the team editor in chief gabi yost creative director jared elliott public relations caleigh wells photography coordinator heather zalabak production jiselle santos & ky kasselman social media ashleigh haddock, madi mize & felica krampitz editors victoria taglione & peyton rhodes music coordinator brandon quiroga
the contributors writers
carissa mathena, yasmin ettobi, kariann tann, hope boissoneault, erin christie
emma hintz, ariana cruz, sam schraub, ej jolly, ana gomez, sydney king
georgia moore, jessica whelihan a special thank you to the women who contributed artwork
bre wheeler, elizabeth little, elizabeth zamora, gabby yargo, jessa oliveira, olivia khuri, paige webster, sara corona, shannon healey, and sophia mignon
twitter @hearteyesmag instagram @hearteyesmag website hearteyesmag.com
for submissions & questions, email us at
interviews company of thieves bad hats halocene female-run organizations gabrielle aplin mary lambert alisa xayalith the aces love you later suzi analogue
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culture empowerment playlist best venues around the country the power of representation lordeâ€™s legacy our favorite female artists
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company of thieves julien baker overcoats mary lambert billie eilish phoebe bridgers ruth b tennis
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A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Calling all powerful females! Issue 7, focuses on empowering women, features some of our favorite women in the industry. In this issue you will find artwork, interviews, and poetry from some of the most hard working people around. These people inspire me to work harder everyday to achieve my dreams and make a difference from my position. I would like to thank everyone who has given us their support. We could not do this without you.
gabi yost, editor in chief
empowerment. a playlist curated to inspire
Small Talks - Liza Anne Strong Enough - The Aces Space Song - Beach House After The Storm - Kali Uchis Your Dog - Soccer Mommy Apathy - Frankie Cosmos Treasure - Company of Thieves Kick Jump Twist - Sylvan Esso We R Who We R - Kesha Partion - Beyonce Perfect Places - Lorde Motherlove - Bea Miller Let It Be - Hayley Kiyoko
Photos by Heather Zalabak
COMPANY of THIEVES Interview + Photos by Heather Zalabak
Company of Thieves is an American indie-rock band from Chicago, Illinois. The band was founded by Genevieve Schatz on vocals and March Walloch on guitar. Formerly on hiatus, the band just finished a successful tour with Walk The Moon and have released a new EP Better Together. I had a chance to sit down with Genevieve backstage before their show in San Diego, California earlier this year and chatted about new music, inspirations, and what it’s like being a woman in the music industry. HOW DID THE BAND GET STARTED? Genevieve: Well Mark and I met when we were 18. We were both at Union Station about to get on a train the same train, and I noticed he had an acoustic guitar. So, I struck up a conversation with him, and we sat down together at the same booth and just sort of hit it off from there. Decided, you know, we could talk about music, and we talked about The Beatles and told each other about our bands. We just decided to hang out, and we found we lived a few blocks away from each other in the city of Chicago. We started hanging out every week and watched music documentaries, and listened to music. We started doodling around on his acoustic guitar, and I would make melodies, and then all of a sudden we were writing songs! It was really natural and felt carnic at the same time.
THAT’S AWESOME! HOW HAS TOUR BEEN LIKE WITH WALK THE MOON? HAS THERE BEEN ANY MEMORABLE MOMENTS SO FAR? Genevieve: Definitely. Tour with Walk The Moon has been really positive and loving, and they are beautiful people that happen to be our friends. It’s really fun to cheer them on and see them grow every night. Their fans are showing up early to catch our set and they’re super open- hearted which makes it easier to play for everyone. It feels very much like an alignment. As for good memories so far, I mean wow, there’s a ton. I really like watching them from the audience every night, so sometimes I get to dance to - what I’m trying to say is that like as a friend who is also a fan, it’s really cool for me to get to see them play every night. SO YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN FUNDING YOUR OWN TOUR, LIKE HAVING PEOPLE FILL UP YOUR GAS TANK, HAS ANYONE EVER ACTUALLY DONE THAT? Genevieve: Yes, people are helping us along the way. They’re buying polaroids, postcards, and filling up our gas tanks. Every once in a while booking a hotel room for us and you know we get to book private acoustic shows in peoples living rooms, and it’s just really fun for us to have that direct line of communication with our fans.
THAT’S SO SMART. SEEING THAT I WAS LIKE “WOW!” -- IT’S WAY TO GET YOURSELF GOING, YA KNOW. Genevieve: Yeah, thanks! It’s cool! When I sit down to hand-write lyrics for somebody that has requested a certain song, it feels great because I know that song means a lot to them, and I get to have little drawings. And I don’t know, it just feels really close.
HAS HAS YOUR MUSIC EVOLVED SINCE BEFORE AND AFTER THE HIATUS? Genevieve: Since we’ve gotten back together, I would say that we are a lot more dedicated to finding the most clear, simple, pure way of expressing ourselves. When we were younger there was a lot of layers, sonically and also formatically with lyrics. Now it feels like there is a lot more room to breathe and to actually receive the messages of the music and the words. Yeah, it feels more clear and because of that, stronger.
SO YOU GUYS HAVE RELEASED YOUR NEW SONG “TREASURE,” WHICH IS GREAT BY THE WAY, CONGRATULATIONS ON THAT, EARLIER THIS YEAR. WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT FROM NEW MUSIC? Genevieve: There’s gonna be a lot of us exploring different sounds that we want to use to express ourselves and we are going to be collaborating with people that inspire. They can expect to hear early, honest, freshbatch of music from us. Pretty consistently throughout the year. It’s like a big permission slip to tap into your feelings.
DO YOU GUYS DRAW ANY INSPIRATIONS THAT INFLUENCE YOUR MUSIC? Genevieve: Tons. Pretty much everything we’ve ever heard. It goes all over the board.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES, LIKE THE BIGGEST ONES YOU WOULD SAY? Genevieve: I would say, The Beatles, Nina Simone, Queen, David Bowie, Bjork, The Rolling Stones -- a big list, just barely scratching the surface.
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY CHALLENGES BEING A WOMAN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? ANY POSITIVES THINGS? WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR? Genevieve: Tons of challenges. A lot of them have been being underestimated or being disrespected, or looked over because I’m a woman. An early memory I have of being on tour with Company of Thieves was loading into a venue and the production manager of the venue asking whose girlfriend I was and if I was the merch girl. Now don’t get me wrong, being someone who takes care of the merch is a badass job, but the way that he said it was as if I wasn’t part of the band. I just looked at him right in the face and said “I am the lead singer of this band, thank you very much” and walked past him. I was like 18 when that first happened. I definitely have been sexually harassed by a lot of people that we have worked with and I have overcome all of it. Definitely. The positive things I would say more so about me just loving myself. I’ve learned how to take care of myself and how to create healthy boundaries and know when to say no. Or when to ask for space. I would say everything I’ve been through up until this point in my life has gotten me to where I am at right in this very moment. YOU’RE VERY DESERVING OF IT. Genevieve: Well, sure. Everyone I guess. Deserving is a heavy word. I try to see the lessen in situations. I try to learn from them and figure out where the gifts are even if they’re in disguise.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE #METOO AND #TIMESUP CAMPAIGNS THAT HAVE BEEN HAPPENING RECENTLY? Genevieve: My thoughts span a wide range. Mostly, I am enthusiastic that women are feeling more empowered to speak out and express their truth. I am heartbroken that it is a common thread amongst us all, and I feel that it’s important to share our experiences with each other so that we aren’t feeling isolated and so that we can shed light on how common it is and change that. Because the first thing before changing something is to have a real understanding, a grasp, of what is going on. And you need to know where you come from in order to know where you’re going. LASTLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OUR FEMALE-IDENTIFYING AUDIENCE THAT WANT TO PURSUE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? Genevieve: Yeah! I would say the music industry is a god-less, empty, place. Pursuing it, is probably going to be exhausting and painful, but pursuing your love of music and sharing it and creating it, is probably an infinite well of joy and inspiration. My piece of advice would be to follow the spark of life. When I think of the industry, I think of power, and money, and hierarchy, and systems and structures. I guess I think music is more fluid than that and it’s what people dance to. Hopefully you’re doing it for the love and freedom that music can bring. The industry part comes after, it’s not the main focus.
You can support Company of Thieves by donating or purchasing items from their crowdfunding shop: https://companyofthieves.bigcartel.com/
B BB B A AA A D DD D H H A A T T S S Interview by Hope Delongchamp
The song “Spin” by Bad Bad Hats was my alarm the day of the interview with the aforementioned band. I could say that it was purely coincidental, but that would just leave me digging myself in a hole -- we all know how our trusty, not-so-trusty smartphones work. Nonetheless, I make the trudge to the bus stop and sooner than later find myself in a corner of what is labelled as “a quiet room” at my school. Let it be known, dear reader, that it is not the case. In one corner was a speaker blasting the latest hits; on the opposite side of the room, was a window where the sun decided to make its presence heard. Either way, I was expecting for a phone interview with Kerry Alexander, vocals and guitar, and Chris Hoge, drums, of Bad Bad Hats. I thought I could sacrifice the sun shining on my computer. I clicked away from the band’s bandcamp, eying the pennants that were recently released in their merchandise store. The clock struck 11 AM, and I found myself with a FaceTime call instead of a regular phone call. No matter the slight ring of Taylor Swift’s newest song from the booming speaker or the sun that I definitely guarantee gave me a ghost-like appearance, I had a memorable and lovely conversation with Kerry and Chris. The call started with Chris walking in with a mug of coffee for both Kerry and himself. I eyed the Nalgene bottle decorated in band stickers across the table from me -- there was no rescuing this bottle now. I complimented the pennants and expressed my slight disappointment that I couldn’t buy 20 of the pennants, designed alongside Oxford Pennant, and hang them throughout my house. Kerry agreed but “understood why [I] might have some reservations” with a chuckle. We spoke about how ridiculously cold it is for both of us, myself in Northern Ontario, and themselves in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We spoke about the ridiculous -53 Fahrenheit weather I received on my end and the seemingly tamer -20 degrees on their end. Brought closer together through the weather, unsurprisingly, we jumped into a lovely enlightening conversation into the thought process of the band. HEM: When I start interviews, I like to start with the question, “How did it all start?” What moment did you, Chris, and Noah decide: “you know what, we’re going to start this band?” K: I guess, well, all three of us have been making music in some capacity on our own before we knew each other. Chris and I met our sophomore year in college through some friends and we decided that we wanted to start writing songs together, so we just sort of exchanged those… We both studied abroad at different times and we would e-mail each other demos. We got back to school our senior year, and, I dunno, we just sort of been discussing, “you know what, we should try to play these songs live, try to just to play them at all, together,” and we were thinking about who else we could play with, and Noah happened to have gone to the guitar store and grabbed a bass, and was all, “Hey guys! Come check out my bass!” And Chris and I were all like, “ahoho.... Join our band!” HEM: That’s actually a great way to start it! What were your majors in college? C: I was political science, and Kerry and Noah were both English/Creative Writing. HEM: Oh fun! So I’m guessing, Kerry, you’re a big literature sort of person, because I see that the name “Bad Bad Hats” itself was inspired by a Madeleine book, right? K: Yes! You’re one of the few people in the world who knows that. HEM: [laughs] Oh hey! Has literature always been influential for the band as a whole and for you personally? K: Honestly, like, I always loved English class, and I was actually just talking about this with Noah; I loved English class and I loved the discussion of the books and stuff, but I’ve never really been a good reader. I’m pretty slow at reading (which is kinda funny that I became an English major), but the creative writing side is mostly what drew me in. So yeah, it’s always sort of been kind of in the background, and when I first started making music, I started with the lyrics only, and then I taught myself how to play guitar. So in that way, yeah, it’s been like a little friend! HEM: That’s really cool! K: Yeah! Noah and I nerd out about it sometimes. HEM: That sort of ties into my next question! Kerry, you used to have this mix series called Mixed History, which is basically mixes that could have been exchanged with
famous couples in history, yeah? Are you a big fan of history, and love overall? K: Well, yeah! In highschool, I really got into greek mythology books, and I was really, really into it. It was one of the few books where I was like, “oh my god, my favourite book,” and I think mythology interests me. As well, in high school, we had to read a book of allusions, so basically just like, random things that different authors allude to in their works, so I got really into learning those. And then in college, my senior thesis was on a book of poetry about tragic women in history, so I’ve always been interested in a good story. And I get kind of hooked on a story when there is some sort of drama, or tragedy, when there’s some kind of a twist to it. So I think it was in those mixes where I sort of dived deeper into those great stories in literature and mythology. HEM: That’s so cool! Chris, as you’ve been with Kerry for a while, do you have anything to say about that as well? [laughs] K: [laughs] HEM: [laughs] Has literature, or just history itself, storytelling, has it consumed her life in ways? C: [laughs] Honestly though, it’s been so cool to see her interests, especially those playlists, it’s the combination of all those interests into a really accessible, fun project. K: I honestly just love mixes in general. HEM: Do you still make mixes for yourself? I see you
haven’t posted any in a little while. K: I do! I have a bunch of mixes, and Mixed History, still in the works. But, yeah… I think I forgot how to use Tumblr. HEM: [laughs] I think we all have. K: [laughs] But I am still definitely working on them! And obviously too, whenever we go on tour, I get to get a little playlist going for the band. C: You should put them on Spotify! K: Oh yeah, we should! We should definitely look into that. HEM: For sure! For both of you, what is an artist, or any inspirational figure really, living or dead, that you would love to collaborate with or just talk with over a cup of coffee? K: We’ve been asked this a couple times, and I always really just pause and go… “I really need to think about this.” C: And then you never do. K: [laughs] And then I never do! I think one person… Well one person I always say is Dolly Parton, who I would love to hang out with. C: I guess I would have to go with David Bazan, who I think we talk about a lot. He’s one of our favourite songwriters and he’s Seattle-based, I think. He’s a really inspiring songwriter and he’s also been working really hard at it for such a long time. I would love to just sit down and talk about his career and his advice for people who do this; for people who aren’t super famous and how to make a living, have a family, and stuff like that. HEM: Both so cool. Kerry, I’ve heard that you’re inspired by “female songwriters of the ’90s”! Since our issue this month is based on women empowerment, I would love to touch base on that. What songs did you really enjoy when you were younger and how has that changed as you’ve gotten older? K: So when I was really young, the first music I got really into was The Beatles and the pop music of the 90s, so The Spice Girls were very big for me early on. Brit-
ney Spears and the Spice Girls, for instance, were really exciting in general, just because with NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. They were all great, but the Spice Girls were someone that you could really get behind when you’re an eight-year old girl. Britney Spears and the Spice Girls were very early on for me, but a big changing point for me was Michelle Branch. Her album came out in 2000, and it was the first time I’ve ever heard a song played by a woman who was playing a guitar, like the guitar’s on the album cover, and she plays it in all her music videos, and I’m all here like, “woah, a woman… singing… guitar… playing… I can do all those things!” And then also, at the time, I was listening to a lot of Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow. Then the Josie and the Pussycats movie came out also around that time, and that, again, had women playing their instruments, following their dreams, achieving their goals together, and then Kay Hanley, who did the music for that movie, I fell for her band Letters to Cleo pretty hard those days. And then The Breeders, and then Feist, and then all sorts of other people. HEM: How has your music changed in that sort of way as well, Chris? Did you make a big jump, or did your path to indie rock more linear? C: Man, I don’t know, especially with Kerry and this band, I was able to find a middle ground. I grew up around a lot of the same music but from a fourteenyear-old boy perspective. [laughs] So I listened to a lot of Green Day and Blink-182. K: That’s the thing! I listened to a lot of Blink and Sum 41 in my day as well. C: And we lived together for so long, so we have very similar tastes at this point. K: I think just because I enjoy the lyrics so much in songs, the stories, I have always been drawn to female singer-songwriters, just because I feel as though I relate more.
HEM: In that way, do you both have any specific female role models that you look up to? Or any role models in general, really? K: My mom! [laughs] C: Your mom? [laughs] K: But no, I do look up to our moms a lot. But yeah, we have a lot of converging musical influences. We really enjoy Land of Talk, they come up a lot. C: Canadian! K: Great Canadian. [All laugh.] K: There are a lot of people that we look up to. We want to make music as well as we can, and there’s a lot of people we can look to and say, they’ve made a really great career there by pushing themselves and being open, caring, and giving back. And honestly I think of Dolly Parton, she makes such a difference and gives back to her community and the world at large. She also seems like such a joyous, nice person. We all want to be kind and bring people up with us as much as possible. HEM: That’s so nice! As you guys are in the media industry of sorts, did you guys get to catch the Golden Globes? C: We were doing something, I can’t remember. Maybe recording? K: We were doing something, yeah, but we didn’t get the chance to catch it. But we did get to watch a lot of the speeches the next day! HEM: That’s good then! You weren’t too heartbroken about Stranger Things or anything. K: That’s another reason why we didn’t catch it, actually! We haven’t seen any of the new movies or shows that are being featured. I’m sure we can catch up now. H: What have you guys been watching when you’ve had a chance to sit down? C: We just saw the movie, I, Tonya! It’s pretty good. K: I’ve been needing to see Lady Bird. Everyone’s been telling me to see Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name… I haven’t seen any of those movies. We’re very behind. HEM: No, it’s all good! One thing that happened the the Golden Globes, as you might of heard, was the #TimesUp movement, with women all wearing black on the red carpet to speak out about sexual harassment and assault, which ties into the #MeToo campaign. What have you thought about all that which is happening right now? K: It’s an important movement. It’s something that I think needs further discussion and enlightenment. It’s really amazing just to see that we’re getting to a point where people are fed up, you know, time is up. And it’s disheartening that these harassment cases are coming to light, but in that is collective strength to push back against something that, for a long time, has felt like, that’s just the way it is. It’s hard to hear and it’s painful to hear, but there’s still hope. It’s powerful. HEM: That was so powerful. To continue with this subject, what has empowered you personally as a woman in the music industry? Has being female influenced your
art, or your view on the world? K: I’m sure it has, and I like to tell stories in my music. It’s nice to tell other people’s stories from my perspective and oftentimes, my friends perspectives. I take a lot from my personal experience, influences in music, but my experience as a female has also been a part of it. HEM: That’s really interesting! Thanks so much for that perspective; now, about the band as a whole, I found a statement over Bad Bad Hats which calls Chris the drummer with courage, Noah, the bassist with power, and Kerry, with vocals, guitar, and wisdom. Tell me about that. K: [laughs] N: It’s from [The Legend of] Zelda! K: Yeah, it’s what makes the triforce. Those are the three triangles in the Triforce. N: We tried to figure out who fits in with who. K: I think that’s right. I’m sticking with those attributes for you. HEM: That’s so great! In some of your songs, such as in It Hurts, it seems like you’re a big fan of the kazoo. Where did that come from? Have you always been avid kazooers? K: [laughs] I think it mostly came from when I studied abroad in France. HEM: Oh, cool! Can you speak French, then? K: Yeah, a little bit! I used to speak more a long time ago, but I’m trying to get back into it. And when I was over in France, I wanted to record some demos, but I could only bring so many things with me. I brought my guitar and a bag of small instruments, including the kazoo. Since I only had access to the kazoo and a guitar, it featured prominently in the demos from that time. And we kept it along for It Hurts. HEM : That’s so fun! Have you seen that kazoo kid vine? C: I don’t think so… K: I don’t know -- wait! I have! That’s so funny! I’m gonna have to show you the video after, Chris, you’ll love it. HEM: It’s honestly so funny. You have so many stories and emotions to tell in all of your songs; some which are poignant love stories like “Things We Never Say” from your 2015 album, Psychic Reader. What sort of stories (and then sound/genres) will you be telling with the new album coming out this year? K: We just finished recording some more songs for the album, so that helped put it into focus a little bit more. C: We’re starting to see it better, yeah. K: I think it’s moodier, overall. There’s still some songs you can jump around to, which is good, because we’re a playful band in general. We like to keep that sense of joy and frivolity. But it is a little moodier, and we’ve recorded a more songs in a live setting. There’s a little more special moments that would only happen if we were playing together and all that cool stuff. HEM: What inspired that moodier side? Was it artists such as Julien Baker or Phoebe Bridgers? K: I don’t know, although I do like both of them! It’s always funny because a lot of songs on the new album -- Psychic
Reader and this new album -- were written very far apart in time. Some of them were written many years ago and some of them were written a couple days before we started recording. I’m always curious to see how well they’ll go together because they are many years apart. We work with our friend Brett Bullion and I always sort of feel in this experience and the experience that we take on a mood in the recording process. There’s that point when we get into the zone, and we take on the mood of the space and of the studio when we’re putting together all these songs and that kind of forms the next song and the song after that. Although they’re all very different songs, and they’re played at very different times, they all have the essence of when we recorded them, which is kinda nice. I don’t know how that took form, I don’t know what happened this time around. C: [laughs] Everyone was just moody. K: [laughs] I think we were influenced by the temperature and how it’s colder out; we were affected by it even sonically. It was especially encouraging us to play more live music and let the instruments speak for themselves to get a more natural recording... gives us more of a classic sound. HEM: Explain that a little more, are you inspired by classic rock? K: Yeah, [...] Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk was played most often. C: We listen to that a lot. K: Lots and lots of Tusk. HEM: A true classic! Which songs have each of you been playing a lot of recently? C: We’ve been listening to Radiohead’s newest album, [OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017.] K: I like stuff that’s mellow, but not too sleepy. I think Radiohead does that for me. On the total opposite side, though, I have a playlist that’s full of really upbeat pop songs. I’ve been loving Paramore’s new album, [After Laughter], C: Chairlift’s song, “Polymorphing” is really good. K: Yeah, we’ve been listening to that a lot… Also, we just went on tour with The Front Bottoms, so we’ve been listening to a lot of songs that they played before the show. There’s a Saves the Day song that I’ve been listening to a lot. HEM: Ooh, and you’re going on tour again! Are you excited to do that all over again with Typhoon? K: Yes, definitely. We’re always excited about tour, it always brings something new, which is awesome. We meet new people and new musicians… It’s fun to just talk to people who have different experiences in the music industry. We always learn something. C: And we’re excited to play in Canada for the second time. HEM: Right? I wish I could go! K: We do too! HEM: Toronto’s just way too far south for me! K: I guess, yeah. I know that road.
C: Where are you? What city are you from? HEM: I’m in North Bay, so Northern Ontario. Nobody knows about it. C: I guess I’m gonna have to look at a map and find it. I’m curious! HEM: You’ll probably look at it and just laugh a lot! K: I mean, that’s what you get when it was in the -50s. HEM: Yeah, -50 Fahrenheit, it was awful! There were so many weather advisories, everyone was crying. C: [laughs] K: Yeah, a couple winters ago, it was in that zone. HEM: Oh, really? K: Yeah, I refused to go to work. I was scheduled in and I refused to go. It was like, if I go outside, I’ll die. HEM: I’m guessing the weather affects you guys too then, yeah? K: Oh yeah, we’re more prone to hibernating. C: We’ll be inside for days. K: But we recorded the bulk of the album in April, so it was really sunny and warm, but then we recorded this bunch of songs, and it’s been really chilly, so you can really feel it in that sense. HEM: I can definitely see that then with the cold weather. What are your favourite songs on the upcoming album? C: My favourite song is called “Absolute Worst.” It’s very simple, quiet and live. K: Those are one of the songs that I wrote very recently after finishing Psychic Reader. So that’s an old one. But yeah, I like that one too. C: Yeah, I like that one. There’s slag guitar, which we never had on an album before. HEM: Oh, neat. Is there anything more you can tease us with? K: Well, probably not because I feel as though I don’t know much about it yet. C: Yeah, we don’t have a title. K: [laughs] Yeah, we don’t even have a title yet! We’re still working on it! I’ve been thinking, I don’t know if this is a good analogy, but I’ve been telling people that Psychic Reader is like, driving in your car with the windows down to the beach. The next new album is like driving home from the beach with the windows down at night. [laughs] When you’re like, it was a great day, but you’re also a little sleepy. You’re a little more reflective. HEM: To end off this interview, what are some things you want to tackle in 2018? Is there anything fun that you guys are planning on doing this year, other than your upcoming tour? K: I mean, I think we are always up for more of an adventure. I think we just want to play as much as possible and make this album we’re expecting will come out this year [laughs], which will be great! Yeah, we’re excited about a new album and touring more! We would love to tour more countries. That’s our next big goal. I’d love to play more cities in Canada, I’d love to go abroad, and that’s where our eyes are set!
julien baker shot by ky kasselman
It’s been a good month since Halocene’s newest album, Refraction, dropped nationwide. The album marks a distinct change in their discography, with funk-infused beats and bouncier tunes that is guaranteed to give a listener a fun time. As that’s the case, I sat down with the 3 members - Addie, Joe and Brad on one Sunday afternoon to talk about their music | by Kariann Tan HEM: Firstly, I just really want to congratulate you guys on your latest album REFRACTION, which like I said earlier is something I’m really into right now. The album itself definitely is a departure from that heavy pop rock sound that the fans have grown accustomed to. As that is so, what inspired you guys to venture towards a new direction sonically? ADDIE: Yeah! Honestly we’ve been doing this for a really long time now; we’ve been a band for almost ten years so we’ve really done the rock thing over and over again. We kind of felt like we finally found what we are exactly looking for with that sound. We really wanted to do something different and push ourselves in a new direction and it just kind of happened, you know? It was kind of a natural progression especially that we have a lot more influences now so yeah, we just wanted to branch out and do something different. HEM: That makes a lot of sense. I really do think REFRACTION is a good album in itself and I feel that you guys did the right thing. This brings over to my next question, which is about how the creative and production process was for the band this time? Was it any different as compared to the last time you produced your older music? BRAD: As far as the production process goes, it usually starts with myself playing around with musical ideas and I find something that is pretty cool and Joe kind of echoes the same idea. If we’re both kind of on the same page, I’ll bring Addie in. Joe will start working on drums and come up with drum ideas and Addie will go and record herself. So the three of us kind of work on it individually; not even in the same
room, we kind of bring it all together and if we like what we all put in then that’s when we all bounce ideas off each other. So I guess usually it starts with me being the musical foundation, and then I’ll bring it over to these guys and it’s sort of a full collaboration. It’s not like the old days when we’d be jamming to the songs in the garage, kind of like having our own headspace and our own recording studio. HEM: That’s cool. Is there a band/ artist that directly influenced the album you just released? JOE: I don’t know, we like so many different styles of music; if you asked all of us we would probably name literally a thousand of bands or artists that we like. So I think this album is just a combination of writing exactly pretty much whatever we want - not that we’re trying to sound like anyone. We were aware of the fact that we were trying to sound pop-rock back then but this time we kind of just wrote what we felt and let our influences come out. And that’s what we got with Refraction. Maybe if I had to, I’d say that we were definitely into more poppier stuff. BRAD: I think that if we’re going name specific artists, maybe not that we try to write anything like them - but for artists that we normally don’t listen to that influenced Refraction slightly, I would say Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Ellie Goulding. I think it’s pretty cool, what we like about these artists is that a lot of them have really great song that can easily be rockified. So, we got into their music and found admiration for these pop artists because a lot of these songs can translate into different genres. It kind of helped us write some of the pop songs on this record. HEM: Yeah! I’ve seen a couple of your YouTube videos and your covers and I do think it’s interesting that you
say that your influences are based off Demi and Ellie. So you said that you’ve been releasing music for while now, did you have any worries and doubts before releasing the album or were you all okay when you released Refraction? ADDIE: I personally was pretty terrified of what people would think; I know that in this day and age a lot of rock artists seem to be turning their back on their rock influences and going full pop. And not a lot of them are doing it well either, like they’re doing it completely pop and there’s nothing band-like about it. That was one thing we were definitely apprehensive about, we still wanted to make sure that people knew that we were a band and that we had these influences with us. We wanted to keep that going forward, and we also wanted to create some entirely different. So, there was definitely some doubts there. I am 100% shocked at the response and how positive it has been for everyone. Everyone seems to be clearly enjoying the album and there’s always a song in the album for everyone. Every song is so different that people tend to gravitate towards one song or the other and they tend to find their favorites. And everyone’s favorites is completely different which is really cool. HEM: Yeah, my personal favorite is Make Me Feel Good or Why So Sad which is great! BRAD: Yeah! I’ve definitely been noticing those two songs. I’ve seen regularly that these two have been people’s favorites but like Addie said, it is really eclectic in terms of what people think. HEM: That being said, what are your personal favorite songs off the
new album? JOE: Mine changes all the time, I can’t even pick one! I think right now it has to be Singularity, but it was The Deafening for a while. BRAD: It depends on the mood that I’m in. You know, for a short period before it was released, I was sick of it because of being the producer of the record. I was worried that they lost their magic but I went away from it for a couple of weeks and coming back, I’m kind of listening to the music vicariously through fans again and it’s making me like songs on different days by the feedback I get from other people. Right now, I’ve actually have been listening to Singularity but Why So Sad is another good jam. ADDIE: Mine definitely changes too but I always seem to come back to Ignite A Fire. As a lyricist and a vocalist, it really stands out to me and it’s a really meaningful song and I feel like it really gets the point across the way that I want it to so I felt very accomplished with that song. HEM: That makes sense! I also wanted to bring up the fact that you all have been in the music industry for a relatively long time now. This also means that you guys are able to witness the rise of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Do you think that the growth of these services has an impact on the way that you make or release your music? ADDIE: It absolutely does. When we first started, it was in 2008, I think we were at the trail end of where bands were just going out and just playing shows and doing it that way. But that evolution of how to grow is interesting and how we’ve evolved ourselves, as we’ve taken our place on YouTube now. I think the big change from our previous album and the new one is that we wanted a ton of media for this release. We are hoping to release some sort of music video for every single song in our new album so hopefully that happens. The beauty of it is that we can move
on to whatever we want to do; we can release one song, or release an entire album. HEM: Speaking of Youtube, what is the most memorable or favorite thing that you have covered or experienced? BRAD: You know, we have well over a hundred or maybe approaching a few hundred covers so it’s hard to narrow it down to one cover. Obviously it’s easy to pick the low hanging fruit and say Heathens as it’s our most viewed video; it was also a cosplay video so it was fun to do. But as a band we all unanimously thought that our cover of Ellie Goulding’s Outside was our favorite. It’s not the necessarily the best or anything, but something about that song or the way that we covered it made us realize that we can break the mold of just being a power pop or pop rock band. We finally started to see the potential in kind of bridging pop and rock music with that jam. I guess I’ll speak for myself but that song has been a milestone in terms of the covers we’ve done; not our favorite but it does come up a lot in our conversations. ADDIE: I think the most memorable one would have to be collaborating with FloRida on Best Cover Ever. So that’s the most memorable and crazy. Another one would be our collaboration with Kurt Hugo Schneider. Oh, we also did an evolution of Paramore earlier with Terabrite and First To Eleven which was huge! And it took forever [to make]. HEM: I can definitely imagine! Just to close things off, what can we expect from Halocene this year apart from REFRACTION itself? BRAD: Well I guess, music videos are kind of tied in with the album. You know, I honestly think that you can expect to see us break away even more so from the old fashioned mold of being a band that tours. Like in our last album, we toured the whole country; we supported bands, we played in high school, military bases, colleges, all that jazz. But I think this year we’re kind of going to break through the ceiling as streamers. As a band that is probably IS much a band, if not more, YouTube influencers, that happens to be a band. With winning BestCoverEver, we want to use the prize money to build a new live stream room.
We’re actually going to start to do shows online and live; we’re trying to make a production room instead of taking our shows on the road and living out of a van, we want to be one of the first bands to capitalize on live streaming. Because it’s easy to come on to be a singersongwriter and talk in front of your webcam and sing on YouNow or Twitch. But it’s harder for a band, you need multiple cameras, more sophisticated sets and I think that’s what people can expect from us this year. Even in the first quarter of the year, we’re going to start to do more live shows as a whole band and not just, Addie as a singer-songwriter, or me playing the guitar, or Joe doing his drum cover. We’re going to come together and hopefully people will like that. We live in a different time and people consume music differently, and live music shouldn’t be any different. So I think we’re just going to - you know - follow where this will go. We’re gonna give them our stuff online. HEM: That’s a great way of getting your fans involved. JOE: Yeah, it’s more accessible. It makes it easier for anyone to see you live. You’ll get the full experience and you don’t have to go buy a ticket and go to far from where they live. HEM: Yeah, I’m really excited for the prospect of your band. I’m really excited for the future of your band especially with REFRACTION - I feel like this is a new direction for you guys which is fantastic. Thank you so much for giving the opportunity to talk to you all about your music and everything in particular. BRAD: Thank you! Our band, Halocene, has been around for nearly a decade now, and we plan on going strong and people like you, the fans, and our community that support our stuff means the world to us and so we’re going to be keep doing what we’re doing.
(Some of) The Best Venues Around the Country by Carissa Mathena
Missouri: The Record Bar & Del Mar Hall I have seen many shows at this venue in downtown Kansas City. Not only is it an amazing, intimate venue that lets you get up close and personal with the artists, but the view while queuing is magical. There is a lot of city life that happens around this venue and many quality places native to KC to eat. After the show, this venue sometimes allows you to stay inside to meet the artists, but if not, their vans are parked right outside which makes it convenient to talk and get pictures with your favorite bands. The most memorable moment I’ve had inside this venue was when I was there for Bad Suns, and the whole crowd started to jump and the floor was moving up and down with us. This venue allows for you to feel the energy of the whole crowd, creating a one of a kind experience.
Another venue located in Missouri is Del Mar Hall. This venue is in Downtown St. Louis, perfect for ample parking and signature St. Louis cuisine. Allison Wyrsh states “It’s in the safe part of St. Louis. You can queue without anyone bothering you. It is smaller and intimate, and they keep the air conditioning on” which we all know is a must when you are queuing for summer shows. It is also another venue in which it is easy to meet your favorite artists after the show. I’ve seen Lewis Del Mar play this venue, and the stage is high enough where everyone can see what they are doing on stage. There is also room to sit if you do not want to be in the queue. All in all, this venue is legendary for the St. Louis area and if you have a chance to see a show here, you might want to.
OKLAHOMA: Cain’s Ballroom
This venue in downtown Tulsa is also a venue with a lot of history. Built in 1924, it has seen so many different artists This venue located in Lawrence, Kansas has so much histothroughout its time. There is a never-ending stream of great ry. It is known for all of the small bands that played there music that comes and goes. Some of my favorites being before they got bigger. Lacy Ford says “It’s nostalgic and Catfish and the Bottlemen, Young the Giant, and coming intimate, but still retains a ‘no rules’ kind of vibe for rock soon Jimmy Eat World. There is a great queueing culture shows.” Which is why when I say SWMRS there, everyone built here, which means you meet tons of new people and was crowd surfing and there was a non-stop mosh. It’s the make loads of friends in line. The barricade is long enough right environment for a show where you lose your voice to fit 25 people across upping your chances to be front row and your mind, but in the best way. This venue is also in a for a show. With a capacity of 1800, the atmosphere each downtown area with plenty to eat, and plenty of sights to show creates is wild. You can truly let loose and lose yoursee. self in the music and in the crowd. Overall, this venue is a must if you ever find yourself in Oklahoma. colorado: red rocks amphitheatre This venue is a venue that has been on my bucket list for TEXAS: DALLAS HOUSE OF BLUES a while; I’ve heard so many amazing things about it. Not This venue is one of the nicest venues I have ever had the only do you get to see a concert here, but the natural luxury of seeing a show in. There is a restaurant directly inscenery is breathtaking. The only downfall might be that side, equipped with bathrooms and the like. There is plugs it is outside, and the weather can be unpredictable, but outside for you to charge your phone and a nice area for at the end of the day you cannot pass up an opportunity you to queue in. I’m not going to lie, the garlic parmesan to see a show here. The seating is higher row by row to French fries are the best choice I’ve ever made in my life. give each concert goer the best experience. The sound Some of their upcoming shows include: Dashboard Confesalso travels everywhere, creating a unique experience for sional, Matt Kearny and Greta Van Fleet. This venue never everyone there. seems to disappoint and the staff are all friendly and accommodating to your needs as a concert goer.
MINNESOTA: THE GARAGE
NEW YORK: TERMINAL 5 This venue is one for all ages. As their website This venue you is one I constantly see people raving about, states “The Garage is an all-ages, alcohol-free and one I constantly see on my favorite bands tour. This music venue and recording studio operated by venue is 18+ which allows more people to see the artists the 501c3 nonprofit Twin Cities Catalyst Music. they love. The artists usually range from alternative-rock In addition to shows featuring local and national bands to pop groups which allows all kind of music lovers artists, The Garage is a space for programs like the chance to experience a venue with one of the best Garage Music News, workshops, and internships sound systems ever. This venue has two levels allowing for young people.” The stage is low, and the capeople to more or less escape from the pit for a more pacity is small making this venue more intimate than any on the list. It also has its own recording relaxed experience. The stage and the venue itself is on the smaller side allowing for a more personal experience for evstudio in the same building. I’ve also gotten eryone there. There have been multiple people report that word from Kerrigan Carr that the cookies are the lines move fast and the crowd goes crazy. It’s another out of this world if that is a selling point for you. venue that has made it on my bucket list. These venues have either moved me directly, or effected people I know. They create the best atmosphere for a concert lover like myself to get completely immersed in the music being played. These are definitely not all of the best venues around the country, just the ones closest to my heart and the hearts of people I adore. They’ve created lasting memories that none of us will soon forget.
THE P WER OF Written by Peyton Rhodes
n February 24th, I met my friends - in true Chicago fashion - at a Lou Malnati’s pizzeria. I was practically floating; I was surrounded by people who I loved and hadn’t seen in months, and, in about six hours, we would be witnessing The Aces and COIN take the stage. By the time the band introduced their then-newest single, “Loving is Bible,” I felt a pressure in my chest like I was on the verge of tears. It didn’t make sense - I had heard the song maybe twice and had no pre-existing emotional connection to the band. And then I realized - I was being knocked over by the sheer novelty of what I was seeing before me. A band made entirely up of women, completely and obviously in love with music and pursuing their passion for it. All around me and on stage in front of me were some of the most passionate, most inspiring women I knew, and I could barely control the wave of realization that kept crashing over me - women can be a part of the music scene. And as a woman with a passion for almost anything related to the industry, I felt almost painful amounts of inspiration.
Obviously, as a member of the Heart Eyes Magazine founding team, I believed in the power of women in the music scene before February 24th - but I hadn’t truly seen it in action until that day, surrounded by my friends on the magazine team and an all-female band. So that belief had never become real to me until that day, where I saw that it could exist and, even more than that, thrive. And that’s why representation in the music industry matters. You can believe in the power of women every day for the rest of your life. But if you never become proximate to representation, if you remain personally unexposed to the growing female presence in the music industry, that belief may be just a mantra you repeat to yourself but don’t really believe. How can a young girl believe in her power to participate if she is only told she can, but never shown? The only way to light that dormant spark in someone is to show them (or show yourself), and to make sure you have something to show them by supporting the underrepresented groups in the music industry. If a local all-female band is playing a show near you, listen to their music. Go see their show. Go up to them afterward and tell them what it meant to you. Encourage them.
It’s easy to dismiss the importance of representation if you’ve never felt that tug inside of you, that desperate need to prove to yourself that someone like you can make it in that field. If you have that kind of privilege, try to understand where women and people of color are coming from. Try to empathize with the feeling of having to search for people like you in visible media. And try to make it better any way you can. As a consumer, you have the power to dictate the market. You can demand representation by supporting marginalized groups in the music industry, both monetarily and through word-of-mouth. And if you have felt that feeling, I encourage you to witness representation with your own eyes. Find someone like you in music and go see them do what they love. The power of experiencing that passion and that success can set in motion something you’ve never even felt before. It will stick with you forever.
Photos by Sam Schraub
Photography by Sara Corona
F E M A L E - R U N
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is exhausting. Women’s voices need to be heard. I had the opportunity to ask som Show, and Howdy Gals advise and guide young women who are currently in or are wanting to go into the creative industry. The discussed with these ladies what it’s like being a woman in the industry, their thoughts on current campaigns like #MeToo and #
B O S S BA B E S AT X
I talked to Leslie Lozano, co-founding board member and creative producer of #bossbabesATX. I asked her to give me a brief summary of what #bossbabesATX is all about and she described them as, “an online and offline space that amplifies, connects and supports women artists, creatives and entrepreneurs. They exist to build educated and empowered creative communities at the intersections of sisterhood and space. They aim to provide a platform of visibility, outreach and financial opportunity to 300+ Texas-based women artists, 500+ women-owned business and nonprofits. Since their launch in 2015, they have thrown more than 50 events, totaling 15,000 guests, and have worked closely with companies, brands, and leaders to continue pushing for gender equality.”
HEM: What was the inspiration for creating #bossbabesATX? Leslie: Jane Claire Hervey [#bossbabesATX founder and executive director, creative producer] approached Ashlee Pryor and I after interviewing women in Austin asking about their experiences as creatives. We were frustrated with the sexism in industries across the board (still are) and wanted to have a space to discuss this freely. We all wanted a space where we could have genuine conversation, share our resources, provide a space for collaboration, and share our experiences as complex beings. #bossbabesATX has grown a lot since our first meeting, but we’ve always been centered on promoting and supporting women in the creative industry while fostering an environment that sustains collaboration and community. HEM: Your organization has achieved tremendous success from awards in Austin Women’s Hall of Fame 2017 to being named Best Bossy Babes of 2015 in The Austin Chronicle; what can we expect from #bossbabesATX in the near future? Leslie: We’ve recently added a committee and have been growing and refining our programming. We’re in the middle of planning our annual, independent comedy, music and film festival, Babes Fest, that will be happening Aug 30 Sep 2. Our monthly DJ residency, Power to the People, is happening April 5th at Native Hostel, and our Spring craftHER market is happening April 15th at Fair Market. HEM: What are some challenges women face in the industry that you’ve experienced first hand? What needs to be made known to the world? Leslie: I’ve personally not been given credit for my ideas, received less pay because of my gender, worked for people who were blatantly racist, homophobic, and sexist. Society likes to glaze over a lot of these issues as if they aren’t still happening, as if Austin has overcome this. But I see it happen more than it should. We as a community need to be comfortable being uncomfortable in order to create and make sure change happens.
HEM: What is something the average person can do to advocate for women in the industry? How can they help? Leslie: Listen. Use your privilege to benefit underrepresented groups, share your resources, purchase or use their services, refer them, and offer encouragement and advice. I’ve had people recently ask me more, “what do you need right now?” and it’s really refreshing to know that people are willing to help and not expect anything in return. HEM: Do you have any advice for women who want to pursue the industry? Leslie: Everyone’s journey will look different but finding your tribe of people who can either mentor you, provide resources or share information is extremely helpful. Pursuing what you love doesn’t have to be a struggle or something you do alone. People are willing to help if you’re willing to ask. HEM: Finally, what are your thoughts on the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns? Leslie: I’m happy to see people with more visibility and power stepping forward, but want to make sure those that often get overlooked are heard as well. I want to see men using their platforms to allow women to share their experiences, and also take the time to have these conversations with other men about whether they’ve experienced as victims or abusers. We need to start breaking down the walls to have true conversation. Having vulnerable conversations is where action can start taking place. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bossbabes.org/. Follow #bossbabesATX on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @bossbabesatx
R G A N I Z A T I O N S
By Ashleigh Haddock me questions to a few female-run organizations who help young women do just that. Boss Babes ATX, Girls Behind The Rock ese organizations are supporting and providing resources to women that could help them find much more possibilities. I #TimesUp, and much more.
Girls BTRS Girls BTRS is a non-profit organization to help young women become more involved in the music industry. They offer internships and multiple opportunities to be able to get a feel of the music biz. I was able to ask a few questions to Shelby Cargin, Founder & Creative Director, about her organization. HEM: What was your inspiration for starting Girls BTRS? Shelby: Honestly, it came from trying to find a job that respected me as a human being and didn’t brand me with the negative connotation of a “fangirl” because I was a massive fan of my favorite bands. I always felt 10 steps behind. It was insane how often I’d have to shut my mouth over blatantly sexist comments, and I just became fed up of seeing my friends who were perfectly qualified for jobs not get them. I truly went into it thinking that people were just unaware, and I was painfully wrong. HEM: How do you select women for your internship positions? Is there an application process? Shelby: It depends on the program! We - my team, Jess George (who is literally the lifesaver and who I cannot run this without), Ayesha, Callie, Paula, Allison and Madeline - usually set up a questionnaire or essay submission. The girls pick their favorites, and Jess and I go in and we pick the top from there and send them along the way! HEM: You’ve featured huge artists from SWMRS to The Maine, what can we expect from Girls BTRS in the future? Shelby: Oh my goodness, that feels so crazy that you say that. It’s honestly a dream to work with a lot of these people, and in the future… we have a bunch more but we need to keep quiet for now. HEM: Have you experienced any challenges as women in the industry? What about positives? Shelby: Definitely. Being a woman in music is often a double-edged sword. You can get typecast so easily. And there’s a lot of female on female misogyny that plagues the industry as well, so it can be very difficult to navigate. But what’s been amazing lately is seeing all the people coming out of the woodwork wanting to be allies, who believe in what we do, and reach out to do work with us. HEM: What is something the average person can do to advocate for women in the industry? How can they help? Shelby: As fans - start demanding bands bring more women on the road, both on and off stage. It’s such
a small thing, but it goes so far. I think people tend to forget that outside the communal aspect of the music industry, music is still a business which means if you create a demand, and there’s money to be made from it, there will be a supply for it. So as an average everyday music listener, you can ask for your favorite artists to start standing up for women. HEM: Do you have any advice for women who are interested in pursuing the industry? Shelby: Don’t take anyone’s shit, and look at “no” as challenge to do better next time and to push forward until that opportunity opens. HEM: Finally, what are your thoughts on the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns? Shelby: Wow, this is such an incredible question because I think they’re the most important aspect of popular culture right now. #MeToo and #TimesUp have created what is to be the massive conversation around empowerment, but not just any empowerment, intersectional empowerment. They’re making it possible for us to look and say “wow, I didn’t realize how much I had in common with someone from a different life experience when it came to men, but also, I am able to recognize how my privilege has allowed me to have this voice, and now I can help open the door for other women who don’t have that privilege to speak up as well.” I feel like #MeToo changed the game. It changed the way we’ve seen harassment and men and women in everyday situations. I also think #TimesUp was able to steer the conversation from just harassment, assault, etc. to showing we’re not just crying victims, we’re doing something. And that’s what’s important. We’ve called it out, and now people are putting their money where their mouths are for anyone who has been a victim of harassment or sexual violence both in and out of the workplace. The residual effect of that is seeing people demand more women in positions of power to help weed out the crappy people and change the culture.
For more information, visit https://girlsbtrs.com. Follow Girls BTRS on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @ girlsbtrs.
HOWDY GALS Howdy Gals were founded in December of 2017. They book shows with multiple venues in the Austin area. I had a chance to chat with Kelly Ngo, Co-founder, about what Howdy Gals is all about! HEM: What was the inspiration for starting Howdy Gals? Kelly Ngo: Bel & I started Howdy Gals because we’re both super passionate about music. I think we go to shows multiple days a week if we have the time. At first we didn’t really know what Howdy Gals would be, we thought maybe booking and production, but once we started in January we got a flood of dates to book and bands wanting to book us, so that’s what we’ve been focusing on so far. And now it’s blossomed into a booking company with five hardworking and talented gals who book with multiple venues around Austin. We like to call ourselves the professional partiers because we have fun yet we get our stuff done. HEM: What is the process of booking shows like? Can it be difficult? Kelly: We reach out to venues asking if they have dates open, and if they give us a date, we start trying to pick bands in the same genres to fill the bill. Our bookers are all into different types of music and all typically book at different venues so it’s really great to have such a diverse team. Our tasks typically include emailing a lot, updating spreadsheets, and lots and lots of constant communication. It’s a constant thing, sometimes you’ll book a show and a band drops or set times have to be changed to accommodate a band. It’s a lot to keep track of, but on the day of show, it’s a great feeling to be able to just hang out and see your event come to life. Although sometimes people don’t show up and so you frantically post on social media trying to get people to come out, and keep counting heads to see if you’ve made the room fee. But it’s worth it to see the bands you love and seeing other people enjoy their music too! It’s great bringing people together. HEM: Have you experienced challenges as women in the industry? What about positives? Kelly: Definitely- some people don’t take us seriously. They think we don’t know what we’re doing or are groupies. I started off as a music photographer in the industry and even then people would never take me seriously. The music scene is full of men, but we’re trying to make an impact and show others that a badass booking gang can consist of women, and I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far. HEM: What can we expect from Howdy Gals in the near future? What is the dream goal? Kelly: We’re hoping to have a festival soon, maybe with different venues where all of us can book our favorite bands/genres! We just want to continue doing what we love, and maybe eventually make some sort of change in our local music scene. A dream goal would be that more people come out to our shows- even though Austin is the live music capital of the world, a lot of people still don’t come to local shows, and I think that’s so unfortunate because there is SO much talent here. It’s hard though
because our music scene is so oversaturated. But we only book bands that we love- so I hope people come out more and will enjoy the local music scene with us. HEM: Do you have any advice for women who are interested in pursuing the industry? Kelly: Never let anyone tell you that it’s too hard because it’s a male-dominated industry. If it’s something you’re passionate about and can’t stay away from, you will find a way to make it work for you. If women keep shying away from industries because they are maledominated, that will never change. I say just pursue your bliss and everything else will follow with hard work and perseverance. HEM: What is something the average person can do to help advocate for women in the industry? How can they help? Kelly: I think you can start off by just supporting them. Come to their shows, tell others about their work, just start by showing up for the women in the industry. Something as simple as that will help support them. HEM: Finally, what are your thoughts on the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns? Kelly: I think they’re important and empowering. I believe that most, if not all, women have a story of sexual harassment or discrimination whether they choose to share it or not. I think it’s awesome that powerful women who have a platform are choosing to speak out and expose those who have wronged them. Howdy Gals takes these issues to heart - we try to keep our shows and music scene a safe space. We don’t associate or work with any bands or venues whose members we consider to be troublesome. For more information, email them at email@example.com or visit their Facebook page at @HowdyGals. Photos courtesy of: Boss Babes ATX, Girls BTRS, and Howdy Gals
Art by Elizabeth Zamora
By Felicia Krampitz Photos By Ariana Cruz 32
Gabrielle Aplin is a singersongwriter from the U.K. who started her career by posting covers on Youtube. Since then, she’s became an international hit. From indie folk-rock to giving pop a new sound, Gabrielle Aplin continues to expand herself as an artist while also sticking to her roots with her intimate writing skills. We had a chance to chat with Gabrielle before she headed out on tour for her most recent EP release ‘Avalon.’
How has your songwriting evolved since opening up to a new sound? For me I feel my writing has constantly been evolving over the past few years. I’ve started really enjoying experimenting with sounds that I used to be intimidated by, and it’s opened up so many more roads to go down while I’m writing! Do you have any special places or spots you escape to when you need to feel inspired? I definitely have my favourite places, but I don’t really find myself in a situation where I’m under pressure to be inspired. It’s not something I ever want to force because it always has to be genuine, but I find being around nature always helps to reset my mind and perspective. How will this tour be different than past tours, regarding your new pop sound?
What song off of your new EP Avalon are you most excited to perform on tour? I love playing “Stay.” Definitely my favourite! The “Waking Up Slow” music video has a very feminism vibe to it; what was your inspiration behind that? I definitely wasn’t intending on making any kind of feminist statement with this video, but that’s cool the vibes come across! Myself and the director Charlotte Rutherford wanted to make something fun to watch that went along with a song. “Waking Up Slow” as a song is about appreciating life as it is and focusing on the positives. The video centres around the idea of not being able to sleep and turning the night into an adventure instead of a frustration with no real line between reality and a dream!
It will actually be super similar! I’m playing solo, so everything will be very song based and intimate- my songs in the rawest form I suppose.
Do you have any advice for our female identifying audience who want to pursue a career in the music industry? I would say that the most important thing is to really celebrate your individuality and experimenting as you discover and define who you are. What advice would current-day you have for yourself back when you started in the industry? I’ve been luckily enough to bumble along and take everything as it comes. There’s not much routine when you work in music, but I’ve enjoyed that! I wouldn’t change it but I’d tell myself that “It will always be grand!”
“I would say that the most
important thing is to really celebrate your individuality and experimenting as you discover and define who you are.
Are there any songs or albums you’ve been obsessed with lately? What songs are you repeating over and over? I’m loving the latest War On Drugs album. I especially love Strangest Thing. That guitar solo! Lastly, any plans for the future after tour? What can the fans expect next? I’m currently working on my next album, (my third album) so that will be my next project! I’m still writing, and when I finish my tour, I’m hoping to come back and start piecing everything together.
Be sure to follow Gabrielle on social media @gabrielleaplin, and you can watch the “Waking Up Slow” music video here: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=uco2OJA9w-g
Art by Bre Wheeler
Art by Elizabeth Little
MARY LAMBERT featuring
Photos by Ky Kasselman
Widely known for her heartwarming chorus on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s hit “Same Love,” Mary Lambert is a singersongwriter, producer, and poet who has provided a narrative that many can identify with through her storytelling. She released her latest EP, Bold, in May of 2017, and has been touring it around the US since the release. Ky Kasselman got to sit down with her in Dallas to discuss her experience in the industry.
HEM: How did you get into music and performing? Mary: I started really young, my mom was a singer songwriter. We kind of grew up in an abusive, sort of traumatic, household, and I watched my mom turn her heartache and her trials into song and so I witnessed that transformation at a really young age. I was a 5 year old with my little Casio just writing these songs that were like “I’m sad!” and “My life is hard!” But I wrote my first official song when I was about 9 or 10. I took the chords of Britney Spears’ “Drive Me Crazy” and I turned it into a lullaby about death and I sang it to my Girl Scout troop and all the moms were crying afterwards, you know, and I just remember that feeling of, “Oh wow this is impactful, this can affect people.” I always hoped that I could do something in music, but as I got older, the dream died a little bit because I was like “one in a million really make it.” I planned on getting my teaching degree because I was teaching cello, voice, and piano when I was in high school. So, I got my bachelor’s in music composition and I focused more on orchestral work, and then I was applying to graduate programs to be a teacher and I just decided to hold off my application because I wanted to make an album, and once I made that album, actually during that process, I got asked to do “Same Love.” It felt like this was my path. HEM: So, speaking of “Same Love,” you gained a lot of traction after the release. What was that process like? Mary: It felt really surreal. It felt like everything had fallen into its place. I had a suicide attempt when I was 17, and I just remember the nagging feeling of “You gotta stick around. There’s something really important that you have to do.” I got the call from my friend who asked me to do the song and all those flashes from the times where I had been suicidal or reckless was just like, “This is the thing. I’m supposed to do this thing.” I wrote the chorus in about 3 hours. I wrote 4 choruses because I was like, “I wanna be chosen! I want this song to work.” I had never met Macklemore or Ryan before, I just went into the studio that night. The track that exists is what I recorded that night. Everything that followed just increasingly felt surreal. I was working three jobs at the time, I was not expecting what happened.
HEM: Who are some of your female influences & inspirations?
Mary: I grew up mostly listening to Christian music, so I loved Amy Grant. Heart In Motion was kind of her first transition record into pop music and I must have listened to that hundreds of times. I discovered Jewel, and her story really resonated with me. I knew she had kind of a rough childhood and was playing in coffeehouses when she was 13. So I was like, “I’m gonna play in coffeehouses!” and I was 13, and I did. Then I started listening to Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls, and Tori Amos, so I think those are probably my favorite writers growing up.
a very different creative process for both art forms and I think when I’m writing music it feels a little bit more structured and I’m thinking critically about content and flow and continuity. I feel much more stream of consciousness and free when I’m writing poetry. I can say exactly what I want to say; I’m not thinking about structure or technique or if it’s interesting. It really feels like diary entries. They’re two different beasts, but I’m grateful to have both outlets.
HEM: What song holds the most meaning for you on your latest EP? HEM: Can you talk a little bit about your experience as a Mary: Probably “Do Anything.” That was my first woman in the music industry? Some of the positive things endeavor as a producer and that song really came and some of the challenges? organically and I just really like the texture of the sounds. Mary: It’s funny because I only know my experience, you I like the instrumentation, my friends played on that track know. I feel like I have sort of a unique experience, as a and it’s really symbolic to me of taking risks and trust queer person and also as a fat person. I remember being falling into the world and hoping that people see you as 13 or 14 and having someone in my life tell me there’s no you want to be seen. It was, at the time, really about my way I was going to be a famous singer if I was overweight record label and some of my personal relationships, and and I was feeling really discouraged, just like, “Okay, I guess you hope when you’re in a situation that no longer serves I can’t fit into this role.” I feel you, you have the strength to like I’ve had a really unique step away from it. I feel like time in the industry, I haven’t it’s evidence that I did the had those experiences of right thing and that I’m living someone being like, “You have a much more uninhibited life. to look a certain way” or have With “Body Love,” I have to a specific narrative. I’ve had my dig deep and go to a heavier own set of challenges but they place. It’s like performing a were more artistic challenges. I mantra every night reminding think one thing that I’ve really myself that my self worth is noticed is just the lack of female producers. There’s not not contingent upon who I attract, it’s a personal journey. I a lack of female producers, there’s a lack of labels and still have bad body days and days that I feel uncomfortable executives believing that female producers are viable, or not great about my identity, and the song itself is a successful people that can create and make great work. bit of an invitation for others to also dig in and hopefully So that was a really difficult thing, I really wanted to have confront some of their own demons. Seeing that some of a female producer on my records and that was just not my art becomes a catalyst for other people’s healing is really an option. There’s other little things, like walking into a rewarding. venue or some press thing and having people be like, I remember this one woman, we walked in and at the time HEM: Do you have any advice for our female-identifying I had a mostly female crew, and this woman was just audience who want to pursue the music industry? like, “Where’s your man?” and “Where’s the men lifting Mary: I think one thing I’ve learned is that no one knows things?” and I’m like, “We are capable of lifting things!” what the fuck they’re doing. I think people who have Like, I’m pretty strong and my assistant does MMA, we instructions on how to do something do so because it’s are capable of doing this. worked for them, and that’s great, but it’s also important to trust your instinct and your intuition, and if you feel HEM: So, you also write poetry. Can you talk a little bit confident about something and you know you’re going about that? Is that aspect of your life separate from your to be unhappy if you make another decision, choose the career as a musician? How do those two mesh together? happier route. I think there’s this belief that if you do a Mary: When I first started out, I really kept my bunch of stuff that you hate in order to do things that you songwriting and myself as an artist separate from my eventually like - but what happens when that doesn’t work poetry; I even used a separate name when I was doing out? That means you’ve stuck through something that made spoken word. It wasn’t until I was probably halfway you unhappy or miserable for years, and if it doesn’t end up through college when I started incorporating spoken being successful anyway, why not do what you love in a way word into my music and realizing that in the same way that is rewarding? I just remember that feeling of talking to that hip-hop artists and rap artists are using spoken people and being like, “You don’t know what you’re talking verses and having a sung chorus, what would happen if about! And it’s okay, I don’t know what I’m talking about I used spoken word? And I found that it really resonated either!” I can only say what has worked for me, but it’s a with people and it was something that wasn’t being common theme of just being prepared and trusting your done a lot. In that way, there’s sort of a marriage. I have instinct. 41
“SEEING THAT SOME OF MY ART BECOMES A CATALYST FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S HEALING IS REALLY REWARDING.”
BIIIL LL LIIIE EE EIIIL LIIIS SH H B L L E E L S H B Photos by Madi Mead
THE NAKED AND FAMOUS’
Talks A Still Heart, Her Creative Vision, and Representation in Music Interview by Ana Gomez The Naked and Famous, legendary New Zealand indietronica band, recently rang in their ten year anniversary as a band with the release of A Still Heart, a collection of acoustic tracks reworked from their past three studio albums. Also on the band’s radar is a string of completely sold out tour dates at some of the west coast’s most intimate bemuses, plus the departure of longtime members Jesse Wood and Aaron Short. In my chat with Alisa, frontwoman and one-half of the band’s core duo, she explores these topics with the same eloquence as the songwriting that’s gotten her band to the top of the charts time and time again. Jumping right into the newest release from you guys, A Still Heart. I wanted to know a little bit more about what made you decide this was the right next step, the path you wanted the band to go down. Alisa: It is a slight detour from our usual programming. The process started really organically and naturally, it wasn’t something we had to think too hard about. During the last album campaign, we got asked to do an acoustic version of the single that we were promoting, “Higher.”
We had been asked to do that in the past, but it never really made sense, because when we were starting out we really wanted to establish who we were as a synth-rock, electronic-driven band. So that seemed pretty ridiculous at the time. But we played along and became more comfortable with the format, and we surprised ourselves by how good it sounded stripped back. We ended up playing “Higher” acoustic for a radio campaign, and playing a couple of songs stripped back at meet and greets, and it just became this thing. It turned into an EP, and then the EP turned into an album. So all of it progressed really naturally. And I definitely think it was a great idea. I can assume it was very different from past albums, can you elaborate on that more? Alisa: It’s different because it’s scaling everything back. Thom and I have been the core songwriters of the band for the past ten years, and we’ve had a revolving cast of members until we found Jesse and Aaron, but they recently departed. It was different in the way that we were revisiting and reimagining songs, which we had never done before. Usually when we write songs, we have to keep in
that we’re writing for a fivepiece band. It was a very natural process for Thom and I to strip things back down to just instruments and voice, because that’s what we do in our writing process. It’s kind of like a litmus test- if a song can stand up with just a voice and an instrument, then the song is good. If anything, reimagining all these old songs reinvigorated our creative process. I wanted to talk about what you mentioned, about these few band members that recently left. How do you think the band is going to move forward from here? Alisa: When I said we had to consider other band members in writing, I meant considering a fivepiece band. Thom and I would write everything, and the band members would play it. The creative control there hasn’t changed, it’s just a matter of having different people play the parts that we write. We won’t go out of our way to replace Aaron and Jesse, they were our friends who have been with us through so much. We go way back, coming from New Zealand. The way that Thom and I will move forward, we like the idea of having a revolving cast of members, similar to what Anthony does with M83,
but the integrity of the music won’t change, because it’s written by the same people. I think some people feel confused by that, but what people forget is that the songwriters of The Naked and Famous are Thom and I. If one of us left, it would change things significantly, but at this point nothing is really changing other than two members leaving who have been a part of the family for ten years. Continuing with this new album, you have been touring with it lately, playing mostly or completely sold out shows. Can you talk more about how touring this record has been? Alisa: A Still Heart has taken us to some of the most intimate venues. Notably, there was one called the Old Church in Portland. If we had our usual rock and roll shows, we wouldn’t have been able to accommodate our usual production. So we’re playing these tiny venues, with capacities of 200-600, and you could hear a pin drop in the room. Thom and I get to speak more, interact with our audience more. With a Naked and Famous rock show, there’s literally no time to do that. There’s more production involved: lights, cues, how you go from one song to the next with instrumental segues. It’s way more produced. Now we’ve got minimal lighting, we don’t have any props, it’s literally just people on stage playing the songs.
It’s so barebones, and it’s been great, because we can actually include our audience, which we’ve never done before. We recently had a wedding proposal happen at one of our last shows in Aspen, and it’s just been an extremely rewarding experience, because I feel closer and more connected since I can actually connect reach out to audience and hear their stories. It’s very surreal, and something we’ve never had before, being in this band.
It must be pretty different- I know in the past few years you’ve played all these huge venues and huge festivals, so it must be quite a change of pace. Moving onto the visuals you’ve used in making the album, where did the inspiration for that come from? Alisa: As for the album art, we always collaborate with different artists. We lose the creative control, it’s completely up to them. We had our longtime visual collaborator, a photographer, and so it was a collaboration of all our friends coming together to do the artwork.
At first, Thom and I thought we should have our faces on the album just to reinforce that we are the center of the band, the creative force. We just wanted to play around with it, so we do have our faces on there, but not quite. We usually don’t give our friends too much direction, we just say like, “it’s moody, it’s quiet, it’s intimate, what kind of visual do you think would pair well with this?” We’re really grateful for our collaborators, because they totally get us and our aesthetic. Do you feel like that relates to how you’ve been setting up the stage this tour, with the visuals you’re doing there? Alisa: I don’t think the visuals reflect the live show at all. The music reflects the live show a lot more. It’s pared down. It’s just a few of us on stage, a piano and some very basic lights, and that’s it. The music is very much reflective of that, not so much the visuals. Moving away from A Still Heart, you’ve talked a little about a new full length record with original songs that’s in the works. Could you tell me a little bit more about where you are in that process as of now? Alisa: We’re still in the writing room right now, we’re collaborating with a lot of our friends. We’ve been such an insular creative group for such a long time, and I think this time around, on our fourth record, it felt more authentic collaborating.
It’s been a very fun process, and it kind of takes the weight off Thom and I having the expectation to take care of absolutely everything in the creative process. It’s been so much fun. We’re going to continue to write between tour. We’re hoping it will be released, or finished for release, at the end of this year. I wanted to talk a little about diversity in music. You are a woman of color and an immigrant, and you’re making your dreams come true and doing all these insane things, proving that that’s possible now more than ever. I know there’s a lot of people like you that aspire to be doing what you’re doing. Is there anything you would say to them? Alisa:I think that for me, it’s been really interesting witnessing the diversity and representation. I think it’s absolutely incredible. Whenever I get asked about advice-type questions, it’s been really difficult for me to divulge in anything that I think would help, because when I was growing up I didn’t have an idol who looked like me, doing what I dreamt of doing. I looked around in the pop world and the rock world, which were very male dominated and without a lot of representation of other ethnicities. I always just followed my own path, listened to myself and to my intuition. Looking back, there have been situations where I could’ve used my voice to speak up, but I didn’t. If anything, I think people of color need to remember that they do have a voice and they should use it to say what they think, to be assertive and get where they want to go.
That’s would I could impart to people like that, is to not let other people say you can’t do something because of your color or the way that you look. Just go out and do it, be persistent, work hard, persevere, and you’ll get there. HEM: I think that’s really great. Alisa: I mean, it’s what I had to do. I came from an Asian family, and throughout my teenage years, my dad told me I couldn’t date boys until I got my university degree. I followed my instinct, I said, “you know what, I want to be
a musician.” I really wanted to do music ever since I was a kid, and I knew I wanted to write music and I wanted it to be my full time job. I was dirt poor, I was on unemployment, working jobs under the table, sacrificing all that I could to just follow my gut to get to where I had to go, despite the adversity at home from my dad.
It’s remarkable how you came from that and got to where you are today. It’s great that we live in a world where anyone can do what they want if they have the motivation for it like you did. Alisa: One thing that I never forget is that no one’s going to care as much about what you’re doing as much as you do. You can’t expect anyone to shift that way except yourself. No one’s going to give a shit as much as you give a shit about something, you have to do it yourself if you wanna get something done. I remind myself of that when I’m having a hard time. When something isn’t working out, I ask myself if I’m doing everything that I can do to make it happen, or if I’m relying on other people too much. I think independence is such a big part of my personality, too. HEM: I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but I think it was definitely worth it. Alisa: Yeah! I do too. I think being a creative is very difficult and trying at times. Sometimes I think it would be so easy if I could show up to an office, be given a task, figure it out, and clock out at 5pm, but that’s not the kind of life that I want to live. Some people do, and that’s fine, but being a creative, you have to figure out your entire world by yourself, and you’re lucky to have other people collaborate with, which I totally am. Thom has been my creative collaborator for the past ten years, through thick and thin, through it all, we persevered, and we’re the best of friends. We have each other’s back. He’s the one person I don’t have to explain myself to, in terms of being creative and getting my ideas across. That’s very special to have, other co-conspirators in your field of work. When you have that, you have to hold onto it.
You’ve said so many things that I think your fans can take a lot from, but is there anything else you’d like to say to old fans, new fans, anyone else that may be reading? Alisa: All I can say is that I’m incredibly grateful, and we feel so blessed to still be doing this. Part of the motivation is just hearing back from our fans. We promise we’ll plug ourselves back into the amplifier and be rocking out soon, but I just want to say a huge thank you to our fans who have come along with us on this slight detour off the usual road that we take. I wanted to talk a little about diversity in music. You are a woman of color and an immigrant, and you’re making your dreams come true and doing all these insane things, proving that that’s possible now more than ever. I know there’s a lot of people like you that aspire to be doing what you’re doing. Is there anything you would say to them? Alisa:I think that for me, it’s been really interesting witnessing the diversity and representation. I think it’s absolutely incredible. Whenever I get asked about advice-type questions, it’s been really difficult for me to divulge in anything that I think would help, because when I was growing up I didn’t have an idol who looked like me, doing what I dreamt of doing. I looked around in the pop world and the rock world, which were very male dominated and without a lot of representation of other ethnicities. I always just followed my own path, listened to myself and to my intuition. Looking back, there have been situations where I could’ve used my voice to speak up, but I didn’t. If anything, I think people of color need to remember that they do have a voice and they should use it to say what they think, to be assertive and get where they want to go.
That’s would I could impart to people like that, is to not let other people say you can’t do something because of your color or the way that you look. Just go out and do it, be persistent, work hard, persevere, and you’ll get there. HEM: I think that’s really great. Alisa: I mean, it’s what I had to do. I came from an Asian family, and throughout my teenage years, my dad told me I couldn’t date boys until I got my university degree. I followed my instinct, I said, “you know what, I want to be a musician.” I really wanted to do music ever since I was a kid, and I knew I wanted to write music and I wanted it to be my full time job. I was dirt poor, I was on unemployment, working jobs under the table, sacrificing all that I could to just follow my gut to get to where I had to go, despite the adversity at home from my dad. It’s remarkable how you came from that and got to where you are today. It’s great that we live in a world where anyone can do what they want if they have the motivation for it like you did. Alisa: One thing that I never forget is that no one’s going to care as much about what you’re doing as much as you do. You can’t expect anyone to shift that way except yourself. No one’s going to give a shit as much as you give a shit about something, you have to do it yourself if you wanna get something done. I remind myself of that when I’m having a hard time. When something isn’t working out, I ask myself if I’m doing everything that I can do to make it happen, or if I’m relying on other people too much. I think independence is such a big part of my personality, too. HEM: I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but I think it was definitely worth it.
Alisa: Yeah! I do too. I think being a creative is very difficult and trying at times. Sometimes I think it would be so easy if I could show up to an office, be given a task, figure it out, and clock out at 5pm, but that’s not the kind of life that I want to live. Some people do, and that’s fine, but being a creative, you have to figure out your entire world by yourself, and you’re lucky to have other people collaborate with, which I totally am. Thom has been my creative collaborator for the past ten years, through thick and thin, through it all, we persevered, and we’re the best of friends. We have each other’s back. He’s the one person I don’t have to explain myself to, in terms of being creative and getting my ideas across. That’s very special to have, other co-conspirators in your field of work. When you have that, you have to hold onto it. You’ve said so many things that I think your fans can take a lot from, but is there anything else you’d like to say to old fans, new fans, anyone else that may be reading? Alisa: All I can say is that I’m incredibly grateful, and we feel so blessed to still be doing this. Part of the motivation is just hearing back from our fans. We promise we’ll plug ourselves back into the amplifier and be rocking out soon, but I just want to say a huge thank you to our fans who have come along with us on this slight detour off the usual road that we take.
SHE’S EDRO EL D AROELDROL FOREST EDRO EL DROELDROL FIRE EDRO EL DROELDROL Lorde’s Legacy and the Music Industry’s Lack of Representation by Erin Christie What with the absolute buzz that Lorde created upon her return in June of 2017, it goes without saying that she is absolutely a star to be reckoned with. Melodrama, a message from the soul compiled with the helping hand of FUN. and Bleachers frontman, Jack Antonoff, easily earned a spot among last year’s front- runners in terms of musical releases. Among the nominees for “Album of the Year” at the Grammys that were held in early 2018, Lorde was granted one of the coveted spots on the roster and deservingly so. It is important to note, though, that her nomination marked the first time since 1999 that solo woman artist was included within a list almost consistently comprised of white males. Separately, though, Lorde was the only one not to be offered a solo performance during the award ceremony- is it a coincidence that the only woman nominated was also the only nominee who the Academy failed to recognize as a live performer? While fellow nominees Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, and winner, Bruno Mars, all performed, sources say that Lorde was offered a brief spot in the Tom Petty memorial tribute- but that was it. She declined. Whether the Academy realized it or not, in being so exclusionary toward their only female nominee, this became, as Variety noted, an inadvertent “symbol for the music industry’s underrepresentation of female artists and executives.” Constantly, women remain underrepresented, and this year was no exception. With each passing year, award shows, of the musical variety and not, seem to consistently disappoint in terms of representation, however. How many more generic radio- brand garb pumped out by white, cishet men do the Association feel the need to award? Not everyone involved in the industry was thrust
forth with a silver spoon in their mouth, however, and Lorde knows that all too well. Despite gaining a large amount of recognition, fame, and success within the early stages of her career and at the ripe age of sixteen, she still experienced her fair shares of turmoil throughout (and she continues to even today). The entertainment industry remains a misogynistic, masc.-centric cesspool and that fact alone is slightly terrifying considering how many strides we have already made in terms of creating a platform for equal opportunity. In all aspects of entertainment (and unfortunately, life), women continue to be shown the door, overlooked, and underappreciated for their artistry, often being shoved under the rug in opposition to their mediocre male counterparts. With that in mind, one thing that a majority of watchers can agree upon post- this year’s Grammy’s: Melodrama was absolutely snubbed, as were other pieces delivered by women in a general sense. A recent article released by Forbes is aptly named “For Women In Music, [the] Grammy Debacle is Just the Tip of the Iceberg.” That evening, just 11 of the 84 awards given were received by women, this, and the fact that so little women were nominated in the first place is incredibly telling as to how little chances for recognition truly talented women in the industry have. Despite her significant period of radio- silence post the release of her debut album, Pure Heroine, Miss Ella has remained a standout icon for fans worldwide. As young as she is, it is incredibly inspiring to many to see her succeeding as much as she has (despite the Grammys’ negligence). Having women in the spotlight who can act as positive role models for young women in our world today is something that remains incredibly important. “I just love the way she unapologetically captures and articulates adolescence in a way that reigns true for female perspective but isn’t entirely gendered,”
noted Maddie Shaw (18), who has followed and been a huge fan of Lorde for quite some time. “[Her music] it bonds people and gives them a place of solace to recognize they’re not alone and that so many people live on the outskirts of social norms and pre-established groups.” It is true that in many cases, those belonging to groups and identifying outside of the majority are scarcely ever represented or spoken on behalf of in a large wayLorde’s music and her words in a general sense do a great job of achieving that when in a lot of areas, such isn’t possible. During the night of the Grammys- which largely celebrated and promoted the #MeToo movement in support of victims of sexual violence due to disgusting members of the entertainment industry (and the fact that this trend mustn’t continue)- Lorde donned her own version of the white rose meant to symbolize the hashtag. Pinned to her back read a quote from Jenny Holzer which read: “Rejoice! Our times are intolerable. Take coverage for the worst is a harbinger of the best. Only dire circumstance can precipitate the overthrow of oppressors. The old and corrupt must be laid to waste before the just can triumph. Contradiction will be heightened. The reckoning will be hastened by the staging of seed disturbances. The apocalypse will blossom.” To a horrific degree, men have somehow gotten ahold of the belief that they have the right to women’s’ bodies and that this false sense of ownership entitles them to do with said bodies whatever they please. Sexual violence has permeated society with this in mind, especially directed at women, and that is something that cannot be ignored anymore. Lorde, and many other women and people within the spotlight, have made a major impact in terms of taking a stand against this continued trend- making excuses for abusers and continuing to support and stand behind them after they have been outed. However, though, as it is months after the Grammys, little real action has truly occurred in spite of these womens’ constant outcries and words of passion. The question remains: why won’t the industry and the world at large listen to women? Lorde’s heartbreaking track, “Liability,” widely speaks to audiences, portraying the image of a young girl struggling with her sense of self and importance and feeling as though she is “a little
too much” for everyone. Women constantly have to silence themselves and push their feelings and thoughts aside to benefit others. The archaic belief that women are best unseen and unheard in almost all areas of life still shines through from time to time: the entertainment industry remains predominantly run by men, the power to be heard granted solely to those with little to say about what is happening in terms of women in the same field. “The truth is I am a toy that people enjoy,” Lorde gushes, noting the manner in which it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and to be toyed with by those who you encounter, especially in terms of the music industry. No matter if in a business, relationship, or casual context, men widely retain a sense of authority and superiority based on the misogynistic and patriarchal roots of society (which have been reduced with time but are definitely still present). In simply failing to acknowledge this upper-hand- one that gives them more opportunities and much larger, elevated platform than women have ever been able to experience even today. In this supposedly “progressive,” all- inclusive twenty- first century, women like Lorde still struggle to maintain a position of authority in the eyes of not only the industry bigwigs, but also in the eyes of the public. It’s no secret that artist like Lorde, empowered, outspoken women, are often torn down simply because of their nature.
In spite of criticism, though, Lorde continues to shine like a cliché beacon of hope in the darkness encompasses our world today and her impact remains vital, especially for young women.
“I’ve been listening to Lorde for years now,” reminisced Portland- local, Brenna Rosman. “[Her song], “Ribs,” always stood out to me in this weird way and made me feel okay when I was feeling down […] Lorde has the powerful way of bringing you into her world of writing whilst relating to you. I think that’s wonderful and I love her for that.” Lorde’s effortless ability to showcase stories about the folly of love, power dynamics within relationships, and other struggles that young women face dayto-day speaks volumes. Her voice, personable and strong, allows audiences to feel as though they are being embraced and let in on a secret that no one else knows. Her writing sticks out like a “diamond in the rough,” creating a place of universal solace and building a platform for empowerment that fans flock to like bees to honey.
ACES By Gabi Yost Photos by Emma Hintz
The Aces, formerly known as The Blue Aces and formed in 2008, are an all-female alternative band out of Utah made up of Katie Henderson (Guitar and Vocals), Alisa Ramirez (Drummer), McKenna Petty (Bass), and Cristal Ramirez (Lead Vocals). I sat down with them after their 2nd show opening for COIN to talk about women in the music industry, their heroes, and the future.
HOW DID YOUR FIRST SHOW OPENING FOR COIN GO LAST NIGHT? Alisa: It was rough, the first show of tour is always bound to go wrong just because you have a new team, new system and we had a lot of kinks to work out, but it was a great learning experience. Honestly COIN’s team has been a dream and that really helped us have time to just kind of get everything under wraps. We had our first show, got it out of the way, and tonight was a lot smoother. Katie: Yeah. It was an initiation for sure. Cristal: Yeah, the energy of the crowd, I think, just - [the kinks] don’t even matter, you know what I mean? If you mess up a couple of times, it doesn’t even matter, because it’s just so fun. And like all the fans have been so sweet and so supportive so far, so its been really cool.
I KNOW YOU GUYS HAVE GROWN UP TOGETHER ALISA AND CRISTAL ARE SISTERS. HOW DID YOU GUYS GET INTO MUSIC AND PERFORMING? Alisa: It’s funny, we always talk about it. We don’t even really know how it started, we just grew up in a family where our mom was always playing a bunch of 80s pop and stuff. It’s kinda funny, because we don’t really know where the idea came from. Since we were little little kids - we started this band when Cristal was 8 and I was 10 and it was just in our DNA or something to start a band. That was just our number one purpose as children to make a band. “We gotta make a band.” And so we just did it.
Kenna: I always grew up - my dad’s side of the family is very musical and I remember my aunts were in girl singing groups. I don’t think I ever told you guys that, but I always idolized them, so when I met Cristal in kindergarten and then in fifth grade, they wanted to start a band. I played piano. I had no experience playing the bass but had just asked for one for Christmas and we started. Then me and Katie met in junior high and she played music too. Katie: Yeah… I grew up playing guitar and my brothers were in a band. Cristal: It was life. We didn’t really think that hard about it. I think we literally just started doing it. We just started playing and then invited each other over after school and it was a very natural process.
YOUR NEW SONG “FAKE NICE” JUST DROPPED AND IS DOING WELL IN THE CHARTS! HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU GUYS FEEL? The Aces: So good. Alisa: It’s just like, I don’t know. We’ve been working on this album for basically our whole lives and they always say your first album is like your whole lives’ work; so it’s really - I don’t know, I guess, validating and exciting to see it kind of pop off. Cristal: “Fake Nice” is a special one too because it’s with a female producer who actually did the song. It was such a vibe in that room when we wrote it and it’s been one of our favorites off the record. And to see people really get into it when we are playing it live at these shows and just like turning it into a chant; it is soooo fun. HEM: That is so awesome!
Cristal: Yeah! I think what Alisa said, it just really is validating and really nice.
HEM: CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE BACKSTORY ON WHAT’S IT ABOUT, LIKE SPILL THE TEA?. Alisa: Absolutely. Cristal: Spill the tea! I mean we just - we’ve been writing this record, like really writing it, I guess, like getting into sessions and stuff for it for probably the past like two or three years and so Alisa: Last year was crazy. We started officially last year. Cristal and I basically moved to LA to write it. We were there a lot. We just kinda wrote it about the experience of moving to a big city for the first time because we’re from Utah, a small town and stuff. So moving to a place, especially LA, is like its own little world and bubble if you’ve ever been there. We love LA, don’t get us wrong, but there’s just some funny personalities and some funny situations that go down in LA and we just kind of wrote about it. Cristal: I think it’s very tongue and cheek. I think it’s a little cheeky. It’s not meant to be hateful. It’s just meant to kinda be like “I see you. I know who you are.” Kenna: Especially not catty toward girls or anything, it could be anyone. Like it’s not about a specific person. Cristal: The lyric does say “she,” but we always actually took it as anybody because the ending is “You’re so fake nice.” Alisa: Also it was a specific experience and so its not aimed at a gender. It was a specific experience with a person who was “Fake Nice.”
HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC EVOLVED SINCE YOU GUYS FIRST BEGAN PLAYING MUSIC TOGETHER? Alisa: It started from literally guitar and drum lines- Garage Band to the nines- to being more polished and just really finding our sound and working with people who helped us develop more. I think we just developed together individually and got better. Kenna: I feel like we’ve incorporated more 80s into our stuff. Alisa: And threw in some 80s sounds and like a little more funk. It was quite the evolution because we’ve been together for like thirteen years. So it was real rocky, and then there was this moment where when we decided to kind of make it our career instead of like, it’s always been our lifestyle. When we decided to be like “Okay, this is gonna be our career; and what is our sound?” What do we sound like
as artists? And that’s kind of when we cracked the code and started making what is now the sound of our album and EP.
FOR YOUR MUSIC, WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FROM? WHO ARE YOUR HEROES? Cristal: I think we all collectively draw from Paramore and David Bowie, he’s a huge one. Alisa: As well as The 1975, that’s a big influence. Cristal: So yeah, and we obviously have some of the visual, we are very influenced by 80s pop and disco. And Kenna and Katie were very influenced by rock and new-wave. It’s kind of the combination of all of those that makes the sound.
“There’s been times when girls come up to us just sobbing and just like, “You’re so inspiring. I want to be a tour manager now.” Or, you know, “I want to do this.” Music or anything. To even just go to school or have a career. It’s just really cool to see that too.”
DO YOU GUYS HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OUR FEMALE IDENTIFYING AUDIENCE WHO WANT TO PURSUE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? The Aces: DO IT! Literally just do it. Alisa: We are the Nike of music. Katie: You’ve gotta start somewhere Cristal: Yeah, you just have to ask for that space. You know what I mean? Because people will give it to you more than you think they will. I think sometimes it can be quite intimidating going into the industry, especially the business side of things, as a woman. Because there are not many of us. I think if you just get after it and ask for the opportunities, people want that. They want to see women in the music industry and so they are gonna be like, “Oh my God, yeah! Absolutely!” Kenna: Just be confident. Like, I remember, when we were babies, just thinking, “Oh, we are so good.” Cristal: Yeah, we’re just gonna do it. Kenna: Like “screw you!” We didn’t care. We just wanted to play. Cristal: There’s a lot of confidence you just have to have.
HAVE YOU GUYS EXPERIENCED ANY CHALLENGES AS WOMEN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? ANY POSITIVE THINGS? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS! Katie: Positive and negative. Cristal: Yeah I think mostly positive, luckily. I think we are in a time that lucky for us - you know, it’s 2018. There’s a lot of female empowerment and we’re coming up on a time where people are really stoked to see women. But there definitely have been some things, like some assumptions of like “oh, who put you together?” You know what I mean? Alisa: Yeah, I think there are a lot of assumptions too. We’ve had a weird comment like, “I don’t normally like girl bands but you are a good one.” And we’re like, “Wait, what? Girl
erson of the
bands aren’t a genre. Like whaaat? Are we all supposed to sound the same?” Kenna: Or like, “You’re the only girl drummer that doesn’t suck,” kind of thing. Alisa: Yeah, especially as a female drummer, because there’s none of us. I get comments like that a lot. Cristal: And we’re very much in the alternative world right now, so it’s we’re surrounded by a lot of men. Luckily our team of men around us, like our manager and tour manager, they’re all really dope guys who are not weird at all about it. But every
once and awhile you do run into that stuff, and you kinda just have to be like “okay.” And shake it off. HEM: Yeah Heart Eyes gets that a little, like, “you’re girls (and boys) running a magazine?” Like that doesn’t really happen.
ANY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? CAN YOU GIVE US ANY HINTS ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM? WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT FROM IT? Alisa: No plans.
Cristal: That is so silly to me. It is just so silly.
Katie: We change people’s minds.
Cristal: Absolutely! It’s just gonna keep getting bigger and better, you know?
Kenna: We always say to every negative there are three positives. HEM: Right! Alisa: Kinda like a yin and yang. Kenna: There’s been times when girls come up to us just sobbing and just like, “You’re so inspiring. I want to be a tour manager now.” Or, you know, “I want to do this.” Music or anything. To even just go to school or have a career. It’s just really cool to see that too.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE #TIMESUP AND #METOO CAMPAIGNS? Alisa: I am happy that things are coming to the surface and that voices are being heard and stuff. Kenna: I think that it is great. Alisa: Very powerful. Cristal: I think it’s definitely like Ke$ha at the Grammys - it’s so huge. Do you know what I mean? It’s like she was quite a pioneer of that movement. She was one of the first to really speak out.
Alisa: Just kidding, just kidding.
Alisa: You can expect a lot of releases. I think they’re coming sooner than you think. Cristal: Tons of new music. Obviously we are on tour and we’re playing; we’re going over to Europe after this tour. So I think it’s just like.. Kenna: Traveling, bigger and better.
LASTLY, ANY MUSIC YOU’VE BEEN OBSESSED WITH LATELY? WHAT SONGS ARE YOU GUYS REPEATING OVER AND OVER? Alisa: CTRL by Sza. I’ve been playing that on repeat. Kenna: I love Lily Allen’s new song. Have you guys heard it? Its called like “Trigger Bang.” Alisa: Or like the new Drake dropped this week too, “God’s Plan.” I love that song. Katie: I actually really like the new Troye Sivan single. I’ve been listening to “My My My” a lot. It’s awesome!
Kenna: Yeah, she was. Cristal: So I think it’s just such important work being done. And like we’re so happy to be on stage at this time as an all-female band and just doing what we do. Katie: Being representative. Cristal: It’s important, it’s awesome.
Phoebe Bridgers & Soccer Mommy Photos by Caleigh Wells
Art by Gabby Yargo
feeling better by anonymous Self loathing wrapped around me like a blanket. Remarks of others stuck to me like sticky notes with hateful additions added by none other than myself. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. But I’ve decided I want things to change. I want to be stronger. I’m not afraid to be alone anymore. After years of anxiety whispering in my ear as I tried too hard to keep people with less than mutual feelings, I’ve lost interest. My attention has been averted to making myself happy. I’ve started writing again. And the familiar feeling of a books crisp cover is mine to hold again. The constant need to find something to despise about myself is a trend I don’t want to be a part of anymore.
Love You Later by Jiselle Santos | Pictures by Caleigh Wells
We got to hangout with 19 year old indie artist, Lexi Aviles from Los Angeles and talk about her solo project called Love You Later. We discussed her musical inspirations, alliterations, and what to expect at South By Southwest. HEM: What inspired the name Love You Later? LA: I really love alliterations. So one of my songs is called “Lost in Los Angeles.” I don’t know why I like the letter “L” so much. All of my music is super dreamy and romantic. I was kind of thinking of a situation with the hardest love or relationship I’ve been in where the guy basically said he would love me later. He said,”I love this girl but I want you. [However], I want her because I’ve loved her longer.” Why would he just shove me to the curb like that? Anyways, I tried to put this all in a single phrase since I love alliterations - like Love You Later, it seemed kind of cool. It’s kind of funny because everyone always makes fun of it. Whenever people say bye to me now, they’ll be like, “Bye! Love you later!” They never say,”Bye! Love you!” Also, whenever I’m lost (I live in LA), they’re always like,”Don’t get lost in LA!” So everyone makes fun of everything I do - just kidding! HEM: As a young female musician, how would you see campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp impacting the music industry?
LA: I think we need more campaigns like that, there’s too many people that deny these [issues] or ignore it. HEM:What are some of your musical influences? Do you have some female musical and artistic influences? LA:The Japanese House is what inspired me to make Love You Later. I’ve seen them a few times live. Right now, I have chills. Every time I see them live, I just feel a huge gust of inspiration. She just makes me feel things that I’ve never felt before. It inspired me to make music that make me wanna make people feel the same way. I love ALVVAYS. I love Hippo Campus. I love LANY. Honestly everyone. I listen to everything and I get little bits of inspiration for everything I listen to. I get it mainly from the Japanese House and Hippo Campus. I also love old stuff too like Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac is definitely the main “oldies” inspiration. I could go on and on but I love femalefronted bands. HEM: How would you describe the musical and artistic style of upcoming projects?
LA: I describe my music as - well, according to my Instagram bio, “overly dramatic, sad, romantic songs.” It’s very gushy-love songs. Whenever someone asks me, I mainly say it’s dream pop. I’m recording an EP right now and it going to be along the lines of something that you can dance to. Not that it’s necessarily happy all my songs are sad, unfortunately. HEM: So maybe like upbeat-sad music? LA:Yeah, like that! But it somehow makes you feel good. It kind of makes you feel good that you are sad. It makes you feel okay about being sad. HEM:With Love You Later as a solo project - how do you see this progressing the future? LA: Honestly, being here [at SXSW] is the coolest thing. I have high hopes for everything that’s going to go on this week. I’ve already met some cool people throughout the tour so far like in Dallas and such. I’m not going to put any barriers up, I’m going to let what happens, happen. Also, my New Years’ resolution was not to be stupid about my decisions. If I get approached by a label, I need to really know what I’m getting into. Honestly, being an indie artist is so hard to find nowadays. It’s hard to be successful but I think if I can manage to do that. If I’m a female, I’m an artist and I’m doing this myself - girl power! HEM: Being an independent artist, what do you expect out of SXSW? What do you think you’ll learn from these experiences? LA:I’m hoping I can learn whatever I can learn. I’m super open to anything. I want to see other artists, I want to be inspired by other people. I think that’s what it’s all about too, not only networking but supporting other artists.
Moon Eclipsed (Oil on Canvas) by Olivia Khuri 62
Donâ€™t Look At Me (Oil on Canvas) by Olivia Khuri 63
By: Yasmin Ettobi
OUR FAVORITE FEMALE ARTISTS
Heart Eyes Magazine is lucky to have an incredibly diverse group of music fanatics who serve as contributors for the magazine. The magic of the internet has allowed all of us to connect through photographing, interviewing, and writing about the artists that we love, no matter where on the globe we reside. That being said, the internet has also served a huge purpose in shaping the music that we listen to. Through social media and streaming services, we, along with a multitude of other people, have been able to discover masses of lesser-known female artists that we couldn’t have without the internet. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of the women that I and a couple other Heart Eyes contributors find to be incredibly musically inspiring! A recent artist that I’m quite proud of myself for discovering consists of the dreamy sounds brought to life by Palehound. As a general statement, lo-fi music can easily become annoying repetitive and generic, yet Palehound has some of the most interesting and captivating music out there right now. From the haunting moanings of “YMCA Pool” to the quirky and bouncy track “Cinnamon,” Palehound is the perfect musical selection for any Mac DeMarco fan. One of our writers, Mallory, chose rising popstar Kim Petras as her current music fave. There’s something undeniably carefree and uplifting about Petras’ tunes. Soaring vocals, spacey beats, and zany lyrics are just a few of the features that makes Petras so likeable. Though she doesn’t have an album out right now, she’s definitely a name to keep an eye out in the near future! Our co-production manager Jiselle recently spent the weekend at SXSW and had the opportunity to see an abundance of stellar acts, but Morgan Saint was the one that blew her away more than anyone else. Her velvety vocals surrounded by swirling, lucious beats succeeds in creating an entire musical soundscape, with lyrics that deal with the struggles of romance and life in general. There’s an aura of distinguished regality to Jada’s music selection, singer-songwriter Chappell Roan. Her husky but powerful voice possess a factor to it that’s almost theatrical, and she displays an incredibly impressive vocal range in all of her songs. Angela finishes our list off with female fronted group The Y Axes, who bring a combination of glitzy synthpop and hard-hitting rock music to the table. The San Francisco based band has a knack for writing infectiously catchy hooks, and crisp instrumentals with crystal-clear vocals. All of the artists listed above prove that there really is no reason for a male-dominated music scene. There are more than plenty women trying to make it in the music industry at this very moment, making songs within every different genre, whether it be indie, rock, pop, rap or other. “Female” is NOT a genre of music, and it’s time for the industry to stop treating it as such.
a poem by jessa oliveira when I got up this morning, I realized I didn’t need you. it hit me like a bus but I’m so glad that it finally did. I don’t need you anymore, I repeat with a smile cutting across my face, if you would have asked me yesterday, I may have held in my tears and cursed your name. but today, I am strong. you are not worth my tears. you are not worth my cursing. & you are not worth my broken heart that I’ve learned how to fix through my own love.
ruth b photos by ej jolly
SUZI ANALOGUE Interview + Photos by Ky Kasselman
Suzi Analogue is a recording artist, songwriter, producer, & DJ based in New York City. She is currently on tour with Sylvan Esso, and Ky Kasselman got to sit down with her in Dallas and discuss her music, record label, and experience as a woman of color in the music industry. Your music obviously takes from a lot of hip-hop and soul influence. What were the beginning roots of that and who are some of your female influences? Suzi: When I was young, I was very inspired by Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, very outspoken women who were very unapologetic. Of course I listened to MC Lyte and stuff like that, but that was very ahead of my time. When I started listening to rap, as a woman, Foxy Brown was so hot. She had dropped Chyna Doll and she was out here killing it. I love Missy Elliott, she’s definitely a big influence to me and a person who can transcend all genres. She always encouraged me to be able to be unique and stand out and feel music on another level.
So you have your own record label, Never Normal Records. What was the process of launching that like and how do you balance label work with performing? Suzi: Just one day in New York, I was riding the train, and the light bulb just went off. I said, “I know what I’m gonna do.” I have experience with releasing with a lot on indie labels and international labels. I had done some projects for different brands like Toyota, and I had learned a lot, and I just thought it was my time to start to own my catalogue and start to build a collection of music that I really believed in for myself and other artists that I truly think are visionary. That’s why I started Never Normal. In the beginning it was just me representing all the time, I was out in New York with my Never Normal Yankee hat.
The logo references the New York Yankees because I wanted the idea to be as synonymous and as powerful as what that logo represents and I made Never Normal in New York, in the Bronx, where hip hop was made. It was just a full-on moment for me to mature as an artist and to take everything seriously and the legacy of what I want my sound to be seriously. Every day I’m on it, I wake up and I’m always in emails and talking to artists and listening to demos and mixes. It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else right now. 69
You have been an outspoken activist for women in the music industry. What do you hope to see from women in the music industry in 2018, especially considering the Me Too and Time’s Up movements that are currently sweeping the entertainment industry? Suzi: I want to see women creating more narratives using their content, using their videos, using their songs. Not necessarily like, overt like, “This is what’s happening,” but just referencing what’s really happening. Real issues with women around the world. It’s not just Me Too, there are countries that are having all types of issues with women. There are countries where women still can’t drive. We’re all elevating as a world right now. I just want to see women artists really start to touch on the inner qualities of women worldwide and start to focus the scope on a worldwide movement to empower women. Across the board, it’s very uneven, as far as the playing field is concerned and the dynamics of power between men and women. I want to see that come out more in art. I want to see more musical stories and musicals, plays, anything!
Anything people can bring and make us imagine. I would love to see women creatively touch on these issues. It’s cool that we can take to the streets and that we can protest, but I want to see women touch people’s minds with it. As a woman of color in the music industry, what are some challenges you have had to face and what advice do you have for aspiring women of color in the music industry? Suzi: There’s a hierarchy of support. As a woman of color, you usually fall lower on the hierarchy, usually. And now things are changing and people are seeing the value of women of color’s artistry, and not just what we bring to the industry, but what we bring to entertainment and culture overall from music, to attitude, to style, to everything. People are actually respecting and not just treating it like a commodity. They are respecting it as an energetic force. When you’re starting off, you’re just deprioritized, and that is the biggest issue, you don’t get as much support. You don’t get anyone saying, “Hey, do you need help with that?” People are kinda just watching you. They say, “I wanna see what you do. I wanna see if you can do it.”
Whereas, if it were someone else who was not a woman of color, they would get a helping hand very quickly. That’s a huge issue and I’m just glad there are certain artists who are really making it a point to help other artists who are marginalized grow their platforms. I think it’s a special time for that right now in our culture. You referenced that you’ve traveled worldwide and produced music all over the world. How has that impacted your domestic work and domestic touring, such as this tour with Sylvan Esso? Suzi: What the international travel does for me is it gives me a scope on humanity. I understand these universal ideas that just exist just in the United States, just in Texas, just in Miami, just in New York. I understand music on a global scale and when I come back, what I try to do with my own music, with my own live performing, is inject that perspective into crowds that may not have ever experienced that. What I’m doing is bringing them the world, and you may or may not know that, but that’s what I’m doing. It can be anything, I’m playing sounds from all over the world as well.
That’s how it influences my domestic creativity as well as in my recordings. I’m challenged to bring forth more new ideas because maybe I heard a different scale played when I was in Japan. When I was there, I was making a lot of happy beats because they use a whole different scale that has different notes in it, and it influenced my music. I still play stuff that has those fun, tinkly tones. It’s just stuff like that. Every time I go somewhere, I take a mental picture, and I just try to recreate it and bring it to the people who want to enjoy it. Do you have any other comments for our readers, especially our female-identifying, non-binary, and people of color? Suzi: I just want to say don’t give up, and I know it sounds cliche, but really don’t give up. The perspective in the world is widening and it’s the best time ever to be yourself and thrive at being yourself and continue to grow the foundation of growing into yourself as a person. And how that will impact the world is bigger than anything you could imagine.
Artwork by Shannon Healey
photos by Sam Schraub
Artwork by Paige Webster
Artwork by Sophia Mignon
The Girl Power Issue. Featuring The Aces.