet resources to spread it, and the first recordings were really hideously recorded compared with the actual studio versions. I think Internet is a pivotal key to the promotion of any indie artist nowadays… and most of it it’s free. I keep a humble list of resources for newcomers since then. My Internet experience lead to real deals and offers but at the end I found out that being independent is what I worshiped above all and thus I ended up creating my own label and publishing company to make my first official release. Ancient Shadows (buy link: http://priscillahernandez.yidnethfanclub.com/product).
What artists have influenced your music?
I think the most important influence in my music are movie scores and soundtracks: Joe Hisaishi, Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith and many many others… I’m fond of cinematic texturas and I like the storytelling concept of the music in the movies that flows along with the story rather than staying rigid within a determined structure. About the voice, many people have compared me with Enya and Tori Amos, actually I think the first has a nice voice and I didn’t know the second (though I do know and I take it as a huge compliment, it’s more of my taste) but to be honest the singers who inspired me were Roland Orzábal (from Tears for Fears) which pessimist tone and lyrics really influenced me, and even Cyndi Lauper (especially in her most recent ballad mood).
As a songwriter, how long does it take you to compose a song?
It depends on the random forces of the universe… some songs have been evolving for years, as they were wrote at an early age and then rescued… I really like to find some old stuff because I think it trapped my feelings then and it’s a way to bring back and convey those feelings into something tangible. Others like “I steal the leaves” came quite sudden in two or three days. Sometimes I can improvise songs just while I play, and I even end up using them, but I take longer in polishing it, and sometimes fusing stories. I prefer to build the music and lyric exactly at the same time, thus I’m not limited by the metrics afterwards and I think this is the most conflictive point when I songwrite that I really have to delay and have clear both music and words at the same time to fit perfectly.
What are some obstacles you've faced trying to break into the music business?
Well, unfortunately facing the reality and being aware I’m just another struggling indie artist and for certain archievements some investments are mandatory. My store is strange as I got up to 9 record deal offers including majors but I finally made the decisión to decline them. I had no luck with the offers as they saw “a voice” and I’m a componer that sings. Deals were too long and compromising and I felt discouraged a long while. Listeners started to donate through my official website ( http://www.yidneth.com/).
What do you want listeners to feel when they listen to your music?
Ancient Shadows has been a very personal project to me as it’s a compilation of my fantasies during a long while. It was also dedicated to my dear friend Kira, my dog that died several years ago, and thus I wanted to make something I’d feel proud to dedicate to her. My music could be described as “ethereal” but it often has a darker meaning. I used the songs to face my dreams and fears bringing them to life using the music. This vibe can also be felt in the live performances (http://youtube.com/yidneth) we really want to STORYTELL using songs and music to share stories. Things we have forgotten back in our childhood… invisible friends, fairies, ghosts, haunted houses, bitter willows, nightmares, a fantasy in the realms of twilight.
Priscilla Hernandez myspace: http://myspace.com/priscillahernandez
Official website: http://www.yidneth.com/
Interview by entertainment writer Shelia M. Goss. She's also the national bestselling author of Paige's Web, My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true. For more info, visit her website: www.sheliagoss.com.