Encinitas among inspirations for Cleopatra Degher’s ‘Pacific’


Just by looking at Cleopatra Degher’s family tree, it’s easy to see that music — and creativity in general — is in her genes. Her father, Darius, is a professional musician who’s recorded hits with the likes of Warren Zevon, and her mother is a former actress.

“My father is the one who got me into music in the first place,” said Degher on a recent Saturday. “My father is great; we actually worked on my new album together. He produced it.”

That album, titled “Pacific,” features a variety of folk and Americana tracks inspired by Degher’s surroundings living in Encinitas, and her time growing up in Sweden.

“My mom is Swedish, and when my parents had me they decided to raise me in Sweden,” she said. “I moved there when I was 6, and lived there for about 12 years.”

It’s that combination of Swedish and breezy Encinitas beach influences that make up the bulk of “Pacific,” which was mostly recorded at the Deghers’ house, where there’s a studio the family has dubbed Little Parthenon.

“The songs are all pretty thoughtful,” Degher said. “The first track on the album is called ‘California Forest Fire,’ which is about living in Southern California. That rounds up the vibe of the album.”

All the songs on “Pacific” were written over the past several years (since her most recent EP, 2012’s “Restrung,” was released), and Degher sees writing and recording as two separate processes.

“I’ve been working on writing these songs for a while, and they’re pretty much done by the time I hit the studio,” she said. “I’ve been working on this new album this whole year. Recording has been a lot of work, but the whole thing is almost done and I can’t wait for people to hear the final result.”

Degher, 22, has devoted her entire life to the art of music, forgoing college graduation in pursuit of the craft.

“I previously attended MiraCosta and studied there for a couple of years,” she said. “I was ready to then transfer to continue school at UCSD, but around the same time I happened to get free tickets to see (famed singer/songwriter) Jackson Browne at Copley Symphony Hall. I went with my dad, and the entire experience was so inspiring. After the show, I realized I wanted to pursue music full time.”

Recently, at a music festival in Santa Monica, Degher had the chance to tell Browne the story. “I ran into him and told him everything. He was like, ‘I made you quit school?!’”

Whatever decisions Degher has made in the past seem to be paying off. “Pacific” comes out on Sept. 4, and a CD release show is slated for Sunday, Sept. 14, between 4 and 6 p.m. at Ducky Waddle’s Emporium in Encinitas. Until then, she’ll continue pursuing her musical dreams and is grateful for the support of friends and family along the way. Said Degher, “My family supports me with anything I want to do.”

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