I’m currently based in NYC, although I’m originally from Toronto. The music scene has changed a lot around here. I was here through the Mac DeMarco / DIIV Captured Tracks days during college while GHE20G0TH1K and Arca were on the rise, two very different things happening simultaneously. Right now people are mainly going to see techno shows / DJs at Nowadays, H0L0, Lot Radio, Bossa, or raves, following collectives like Discwoman, Papi Juice, Yellow Jackets, 8 ball, etc. There is a whole separate scene of artists that incorporate the spirit of electronic music into performative based art.These aren’t the only music niches happening either; I think right now the NYC music scene is all over the place but at an incubation period for something new and exciting to emerge that hasn’t solidified yet.It will be interesting to see how things evolve moving into 2020.
I took piano lessons as a kid and some guitar here and there. I was a competitive figure skater so I was mainly doing that all the time and had not much of a life outside of it. I fell in love with the process of making music when I discovered garageband in my early teens. I became obsessed with the process of recorded music, layering and manipulating sounds through the use of a program to create something completely new and different.
I finished the record more than a year ago. Some of the songs on this record are two years old or so, but the release process took forever for reasons I won’t go into. I shared a small studio space in Brooklyn after graduating college in this building that looks like a dump; there’s hardly any light and it’s dusty and dark. I holed myself up for a year and wrote the album using Ableton and my guitar, synths, mic, etc.Some of the songs I did solo, like The Monarch Flies and Event Horizon using my trusty microkorg, and other tracks like Lydia and Roses the Red, for instance, I would write in my studio the structure and bare bones of the tracks then booked a studio for a day to have skilled musicians improvise over them. I would play reference tracks like James Chance and the Contortions before the session that would inspire the direction the playing would take. I then took all those stems and screwed with them on Ableton and fine-tuned the arrangements. I honestly felt more like a film director when making this record, delegating jobs and what not, then a trained skilled instrumentalist or producer.
I was watching a lot Satoshi Kon’s work and Ghost in the Shell. I loved the soundtrack of Ghost in the Shell or even Michael Andrew’s score for Donnie Darko (which I fell in love with as a teen); this hauntingly eerie yet beautiful feeling – I’m still in love with that sound and I think it is a core element of what I make. I loved the intensity of James Chance andthe jazziness and absurdity of Gary Wilson.I was listening to early Pink Floyd and early Laurel Halo as well, so I blended it all together and this record happened. But it was all built around the concept of reflection, vanity, and the idea that you can have an endless amount of perspectives and identities, mimicking our current reality with social media and the internet, where we are living multiple lives and identities at once, navigating between our avatar selves and ourselves in real time, where interactions are harder to control and curate.
The musicians I worked with in the studio were people I knew from my school or met during freelance work, etc. Jesse Bielenberg played a lot of the instrumental parts, he’s in this great experimental band called Alto Palo. Jacob Blumberg mixed and mastered the record. He’s always been a big part of my work to this point; he definitely flies under the radar but he has mixed for Arca and other notable artists. My boyfriend, Mitchell Todorov, did a bit of ghost guitar playing here and there.Other instrumentalists include Aaron Rourke who played sax and clarinet; and Eric Read on drums.
Been listening to a lot of The Cure. Robert Smith as a person I really like, just watching interviews of him and seeing the way he thinks.Early Sade too – she is such a divine role model for me.I love the sonic landscape of butt techno, the textures and sound palette he chooses.I’m girl crushing on Kedr Livanskiy.
Recently, I’ve been working on a few composing side gigs, but most of my time has been spent developing the live set and playing shows for this record.
I like to read and be in nature when I can.I find myself going into weird holes of the internet a lot, usually about AI, the nature of reality, psychology, etc. – it can get dark real fast.I am currently reading “Becoming Supernatural” by Joe Dispenza which has interesting insights on how your brain and thoughts can program your reality.
2019 is a big healing year for me. I want to get out of old thought patterns and behaviors that hold me back, it’s about taking risks and growth, of being out of my comfort zone. I definitely want to throw myself more into the energy of the city, socialize and meet lots of new people after this period of being isolated writing this record. I’d like to play a lot more shows, and then infuse the inspiration I get from being social into what I make next.
I can’t pick a favorite food! I’ve always loved pho or a great Chinese dim sum where you can spin the glass table around. I have my favorite Toronto spots I’m excited to go back to when I visit – The Dynasty and Hanoi 3 Seasons, Kingyo is also so good. In NYC I love Xian Famous Foods, especially the spicy cumin lamb noodles.