Those who watch Apple TV+’s ‘Dickinson’ have heard Cherry Dragon before. Her latest, “Altar,” was featured in the second season. For those who don’t watch – it’s time to get to know this dynamic singer who infuses a lifelong love of R&B and soul into impactful pop sounds. The result? Music that is as addicting as binging a new series. We talked about the show, growing up in Ireland, heroes, and more with this rising vocalist.
Kendra: Do you feel as if you would’ve found your way to music if your teacher hadn’t pulled you up to sing back when you were a mere 13?
Cherry Dragon: I’ve never been asked that question before and you know, I don’t think I would have. I was so ridiculously shy I would have never volunteered to ever sing. I even asked her if I could sit it out but she said everyone had to sing at least one verse. I owe that teacher a lot when I think about it.
Kendra: How soon after that moment did you start to think to yourself, music…that could be my actual career?
Cherry Dragon: Very soon actually. After I sang in school that day all the other teachers kept asking me to sing in the middle of class. I got a lot of praise and encouragement from everyone which felt nice. I started practicing and writing within weeks.
Kendra: Now things are sort of on a roll for you. You kicked off 2021 being featured on Apple TV’s ‘Dickinson.’ Do you have any other songs you’re working on that you feel the real Emily Dickinson would’ve put on her playlist?
Cherry Dragon: Excellent question…I think she would have put “Altar” on actually, and another song I have I think she would like is my next single “Starlight.” It’s about the pressure to conform to society in a way. I think she would have vibed with that.
Kendra: You just mentioned the song that was featured, the inescapable “Altar.” It’s a song about doing what many fear, and that’s facing yourself. In a time where we’re not only wearing masks daily to curve a pandemic but also figuratively speaking as we change who we are based on who we talk to, as well as having online personas – do you feel it’s becoming harder to face your true self at the end of the day?
Cherry Dragon: I think if we are not consciously tuning in to the kind of energy and emotions we want to feel or not clear on who we would like to be, we will be swept away with social pressure and programming. Only reacting to life as opposed to creating. We will be pulled in by all the addictions we have available and lose a sense of who we are or who we want to be. Regular connection with self through meditation, writing, or whatever suits, to me is the best way to avoid that.
Kendra: The song also notes the distractions we use daily. What distraction is your biggest that’s sort of just a guilty pleasure at this point?
Cherry Dragon: My biggest distraction would be overeating. I’m pretty healthy mind you, it’s not bad food, but it’s definitely comfort eating. Also knowledge. Not always but sometimes I can gorge on reading and learning new information. It can also be a way of checking out a bit too much.
Kendra: What I was drawn to about you was your upbringing because I saw a piece of myself in your story. Being that you came up in Ireland with little to no one who looked like you, and therefore didn’t share similar experiences all the time, you’ve noted that you had to learn to accept and love what made you stand out for so long. Was music the tool you used to find that self-love?
Cherry Dragon: Yes, definitely. I gravitated to mostly Black music and Black TV and film. That changed as I got older. I’m very diverse in what I like now. But back then that was my connection. My father wasn’t around he was Black and there was no Black community in Ireland then, so music was where I got all of that from.
Kendra: Another aspect of your upbringing I related to was being raised by a single mother. I always feel like so many of us who come from those types of households, tend to idolize strong women going forward. Would you agree with that in terms of women you may look up to in music?
Cherry Dragon: Definitely. Strong people to be honest. A huge hero of mine was Muhammad Ali, listening to him speak used to make me feel I could do anything. Tina Turner was also a strong icon for me. Her story, what she overcame really stuck with me.
Kendra: It’s hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
Cherry Dragon: I’m going to continue releasing new music off my EP, and finish my second one. Like you said who knows what will come this year but sharing and creating music is something I will be doing for sure.