Mis-spent youth in all her glory...Cynthia's shout out to her 'days in the band'
Has this ever happened to you on a date??
Cynthia Catania was born in Northern NJ to first-generation, American-born Sicilians. Her dad played the mandolin at family parties and listened to jazz at home. One of her brothers became a successful session guitarist in NY and toured the world with Hall & Oates. After cutting her teeth in the NY music scene, Cynthia left home for sultry Los Angeles - hot on the heels of the Northridge earthquake. During the early 2000s, she formed Saucy Monky with Dublin native Annmarie Cullen. The quartet went on to tour Ireland and Europe many times over and shared on festival stages with music heroes like The Cure, PJ Harvey, Wilco, Metric, and more! Embraced by the Irish press, Saucy Monky became media darlings, often finding themselves on the pages of Hot Press Magazine, a prestigious music and culture publication akin to Rolling Stone Magazine in the US.
The LA Times said this about the band- “Saucy Monky shares a lot of the qualities of pop’s classic female-fronted bands — Irrepressible melodicism and smart lyrics...”
After Cynthia’s successful run with Saucy Monky (which included film and TV placement success, a Wendy’s jingle and a theme song on ABC daytime), Cynthia joined the Los Angeles power trio The Secret Things. With a pulse on the European market - she and the band were signed to Sweden's Loud Kult Records. The trio released a set of singles and the EP Shock Diary. ‘Keeper’ the #metoo inspired single was released via Loud Kult (distribution by The Orchard) in 2018. The band made three provocative music videos directed by actress-filmmaker-writer Sue Ann Pien. TST's cover of PJ Harvey's ‘Down By The Water’ was Pien's re-vision of PJ's filicide theme. The partnership kickstarted a series of benefits to support the transgender community in Los Angeles.
In 2018-2019, Cynthia was invited by editor Niall Stokes to write for Hot Press Magazine. Her sex-column stories ran for the better part of a year. She continues to write as a freelance columnist and blogger. Read some of her stories here: Hot Press Columns; Huffington Post Blogs; Medium Blogs.
The summer of 2019 had Catania kickstart a long-awaited second chapter of her solo career. Her kick-off single ‘Phones’ was released worldwide July, 2019, paired with another captivating video directed by Sue Ann Pien. Her desire to perform abroad brought Cynthia back to Irish shores for a string of shows and radio performances including the popular Arena (on Radio1/RTE network). She continued the Irish run with ex-bandmates and international singer-songwriters Annmarie Cullen, Naimee Coleman, Sylvie Lewis, and drummer Adam Marcello (Katy Perry, American Idol) for select shows with the Songwriters On Tap collective.
‘Sidelines’ Cynthia’s pre-COVID single of 2020 was released just before the music business and world at large shut down. All Spring 2020 concert dates, Irish tours, and support slots with The Young Dubliners, Hothouse Flowers & Tracy Bonham were postponed due to the coronavirus.
Six months into this new normal she dropped the video and single ‘Remember,’ a gorgeous tribute to the universal theme of misspent youth, and a nod to her glory days with the band - Saucy Monky.
The forthcoming music video for ‘Suitcase’ was filmed in the Sequoia Nat'l Forest by visionary filmmakers Sue Ann Pien, Michael Khachadoorian and skeleton crew including Catania, Drew Tolley and Kathleen Shifs. The single drops worldwide on December 8th; the video premiere is now LIVE on the Hot Press YouTube channel!
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photo by Sue Ann Pien
Lead singer of OURS, recording artist, songwriter & producer.
"In my opinion, Cynthia Catania is not only one of the greatest singers in the last 30 years, but of all time. She changed the way that I look at singing when I was a young boy, and her influence on me is probably the strongest in my life. The way that she slithers through the different spaces of her head voice and chooses when to push air or connect with her chest voice has always been so unique to me and unlike anyone else. Her range and power have always blown me away on both a technical and emotional level. Not only is she a dedicated singer, but she is one of the most committed artists that I have ever witnessed.
She has given her entire life to it, always pushing forward no matter what obstacles are in front of her. A true artist through and through. She is incredibly dear to me."
Producer; musician & vocalist for Carly Simon, Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, Maceo Parker.
"The first time I heard Cynthia Catania sing I was pinned to the back wall in a state of wonderment. She was tapped into something that felt elemental –– and I was deeply moved. Her voice and how she was using it required my listening –– it was as if I had no choice. Sometimes a voice can do that. And the thing is –– she has gone to that place each time I've heard her since... It's how she rolls –– deep and wide. I'm grateful to know and experience her –– as a listener, as a fellow musician, and as a producer. Cynthia is a gem."
D A V E B R U C E::
Music Mag Down Under, Melbourne AU
"...one of the most influential female performing artists in the last 100 years."
Producer/Mixer; New Radicals, Hole, L7, Robben Ford, Edwin McCain.
“Cynthia Catania is one of my most trusted first-call music professionals for any number of different recording endeavors. She can produce a record, she can sing all the parts and play most of the instruments, she can assemble a crack team, and most importantly, she can respect the artist’s creative vision and help to manifest it. When Cynthia works on my productions, she puts as much love and care into them as if they were her own—but she never hijacks my artistic vision. As an example, her own personal music tends to be quirky and independent modern rock, but I often hire her to seamlessly blend into tracks for mainstream Pop and R&B artists. It’s one thing to have great chops, but it’s “next level” to sing or play the appropriate part for any given song. Cynthia possesses the wonderful quality of being able to do just that. Highly recommended!”
Singer-songwriter, musician; Dr. John, Wayne Shorter, Kenny Loggins, Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Todd Rundgren the Tonight Show Band with Jay Leno, Skip The Needle.
“Cynthia Catania is a revelation; a miracle of vocal clarity, stratospheric range and acrobatic ability coupled with brilliant and moving songwriting. Her lyrics are deep, incisive, punctuated with that holiest of all grails, hilarity. She is one of my favorite artists and one listen will make her one of yours, too. “
S T E V E G I L E S::
Singer-songwriter, bassist, producer; 3 Penny Needle, DLM, Obvious Wish, Saucy Monky, The Secret Things.
“Cynthia is a unicorn, one of those mythically rare talents that only cross our paths a time or two in our musical journeys. I've had the privilege of making music with her for many years and I've seen her wear virtually every musical hat there is to wear with passion and style and fiery, singular talent. She can sing like an angel, play guitar like a demon, and write the kind of songs that the world needs to hear. Cynthia also has an amazing knack for finding the most interesting production choices, sprinkling a track with those magical little bits of fairy dust that can put a song over the top. I'm proud to call her a musical partner and I absolutely consider her one of the most talented people I've ever worked with.”
Singer-songwriter, EMI recording artist; Aurora, Barry Gibb, Songwriters On Tap.
“Cynthia Catania is one of the most genuinely talented artists I have ever worked with. She has the ability to silence a room in seconds once she starts singing and connects with an audience on a level that leaves you feeling breathless.
As a songwriter, she is able to capture true raw emotions like few can and her songs swim around your head for days after listening. Her rich voice and soaring melodies invoke beautiful, heartbreaking and joyful emotions with ease and skill. The honesty she writes with is incredible and leaves you feeling like you’ve shared a very special moment.
She is deeply dedicated to her music and has fostered an amazing community of Indi artists in Los Angeles and further afield. Over the years she has constantly supported other independent musicians, be it recording, producing or singing on tracks to help others visions come to life. Now it’s time for Cynthia to get to share her amazing body of work with the world. She is a rare and wonderful talent and the world needs to hear her music.”
Songwriter, (co-writer on grammy-winning record with Sheryl Crow), Bassist for FarmDogs, Bernie Taupin, Jim Cregan.
“The first time I wrote a song with Cynthia Catania was the first day we met. That song still stands as one of my all-time favorite collaborations. Ever. The lyrics she wrote were so sad, so touching, I just wanted to hug her and comfort her! LOL, I was blown away. Cynthia is a rare talent, and a wonderful person who deserves our support.”
D A N N E L L E S::
Drummer; Amy Heff, DLM, The Secret Things, Everlong.
“I have been watching Cynthia sing and play for numerous years. She is a generational talent, with a voice from God, and one of the greatest singer-songwriters on the planet.”
J O E L A V E L L E::
Comedy Song-writer; Dr. Demento Show.
“Cynthia Catania throughout her career has sought to lift up other artists as familial companions on a shared journey. Whether by showcasing artists to new audiences with her Songwriters On Tap series and her olivoiL Indie Nights, helping artists connect with one another by way well matched personal introductions, or simply by dedicating herself to making an artist’s live performance sound wonderful while she’s behind the mixing board, Cynthia has made it a mission to use her resources to help others shine."