We spoke with the up-and-coming musician about her debut EP, splitting time between music and theater, and going viral on TikTok.
by Cynthia Maya
October 18, 2022
If you’re on TikTok at all, or get your delayed TikTok content on Instagram, you may have heard the “fuzzy duck, ducky fuzz” sound bite. The sound is a snippet from “How Did You Get So Good?,” the lead single from D’Lourdes’s self-titled debut EP. For Troiano, writing music is a coping mechanism, and it’s easily spelled out in her music. D’LOURDES is honest and musically versatile as a debut, and explores growing up queer, the male gaze and above all, love.
Getting into the arts was easy with the help of her parents. “My dad grew up with an artist’s heart and my mom is just Filipino, so music is in our blood,” Troiano says. She delved into the arts at a young age, starting theater in middle school at her dad’s insistence, going to an arts high school and ultimately moving to Minnesota to be in the Guthrie Theater program at the U of M. “I’ve always been about doing my own thing,” she says, having recently acted in Cambodian Rock Band at the Jungle Theater.
Fresh off the release of her new music video for “Catholic Guilt” (with a devilish latex outfit purchased at Bondesque), catch her performing as part of the Crazy Broke Asians line-up at the Cedar this week.
When did the interest in music begin?
Some of [the songs] came from 2016, and one of them came as recently as last year. It’s just been a matter of compiling them. I’ve always been interested in music and being a musician of sorts, I was a Disney kid who was obsessed with Hannah Montana and Demi Lovato. That’s always been there but the passion and action towards music started to turn within the last four years.
How was your debut project received? I saw you have so many listeners on Spotify.
The reason I got so many Spotify listeners is because I randomly went viral on TikTok. And the comical line of “fuzzy duck, ducky fuzz” ended up kind of popping off on TikTok, and the response was incredibly positive, and then it started to turn into this incredibly negative response pretty rapidly because that’s what going viral kind of does.
But what was valuable to me was that people were sticking around after listening to anything else or listening to the full song. And the people that have chosen to stick around have been incredibly supportive and excited about the music and that means the entire world to me. I never would have pictured that kind of notoriety would happen on a first release.
What do you think people are relating to?
Every song is different so it’s hard to say. What I like to do when I write is just be honest about how I feel. Some of my favorite artists, they write some of the most universal lyrics but it’s just because they’re being honest to themselves.
Definitely, the people that I resonate with are the ones that can express a feeling that I have no idea how to put into words.
I’ve always thought that if you are coming from you then you can’t make a mistake.
In your own words, what do you write about?
I tend to write the most about love and heartbreak. That’s the theme that inspires me the most when it comes to other people. Because when I’m going through heartbreak or love, I almost feel the need to write.
Do you think that your identity plays into your presence at all?
Oh definitely, a lot of the people that end up interacting with my stuff are queer people of color. I think the queer experience is a lot what people connect with. And I’m more than happy to help people express that part of themselves because it’s not easy.
I found it inspiring that you sought out support from the community. You’ve raised $10,636 for video production.
For me, a music project isn’t complete without music videos, I’m an actor—and a theater one—so I don’t have the funds to do whatever I please with my finances. I was inspired by one of my friends who is a passionate filmmaker who did it for a short film. I asked her, “can I do this for music videos?” “Catholic Guilt” and “Melancholy” are in post production and “How Did You Get So Good?” is in production so it is happening, I kept my promise.
Since your music is very versatile, do you consider yourself to be one type of genre?
I don’t consider myself one type of genre. Now that I’ve gotten asked that question a couple of times, I’m more comfortable with saying that I genre-jump pretty hard. At the end of the project, what I would define the project as a whole, it leans more into singer-songwriter? Oh, god.
It’s hard to have the words sometimes
Yeah, I mean, I’d say pop because I can’t define what pop is at this point and I say singer-songwriter because it all starts out on guitars anyway.
How did you get into playing instruments?
I self-taught piano and guitar. Growing up—I’m Filipino— so we grew up doing karaoke and music has always been a part of my life. I had a childhood friend who learned how to play guitar and taught me how to play Taylor Swift.
I love that you say Taylor Swift because a lot of the people I know that played guitar growing up learned Taylor Swift first. She’s a great gateway artist.
She’s just got that four chord song structure that is pretty simple and the tunes are pretty simple. Of course, I connected growing up, it was about boys and all that stuff [laughs].
So, how did you get on TikTok? Did you start an account specifically for music?
No, absolutely not! I think I got it like December of 2019. So I was before the pandemic wave, embarrassingly, because I’m pretty addicted to the internet [laughs]. I got the app and I had it as a normal user and I shifted to a “music” account this year.
I’m curious what you think about the democratization of music? Like how easy it is for people to make music nowadays.
I think it’s a double edged sword because… I don’t want to be the one that’s like ‘oh my god, everyone has music now’ [laughs]. I think it’s awesome but I also think music loses its heart a lot these days and whether that’s because of the songwriting or the influx of media we’re always consuming. I also hear that production is kind of always the same at this point because it’s what’s most accessible. But music has, at least in the grand masses, lost curiosity and I think that’s kind of shooting it in the foot. Not to be a Debbie Downer but it’s just something that I’ve noticed and try to stay away from.
I had a conversation the other day about Queen, they were super weird but they questioned the norms of what music was.
They were super weird! Any notable music artist, whether I like them or not, has their own sound and I think that is the most important thing.
What do you think about people who make sounds on TikTok specifically to go viral?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I think what’s tough about going viral is getting people’s attention and people knowing that you’re selling something to them. Because TikTok’s a game. I knew that and that’s why I waited to post about my music.
by Cynthia Maya
October 18, 2022
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