Cailin Russo, the ever so lyrically conscious and sonically adventurous songwriter and singer has all the markings of a predestined pop star. Despite appearing to embrace the same femme fatale stylings and honest lyricism of Lana del Rey and Billie Eilish, Russo manages to pull off a transition into something wholly wilder and weirder.
Her transformation from Justin Beiber’s love interest in his early videos, to a siren in voice and style that looks like she’d eat JB alive, Russo has embraced a much more avant garde form of the pop star. Her look, as well as her ease in moving from stripped back production to DnB infused beats on latest album Influx, reveals that Russo is not afraid to stretch her artistry. Influx is a heady and impressive work for such a fledgling artist, hinting at a futuristic, bright, creative world for Russo to dominate.

Employing a heavy visual emphasis with INFLUX’s release, Russo worked with director Ivar Wigan to craft indelible visualisers. Given the value and emphasis on visual content that dominates pop culture of late, Russo has the game on lock, while creating her own niche and style. From the melodic initially LEMONDADE and FATE’S INTERLUDE to the more gritty GLASS JEDI, the world of Russo is far from glib, it's much more textured and interesting than her peers. About to embark on a Europe tour, Russo is primed to take over, her style a much needed glitchy and glimmering pop affair.
Hi there, thanks for chatting with us, and congrats on your latest album. What are you up to at the minute?
Hi thank you. I am currently coming down from Frank Ocean and Björk in desert wells.
Your latest album INFLUX is a high energy romp. What artists do you look to for inspiration?
Romp is cute, I had to look that word up. I look up to basically everyone I just saw at Coachella this past weekend; Rosalía, Yung Lean, Ethel Cain, Frank Ocean. Outside of them; Diana Gordon.
GLASS JEDI, which opens the album, is such a good mix of soft and ambient and tougher sounds, a bit RnB and also just quite weird. With the video, what sort of story did you want to tell?
The making for the GLASS JEDI video was very daunting because the song is so vast and dimensional. I had to leave it up to collaboration with Rose (Rose Johansen creative director) and Lane (Lane Stewart video director) to focus on very tasteful shots that could capture the richness of the INFLUX world plus INFLUX style.
The outcome is so visually arresting, what was the shoot process like?
The shot process was very meticulous, the whole creative team spent lots of time collecting the feel with lights, equipment and very high quality camera.
What parts of your artistry do you find the most compelling, the songwriting, production, or fashion, visual-creative element? As I'd say you have a really unique visual as well as musical messaging in your work, which makes it quite complete.
Wow thank you. My favourite part of the process is songwriting and song building (for now) I can get very easily overwhelmed when it comes to my own visuals. I’m constantly inspired but can become immobile sometimes when it comes to visual decision making.
How did you get into music and music production etc, what is your songwriting process like?
My songwriting process is very organic. I wait for words to concepts to arise in my mind or if we’re in the studio, we mumble words and melodies then fill the story in.
In what ways do you feel pop music and the scene in general has shifted in regards to embracing more off the wall sound and artists who are more complicated and unconventional?
I think real iconic pop stars are avant garde until they are pop.
Cailin Russo Metalmagazine 7.jpg
How has it been to perform the album live, and what shows have been your favourite?
I’ve done at least three or four different renditions of the album live, my favourite so far was the album release performance, it was extremely intense and simple and fully conceptual. It was more like an installation.
Naturally your album just came out, but have you started to think about what direction you want to go in next?
Absolutely I would love to go deeper into the world we built with INFLUX. I think for the next round of music I would like to incorporate a lot more piano and even less of a finished sound. I would like to sound more undone and more bold in flavour sonically.
Your Spotify has a few playlists you’ve curated, what was the intention behind sharing these tracks? How do you build connection with fans?
Absolutely, I think initially I was just so excited about the music I was listening to, whilst not releasing music. So I was able to express myself through music that inspires me. I also like DJ’ing.
What are you looking forward to most for the summer and year beyond?
I am looking forward to touring Europe. That is what I’m looking forward to the most.
Cailin Russo Metalmagazine 6.jpg