First gaining recognition as a solo artist within the New York City independent hip-hop music scene, alt-R&B vocalist Corina Corina has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working artists on the indie music scene.
She has spent years touring extensively through the USA and has performed in multiple showcases at South by Southwest in Austin and North by Northwest in Toronto.
Balance the Grind spoke to Corina about her music career, the independent music grind and extensive touring involved, meditating to find balance and more.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about who you are and your music career to date?
Heyo! I’m Corina Corina, an alternative R&B singer. I grew up in the bay and lived in NYC for a big chunk of my adult life so culturally I’m pretty much an urban hippy.
I think that comes across a lot in my music as well, sometimes it’s subtle but it you listen closely there’s a lot of hip hop lyrical influence and references to buddhism, the 12 steps and my angsty teenage years.
I’ve released three albums and two EPs as a solo artist and have collaborated with a lot of indie rappers.
I toured all over the country for years with other singers, rappers and DJs.
I’ve done the indie grind for a long time and now I’m regrouping after the really gruelling push of my 2018 album, Hangover Music.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent day?
Right now I’m working my ass off saving up for a Masters program in psychology so there’s a lot more hours of bartending than music right now.
I wake up and first thing I do every day is meditate and write in my journal.
Most days include yoga, vocal warmups and guitar practice and then in the evenings I’m usually bartending.
If I have any energy afterward I’ll catch up with a friend or hang out with my siblings. If not, I just like smoking a little trees and reading a book.
It’s not the most adventurous time in my life but I definitely feel more grounded than ever before. I’m doing a lot of spiritual growth and have a solid direction for what’s next for me.
3) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritize your workload?
It’s hard to give tips for other people because I’m naturally a very disciplined person (virgo energy!)
If something gets written down, it will most likely get done. I know that not everyone is like that. I think the most important thing is to first decide what your priorities actually are.
What’s helped a lot is having people who keep me accountable. I have an accountability parter who I check in with weekly and we have a very regimented way we set our goals, that’s made a huge difference for me.
I also have a friend who I leave voice notes for every day about what I’m grateful for and what my intentions are for the day. It’s all about intention and manifestation.
Journaling, writing a lot of lists and having control of my schedule plus prayer and a therapist help too. Nothing I’ve done has been by accident, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
4) In between your music, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
This all involves so much self care. I really burned myself out touring and doing the music grind for so many years that it took a huge toll on my health.
I’ve kind of been forced into structuring my life differently so that I can actually enjoy it. That’s been a really hard lesson!
What I’ve learned is that I have to take care of my body. I can’t live on coffee, beer and tequila alone! I also have to have a spiritual practice, that’s the only way I’ve kept my sanity through all this.
Also making sure I have people I can check in with who love me no matter what. Make time for the people you love, and for self care. There is always time for the truly important things if they matter to you.
5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?
Aside from all the things I mentioned (yoga, journaling, meditation and reading), a good old TV binge after a tour or a really hard album push.
Booking a massage, getting a lot of extra sleep, going on a hike and spending time with my family are really grounding and recharging too.
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
For me routine is key.
Have things that I do every day that are mandatory such as my morning practice, the people I check in with, my prayers at night and eating three meals a day, every day keep some semblance of balance in my life.
I do these things every day no matter where I am or what I’m doing, no excuses.
7) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with work-life balance?
As far as books I’ve been reading more for pleasure lately, currently reading It by Stephen King so I’m not sure there’s much advice to gain from that.
I’m big on podcasts for self help these days. There’s so much wisdom out there to gain. Just search anything that has to do with Adrienne Maree Brown, Oprah, Gabrielle Bernstein, Maryamm Hasnaa, Brene Brown or Ev”yan Whitney and you’ll have plenty of rabbit holes to go down.
In the past I’ve read pretty much everything that has to do with Shambala Buddhism and the bios of all the artists I love.
Microphone Check is also one of my favorite podcasts, there’s always a lot of life gems in there.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I hate to sound like a broken record but it’s prayer and meditation. Prayer to talk to my higher power, meditation to listen.