CYN: The Voice That Captivated Katy Perry is About to Make Love to Your Ears Next
A Midwestern girl with a father working at ford motor company graduates from Chicago's Depaul university with a degree in management Information Systems, meets Katy Perry, and then gets signed to Perry’s record company? It might seem textbook tear-jerker, but singer Cynthia Nabozny (better known by her stage name, CYN) is anything but cliché.
Nabozny didn’t just waltz into the spotlight—she had to seize it. Initially rejected from the music program at DePaul, she did what any truly committed artist does: she persevered. After years of perusing the pages of the American Songbook, entering talent contests, and uploading covers to YouTube, Nabozny met and captivated Katy Perry after reaching out to the singer’s opening act on her California Dreams tour in 2011.Perry immediately recognized that there was something special about Nabozny.
Maybe it was the same sound that had already captivated listeners online—a dreamy, melodic, octave-scaling voice, often layered over genre-defying, trip-hoppy, jazz-inflected pop. After a surreal experience where Nabozny played her original songs in Katy Perry’s living room, Perry signed the fledgling singer to her own label, Unsub Records.
While many 24-year-olds are sure they’ve finally “found themselves,” they might not be wrong if they have racked up over a million listens on Soundcloud and signed a record deal all before graduating college. But while Nabozny might seem to be on the fast track to fame, she still takes time to appreciate where she is today, despite the many seismic changes rocking her world.
“Sometimes I feel an urgency to put art out because I think who I am is fleeting,” she tells us thoughtfully, her voice as honeyed as her smile. “So, I like to capture bits of myself and hope to put them out in a timely manner before I’m already…different.”Though maybe she has a bit of impatience in her as well, which would explain the precocious ambition—when prompted to reflect on eternity (our issue theme), she replies, “When I think about eternal, I think about waiting for the L train in Chicago. That takes forever.”
Change and evolution are inseparable from the artist’s life. The best artists embrace it, using their experiences to push their creativity to new levels. Nabozny definitely lands within that category.“I feel my strongest when I’ve finished a song and I’m getting ready to go on stage and perform it,” she tells us, and when you consider her already prolific output and her constantly evolving sound, you know she’s not lying. From the suburbs to the stage, from soundcloud to signee, from Cynthia Nabozny to CYN, one thing is certain: her story is just beginning.
Written by Chelsey Sanchez
Photographed by Zoe Cassavetes
Styled by Chris Horan
Hair by Dritan Vushaj
Makeup by Gia Harris
Title Image: HERMÈS blouse, PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI pants, CASADEI shoes, JILLIAN DEMPSEY necklace, and talent’s own rings.