Meet Valentina, Model Musician and Photographer

Meet Valentina, Model Musician and Photographer

The rising stars of today never have just one talent—they have many, and few stand as a better example than model/photographer/musician Valentina

The rising stars of today never have just one talent—they have many, and few stand as a better example than model/photographer/musician Valentina

Text: Ian David Monroe

Meeting a model-turned-photographer or model-turned-musician is something of a common occurrence in 2016, but Valentina Cytrynowicz stands as a rare exception to the cliché. At only 18 years old, the L.A.-based Ford model has already proven herself as a talented photographer, and a promising musician, too. For Valentina, posing for pictures isn’t the end goal: it’s the jumping-off point.

That said, her first proper song release, “Easy For U,” is less of a cannonball, and more a slow pulsing ripple (think BANKS). The track isn’t the kind of club-ready pop that L.A. is known for, but sets a strong foundation for growth. The accompanying music video, self-directed and featuring fellow model Jacob Bixenman, further highlights Valentina’s ability to execute not only a musical vision, but a cinematic one.

While plenty can be learned from scrolling through her Instagram, we thought it best to find out more about what the lens doesn’t capture in Valentina’s life. Here, she walks us through her inspirations, going blonde, and the freedom that comes with doing it alone.

Your self-directed video for “Easy For U” turned out so beautifully. Where did you draw inspiration from for it?

Thank you. I live in a renovated studio. It's all white with natural light, and I shoot in it all the time. My room inspires me with its perfect simplicity everyday so I wanted to use it, even if only one white wall is shown. I drew inspiration from Sia's music video for "Big Girls Cry," as well. I wanted to portray a lot through Jacob's hands moving my face, and I think we achieved that.

What freedom does taking your own photos and directing your own music video give you?

I think all the freedom in the world. Nothing is limited with ideas and creativity. No one is telling me what I should or shouldn't do. There are simply great minds surrounding me and inspiring me. That's how it should be when creating a piece of art.

Are there any overlaps in the way you approach your art?

Yes. When I think of the story for any of my songs, and how other people can see and imagine it, I see it through certain angles, composition, light, and fashion. I have always been very specific concerning those things for my pictures, and I am with the visuals for my music, as well.

Do you think your career in modeling will make pursuing music easier or more difficult?

I think it will be easier in many ways. Ford supports me completely with my music, and any campaign or job that I will do in the future will either have to do with music, or fund my career. I actually don't see any hinderances, and I couldn't be happier with, or more appreciative of, Ford and excited for what we are going to do together.

Self Portrait

What comes first—the melody or the lyrics? 

It depends. When I'm very angry or sad I have to write a song, so I find some chords and then I start singing what I feel—as cheesy as that may sound. Other times a line will pop into my head and I just think "this is the perfect hook of a song!" Then I find chords and write it.

What is currently your biggest obstacle in making music a career? How will you overcome it?

My shpilkes (other wise knows as my lack of patience for most things). I suppose I will just have to keep remembering I'm young and I have time.

Who are your dream collaborators? 

Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Kygo, Kanye West.

When can we expect new music? Will it be an EP?

By the end of this summer I hope to finish the music video for my next single. As soon as that's out I will start on the EP songs and visuals, planning to come out this fall.

I saw that you recently graduated. Congrats. What will you do now with your free time?

Thanks! Music, music, music. Shop sometimes with my girls. Hang out with my boyfriend, and more music and music video treatments. I am also going to perform a lot more. My next performance is at hotel cafe July 23rd. I will put details on my Instagram!

What is one thing your followers can’t see by just following you on Instagram?  

I love to read depressing books about troubled girls and boys. I like books that bring out strong emotions, such as sadness. The books that make me cry are the best ones.

Self-Portrait

What have you learned about yourself in photographing others?

How to be a better model. How to make a very awkward situation a little better, and how to find the beauty in someone.

I see that you’ve relatively recently gone blonde. Are you having more fun?

Definitely.

This time next year where do you hope to be?

On tour!

UP NEXT

From Art Basel With Love