Her latest single and music video is a post-modern badgirl alt pop anthem that’ll get stuck in your head before the song is even over.
Smashing Copenhagen-based artist, MENDOZA, is back in her groove with a brand new single, “Five by Five”, which is a care-free ode to doing things your own way. As a whole, her music doesn’t adhere to traditional rules or guidelines and neither does her wardrobe or general attitude, for that matter. She really isn’t concerned with whether or not people “get” her vibe, which is a vibe in itself.
This latest release is a testament to her resilience as an artist and as a person, delivering a unapologetically unique vocal over a nonchalant pop melody. The music video matches this attitude by creating a simultaneously modern and throwback grunge atmosphere.
Basically, with this track and with her own signature steeze, she is giving us all the green light to go and do our own thing. We chatted about her trajectory as an artist, the creative process, personal style and the art of not giving a flip what other people think of it all.
So “Five by Five”. What were your inspirations for this track?
I instantly loved the mentality behind the Soundcloud rap scene when I first discovered it. They just take all their inspirations and merge them together without any rules. One track can be grunge with sensitive vocals and the next will be a complete trap banger with overly distorted bass. That’s very much me to do, but I’m an older generation than them so I have some other influences that inspire my melodies and lyrics.
The song is about being attacked and dissed for your work but not giving any fucks and not stressing about how fast this world wants you to move. Just chill, find your inner flow and balance. Music is not a competition.
What was the process like behind creating the visual? Was it smooth sailing for the most part?
The guy who helped me film it was easy to work with and was okay with breaking into buildings under construction. We had to climb into a very tiny window with all our gear but he was down.
When we shot the abandoned mall, there were a big group of guys yelling that I looked slutty and gross while they were banging on fences and walls. Very ironic when I sang the part “And try to not be a jerk even though that’s what you’ve learned when you criticize me from my heart to my shirt”. I kept on performing while looking straight at them. The footage is in the video but they aren’t.
I feel like you’re serving face and fashion in this music video. Tell me about wardrobe?
Haha, thanks. They are just the outfits that are in my own wardrobe – I’ve worn them for nights out. I did try to have blue as the main color for the video and the next one will be another color. But yeah, my style evolves all the time like my music. At the moment, I’m feeling like a manga superhero but I like to switch it up and surprise myself. It’s all about being in a creative process that melds everything together and gives you new ideas.
How would you describe your personal style?
A reflection of my emotions. What I want to be or what I feel like I am. An overdramatized and over-characterized version of those things.
In your work, you feature a lot of strong vocals over strong trap beats. Basically what I’m getting is strength. Do you see yourself that way?
It might sound arrogant to say that about yourself, but I actually do consider myself to be very strong and I want to put that into my music and inspire others to be the same. People have been trying to bring me down all my life and I do get sad and I do have moments where I just try to escape it all and that’s okay. People should know it’s okay to take a break when things gets too rough. It’s all about knowing when it’s okay to go a bit crazy and get shit out of your system but also knowing that when the break is over you have to work three times as hard.
This latest release feels more carefree, in a way and I’m almost getting an early 2000s pop vibe here. Was this purposeful and do you think your artistic direction is changing at all?
It’s always really interesting to hear what other thinks about my music, ’cause i’m so blind to it. I have always strived to make timeless music in the past and I feel like this and the tracks to come are actually very “now”, haha, but very “now” is also 00’s so that might be the reason.
I think in concepts. For example, my upcoming double EP will be compromised of two parts where the first part is songs I consider bangers you could get pumped to and with an empowering kind of feel and the next EP is where I give my sad emotions an outlet. I like to divide things into different projects with themes.
As I said, I am very blind to my own music. I’ve even had to ask people what genre they consider it. In my vocals, I’m inspired by the 80’s and 90’s and idols like Marilyn Manson and Jack White. Then in melodies, it could be modern über pop music or R&B and Hip Hop. But the mentality and my approach is sometimes punk and techno. It’s very complicated for me to define my own music because I have my foot in so many communities and I have a passion for music in general. I feel tracks in different genres to my core where I just feel like going crazy the same amount to a pop hit as I would a Techno/noise track. I think I have a split personality.
How do you hope people feel when they listen into your tunes?
Either empowered and hopeful or understood and release. I want people to feel that my emotions are not selfish even though I write about personal feelings. I want them to feel like we are united and not alone, even in our uniqueness.
What’s next for you?
Double EP and visual projects. I really want to show honesty in its purest form through some videos I’m planning with subjects like loneliness and anxiety which might be some of the most common feelings in people these days. I want people to see extreme and less extreme cases so they can get perspective on their own lives.
I believe in moving people with actions (and that can be through art) instead of yelling my opinions in their faces (which might as well be a wall). I can’t say too much about my music other than I have a plan in my head to do it in a certain order. I know a lot of people think I failed at music because I took too long to follow up on “Love Druggie“. A lot of things happened behind the scenes… I hold no grudges, but I always want to make music without expectation because I find myself through making music.
Maybe that’s confusing but I’ll just have to make a cliché answer and say… For me to know, and you to find out.