Coffs own Chrystal Lynch
WHEN Chrystal Lynch was growing up on the Coffs Coast she never really imagined she’d one day be travelling the world singing her music.
But that’s exactly what she’s doing after the release of her debut album ‘Diary of Uma Sereia’ with her band Chrystal and The Rock.
“This is absolutely huge for me,” Chrystal told Entertainer.
“I never really considered (a career in singing) a possibility when I was younger – I mean, I was always in plays and musicals but it wasn’t until I actually got into a recording studio at university that I knew this was all I wanted to do.”
Those younger years she refers to were all spent on the Coffs Coast – first as a student at St Augustine’s Primary School and later at John Paul College.
“I was studying classical piano pretty hard core in my younger years which took up a lot of my time,” Chrystal said.
“But I was in school musicals and that sort of thing which was great.”
It wasn’t until a Bachelor of Contemporary Music and Diploma of Education beckoned at Southern Cross University at Lismore that Chrystal flew the coop, then moving on to Melbourne and finally settling in the Gold Coast where she now lives.
Since then she has been struggling to find her feet and release an album – until now.
A prolific songwriter, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, pianist and an incredible arranger of her own music, Chrystal is inspired by many of the soulful greats such as Ella, Aretha, Waits, Dylan, Mitchell.
For this album she brought together 20 musicians and by her own admission was “ruthless” on hiring – even firing her own boyfriend from performing on the album.
“This is my dream come true but it was such a huge job,” she said.
“Honestly, it took me so long to find the musicians and choose who I wanted on the album – I really was ruthless, I fired my own boyfriend from playing – but I had to. I really felt like there was something else behind me, pushing me, I knew exactly what I wanted.”
The team spent seven months in the studio recording and Chrystal couldn’t be happier with the result.
“It was absolutely huge, just arranging 10 human beings is one of the most full on things you could ever do I reckon, then having different artists’ slant on things – but it was rad, I loved it we had so much fun.”
And what about the title? “Diary of Uma Sereia” translates from Portuguese to “Diary of a Mermaid.”
“My boyfriend is Brazilian and if you look inside the cover you’ll see a poem he wrote for me – it came from that. I just loved the idea, it sounded like a cool name and I love that underwater theme and I’m obsessed with swimming.
“Plus, I’m actually pretty shy when it comes to photography so I got the chance to do this underwater shoot which was perfect.”
Described on her MySpace Page as “a woman of great soul and strength and a spiritual quester ... with an astounding vocal range and control, and a jazz timbre which could melt Himalayan peaks, lyrics that touch you in the deepest places, and a talent for groove which gives her music feet and wings”, it’s not hard to understand why this debut album will not be her last.
“I’m already planning the next album. I’ve written most of the track and I’m working on the last song now.
“It’s going to be multi-genre – sort of more folk/soul/acoustic ... it will still have strings but not a huge ensemble like this one.”
In the meantime, however, Chrystal is off solo through Europe to promote the album.
“I’m off to France, London and Berlin then hopefully over to Scotland, I wish I could take the band with me but we just can’t get them all over.”