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Table of Contents

Heart-to-heart with Sandra Iris: From Childhood Rhymes to Indie Triumphs

In the exciting world of music, some artists start their journey with childhood anecdotes and slowly delve into life’s deeper moments. Sandra Iris, a heartfelt indie artist, is one of those storytellers. Her musical journey goes from playful childhood songs to significant achievements in the indie music scene.

We’ve been lucky enough to have a heart-to-heart with her and launch this blog category by sharing her melodic odyssey.

It’s personal

D: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in music?

Sandra Iris: When I was a kid, I loved to write random songs. I still remember the first one; it went something like, “Pistola de fuego, pistola de agua. Baila el rock & roll,” which translates to “Fire gun, water gun, dance rock & roll.” Hahaha, amazing lyrics! A few years later, I studied at a Catholic school where they auditioned for the school choir. I was chosen, and at that moment, I felt like Britney Spears. Later on, I also sang for my church.

Fast forward to when I was 17; I became interested in rock music and I started my first rock band. It was during this time that I began my songwriting journey with the other members. In 2020, I embarked on my solo career when I met LEIDAN (who produces my songs) on the internet and I decided to pursue songwriting with his help.

D: What inspired you to pursue a career as an indie artist?

Sandra Iris: My main goal when I started was to create songs that captured specific moments of my life. I wanted to be able to listen to them years later and have a perfect picture of what was happening to me at that time.

At first, I thought that no one would listen, so I didn’t have any expectations about how my music needed to be. Later on,  I discovered that people liked it and I was very happy to connect with their emotions through my music. That realization also became my goal.

Musical Journey

How would you describe your musical style and the themes you explore in your music?

Sandra Iris: I always write very personal songs and I’m also quite specific about what’s happening in my life. I also tend to create specific scenarios in my head with certain colours, visuals, smells, etc., and I try to focus on them to give a mental picture to my listeners. 

Can you share a bit about your artistic journey, from your early works to your most recent projects?

Sandra Iris: When I started my solo career I wanted my music to sound like Radiohead or Gorillaz. As you can see now, it doesn’t have to do anything with that. I always write my songs with my guitar and I wanted them to sound acoustic and experimental, like Dark Blue, my first single.

But then, I wrote Midnight Tacos and LEIDAN introduced me to the amazing world of synths. I started to open my mind and I developed more of a jazzy pop sound(also influenced by him, that’s inevitable) my new EP Zenith has also that sound but right now I’m changing quite a bit in my new compositions as I’m experimenting with darker sounds.

Songwriting Process

What does your songwriting process look like? How do you typically come up with lyrics and melodies?

Sandra Iris: Lyrics always came first. When I started I had very strong emotions and I just sat on my bed and started to write random sentences about what I wanted to say or words that I wanted to include to create a certain vibe. Then, I would pick up my guitar and try to create a beautiful melody (melodies are my speciality, unlike playing the guitar).

I think that my melodies are good because I’m very bad at playing guitar and I need to compensate for it. Right now, I combine this process with creating melodies with beats that LEIDAN produces or with free type beats I find on Youtube.

Are there specific themes or experiences that consistently inspire your songwriting?

Sandra Iris: Love and spirituality and my favorite ones and right now I’m also writing about “bad” feelings such as envy, jealousy, etc. I didn’t want to write about them in the past because I thought that somehow I was “manifesting” them but I can’t hide it anymore. Maybe I’m a bad person and the world needs to know.

Influences

Who are your musical influences, both within and outside your genre?

Sandra Iris: Right now my greatest musical influences are Bruno Major and Eloise but also bands like Deftones or classic jazz musicians like Chet Baker

How have these influences shaped your music, and do you actively seek out new inspirations?

Sandra Iris: Bruno Major and Eloise have influenced my songs’ production style, I think. Deftones had subconsciously influenced my singing style since I was a teen and if we talk about Chet Baker. I love his singing style and melody crafting. He inspires me to create better melodies.

Indie Music Scene

What do you find most rewarding about being an indie artist in today’s music scene?

Sandra Iris: I feel like learning to sing or learning an instrument some years ago was a bit elitist. Right now you don’t need to pay anything to learn how to sing or how to produce (the real challenge comes from having a structured plan or ordering all of this information) 

I also feel like it’s way easier to be more connected to other musicians and to develop a supportive network.

What challenges have you faced as an independent artist, and how do you navigate them?

Sandra Iris: These challenges are that, first, you need to do everything for your music. From creating an artwork to pay for ads, contact venues… literally everything. I really enjoy the challenge, though; second, this world is overflowed with information and it’s been more difficult to get discovered but there’s always hope. I don’t really try to fight against this issue. I do my best and the rest isn’t under my control.

Recording and Production

Can you walk us through your recording and production process?

Sandra Iris: I record at home and LEIDAN produces, mixes and masters my songs. He’s the true genius here. It’s all homemade.

How do you approach the creative and technical aspects of your music production?

Sandra Iris: I only talk about creative aspects. I let LEIDAN lead me in terms of technical stuff since I’m just a baby in music production terms.

 

 

 

Collaborations

Have you collaborated with other artists, and if so, how did those experiences influence your music?

Sandra Iris: My first collaboration was with the artist Keatsu, he asked me to join him on his song “I Could Be Your Friend”. I really enjoyed it and I really love that song.I have also collaborated with other artists, not with my main project yet, but I’m always willing to collaborate and to learn from others.

Is there a dream collaboration you would love to pursue in the future?

Sandra Iris: Not really, I think that they will present themselves in the right moment.

Performance and Live Shows

How does performing live compare to the studio recording experience for you?

Sandra Iris: I’m kinda perfectionist when it comes to vocals and I also hate recording alone (like having to control the computer and to record at the same time etc) I think that it doesn’t let me flow as I should but it also makes me feel more secure and free as I don’t have any pressure to sound perfect on the first take.

When it comes to live shows, I like them and I love to be able to flow freely with my songs without having to repeat anything to sound amazing but It also puts me under pressure of being funny and entertaining enough.

Do you have any memorable or unique experiences from your live shows?

Sandra Iris: When I was a teen and I had my rock band we sometimes played at squatter buildings (they were very common in Spain at that point) they generated their own electricity so we had to stop playing between some sets of songs so they could turn the power on again. 

Challenges and Achievements

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your music career, and how did you overcome them?

Sandra Iris: My biggest challenge was and still is (I’m learning how to navigate it) a creative block that lasted almost two years. It was dreading me too much and It almost made me abandon music. 

It’s starting to dissipate and I honestly don’t know how. I think that I just kept showing up and I also tried to associate music with something positive and fun instead of a self-judgemental activity.

Can you share a moment in your career that you consider a significant triumph?

Sandra Iris: It might sound stupid but when my second song was added to an editorial playlist I was so so so so happy! i couldn’t believe it! It made me take my career more seriously.

Advice for Aspiring Indie Artists

What advice would you give to aspiring indie artists who are just starting their musical journey?

Sandra Iris: This might sound cheesy but maybe finding their true north (the reason they make music); mine for example is to explore emotions and to leave a fingerprint of my life on this earth. Also, try to understand yourself and explore your own way. Be your own kind of artist. For example, I wouldn’t like to be a super famous celebrity, I’d rather stay more calm and have more time and freedom!

Choose your path and design it. That’s my main advice.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started as an indie artist?

Sandra Iris: I think that the magical part of all of this process is to fully experience it and I also don’t think that I could have understood any advice from more experienced artists in that moment. You need to live it and make your own wrong and right choices.

From Distromono, we appreciate the time you took to allow us to dive into your musical journey. It’s been an incredible experience and we hope to continue sharing more chapters of artistic adventures.

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