With a new single coming out, we catch up with Cosmic Strip’s Camella Agabalyan to talk about music, friendships and sci-fi holes. With her early interest in music leading her to be skilled in multiple instruments, Camella and her cosmic friends now create psychedelic rock music that takes you to another world. We talk about community going beyond bringing people together and deeper insights from the lead-singer and guitarist for this week’s Neighbourhood Watch.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do and why do you do it?
My name is Camella, I have a band called Cosmic Strip, and I also work for MAMA Festivals running Marketing for events like Lovebox and Citadel.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Right from when I was young I knew I wanted to work in music. I was obsessed! I started interning from when I was 13 at every music company I could get my hands onto like Sony Music, The Agency Group, Hart Media and so much more. I also learned to play guitar, piano, drums and played in bands as a teenager who helped me develop my creative side.

How would your friends describe you?
My friends would describe me as a pretty intense person. I have very high highs and very low lows. I’m hyperactive and always organising projects all the time but I’m also extremely loyal, and my friendships are everything to me so I would do anything for anyone.

What do you believe in?
I believe in equal rights for everyone, I believe in supporting each other as a community. I believe in letting people be free of judgement and let them be happy in their own environment. These are all pretty simple things to believe in, yet feel so distant from the society we live in today.

If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be?
After everything that’s happened with the Weinstein case, reading the stories from Cameron Russel’s Instagram made me feel so disheartened about the fashion industry. It’s so horrible to know that these poor young women are working so hard to do what they love most and this is the way they get treated. If I could change one thing, it would be that.

Who run the world?
Anyone who believes in feminism.

What are you obsessed with right now?
I’m releasing a new single called ‘Echo Chamber’ with my band Cosmic Strip so I’ve currently built myself a sci-fi hole doing research into mirrors and portals and duplicity, mainly thanks to the Barbican’s sci-fi exhibition, the New Scientist live fair and Philip K Dick’s resurgence via Blade Runner and Electric Dreams.

What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to continue working on my music and build an even bigger cosmic world I can invite people into.

What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Sometimes I get stressed out when I’m doing too much, and I have no money because I put everything into my passions and my boyfriend once said to me ‘you could have a nice couch or you could have something to look back on when you’re older and be genuinely proud of yourself’. And he’s totally right!

Here at Neighbourhood, we believe an editorial platform should be a community, what does the word community mean to you?
The community isn’t just about being aware of other people and bringing people together – it’s supporting each other regardless of how different your lifestyle may be. People tend to create little bubbles they can live in because it makes them feel safe and wanted but I don’t believe it will ever move anything forward if everyone is just stuck in their own corner.

Keep up to date with Cosmic Strip here: @cosmicstrip and Camella Agabalyan here: @carsmellar