“I always wanted to be a hybrid,” says Cindy Gomez. But although she means that her pulsing songs reflect her diverse tastes for electronic pop, urban and rock music, she could just as easily be talking about her multi-lingual, multi-ethnic background – or her multimedia, multi-platform, tech-savvy introduction to the world.
The pioneering Gomez became the first artist to make her debut in a mobile game, “Dance Fabulous” on N-Gage by Nokia, through collaboration between the Finnish handset manufacturer and Interscope Records in late spring of 2009. The game included a dancing Gomez avatar and five of her songs which positioned her at the forefront of a trend that marries music with mobile entertainment. Mark Ollila, head of Nokia gaming was quoted in Fast Company magazine as saying “We wanted to bridge music and gaming on our mobile phones, i’m not sure we could have invented her”.
Gomez’s arrival on the scene, via 40 million mobile handsets worldwide, comes less than a year and a half after she met producer and songwriting collaborator Dave Stewart, best known for his tenure in the Eurythmics. Her first big break came when Stewart appeared on Larry King Live alongside Ringo Starr, and the call went out for a backup singer. Gomez flew down from Canada on short notice, and impressed Stewart right away. “She needed no rehearsal at all,” Stewart said.
The two quickly hit it off while talking about music in the CNN green room. “It became clear that she could make up melodies very easily,” Stewart explains. “And because she learned to sing in several different languages, she’s able to flip into other ways of thinking melodically,” he added. (For the record, Gomez can sing in eight tongues: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Hindi, Cantonese and Mandarin.)
To Stewart’s ears, she instantly stood out among contemporary pop-oriented singers, wielding a sense of history and knowledge of international music. “She’s sultry and sexy, but also a real performer who’s in control,” he says. “We experimented a lot with songs and rhythms in the studio, but everything we did was meant to set up her big voice. It’s a vision that we can see going all the way to arenas – she’s a real singer, and a real songwriter with a knack for huge melodies.”
The joint effort resulted in a danceable sound built on percolating club beats, with the pining “Again & Again” as her first single. “Out Of Your Mind” and “World Gone Crazy” incorporate stinging guitar sounds, while “Street Dancing” hints at Gomez’s Latin roots. “Her determination and ethic reminds me of Beyonce or Madonna,” says Stewart of the relentlessly upbeat Gomez. “She’s very positive.”
Raised in suburban Toronto, Gomez is of Colombian and Belgian descent. Her grandmother on her father’s side sang opera and played piano, lending young Cindy early exposure to a variety of musical styles that also included classical music, Spanish songs and Edith Piaf records. “When I was eight years old, I told my father that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she says.
As Gomez matured, a series of modeling gigs led her to win the title of Miss Latin Canada. As a result, she landed opportunities to sing on Spanish-language television shows in Canada and Mexico, all the while attending university and working a day job in Toronto.
The meeting with Stewart in early 2008 led to their first collaboration. Gomez sang on demo recordings for a musical version of the 1990 film Ghost, which Stewart wrote and produced with veteran songwriter Glen Ballard. Subsequently, Stewart and Gomez began work on original tracks for her first album and then the magic started happening.
In 2009 Gomez went on a European tour to promote the Dance Fabulous video game. She also appeared in Vienna for LifeBall, Europe’s largest AIDS-related charity event, where she performed a new song that she and Stewart co-wrote and donated called “I Bring You Love,” to a live audience of 70,000 which was also broadcast live throughout Europe at the opening Ceremony.
Cindy has collaborated with many of the world’s top songwriters and producers such as Dave Stewart, Desmond Child (Ricky Martin’s “Living La Vida Loca”, Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”, Katy Perry’s “Waking up in Vegas”..etc) Andreas Carlsson (NSync “Bye Bye Bye” & “It’s Gonna be me”, Katy Perry’s “Waking up in Vegas”, Celine Dion “One Heart”, “I’m Alive” “That’s the way it is”..etc), A.R. Rahman (Oscar Winner for music in Slum Dog Millionaire), Glen Ballard (Alanis Morisette entire album Jagged Little Pill, Micheal Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”…etc) amongst many others.
Cindy has been featured in various publications such as Macleans, FHM Singapore, Prestige Magazine France, Elle Magazine, La Guia, Zink Magazine and Fast Company
“Saddle up, it’s the thrill of the ride,” Gomez sings in “World Gone Crazy.” Soon enough, it seems, the world will be going crazy for Cindy too. She is currently working on her upcoming album.