1. What are you currently listening to?
Off the top of my head: Contour, Gaidaa, L’Rain
2. If you could write the soundtrack to any movie, what movie would you choose?
Hmm.. I’m not quite sure.
3. What spongebob character do you think you could beat up in a fight?
I think I have enough pent up anger toward Bubble Bass to hold my own in that battle.
4. What are you most excited about currently?
5. Worst advice that you can give me?
Do not hydrate. Ever :-)
6. Yo Gabba Gabba 2024?
7. First concert you ever went to?
8. What’s Shrek’s last name?
The beauty is in the mystery there, I think.
9. For some reason I’ve been obsessed with Cher all year. Would you consider doing a cover of Believe?
Haha. It’s a great song, I can definitely see myself doing that at some point.
10. Any local Austin artists that we should check out?
Vonne, Kendra Sells / Blumoon, Sasha and the Valentines, Jay Wile, Malik, Blood… I’m blanking but there are so many!
Born Loser: To start things off can you introduce yourself?
Christelle Bofale: My name is Christelle, and I perform under my first and middle name: Christelle Bofale. I’m originally from San Antonio and have been chilling/creating/vibing in Austin for six years now! Basically, I am 24, a cancer, an owner of two silly and sweet cats, and green is my favorite color.
I read that your father was a musical director at church when you were growing up. What was it like growing up in a musical household?
It was really fun for me as a kid; I loved to sing and dance, and so being in a house that encouraged that was really lucky. I got more shy about sharing those parts of myself as I got into my adolescent years and so I retreated from the living room to my bedroom. I was put into piano lessons and took them for seven years and then transitioned into guitar as I had been watching my dad play my whole life.
Was music something you always wanted to pursue?
That’s a hard question because while I’ve always been in love with music I didn’t always think of it as a career. It was just always something that brought me joy. Once I realized I had a knack for songwriting in my early teen years, that’s when I started thinking about maybe pursuing it as a job; but up until then music had always just been something that was simply a part of me.
What did you listen to growing up?
I listened to a lot of Britney, Christina Aguilera, christian rock (car rides with mom), Zaiko Langa Langa (car rides with dad), Mbilia Bel, John Mayer, Paramore, Beyonce… the list is quite literally endless. And includes A LOT of congolese music.
What was it like coming up in the Austin music scene?
It was a little intimidating at first because I wasn’t seeing a lot of people that looked like me within the indie rock community. Once I got in the groove of gigging and met more people, I started to find some other black indies, which felt really nice. I didn’t have much online when I first started playing around town, so my come up was very community-driven. I’m really thankful for all of the people I met along the way that were down to put me on their bills and play some music. There’s a cool house show culture in Austin too, so it was fun experiencing that because I hadn’t really done stuff like that before.
Talk to us a bit about your your EP Swim Team.
Swim Team is me processing experiences of deceit, depression, and abrupt, painful endings. WIth the exception of one, the songs were inspired by my breakup as well as my battle with mental health. I didn’t write the songs with an album in mind, the project kind of revealed itself to me over time.
I think your EP Swim Team comes off as very sincere and intimate. Is it ever difficult to be vulnerable in songwriting?
While some of my songwriting ideas come from a random thought or melody that comes to me while driving or sitting or walking, most of my songwriting comes from a need to process something that’s going on in my life. Naturally, these songs become a bit like journal entries. I’ve had to work on oversharing in my real life, so writing is the perfect outlet for that.
I feel like there’s a consistent theme of mental health in Swim Team. Is that intentional, or were you writing about a personal experience?
Nothing about Swim Team was planned as far as content. I think the narratives that stand out on the project simply do because that’s the essence of my experience at the time of writing. On Where to Go the lyrics “swallow the pill and figure it out” spoke to me being diagnosed anti-depressants and feeling like I was left to just figure the rest out. If I’m going to therapy and I’m taking pills and I’m still feeling bad: where do I go? I have more tools now, but at the time it was all so fresh and hard as well as painful to configure.
One thing I absolutely love about your music is that it is so easy to connect to because it is so sincere. Do you have that connection with your listener in mind when you’re writing a song?
When I’m in the thick of writing a song, I’m not really thinking too much about how it will connect and I think that’s part of the magic of it. People are drawn to art that speaks to them and I think that a lot of experienceas I have find themselves echoing within the lives of my listeners. It’s all up to interpretation and the way that they find themselves interpreting a song might not always match up to my intent, which I think is really cool. I’m really just a guy who is processing life via song and all I can do is be thankful that people are able to hold themselves within the pockets of those songs.
My personal favorite track off of the EP is Love Lived Here Once. Can you talk to us a bit about that song?
I was going through a pretty tragic breakup, which resulted in me finding out things about my ex that completely shattered my perception of the years we spent together. So on Loved Lived Here Once, I’m imagining that.
Who do you consider your musical and non musical influences?
Musical: John Mayer, Joni Mitchell, Lianne La Havas, St. Vincent, Mbilia Bel, Zaiko Langa Langa… list goes on.
Non-Musical: nature, dreams, colors, literally just the pendulum of chaos and peace that lives in my brain
What would you consider “Success” in music specifically?
Success is quite personal. For me, success is putting out music that I feel really good about. Down the line, I would love to be able to have music be my only job. I think once I get to a point where I can sustain my little life with my cats and can pick up non-music related jobs for personal enjoyment rather than survival, that’ll be another nugget of success. Success may look different for someone else though.
What do you miss the most about touring?
I actually haven’t toured very much. I supported Tasha on her east coast tour last fall and played a few Texas gigs with Sasami, but I haven’t been on a tour of my own. I miss new places and faces and the spontaneity that comes with travel, which isn’t really just a tour miss for me to be honest. It’s a life miss, if that makes sense.
Do you have a most memorable show experience?
I played a show with Hemlock and Laith at Brew + Brew, a local coffee and beer spot with an incredible, intimate listening room early this year. My favorite shows are the ones that feel warm and soft, like a freshly dried blanket or a long overdue hug. The feeling in that room was so magical and I can’t wait to play a show with them again.
There are so many memorable shows, but that’s the first that comes to mind. I’m really lucky to have that as one of my last show experiences before the pandemic hit.
What are some ways that we as listeners can show support since artists aren’t able to tour right now?
The internet is a great thing! Most of us have things on our bandcamps that you can purchase and online shows have been really helpful too. Check the socials of your favorites and you’ll probably stumble upon a way to give them some of your money if you can. Also just sharing our music on your personal platforms feels really good too.
What can we expect to see/hear from Christelle Bofale in the near future?
I don’t have anything concrete planned for the near future; I may drop some one off things here and there. Right now, I’m working on writing new material for my first full length. Other than that, I’m chillin’.
Is there anything that you want our readers to know?
I’m currently looking for a coffee table.
And to wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?
How are you doing?
I'm doing good! Thanks for asking.