Christina Munsey, like many talented young singer / songwriters today, began singing at a very early age. Young talent isn’t a rare commodity these days but young talent with a distinguished voice, polished writing skills, poise, and a sense of self and determination isn’t commonplace. And in an era where having teams of people writing one single song is considered the norm, Munsey is her own team, writing effortless melodies and lyrics that float along to her dreamy vocals. Electro-pop and indie vibes with hints of R&B flow together seamlessly as she sings about everyday teen angst on her debut EP, for me, or for you.
Munsey’s songwriting began to take shape when she was 16 years old and comes from an internal, moody place based on personal experiences and draws inspiration from the world around her. Melodies come into her head before lyrics, starting with a hum until they sound like she wants them to sound, then come the words, which she starts piecing together to form the lyrics and the phrases that form the song. “Recently, I’d felt that my melodies were starting to sound too much like everything else I’ve heard so I started picking objects from my writing room and creating melodies that go with the shapes or patterns of the object. That’s become my go-to when I’m stuck.” Her songs are also summoned from nature, especially storms which conjure up something that triggers a wave of creativity that is only harnessed through her music. “All of the songs that I have written have been influenced by my fascination with storms. I never feel fully in my creative element until there are heavy clouds, rain, and thunder accompanying. Something about it triggers a different part of my brain, that allows me to completely dive into whatever I’m working on.”
Munsey doesn’t have a formula for writing songs. Sometimes she’ll pick up an electric guitar (she also plays classical guitar and piano) to create basic chords to sing over. But other times “I’ll be walking outside and listening to the sound of my shoes hitting the concrete, and I’ll hear a melody in my head and quickly reach for my phone to record it. Finding inspiration has never been a hard thing for her. “I’ve had many instances where I can’t figure out how I’m feeling about a situation and with no intention to write about it, it inevitably makes its way onto paper. That’s also why it’s so addicting, so cathartic. When feelings are all you have at first, it’s important to lay things out and get comfortable with saying them out loud. But when you craft them into actual sound, it’s a whole other level of contentment.”
Munsey released her very first song "Rose Gold" (with producer Au Lune) in 2019. Now, with for me, or for you brings five new songs (and an interlude) that make up the EP. The lead track, “crystal skies,” glows with layered textures and atmospheric melodies, electric guitar and high hats. “It’s a track that was written completely backwards, in that, I wrote the pre-chorus and chorus first, and I came back later and wrote the rest of the song.” Other songs such as “hazy” and “apart” come from a very delicate place. “’hazy’ is about being at the end of yourself and not knowing how to cope with a lost relationship.” “apart” comes from the same raw place and was the first song she ever wrote on an electric guitar. “I had been fighting with one of my friends and began realizing how toxic our relationship had become so I began writing from a place of frustration, and that’s what became ‘apart.’”
Recovering was a slow process for Munsey but writing about these experiences was her remedy. “I learned that sometimes things don’t make sense, but that everything happens for a reason, and I have to trust in that. I learned that music is therapy and will one way, or another, allow you to get closure where there is none and get what you had been bottling up, out.” Lighter tracks include “swoony,” a made-up word to describe having overwhelmingly intense feelings for someone and “california glow,” which was inspired by a picture Munsey saw on Pinterest that resonated with her. “The picture showed two arms reaching towards each other in a field. Studying it, my mind encapsulated a storyline of getting through a breakup and dealing with the bittersweet memories and finding light in a dark situation.”
As for where she sees herself fitting into today’s musical landscape Munsey says she hopes to create a whole new genre, “I think the key to fitting into a musical landscape is to actually stand out. To create something that’s true to yourself while also being innovative. It’s so important to me as an artist, to be as human as possible for listeners. I want to be as true and transparent to my work and as I can be, and I hope that through that, I can create a sense of approachability with people because, at the end of the day, we’re all feeling the same waves of emotion, and if I’m able to be where everyone else’s heads are at, then I’ll be content.”