Imagine being your own booker, promoter, manager, engineer, and on top of all that writing your own music and perfecting it yourself before playing it all live in front of strangers?
Yes, it sounds fatiguing but for Todavia it is what keeps her independent project going and her music making both inspiring and rewarding.
Todavia is a soothing surrounding cloud of ambient and dream-pop sounds by Rhyan Riesgo.
The introverted curator describes herself as a “hazy, violet, ambiguous and full of heartbreaking love” D.I.Y. project based in Los Angeles. We talked to her about her music, her inspiration and her motivation as she prepares to launch her LP “Shyness”, a homage to herself as a multi-instrumentalist, her alienation and her social anxiety.
What it’s like to be a D.Y.I. project in L.A.
Todavia blossomed from a dark yet safe place inside me. I have always preferred being alone, and my solace has always been writing/performing music. “Devotion” is the word I think of when working on music/in music. It’s a gruesome and exhausting hustle and to find those moments where there is calm and appreciation and awe, that can be really rewarding and validating and awakens any desire to give up. The most challenging part of music making is the standard for live performance that’ll NEED to follow it. Every time I write something new, I have to think about the live aspect of it. Being indie is cool and all, but all it means is that you’re doing it all yourself. I call myself D.I.Y. because I’m one person and I have to act as my own booker, promoter, social media person, engineer, producer, mixing engineer, mastering engineer, writer, etc. I almost forget that I have to play the music too.
About ‘Shyness’, the inspiration + creative process.
A lot of things inspire me. For my latest LP titled, “Shyness” I suppose things I find calmness in have inspired me. Things like walks in a quiet park, rain, early mornings, and watching airplanes take off at LAX. Lately, I’ve been really hard on myself for my own standards on mixing/mastering and so writing and practicing has come almost last on my life of priorities. Sometimes a song like “Our Luck” can be written and tracked in two hours from start to finish. Sometimes a song like “Sounds” can be rewritten at least a dozen times, and two years go by before anyone hears it. Usually it starts with a loop. Something like two chords or four chords being looped on my Roland Fantom for eternity, and before you know it, more and more loops are added on top.
Reminiscing her first live show in Los Angeles.
My first show, Todavia played as three-piece in May 2015 at Lot 1 in Echo Park. I honestly had no idea that there were going to be that many people. It was incredible. The sound was awful, even though I think I brought my own PA. It felt so great to be able to, in a way, get Todavia out of the bedroom and play these songs out in the world.
“It was no longer an idea, it became real.”
Listen to Todavia’s favorite songs at the moment, including her favorite band Beach House, who she saw on their last tour about 11 times:
Connect with Todavia:
Photo courtesy of Rhyan Riesgo.