"I call myself Empress Of because I couldn't just be an empress because it's so vain. But I couldn't be an empress of anything because I'm so indecisive," Lorely Rodriguez told me over the phone last month.
Where the Empress Of name -- which Rodriguez lifted from a tarot card reading her friend gave her -- remains pendulous and mystical, her music follows.
"Putting a title on anything automatically gives it an identity," Rodriguez said.
Her Julee Cruise- and Elizabeth Fraser-like spectrality has led her all over for high profile collaborations with Khalid, Dirty Projectors, Blood Orange, and Mo, but it's her solo work and her cultural upbringing as a first generation Honduran-American in East Los Angeles that continue to be her most inspired dominion....
It just took her a little while to realize that.
"Living in New York sucks, but it's also like really great for building callouses as a human being. So much is being thrown at you and how much can you take?" Rodriguez said.
"As a young adult and as an artist; it was important to me to live there at that time," she added.
After Rodriguez moved back home to Los Angeles, she released her sophomore album, "Us," in October, getting closer to figuring out exactly what she'll be an empress of.
Rutger Ansley Rosenborg has been with NBC SoundDiego since 2016. Find out more here.