In today’s world of rappers there are artists who seem like they are just copies of each other as well as those who are in their own creative lane. Cipherella is easily the latter. I hit her up to discuss her new EP S3V3N, the sources behind her creativity and what separates her from the rest of the rappers out right now.
If there’s anything I learned from Cipherella it’s that everything she does has a purpose and meaning behind it. “Do nothing without intention” to the highest degree. This meaningfulness begins with her name which is a direct connection to one of the cores of hip – hop – the cypher. However, it also extends to the literal circle cyphers usually are in as well the connection of male and female – the two “L”s in her name. The title of her EP, S3V3N, is stylized the way it is to not only reflect the Holy Trinity but there are two threes – there are three consonants. And, the day it releases – the month and date will equal seven.
With Cipherella the beat is just as important as the lyrics however it plays a role that is more important than you might realize. Like many up and coming or even chart topping rappers she finds some of her beats in a place all of us spend quite a bit of our time – YouTube. However, if she doesn’t feel something when she hears a beat it gets passed on. Like Joey (Bada$$) said “If it don’t hit my spirit then I don’t get near it”. Unfortunately, sometimes during these searches when she contacts the producer she gets no response – so she turns to her own producer who makes a beat that gives her the same feeling. His beats are made with a story behind them which is not unheard of but still very special. To have your producer on the same wavelength as you in terms of providing a true auditory experience for the listener is beneficial for both the listener and the creator.
This is a phrase we’ve all heard before it must be said once again – we live in the age of social media. And, in this social media age the mighty keyboard warriors have reached an entirely new power level. While some thrive on the reactions of those they troll others some are intentionally disrespectful to artists because they feel they have the right to be as a critic. JPEGMAFIA had his own response to these people and Cipherella has one as equally as direct. In the first single for the EP titled “Petty” she talks of an exchange within the comments of one of her social media posts. Initially, because they were so negative she decided she would just delete them. But, then she decided that she would just be petty and respond to them directly. This shift in attitude is directly connected to the song itself also as it began as a blues track. As a blues track the atmosphere of the song was how the comments were getting to her but with the rework the confidence came back and she decided that she would give the person power by letting them get to her.
The concept of S3V3N is just as creative and layered as the production that went into it. Spanning 7 tracks each one one is centered around one of the seven deadly sins with the lead single “Petty” representing the sin of envy. With someone like Cipherella a concept project like this is very on brand and means it can be enjoyed not only on the surface level but below that as well.
Like “Petty” the entire EP S3V3N is rooted in feeling something. Cipherella doesn’t want to dictate or specify what exactly these feelings should be though as she doesn’t feel she has the right to. She can only hope the songs resonate with people and cause them to truly get enveloped in the themes and lyrics. She does however want people to feel good as they listen to it and I have no doubt this will happen due to how the production and lyrics are treated with the same level of detail and importance. Cipherella has hinted at one track that’s produced by someone we know and love and when we hear it we’ll connect it to the hit they’re known for. In addition, there are only two producers on the whole EP.
This interview was done the day after World Mental Health Awareness Day so it was only right I asked Cipherella how she was doing mentally. But, even without this context we should do mental health checks with everyone we care about in our lives. She told me she genuinely feels her mind is clouded as she is a perfectionist and wants the project to be perfect. But, at the same time she is happy with the project as she knows it is something that is different and different in a good way. She feels she gets closer and closer to who she really is with each release and this one is a step in the right direction. She feels the term “release” has a layered meaning for her and all other artists. Because they work so hard on a project when it comes out it feels like a release of all the stress and work that went into the creation of the project. A weight feels lifted as the results of all the nights and days in the studio are finally shared within the world in a condensed format.
Cipherella is a unique artist in all senses of the word. From the themes that go into this EP to creating the truly unique artwork for the cover all by herself this project is an expression of her – 100% of the way through. This is just another step in her evolution and the more she evolves the more powerful she becomes as an artist, as a woman and as a person.
“Petty” is available now on all streaming services.