1) Can Introduce Yourself? And give us the back story on your alias (stage name)?
Cookie: Wassup world , my name is Cookiee Kawaii & I’m from Irvington NJ. My stage name went through some changes throughout the years. I started as Harajuku Cookiee. The Harajuku came from me just loving everything about Japanese culture & fashion. And the Cookiee (with two e’s) was added because I love soft baked cookies lol . its my favorite snack in the world so why not be named after it. As I evolved… I changed from Harajuku Cookiee to Cookiee Kowa. One because I felt there needed to be a change as far as branding for me. The Harajuku brand has been used by many famous artist such as ( Nicki Minaj & Gwen Stefani) so I needed to make a change and pick something more original. Secondly I was briefly on a team (RAW BUNCH) with a notable rapper Tsu Surf. So my name needed to be something that meshed well with his & still stuck true to my love for Japanese culture. So I came up with the name Cookiee Kowa. Kowa … short for cowabunga (in relation to surfing) but I changed the c to a k because kowa in Japanese meant scary or frightening lol … to me since I wasn’t that young artist anymore and I was growing into my own sound .. I wanted people to somewhat be scared of what I could bring to the table. Because I had a lot of people doubting what I could do as an artist. After I left Raw Bunch … I needed to have my own identity … something that was mine and original. Didn’t take me long before I came up with Cookiee Kawaii. Kawaii means cute or adorable in Japanese & that fits my personality.. & it rolls of the tongue for those who can pronounce it right lol & for sure to me its more original & its a name Im proud of.
2) If you could describe the sound of your music in two words what would they be and why?
Cookiee: If I had to pick two words to describe my sound .. Id say .. ” poetry & soul ”
I pick those two because I always tell anyone who asks how did i start music … that I’m a poet first. I’ve written poetry for as long as I can remember. So when it comes to my music .. poetry is always the first thing that comes to mind. All my songs are poems. All my songs come from a place of truth… I don’t even think I’ve written a song that is a made up story of something that never happened. For me poetry helps me easily express myself. I say things in my songs that I would never say to someone in person. Soul … because i put a lot of feelings into my music. My emotions and how I feel are always topic in my songs .. & you cant really get your listener to feel what you felt without putting your soul into the music. I lay everything out on the table in the booth & I really push my emotions out. I’ve teared up writing some songs. So for sure I put everything including my poetry & soul into my music.
3) Can you describe what your music making process is like?
Cookiee: When it comes to my music making process I play a major role when it comes down to structuring my songs. When recording I always know how I want everything to sound. Every snap crackle and pop you hear is something I already had in my head when the song was being written. My writing process is different depending on the day. Sometimes I can be listening to beats.. like a beat and then instantly a song comes to mind and I can write the whole thing in minutes.Then theres other days when Im trying to write a specific kind of song & Ill have the lyrics or the melodies in my head & I need a beat that matches the vibe I’m looking for. Other times I could just be listening to beats & Ill freestyle melodies and lyrics until I find something that sticks. So my music making process can vary. I never stick to one method and sometimes I surprise myself with how quickly I come up with a song. I never rush the song writing process though… Because when I overthink.. I get writers block. So I really have to be open and just let the energy flow when I’m writing & making music.
4) Who are some of your influences in relation to music and videography?
Cookie: I mean I love all kinds of music, but if I had to pick Id definitely say .. Queen Latifah, Jill Scott , Lauryn Hill , Erykah Badu & Kendrick Lamar. As far as videography. I love film & I get inspiration from all movies and all directors. But If I had to pick two favorites id definitely say Hayao Miyazaki and Quentin Tarantino. They’ve made some of the best films & two of which I can say I watched a lot growing up Kill Bill vol 1&2 & Spirited Away. I recommend any one who hasn’t seen those movies to watch them.
5) Taking your catalog into consideration, what do you feel is your best song to date And why?
Cookiee: My best song to date … Id say with no hesitation is .. Music & Poetry. Why… because I feel like its a song that no matter how old it gets the subject at hand is so relatable its timeless. I feel its a song that can always represent me as an artist. & the crazy thing is … I don’t remember writing it lol. I remember first listening to the beat, but when i try to think about writing it .. it becomes so outer body to me.. Because its so good I cant believe i wrote it… I feel it was a gift. Like I was almost possessed but the music Gods when I wrote that song. But its always my go to song .. when I recommend people to my music.
6) Can you talk little but about your company Clouded Images?
Cookiee: Clouded Images is my photography and videography company. I bought my first camera in 2011 & from there the business took off instantly. I got my camera because I was mainly just a model at the time & I wanted to take my own pictures because professional photoshoots were expensive. The moment I took my first picture and posted it online .. I instantly got responses from people asking where i took my photos & how could they get some taken. So the light bulb went off & I went from a freelance model to self employed photographer.I always had a love for film so getting involved in videography as well just came with it. I’ve grown a extreme love and passion for photography and film & I only hope to increase my knowledge in the craft.
7) You a person who wears many hats. What sets you apart from you peers? (In music and in video)
Cookiee: Being so I wear so many hats .. I feel that is key in what really sets me apart in both music and video.Me being able to do so many things helps in all aspects especially when your an artist. Thats what makes me different. I dont know many videographers that make music or a music artist that manages a dance team .. I do a lot. And i feel when it comes to the arts i.e. video , photography & music. All those things coincide with each other. At some point a music artist may have to direct or take a photo or structure a song. Even in film those same things can apply. So what makes me different also gives me a leg up because I am not only the product but I understand back story and product management. lol I know what goes on behind the scenes.
8) What of some of your anime and or manga?(Past or Present) Do you have a preference between subs or dubs?
Cookiee: First off let me say … ANIME WAS MY CHILDHOOD…. & adulthood lol I’m honestly open to all anime and all manga .. subs or dubs don’t matter ..just depends on how i start the series…. theres nothing I wouldn’t read or watch though. If I had to pick some favorites .. Id say … Inuyasha , Dragon Ball Z & Yu Yu Hakusho lol the classics, but recently I did fall in love with Attack on Titan and the Sekirei series (don’t judge me) lol
9) Anime, Comics and gaming are core elements in your music? How long have you been avidly in these fandoms?
Cookiee: I feel i speak on Anime references in my music more than anything. I’ve been a fan of gaming , anime & comics since forever. When it comes to gaming and comics I feel that plays more so into my creative art & my personality. Ive made a huge collages just out of comics & I have bags full of video games so I feel those elements just play apart in who I am as a person more than in my music. But anime i feel is more implemented in my music because i write a lot of love songs & i base my idea of love off of anime because I feel ” anime love ” is something totally different from what someone who may not watch anime thinks of love.
10) How are you planning to bridge the gap between your music, love for dance and videographer endeavors? How do they co-exist in your world?
Cookiee: Thats easy, like i mentioned before when it comes to the arts .. they all coincide with each other. For example I could be directing a movie & implement a song I wrote into the soundtrack. Another example. I could be directing a music video & have my dance team be lead background dancers. I could even have someone else shoot and direct & I could model and act something out that I wrote for the script. So when it comes to my many hats they’ll always co exist with each other.
11) So where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Cookiee: In ten years I see myself being successful in all my crafts & owning a Talent Agency. I would want the company to have a recording studio , photography studio, dance studio & a class room to teach film. I would want to give the youth the opportunity to have the tools and foundation they need to blossom in the arts. Because thats something I didn’t have. I’m self taught & I invest and support my craft on my own. So I would wanna be the person to give opportunity to those who really have a passion and give them a little push to help them achieve there dreams and goals.
Let the people know how they can find you? (social media links)
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/cookiee-kawaii
Instagram (Personal) – https://www.instagram.com/cookieekawaii/
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNvO1hoZQcmoMpLgLpfDV0Q
Twitter (Personal): https://twitter.com/cookieekawaii
Twitter (Business): https://twitter.com/cloudedimages