With over 3 million hits on YouTube, Miami-based singer Egine is steadily making her mark on the music scene. Egine has traveled the world, and taps into her multi-cultural background to release a sound that blurs the traditional notions of pop music. Currently in the thick of practices for an upcoming June 14 show and putting together a new album, Egine shared what lies ahead for her:
Between a Russian/Armenian background and some extensive traveling, you definitely seem to have been exposed to all sorts of cultures and backgrounds. How do you believe that has influenced your music?
Being Armenian is in my blood, and I use certain ethnic elements that I mix with musical style. I grew up listening to American Music like Jazz, Gospel, R&B, one of my favorite artists of all times is Michael Jackson, but I was definitely inspired by traveling and seeing different cultures when it comes to writing music. Armenian and Russian cultures are totally different.
How do you weave in some of those influences into your music?
It just happens, and I have no control over it. It comes from somewhere else, from my subconscious experiences and musical feelings. When mixed all together they come out while I am writing a song. They are inspirations of the moment.
Of all the cities you've traveled to, what made you end up settling in Miami?
My mom is a vocal coach who helped and encourage me to enter as many singing competitions as I could in Russia. In one of the competitions when I was 17, I won a chance to participate in World Championship of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. There were a lot of people there from all over the world, about 75,000. I won a lot throughout the competitions and got to make new friends. Some of the friends that I made were from Miami, and when I went back to Russia to finish college, I kept in contact with them. One night while performing, I met a producer from Miami that was travelling for business in Moscow. He came up to me after the show and said he was very interested in working with me, he offered me the chance to develop my skills and songs in a space in Miami. At first, I didn’t know what to think, but eventually it seemed clear that I had to go. My family and I didn’t have any money, but we saved up for the flight and I went! When I got here, I was 18 and my friends from the competitions were so nice that they allowed me to stay in their houses until I settled in. So yeah, it was meant to be baby.
What kind of inspirations do you draw from Miami?
Everything about Miami is inspiring to me. This place is a paradise, it has a beautiful nature, the weather is warm, the beach and ocean are wonderful, and the people are so unique to me. I was brought up in Russian and Armenian culture and in Miami I got something completely new, Latino culture. People think I am Latina, I wish I knew Spanish! I will definitely be learning it soon. This place just opened a completely different world for me. What is also so much better is that I no longer have to live with the pressure of being an Armenian in Russia, which is very difficult. I used to feel like I was in the middle of nowhere, I could not find my home, and I just didn’t belong. Now, I feel free. It doesn’t matter if I am Armenian or Russian, I am just a human being here, and that is why I know I found my home here in Miami and America.
How did the collaboration with T-Pain come about? Are there any other artists you plan to work with in the future?
Oh, there are so many artists I want to work with, they just don’t know yet! It’s a secret for now [laughs]. My producer had a song that was written with T-Pain and he played it to me. It was great! I loved the ethnic vibe from the beginning. Then we decided to change the verses, showed it to T-Pain, he loved it, and that was that. Working with him was a blessing and really exciting. T-Pain is really sweet, nice, and not afraid to have fun while making music happen.
What other shows or plans do you have apart from the June 14 show?
I am working on my album, half is ready and the other half is still in the process. I am kind of in a promo travel time after the performance on June 14 with Downtown Miami Concert Series. I am going to New York City and continue talking with people about my music. I can tell you this, the album is going to merge different styles of music that I hope are fresh new blends for people to listen.
You've released a series of videos to your YouTube channel. Can fans expect more of the sounds released via your videos on your debut album, or will you be going in a different direction?
“Moon of Dreams” and “If We Let it Go” are definitely going to be on the album, but we will have more surprises for everyone, that is a promise.