In the April issue of XBIZ Magazine, readers are given a glimpse into the “Secret Life Of” Chakrubs founder Vanessa Cuccia and her blossoming career as a musical muse. In the article, Cuccia reveals an artistic background that harkens back to her early youth and includes classical training as an actor and pianist. She talks about building support into her Chakrubs brand and how the company’s growth has allowed her the freedom to return to her musical roots.
In addition, Vanessa discusses using her own products to help find her voice and how her true fascination lies in the possibility of transforming energy, whether by means of crystal healing, vocal prowess, or conjuring emotions through performance. She talks about her move from her home state of New York to Detroit, Michigan, and how immersing herself in the city’s diverse music scene led to new opportunities, including an album that is being produced by Trevor Millay of the band YOU. and joining the goth electronica band Virgin Thorns.
If you’re in the Detroit area, don’t miss Vanessa’s live debut with Virgin Thorns at their upcoming show on April 26 at the High Dive in Hamtramck. Follow @virginthorns on Instagram for updates on their music and shows.
Photos for the article were taken by Rachel Cuccia.
On finding her voice:
“When it comes to singing, I recall being turned down from vocal teachers, being told I sang too nasal,” says Cuccia. “I remember borderline screaming in my home whenever I was alone to stretch my range, which isn’t recommended but I was determined to learn. I always knew that I had a voice inside me, but it took me some time to find where and how I was able to express it.”
On how performance intersects with her experience at Chakrubs:
“With Chakrubs I’ve been able to dive deep into these spiritual philosophies and discuss them in a more cerebral fashion,” says Cuccia, “but there are some things that can only be expressed through the power of music, the universal language. Being a performer was a gateway for my understanding of energy and has helped me shape the philosophy of my brand.”
On transformation through performance:
“I also studied acting and theater, and what I’ve come to realize is that my true fascination comes from the possibility of transforming ourselves through energy,” she says. “This is what all the good actors do – they understand how to conjure various emotions. Good actors don’t “pretend” to be mad; they take the steps to arouse anger within themselves in order to perform that emotion for an audience. Performing in front of an audience is nothing short of casting a spell. Collectively you share a desire to create a vibe and play within it.”
On retaining her image as an artist while being successful in business:
“I’ve done interviews where I was portrayed as “an artist turned entrepreneur” – but that’s never been the case,” she muses. “Chakrubs – the product, the brand, the philosophy – has always been an art. It seems silly sometimes that because it is profitable that I should be portrayed more as a business person rather than an artist. Music is just another component of my mission through Chakrubs. I want to prove what is possible when you are in complete servitude to yourself.”
On where prioritizing pleasure can lead you:
“When I give workshops I lead the classes with my own singing and crystal bowls, which allow people to feel the energetic vibration in their bodies,” says Cuccia. “Now that I am focused more on music, I want to say, this is what happens when you prioritize pleasure, this is what’s possible when you invest in yourself. This is what I’ve been able to do because I have done work on myself and honor the life I’ve been given, and if I can do it, so can you.”
On moving to Detroit and recent collaborations:
“I love performing with a band,” gushes Cuccia, “I love working with different musicians and appreciate what they bring to the table in terms of creativity, style, energy, and so forth.”
“I recently moved to Detroit and am currently working with producer Trevor Millay of the band YOU. on a track that will be accompanied by a short film/music video,” Cuccia said. “It’s called ‘Fucking Body’ and ties into a lot of the concepts I explore with my business. I’ve also recently joined a goth electronica band called Virgin Thorns with our first stage show on April 26 at the Hamtramck. It’s a two hour performance exploring the possible outcomes with artificial intelligence. Other than that, I am actively songwriting and collaborating with other musicians here in Detroit.”
On using music to speak to collective human experiences:
“What I enjoy about writing songs is that you can put focus on one specific aspect of the human experience and expand it for the entirety of the song,” she says. “Whatever that aspect may be – jealousy, love, sexuality – it allows the listener (and myself) to melt deeply into that experience, therefore acknowledging it as a sacred element to life.”