If you follow Cyn Santana in any capacity, you already know she does not play any games. When it comes to her family, her energy, her music, her career, and her personal life, she makes it a point to not allow absolutely anything to disrupt her peace.
You may have seen her as a star on Love & Hip Hop: New York, but the New York native is far more than a reality television star. A musician in her own right, Cyn is as excited as ever to have unleashed her highly-anticipated debut EP titled Redirected Energy, speaking volumes to the current times. Releasing it on her 28th birthday, Cyn remains transparent and open as ever, empowering and inspiring listeners all around the world to step outside of their comfort zones and tap into themselves.
With songs like “No Question” and “Love Me Better,” Cyn creates a full body of work with records to fit all moods. Baller Alert caught up with Cyn via Instagram Live, who was posted in New York. Read below as we discuss her new project, Biden’s win, her viral tweet to Tomi Lahren, being a spiritual gangsta, her detox, wanting to work with Cardi B, and more!
How are you holding up in New York?
We’re doing pretty good. The governor put his foot down, he put some things in order over here. I guess there’s some neighborhoods spiking up right now, so they’re doing some lockdowns in some areas. Where I’m at, we listen. We wear our masks. Thankfully, everyone’s been safe and healthy. Working from the house! Creating things.
How did you celebrate Biden’s win?
I definitely celebrated. Oh my God, I can’t believe he won! I’m so so so happy. We went out as if it was my homeboy or homegirl’s birthday.
Could you imagine if we still had Trump?
No, I could not imagine. That wasn’t happening. I was asking all of my friends, my siblings, people I knew that don’t really vote, “have you voted?” Whoever didn’t vote, I was Uber Votes. I was picking people up and dropping them off at the nearest poll site. I was not playing, negative. I was very nervous. I was nervous for our country, for our people. I’m so happy.
Did you think your tweet to Tomi Lahren would go up like that?
No, I didn’t. [laughs] I didn’t. She’s so annoying. She’s so ignorant. I get mad when people even give her a platform because she’s such a dumbass bitch. Fine, everybody has their opinions, their views, great. She’s literally tweeting things that aren’t factual. You don’t know what’s facts. You’re irresponsible bitch. I went through her timeline, found a funny tweet. You know the “this is you” tweet? This is perfect. It went completely viral, but she deserved it. She’s such a dumb ass bitch.
Redirected Energy out now! How are you feeling?
It’s surreal. Whenever I hear the words Redirected Energy, wow, it’s out. I did that. That’s dope. My album’s out! Literally a dream come true. I’m so excited. I’m super proud of it; it’s my baby. It’s just the beginning.
You “decided to be selfish and do something you’ve always dreamed of doing.” What took so long?
It was definitely a combination of fear. I’m a Libra; I overthink everything a million different times a million different ways. I’ve been singing my whole life since I was 5. Where I come from, I never knew it’s possible to do it professionally. My thing was to go to school, become a doctor, a nurse, or a lawyer, that’s it. My whole life, I knew I loved to sing and perform for people. I’d do it in school, for my family at parties. I idolized Jennifer Lopez, but that’s impossible. It’s not realistic. Once Love & Hip Hop came into my life, I came into the entertainment industry, thinking this could be a thing, but then I got pregnant and had a baby. Once I settled into my own space and got to know myself better, I really wanted to fulfill myself and do what I love, and that’s music. Now, here we are.
My intern told me Rich Morris produced the whole EP. Why did you place your trust in an up and coming producer versus a veteran on the project?
Yes, I love that! Rich Morris produced my entire EP, he’s super dope. Your intern must be hella dope because Rich Morris, that energy. He’s a special producer, that’s what I’m into. I’m into up and coming people. They hungry, and they believe. They down for the ride, I love that. He’s been with me ever since, that’s my bro bro right there.
Fondest memories from creating this project?
So many, we worked on it for 2 years. One of the things I remember most is driving. The studio’s almost 2 hours away, it was a 2-hour drive. They’re upstate New York. I’m New York, New York. I’m in the city. I live in Jersey. I felt safe over there. I didn’t want to work with anybody else because I didn’t trust anybody else. I really trusted my crew: Jasmin Lopez, she’s one of my songwriters, Rich Morris produced it, Drawzilla engineered it. I’d drive out there anytime I felt like making a song. I swear to you, my assistant, and I call it the world tour. We’d have to drive so far, but I would’ve driven another 2 hours for that energy. I felt safer there, it was a sacred place. Every time we drove there, we gon’ finish this and another song! Because that drive’s no joke.
Did you get inspired during the drive?
Always! Always, always, always. The drive after you pass the traffic is very pretty. A whole bunch of trees, it looks like a painting. Mountains and trees. I listened to my beats, think of ideas even more, and add on to it. It was preparing to do a song, it wasn’t too bad.
Favorite songs on the project and why?
I love “Don’t Make Me.” I wanted to make something super sexy, get ready for the club, pregame. Very Milky Way, galaxy vibe. J-Lo was one of my inspirations. I wanted to do something that felt like “Waiting For Tonight.” “What You Thought” is one of my favorites, it’s super strong. I want women to feel super empowered and feed their ego. Oof, “Love Me Better” is #1 for me. It’s super heartfelt. I love old school R&B, I wanted to give that vibe and it’s still a little sexy. You’re begging your man to love you a little bit but then the second verse is well hold up, if I’m gone baby I’m gone. It’s sexy.
What was your vision with the cover art?
I wanted something timeless, but still aesthetically pleasing. Something different I’ve never done before. I wanted to show power and goddess, standing in my shit. Head high, leg all out. Blonde hair, that bitch. The yellow with the sun, I’m glowing. I feel strong, I really wanted to show that. I think we bodied that.
How does your son feel about the project?
You want to know something funny? My son was my A&R. Every time I did a song, I played it for him. If he didn’t bop to it, ehh we gotta change some things. Whenever he bopped to it, it’s a go. It’s going on the album, he loves it. He loves all of my music. He knows when it’s someone else and when it’s mommy, it’s the cutest thing.
How old is he now?
He’s turning 3 next month. He’s super tall, he’s been grown for over a year now.
How difficult is balancing a career with motherhood?
It takes a village. I have an amazing support system. It’s still a lot of work. I’m still mommy and still trying to work, still trying to live my life. I’m still young, still want to do things. It definitely takes a good support system and people you trust. I’m super big on organization and structure, I need structure. The best thing I did with the help of my nanny, we implemented this schedule and we’ve been on it ever since. Putting your baby on a schedule is super helpful.
Do you want more kids?
I want more kids for sure. I want a whole motherfuckin’ gang. I want 6 little Cyn’s running around everywhere. I need me a girl, I need me another boy. I love being a mom. I come from a big family, there’s 6 of us. I want my kids to have siblings, mad brothers and sisters. God-willing, the girl will pop some more babies. [laughs]
How do you stay positive?
We always want to change and control the truth. The truth is we’re not in control. If you’re not happy, if you don’t like something, you can totally try but you have to have faith. You can’t have a little bit of faith, faith is faith. When you have faith, you should be genuine and wholehearted about it. I like things like meditating, talking, releasing, writing, speaking your real truth. If you’re not happy about something, speak that. Don’t suppress. I did a lot of suppressing in my life because I’m a Libra and I don’t like bothering people. “Oh whatever, it’s fine.” No, people should speak their peace and release in a healthy way. Therapy has helped me tremendously, and my music.
I love that your IG bio says “spiritual gangsta,” can you describe what that entails exactly?
Let me tell you something, anybody can be a spiritual gangsta. It’s about how you handle life. Baby, I am a machine. We’re at a place in our lives, in our adulthood, we know our strengths and weaknesses. I have realized what my strengths are and I’m proud of them. I’m a spiritual gangsta, this is what the fuck I do.
That’s what I strive to be, but still working with my mental health. Talk about your faith in God and how that helps you every day.
We can talk about mental health too, that’s important and that’s fine. It’s a journey, it’s a process. You really got to tap into yourself and focus. Learn yourself and be present. That’s a process, you’ll get there. If that’s really what you want to do, you’ll get there. We all have strengths in ourselves, but I wasn’t this confident and this strong a few years ago. It’s what made me get in the booth, why I named the album Redirected Energy. The reason why people go left and don’t go right, sometimes we have to redirect our energy.
I was going through postpartum depression, having some issues in my relationship, I felt lost and stuck in my career and my life. I knew what I wanted to do, I didn’t know how. The moment in your life that everybody faces: “I don’t know what to do next, I feel stuck.” My next move is to be selfish and pour into my cup. You know yourself, you combine that with good people around you, good energy and prayer. Not just praying, but having faith. What good is praying if you don’t have faith? It’s like having potential and not doing anything with it. I got stronger every day mentally. I’m still learning and growing but if you have good people around you and you make that a priority to better your mental health, and you pray, you can’t do wrong. You’re on the path.
What do you do for self-care?
I take self-care very serious. I do weird things. I need my drawers organized, things to be clean always. I need organization. It’s a popular thing now, “oh, energy! I’m an energy person.” That’s great. I’m so deadass when I tell you that I don’t play with energy. I don’t care who you, what you do, where you’re from, where you’re going, what you’ve done, I don’t give a fuck. If your energy is not pure, if it does not lift me up, I don’t want you around me. Ever. If you’re having a bad day, you might have to leave. That’s super important to me. Now I have a son, so I need to make sure that my son’s always good. I’ll move mountains, moons, all planets for my child. I need to make sure he’s good. I love helping people. That fills me up so every day I go through my DMs and look for somebody I could talk to or help in a way. Helping people and seeing people happy truly brings joy to me. I love to eat, that’s self-care. I’m very big on saging and being honest with myself. Making music. Anything that makes me happy, I do. Period. A big period. If I want to say no, I’ma say no. I don’t care. If I don’t want to do it, I’m not doing it. That’s it.
How’s your detox going?
Don’t remind me. There’s a couple of things you can eat, you have to follow the format. Cantaloupe… that’s good but 10 days straight, you get a little tired. There’s a salad on there. A bomb salad sounds good, it’s not those bomb salads you’re thinking of. It’s not easy, but it helps and it’s part of my self-care. This is my third one. I do this now but the first one? Baby, I was ready to kill.
When you’re not detoxing what’s your favorite food?
I love me some corn. I eat all types of potatoes: mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, whole potatoes. My favorite plate is breaded chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus, mad corn, and I like me a salad on the side. When I’m trying to be fast really quick, I like me some spaghetti with marinara sauce with mad cheese.
How does it feel to have your “No Questions” video hit over a million views?
That felt great, amazing. I’m an independent artist, that’s a big deal to me. This is happening. I had over a million people watch this video and listen to this song, vibe to it. That’s the first song I did on the album, a very special song. I’m glad it resonated.
Someone that you want to work with, that you haven’t yet?
I really love Cardi. We’re from Uptown, we got the Uptown, New York flow. I really want to work with some New Yorkers, we gotta do our New York thing. I love me some H.E.R. I could give you a whole list girl.
Biggest obstacle you’ve dealt with and how did you overcome it?
My brother passing away, people are familiar with the story. My brother committed suicide when he was 23, a few years ago. One of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced, that put me on a path to praying more and being more faithful.
Someone asked, are you making more music?
Of course I’m making more music, this is what I’m doing for the rest of my life. I’m dropping a project before the year ends. Another one, Khaled voice. [laughs] I’m dropping some Spanish songs, I’m excited.