Cymbol releases new single ‘About a Girl’, shares touring plans and desire “to explore new territories”

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl'

Cymbol has carved a new sonic direction with About a Girl, the just-released single featuring vocal assists from Cameron Louw and This Pale Fire. Happy Mag caught up with the Kiwi producer to chat about the track, his upcoming album, and his refusal to be pigeonholed.  

Cymbol has released his new single About a Girl, with assists from featured artists Cameron Louw and This Pale Fire. The track opens with acoustic guitar and fingerpicked electric strums, before introducing a potent trap beat and gospel choir riffs. 

What begins as guitar-led pop later crescendos into precise production and textured instrumentation, as Louw and This Pale Fire trade lovelorn verses about infatuation and a girl who’s “my whole life.” 

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl

Proving himself an agent of versatility, Cymbol infuses the dance music elements of his past catalogue into perhaps his most radio-ready single to date. The track marks a new sonic direction for Cymbol, who trades the heavy electronica with catchy pop stylings to masterful effect. 

Perhaps Cymbol’s most romantic track to date, About a Girl extends of the Kiwi producer’s flair for slick and pristine beats, serving as a promising first taste of Cymbol’s forthcoming album Distractions — set for release later this year.

In anticipation of Distractions, Happy Mag caught up with Cymbol for a chat about all things About a Girl, touring, and his desire “to explore new territories and see where I can go.” Catch our full interview with the producer below, and head here to listen to his new single About a Girl. 


HAPPY: What are you up to today?

CYMBOL: Not much just prepping for my single release, getting things ready

HAPPY: Where’s home, and what’s the music scene like in your neck of the woods?

CYMBOL: Home for now is Melbourne but my heart will always be in Auckland, NZ. The scene in Melbourne is super diverse. The music is quite lively out here and you get a sense of all cultures which is what I love about music in Melbourne. It continues to inspire me everyday.

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl

HAPPY: Tell us about your average day.

CYMBOL: I sound design NFT’s during the day, go for a walk or gym and create beats by night.

HAPPY: What about your ultimate day?

CYMBOL: Creating all day is my ultimate day, I’m pretty lucky to be doing what I’m doing. Other than that, keen to hit some big festivals around the globe.

HAPPY: Tell us about your creative community. Who are some artists or bands that have inspired you, and how have they influenced your music?

CYMBOL: There are many artists that have inspired me, those who have ground breaking sounds or explore things outside the norm is really what inspires me to do the same. Some of my big ones are Michael Jackson, Skrillex, Flume, Diplo, A.R Rahman, Fred Again, Kanye West.

HAPPY: What did you read or watch last that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective? 

CYMBOL: I watched Air at the cinemas the other week. Goes to show if you are persistent and have a point of difference, you can go far no matter what it takes. What counts is that you are surrounded with the right people who support your vision, but you have to truly believe it first before they do. It becomes infectious to them when you know you have something and can show it.

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl

HAPPY: What inspired you to create About A Girl and how does it differ from previous work?

CYMBOL: I think to be honest, the title says it all. My girl is what inspired me to make this, it was her and the love for music. I hadn’t been overthinking this one much, just going with the flow and making something which I never thought I would release as a single. I don’t want to be stuck in just one category of music (which was EDM), I wanted to explore new territories and see where I can go with it. 

The sound still has me in it, the bassline, the hip-hop drums and 808’s but I suppose it’s more organic and styled to the song. It definitely is not an EDM song which is what makes this release unique and new from me.

HAPPY: Can you describe the process of creating the tracks dynamic and varied instrumentation, from the acoustic strums to the gospel inspired samples? How did you achieve the raw sounding open treatment, to make it sound so organic, yet produced at the same time?

CYMBOL: The opening guitar riff was from the first session Cameron and I were having a jam. We then put acoustic guitars on top (it was a plugin). I then started playing with some 808’s but cutting the bass from it to give the whole thing a rhythm. Then when you hear the beat come in, you hear kicks that drive those 808’s and I had Eq’d those 808s to sound even more open when you hear the beat drop. 


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Every 4 you hear an actual 808 knock that gives you that feeling on your chest but doesn’t sound overdone to make it the center of the production. I really wanted to put gospel samples in because I really liked what Kanye was doing with Sunday Service. I’ve always wanted to put Gospel type vocals in my song because it gives the song a new energy and life that really makes you feel positive. 

With me, the most important thing is the groove of the percussion so that had to be right, and that is what drives the song, including the rhythm of the muted acoustic guitars. I stayed away from using synth type sounds and kept the life of the song as simple as it could be without going too crazy with production outside the organic feel. 

The thing with this song is that you hear elements that build and drop off, such as how the subtle hi hats come in when This Pale Fire starts singing in the second verse. So playing, building elements and taking elements off makes it feel interesting and not so repetitive. 

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl'

HAPPY: What can fans expect from Cymbol’s upcoming album, Distractions, and how does About a Girl fit into the larger artistic narrative of the project?

Distractions is my debut album, it will have some of the songs which are already released, ranging from dance music, hiphop to pop. It has everything in it from the last 10 years I have been in the music scene, from my sound that I had that broke me into the NZ music scene, into what I’m becoming now which is exploring new cultures, new sound and pushing some boundaries. The album is essentially about love, heartbreak, self-confidence and self-worth.

HAPPY: What current vibes and philosophical themes are present in your music?

CYMBOL: I just want music to make you feel good, positive or relatable to you in any way. For me, I’m producing music that just feels right to me, if there is a heartbreak song that I release, it won’t necessarily mean that I am going through one, I’d just make an infectious beat on it so I can groove to it. I do, however, throw in subtle musical gestures in my music, for instance, About a Girl has two male singers and you hear the chorus ‘mmm’ throughout the song from them. 

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl'

Until the end, the last chorus has a female ‘mmm’ blended with the two male vocalists. This for me ties everything in the song and gives the song a nice strong finish that makes you feel happy, positive and full. Some may not notice the female ‘mmm’ in the last chorus but that is intended to be there subtly so you ‘feel’ it there. Shout out to my mate Bandi for that one.

HAPPY: Any plans to tour in 2023?

CYMBOL: Yup, I’m planning to do a little tour in India as I have spent some time there connecting with people. I also plan to do a Distractions Album Tour once the album is released

HAPPY: What makes you happy?

CYMBOL: Creating 

Cymbol new single 'About a Girl'