What’s an actor to do when they’re talented in another medium? They could go by the same name – or risk having critics call their endeavor a “vanity project.” Or, they could rebrand. Ginesse, the indie electro-pop project of actress Cait Fairbanks, goes in this direction. Created as a character, Fairbanks’s Ginesse project stands distinctly apart from her Emmy-nominated work on The Young and the Restless yet is attention-getting in another aspect: Her songs released as Ginesse are incredibly well-produced and catchy.
The latest to drop is “Gatorade,” released early in June. Lightweight, shimmery dance pop sets the mood for segueing into summer and establishes Ginesse as someone at home in the quirky, introspective mainstream world of Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish yet with production that’s not out of place on an EDM radio show.
“Gatorade” follows up EP Somewhere to Die, which received support last year in Paper, Nylon, and Billboard before it was released. Rounding out the sound is Ginesse’s long-time collaborator, Matias Moras, creating the synth lines and beats over which her vocals soar. Adding a secondary dimension to the song, the lyrics highlight Ginesse’s personal interest in astrology, particularly the nostalgia arising from Mercury going into retrograde.
What made you decide to start up a musical project after doing acting for a number of years?
I really always wanted to make music. Both acting and music are forms of expression for me. I started singing and acting as a kid, but I just really only started showing people my original music over the last several years. I’m actually pretty shy and apprehensive, so it just took me a while to build up the confidence to share things.
What is your musical background?
I started taking voice lessons and piano lessons when I was still pretty young. I then started to do musical theater, and by the time I was 11, I was doing it professionally. I was a very precocious, competitive child, and I struggled to express myself, so music and singing became an outlet to best express how I was feeling.
Although your sound fits within electro-pop, how would you describe your musical style?
I want to explore every element of pop music that I can just to see what fits for me. This is as much an experiment as it is a career for me, as I learned pretty early on that this is a journey and not a destination. So, I guess I would categorize it as “experimental pop,” as I think that kind of leaves it open. I would love to explore all different genres because why not!
Who are your musical influences?
My influences are all over the board! When I was younger, I was very influenced by singer-songwriters like Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and a lot of other female singer-songwriters that I felt I could relate to. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become so open to so many musical genres. When I was writing “Gatorade,” I was listening to a lot of electro-pop, ‘80s pop, and ‘90s pop. LCD Soundsystem was a big influence for this song specifically.
Your new song “Gatorade” came out June 4th. What is the track about?
The track is about looking back at unfinished business and realizing that some stories never really have an end, and that’s okay! It’s also inspired by Mercury in retrograde, which has always, for me personally, brought back a lot of those open door memories and made me think about why they’re still open for me.
You return to collaborating with Matias Mora on this track. How did you two originally start working together?
My friend and roommate at the time introduced me to Matias years ago, and we’ve been working together ever since. It takes a long time for me to trust people, but he gave me that trust and that’s why we work well together and will continue to work together.
Last year, your debut EP Somewhere to Die dropped. How did this release come together? What was your goal for the project?
“Gatorade” is kind of an extension of the EP. The Somewhere to Die release took five years in the making, because I was really, really nervous to put it out, as I didn’t feel as if I was ready…but then I realized I would probably never be ready. The overarching goal of Somewhere to Die was really just to get it out, so people could see that I could write songs and that I love it and that I love making music.
My goal, in general, is to put out things that people can listen to, and it makes them feel like they’re not alone. I think life can be pretty isolating when you feel like you’re the only person feeling a certain way. I know I’ve felt that a lot. I just hope my music can help people feel a little less alone.
As a singer and artist, where do you see your career going, especially as you continue to act?
For me, I don’t see myself going anywhere anymore, and that was the goal the whole time. It’s just about being present, taking each small goal as I can, and being so grateful that I even get the opportunity to explore this kind of career. I just want to continue trying my best and accepting that there really is no destination. It’s all about doing the best you can every day.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2021? Are you intending to perform live before the end of the year?
My goal for right now is to work on an album, so I’ll probably be spending most of this year in the studio. I love performing live, and the second I can, I will, but I think this is still a very exploratory time for me.