Interview: CAPPA Releases “Tension” with a Fun, Feelgood Embrace

CAPPA "Tension" © 2018
An irresistible icebreaker, CAPPA’s new song “Tension” captures the pent-up energy and excitement of attraction and intimacy with fun, feelgood vibes.

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Why don’t we take the tension and break it down?

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of great chemistry: When you find the right person, and everything just seems to click. It’s an intoxicating electricity – the sort of attraction you thought only existed in movies. You both feel it; there’s something there.

CAPPA’s irresistible new single captures the pent-up energy and excitement of attraction and intimacy: “Tension” breaks the ice with a fun, feelgood release full of bubbly pop warmth.

Tension - CAPPA

Tension – CAPPA

What you got
is becoming a problem for me

I wanta ya, I want ya
I don’t know how to be,
acting stupid when I’m around ya

I want ya

Independently out today, 6/8/2018, “Tension” finds Carla Cappa dwelling in a happy space. Already a familiar face here at Atwood Magazine, CAPPA is among this generation’s hardest-working unsigned pop stars. Her lyrics are both smart and relatable, and her music has this uncanny way of getting stuck in your head – often on repeat!

“Tension” is no exception: A brighter piece than some of her most recent material, CAPPA’s latest single flows with a cheery bounce and charming, undeniable freshness that keeps us engaged the whole way through. It’s the kind of song you can’t help but vibe with, its fun, flirty atmosphere inviting us to relax, smile, and embrace life.

When you’re drinking your coffee like that
You lips go…
I can’t ignore what I’m feeling for you
When you lock me up, kiss in your car
I’m like a-ha-ha but I want you more
Than I did before
CAPPA "Tension" © Davy Kesey

CAPPA “Tension” © Davy Kesey

Having recently moved from Nashville to Los Angeles, CAPPA looks to be coming into 2018 hot, pushing herself once again into new territory: “I’ve always been scared of making music too bubbly, but I put that aside when I was writing this and I’m really proud of how it turned out,” she tells Atwood Magazine.”

If this year does in fact usher in a new chapter for the still-emerging artist, it will undoubtedly prove once again that great pop music doesn’t need to come from major label-funded factories and songwriting camps: Artists and songwriters like Carla Cappa make catchier, more meaningful, and altogether better pop music that deserves an audience. Listen to “Tension” and dive into this euphoric icebreaker as CAPPA talks about her new music in our exclusive interview!

I want to feel open to trying different styles and not be boxed in to one thing just because I’ve done it in the past.

Listen: “Tension” – CAPPA

CAPPA TALKS “TENSION

Atwood Magazine: “Tension” has this undeniable freshness to it that is at once a departure from your previous material, as well as an indulgence of the qualities that make your music so great in the first place. Where did this song come from, musically?

CAPPA: Thank you! Well, the music I was releasing before was a little darker – still pop, but [it] had some darker elements in it sonically. I wanted to depart from that a little bit and just make something that felt really good and that I connected with. I’ve always been scared of making music too bubbly, but I put that aside when I was writing this and I’m really proud of how it turned out.

For me, this song screams summer - it's light, it breaths, and has an irresistible vibe about it. Is the timing of its release calculated? Why is it coming out now?

CAPPA: It’s actually not, it just worked out well that way! I finished it up and as soon as I was done I knew I just wanted to put it out as soon as possible. It ended up being good timing.

I feel like in just a few years, I've seen/heard a few phases of Carla Cappa! Where would you say you are musically right now, compared to the content on your debut album and even December's “Waste My Time”?

CAPPA: I’ve definitely been finding myself musically over the past year in particular. I love the first music I released, but I think artists should always grow with their music. I love “Waste My Time” in particular. It was a little more dance oriented, but I think there are so many things that you can do with production and I want to feel open to trying different styles and not be boxed in to one thing just because I’ve done it in the past.

CAPPA Flexes Her Confidence & Charisma in “Waste My Time”

:: REVIEW ::

Take the tension and work it out,” you sing in the chorus. It's a direct line about resolving relationships and communicating between one another. Can you speak to this in a bit more depth?

CAPPA: Yes, absolutely. It’s about all this pressure you feel with someone sort of before you jump into a relationship. It’s about both sides being hesitant and you just wanting to be like, DO SOMETHING – MAKE A MOVE. Relationships aren’t always easy (or like… ever really easy), but “Tension” just sort of pokes fun at that.

Why don’t we take the tension and break it down?
Why don’t you put my body on your mind?
Take that pressure and work it out
Don’t keep it all inside
Let’s break the tension baby
Let’s break the

I love the casual vibe of the verses: “When you lock your keys in the car, I'm like haha, but I want you more.” You paint relatable scenes like these, with a cheery sense of appreciation for each individual experience. Why do you think these anecdotes work so well with the chorus' desire to come together?

CAPPA: The verses are all about how someone is doing the most stupid stuff, but you like them more because of it. The verses are sort of explaining the story – the actual day to day of how relationships can be.

When you’re drinking your coffee like that
You lips go…
I can’t ignore what I’m feeling for you
When you lock me up, kiss in your car
I’m like a-ha-ha but I want you more
Than I did before

It's been a whirlwind couple of years for your music project: I keep seeing CAPPA this and CAPPA that in my feeds. How has that experience felt from your perspective? Is it as whirlwind and busy as it seems on the outside?

CAPPA: I think perception is always very different than reality! At times, I’ve felt like things are going really well, especially around times that I’m releasing new music. But in the in-between times, its easy to get really down on yourself because there is always SO much new music coming out. It’s been a goal of mine to keep on working and not let that affect me. When I first released music and blogs were posting it, I was like, “Wow, this is so easy.” But then you realize, that’s when the work just begins.

You may evolve as an artist, but “Tension” is still definitively CAPPA in its lyrical sincerity and pop execution. Do you actively think about expanding your sound and evolving as an artist, or is it something that comes more naturally and unconsciously?

CAPPA: I do. I just want to always be growing. I’ve lived in Philly, and Nashville, and now LA – and it’s so interesting that different cities can really make you grow differently musically. LA the last few months has been very inspiring, because the music that I’m hearing is INCREDIBLE. It definitely has made me want to step my game up and put everything I have into creating something that feels special.

For many listeners, the tension you sing about isn't as bubbly and cheerful as the song makes it out to be. How do you reconcile that difference?

CAPPA: I love how in music, you can poke fun at a topic that can be a lot heavier realistically. You get to create the voice for whatever you are singing about. I think sometimes listeners desire a light-hearted approach to things. I know that’s something I look for in a lot of the music I listen to. Something that all makes it feel ok.

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:: stream/purchase “Tension” here ::

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Tension - CAPPA

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📸 © Carla Cappa

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:: Stream CAPPA ::


Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com