At this present moment in time, chances are that you’re familiar with pop musician MishCatt. After all, MishCatt (also known as Michelle González) is the highest streamed artist in Costa Rican history, with over 50 million streams! Still doesn’t ring a bell? Well, MishCatt performed a touching tribute at the Avicii Tribute Concert for Mental Health Awareness held in his hometown of Stockholm a few weeks ago, which you can watch below.
Right now, she’s back and better than ever with two brand new singles off of her upcoming EP, The Real Pavo! Her debut EP, Highlighter, is a masterful piece of work, but if her new singles are anything to go by, The Real Pavo is going to be a hit. For sure. Don’t believe me? Stream “Blue Blood” and “Midnight Sun” – both tracks come straight out of a synth-pop lover’s dream, and both of them are accompanied by brightly-colored, uber aesthetically pleasing music videos. You see, MishCatt was born with synesthesia (a condition that causes her to see shapes and colors through sound), and that really translates well into her music.
After listening to her music, I had a lot of questions. Thankfully, MishCatt was nice enough to sit down and answer them!
How does synesthesia affect your music-creating ability/process, if at all?
It affects it a lot. It’s like sound design that you can not only hear but experience with all senses. Mostly I can see shapes in patterns or waves of sound and colors. It’s a lot of textures. Like doing a painting in 4D.
Being the most streamed artist in Costa Rica is a fantastic achievement, but one that I’m sure succeeded many bumps in the road. How do you deal with the pressure of being a musician, and how do you deal with “failure”?
Every decision I make gives me a different reality and I just have more experiences that allow me to grow in different directions, like being a tree and growing more branches. I’ve always known that I wanted to express myself in music and art and like any industry, it is hard. I mean, life is hard. But if you love what you do, no matter how hard life is, you will persist because it fulfills you in a very deep way. It all depends on your perspective and attitude towards life. So failure will only exist if you want it to exist… if not, then it won’t.
How would you describe your debut EP, Highlighter, in just a few words?
I called it Highlighter because I see a lot of electric highlighter colors in my songs, with a lot of energy.
The video for “Blue Blood” is just as you described it – a kaleidoscope of Disney’s Alice In Wonderland. What was the conceptualization and filming process like?
We wanted to make it look like a dream. My eyes are closed through the whole video because I’m supposed to be dreaming what you see in the video. The filming process was a fun cold night in the countryside of Sweden. We needed to stay warm so wine was an important part of it.
Why did you choose “Blue Blood” to be the first single off of your upcoming EP?
Music-wise, I felt “Blue Blood” was groovy and light. It felt like a good start because this one opens the door to some of the vibes and sounds you will hear on the other songs.
Story telling-wise, it’s the introduction of MishCatt and Catt and why she becomes purple. I meet Catt, the blue monkey, in that first song in my dreams, and he takes me through an adventure on each song. He sort of represents intuition.
Is “Blue Blood” a good representation of the songs that we can expect in The Real Pavo, or is it an outlier?
Every song on the EP has a distinctive personality, but “Blue Blood” is the common denominator. Apart from being the intro of the wifer story, it is the song that will introduce sounds that you will feel are familiar in the other songs, even if each song has its own groove.
Speaking of your EP, can you tell us why you decided to name it The Real Pavo?
I wish my answer was short and simple on this one… In Spanish, Pavo means turkey, and Pavo Real is Peacock. So it’s a turkey with great confidence, rediscovering its colors and feeling like a peacock. We should all feel like that Real Pavo. This EP is about re-discovering your colors and feeling comfortable in your own vibe.
How does music make you feel?
It manipulates my emotions.
What was it like working with Miike Snow’s Pontus Winnberg?
It was really great, I learned so much with him while making this music. He is a great composer. He always takes your ideas to a place you wouldn’t imagine.
Do you have any unwavering life advice you use in your own life that you’d like to share?
Surrender and smile.
Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
Favorite musical instrument to listen to?
Right now the Erhu.
An instrument you wish you could play?
Piano… as good as my dad.
Can you describe The Real Pavo in less than ten words?
A love story between me and my intuition (and all the highs and lows involved in that relationship).