I recently did an interview with Kososuru (a creative collective based in Oslo) and talked a bit about my musical background, influences, and future plans for my new label, Unspeakable Records. I also curated this little playlist of some favorite tunes (both old and new) from my TeamSupreme family. Enjoy!
You’ve started your own label Unspeakable records, a label dedicated to releasing music produced by women. Why? What are your future plans for the label?
Most electronic music (and music production in general) is still very much a boys’ club, so I wanted to create a platform for female artists to promote their music in a way that focuses on the quality of their work instead of their image. It’s not about excluding men — I love their music too! The purpose of Unspeakable Records is to bring women together to create something greater than what we would individually be capable of. Many aspects of our society encourage competition amongst women, but we can achieve so much more if we join forces and support one another (both creatively and socially). While I definitely want to release work from individual artists, the emphasis of the label is placed more on collaborations, compilations, split EPs/LPs, and so fourth. A lot of the artists I’d like to work with are already signed to other great independent labels (myself included), so my goal isn’t to try and swoop them from their current projects. Instead, I aim to use Unspeakable Records as grounds for collaborative projects and networking. I also intend to throw events on a more regular basis, and eventually expand to include visual artists for various projects/installations/performances.
Tell us a little bit of Unspeakable Vol 1.
‘Unspeakable Volume One’ is a compilation of 14 different female artists from around the world — some I know personally, and others I “met” through internet music communities.
Why are you releasing it on tape?
It was important to me to release our music on a physical format, and tapes are relatively inexpensive to produce and sound fantastic! Unless you have a crazy cool analogue setup, most of us are creating this music on our computers, so after hours and hours of hard work, all you’re really left with is a bunch of 0′s and 1′s. While sharing your music on the internet is extremely powerful in its own right, I think it’s far more rewarding to have something that’s tangible and analogue!
What are your three most influential records (of all timeeee) and why did they have an impact on you?
It’s so hard to pick just three, but here goes:
Sonnymoon – ‘Sonnymoon’ — The beat production is stellar, but I’m really drawn to this record because of the ease of expression, clarity, and presence in Anna’s voice. She’s so honest, unapologetic, and very much in-tune with everything she communicates. I remember when she collaborated with DJ Nobody on his last record and recorded all of the vocals in only two takes!
Björk – ‘Post’ — Björk is one of my idols and all-time favorite artists. Again, I’m attracted to her work because of her honesty and truthfulness — she is able to get her own ego out of the way and allow something greater to be channelled through her.
Can – ‘Future Days’ — not only are the keyboards and euphoric backgrounds absolutely stunning, but this record came into my life through a very special person and will always remind me of him.
What made you start making music and what led you into electronic music production?
I’ve been drawn to music ever since I was a little girl — I don’t come from a very musical family per se, but I begged my parents to let me take piano lessons when I was about 6 years old, and continued my studies in classical music through college. My dad also introduced me to a lot of jazz and blues, and I had some great friends in high school and college who turned me on to hip hop, R&B, rock, psych, folk (basically all of the good stuff that expanded my palette beyond the sterile world of classical music). I started taking voice lessons when I was in middle school, and eventually ended up at Chapman University’s Conservatory of Music as a vocal performance major. About halfway through the program, I realized I was far more inspired by my theory classes and writing my own music instead of performing other people’s work, so I decided to switch my major to music composition. I also took a music technology course with Steve Nalepa, who introduced me to the world of music production and suggested that I apply for an internship at Alpha Pup Records in Los Angeles. From there, I began going to Low End Theory regularly, and was profoundly inspired by the different styles of music that I heard each week, so I started making beats in my dorm room. And now here I am!
If you could go anywhere in the world to play a show, where would it be and why?
I’d love to play in either Berlin or Helsinki — I’m part German and part Finnish, so it would be incredible to share my music in the countries where my family is from. I’m also dying to play in Tokyo! I’ve never been before, but it seems like such an inspiring city and I have a feeling I’d love it there :)