Cristina Noujaim Talks About Latest Single ‘I Should’ve Said No’

Cristina Noujaim must be proud of herself, with this latest single of hers, “I Should’ve Said No,” she displays a very high artistic depth and a wonderful mastery of music. After an excruciating three-year production process, Noujaim has crafted a mesmerizing auditory experience which is difficult to categorize into a single genre. While 150 various vocal parts play in a complicated combination, this illustrates her exceptional talent as a musical narrator and requires that listeners would listen from the beginning to the end being transfixed by the story.

Just as Noujaim has done since the very beginning, the song flows the raw emotional intensity that underlines its capturing delving into the human relationship intricacies as well as the pain caused by words left unsaid. Every chord conveys truthfulness, as it takes us on an interior voyage of self-questioning and sorrow.

Noujaim’s vocals are just amazingly beautiful. This is performed effortlessly by her as far as the shifting emotional dynamics of the piece are concerned. Her talent to transfer feelings by voice is unsurpassed, evoking genuine empathy and understanding in the listener.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the single, Noujaim shares, “‘I Should’ve Said No’ is a reflection of the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of not listening to ourselves. It’s a deeply personal piece, as all my music is. My hope is that listeners will feel the same heart-wrenching retrospectiveness I felt while writing the song.”

As she continues to evolve as an artist, Noujaim’s journey is marked by her genuine passion for music and a desire to connect with her audience. “Truly the most incredible feeling in the world is knowing that other people listen to my music. I’m so grateful for every person who hears my songs and wants to listen again.” With her first EP, Atlas, set to release this November, and marriage in September, it’s going to be a busy yet exciting year for Noujaim.

More of this was shared during a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh, so join us as we discover more about this multi-talented artist

Listen to I Should’ve Said No below

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What is your stage name?
I don’t have one – Cristina Noujaim is my given name.

Is there a story behind your stage name?

Where do you find inspiration?
Funnily enough, these days it’s my old journals. I’m emotionally doing really well, so when I have creative days I like to go through my old journals or notes and really zoom in on a feeling.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I have been singing since I came out of the womb. It’s funny, my sister and I recently found a video of me at 9 months old, with her teaching me how to play piano. Since then I’ve tried every kind of music imaginable — I’ve trained in opera, songwriting, music producing, musical theater, orchestra, and probably more. But for the last decade, I’ve found the most inspiration from producing music, so that’s where I’m leaning in.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Surprisingly, no. I’m the only artist or musician in my immediate family, though every member of my family loves music.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I’m honestly glad to *not* be a part of the music industry. My full time job is at Meta, where I work as a Machine Learning Engineer. The best part is getting to come home, write and make music, and then share that music with my coworkers over lunch. It’s actually really great to live in both worlds.

How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I learned to sing through opera. I found a voice teacher, Kathryn Amyotte, who called my voice “raw lasagna” when we first started working together (I was 11). Sometimes I think of her, and hope she thinks it’s cooked.

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I learned to sing through opera.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
I was 11, and my family and I drove to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania to see the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato on the Camp Rock 2 tour. It was awesome.

How could you describe your music?
The best way I can describe my music is vocal indie pop. My favorite thing to do is create vocal harmonies, and my co-writers and production clients will always have to rein me in from adding too many layers. With my own music, I simply go all in, and you can hear that in my new EP, Atlas.

Describe your creative process.
I write when I feel something intense, basically immediately as the feeling starts. Usually I write down whatever I can and then call my co-writer, Liz Bissonette.

What is your main inspiration?
Right now, my main inspiration is RAYE, who just makes the most incredible jazz-pop-hiphop-r&b mishmash. Her vocals are impeccable and I think about her live performances regularly when I’m planning my own.

What musician do you admire most and why?
Taylor Swift. She writes the most incredible, poetic, life-changing lyrics and somehow it’s still a pop song.

Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Yes. I started strictly as a singer-songwriter, but as I gain production skills, I’m able to expand my music so much into new genres.

Who do you see as your main competitor?
If I had to choose, the artist who makes music most like me is Ariana Grande, in the way that she stacks her vocals. However, no one can compete with her voice, I mean come on.

What are your interests outside of music?
Obviously I love engineering, but most of the time when I’m not writing or working I’m playing with my corgi, Cheddar.

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I think I’d still have to do something outside of engineering, so I’d probably be a painter. I’m pretty mediocre at it, but I love it so much.

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Translating my vision into real life. I can hear songs in my head, but sometimes I don’t know how to put that into exact words or find instruments that fit the theme sonically. A lot of my production journey is learning how to fill those mental gaps.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
I wish as musicians we could just release music, and not have to be content creators. I love music for the sake of music, but it’s important to also be heard.

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
I Should’ve Said No is about the regret of impulsive decision making and people pleasing. “I should have said no” was such a consistent intrusive thought during the time I was writing this song, so it fit perfectly as the title.

What are your plans for the coming months?
My first EP Atlas releases this November. I’m getting married in September (!!!!!) so it’s going to be a busy year.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
Everyone knows how much I work with Liz Bissonette, but I have a few other incredible artists you’ll be hearing me with soon.

What message would you like to give to your fans?
Truly the most incredible feeling in the world is knowing that other people listen to my music. I’m so grateful for every person who hears my songs and wants to listen again.

Mister Styx
Mister Styx
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

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