When I think of the music from Orange County native Nancy Sanchez, I can’t help but find it contagious. The jazz turned pop singer has a way of sounding like she always has a smile on her face no matter what she is emoting, and it is infectious. Her songs make you feel good, sing along, and hit repeat until you completely lose count.
Seriously, I challenge you to listen to “Mango Street” a couple of times without having “Oh-oh-oh-oh, I move my hips down low” stuck in your head for the next several hours — the best kind of problem.
I was so excited to get the chance to talk to Nancy about her music, inspirations, and more!
Germ Magazine: Hello! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.
Let’s begin with how you got started in music. What made you want to pursue it as a career?
Nancy: I have always loved music, and the idea of dedicating my life to music came very natural to me. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to sing and write songs. I made the decision of pursuing a musical career after listening and following the careers of artists that I admire. When I was exposed to music education in school, it became clear to me at an early age that I only wanted to do music and live an artistic life.
GM: Something I really love about your music is that each song is pretty distinctly different while still staying true to your sound. How would you classify yourself or describe your genre?
Nancy: I love all kinds of music, and I have a hard time describing my genre. Since I have been exposed to a wide range of styles, when writing music, some elements of certain styles come out in my writing subconsciously. I would classify myself as a singer/songwriter.
GM: That’s great. So, who and/or what exactly influences you? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Nancy: I am inspired by everything around me. Most of my songs are about experiences or emotional transformations that have caused me to examine my life. I draw inspiration from people, places, things, and feelings.
GM: According to your website, you’ve received a number of awards, including Best Latin and Best Jazz. What’s it like to be so positively recognized for what you do?
Nancy: This is true. I was awarded Best Jazz artist two years in a row, 2012 & 2013, and Best Latin artist 2011. I was lucky that I was given the opportunity to grow as a singer and entertainer in local clubs around Orange County. I was then nominated for the OCMAs (Orange County Music Awards) and was recognized for the effort and dedication that is required of a working musician. I am very grateful and happy about that.
GM: I think it’s so important to talk about and celebrate women in music because it is far too rare. So, what has it been like for you making space for yourself within this male-dominated industry?
Nancy: I try to be authentic and true to myself everyday so as to not fall into any stereotype or limitation. I do admit that being a woman — a Latina woman — can be tricky sometimes when dealing with the business side of music. Some people have an opinion of how I should be or need to present myself as a woman because it’s easier to follow a model that has already been put in place for us. However, I truly think that the vision I have for myself is more important than the vision others have for me. If I don’t follow my heart and my gut, then I won’t come off as real and authentic.
GM: I absolutely agree. A lot of Germ readers are writers or creators. What advice would give them?
Nancy: I would advise them to keep writing and creating even when they don’t feel inspired.
GM: After being in the scene for a while now and having done countless shows, do you have any weird or funny stories of things that have happened while on stage?
Nancy: I once missed a step and fell off stage. It was both painful and funny…it was “painfully funny.”
GM: And finally, where can we find your music?
Nancy: You can find my music on iTunes or on my website.
GM: Great! Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me. I can’t wait to hear more from you!
Check out Nancy’s music video for her song “In Blue”:
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As always, if you know a local band that you think deserves some recognition, let me know, and I’ll check them out. Maybe you’ll see them on Germ in the future!