We sat down with music artist and vintage Instagram beauty, Storm Calysta (@stormcalysta), to find out the how and why behind her iconic 60s/70s vibe. Plus, we talk about the struggles of being a creative entrepreneur and what it’s like being a social media celeb. But first, let’s get to the bottom of this mysterious name…
EB: You have a really badass name. Storm Calysta just rolls off the tongue. It really sounds strong. Can you tell me a bit about how that came to be?
SC: That’s exactly what it was. People couldn’t pronounce my real last name and it was making it hard for people to remember who I was. I had this fan of mine and his name is Storm, and I joked around and said, “One day, I am going to take that name, cause it’s so cool!” I ended up taking his name. He was flattered.
Calysta was because I was really into space. I still am. I wanted something that went along with Greek Mythology. I was looking up names and came across “Calysta”, which means “most beautiful.” I was like yeah sure, I’ll take that name. It’s a mixture of being strong and beautiful.
EB: What’s the process you go through when it comes to picking out your outfits? How do you pull it all together?
SC: I’m very, very, very selective. I have studied photos and looked at what people wore in the 60s and 70s. [People] Like Cher, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie. I look for similar items they wore. If I am out shopping and I see something that is similar I’m like, “OH I AM GRABBING THAT!” A lot of times I shop at vintage stores because it is hard to find flared bell-bottoms and stuff like that. It’s possible, but definitely a challenge in 2016. This summer it has been kind of a thing, but the bells never seem big enough! Gotta have the huge bells!
EB: Is that your claim to fame? Is that your must-have?
SC: I think I have more pants than anything. I love patterns. It’s bizarre. I like loud pants!
EB: From the clothing we sent you for the photoshoot, what did you really like?
SC: I really like those ginormous wide-leg pants, because they were super comfy! Also, they remind me of this David Bowie pic where he has his leg kind of bent, and he’s wearing these huge wide-leg pants. That’s why I am sitting in a chair with my legs far apart, because I really wanted to accentuate how wide those legs were. Also, it kind of looks like a skirt when I am just walking around, but they’re pants!
EB: I noticed from your Instagram pics that you hang out at a lot of antique stores, and you chose to do a photoshoot in one too. Is antiquing and vintage shopping a hobby of yours?
SC: I love going to places that are vintage. Whether it’s clothing, home décor, or an old record store. I love picking up old things people have kind of forgotten about. But, these old things took someone a long time to create and there’s so much more detail. I love vintage stuff, because most of it was created by hand, which is pretty amazing. I love the tiny details they have to carve out. When I was in Philadelphia, I bought this little goblet with etched flowers, and you can tell someone had to etch the crazy details into the cups.
EB: You have a lot of followers on Instagram (@stormycalysta)! How do you cultivate your content and deal with being an Instagram celeb?
SC: I pretty much focus on posting nice photos that just flow really well together. I don’t pay close attention to any negativity or anything like that. I’ll see people I recognize on my Instagram and will respond to a comment here and there. But, it’s really just about creating art for me. It’s not about being well-known. It’s about the art.
EB: So you use Instagram as your platform to express yourself, but you’re not Kim Kardashian? Haha!
SC: I’m not out there trying to be like, “look at me.” I’m trying to take you into this world I’ve created with my camera. I try to photograph the places I actually like to shop at or hang out at. It’s more genuine. It’s actually who I am. Don’t get me wrong. The photos are a glamorized version of me, because of all the hair and makeup and whatnot, when usually I walk around with frizzy hair or whatever – the ACTUAL hippie lifestyle. It’s more refined in photos.
Natural Stone Etched Bracelet – In Stores Only //
EB: You said you started getting into the music scene when you were 15. When did you have that aha moment where the sparks go off in your head and you’re like, “THIS IS IT?”
SC: It was kind of strange. I don’t know how it happened. At this time I had already been playing violin and the French horn in middle school orchestra and band. I’ve always dabbled and played other instruments. I saw a street performer and was like, “Wow he’s actually making money off that. Wait a minute! I can make money off this?” I knew I had a decent voice, but didn’t know it was anything worth listening to. I went home and taught myself guitar. One of the first songs I learned was “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. I just taught myself a few songs and then went to a courtyard in front of a jewelry store. They were paying me like $20 to sit outside and play my music. I actually made quite a bit of money off of it. And I was like, “OH MY GOSH THIS IS REAL!” It just kind of blossomed from there. I started playing at coffee shops and a theatre in my town. Then I started playing at county fairs. Within a year I played Bamboozle road show. And that’s just how it started. It was a domino effect. I was like, “I am going to play here and then there!” Then it just blew up and I was like, “Akay this is what I am doing!”
I guess I just always knew that’s what I was meant to do.
EB: What advice do you have for any new artists or creative entrepreneurs?
SC: Figure out what is your thing. What makes you different? What makes you feel passionate? Really focus in on that thing. For me, it’s 60s & 70s rock ‘n’ roll. So I really focus in on that and try to reflect it in my image, and my music, and all art forms. I know it is something that makes me stand out. What makes you special? Just focus in on that. And honestly, just do it and do it as hard as you can. If you start to feel lazy, you just have to be like, “NOPE NO SLEEP!” You gotta get up and do that. I feel like that is a huge problem for people who are freelance and who don’t have a boss per se. You can’t just sleep today. You gotta get up and just push. I feel like I am in a fight against time.
Travel back to the 60s and 70s and get inspired by following Storm Calysta on Instagram @stormycalysta
To hear new music and stay up to date, visit stormcalysta.com