It’s almost here: Saturday’s big event at The Standard! At this point you may have heard enough about the event from seeing the installation, seeing drink recipes, and hearing from National Forest. Think that’s it? Nope: we had the chance to speak with tomorrow’s headliner Ramona Gonzalez, AKA Nite Jewel! We asked her about Los Angeles in relationship to musicians and how it can influence, how it can help, and how it can inspire people who make music. Ramona also shares some details on what Nite Jewel will be presenting tomorrow night. Spoiler alert: she’s doing something she’s never shared in Los Angeles before!
Undoubtedly, Nite Jewel is one of Los Angeles’ jewels in relationship to music coming out of our city. How do you feel the influence of the city on your making? From space to the weather to the unique soundscape of the city, what do you see in your music (if anything) that is a direct influence of Los Angeles?
It’s safe to say that Nite Jewel wouldn’t exist without Los Angeles. Everything about the city continues to inspire the project. I think the main thing, however that contributes to this is the way Los Angeles culture combines effortlessly the creative sensibilities of light-heartedness and darkness. To be inspired by the underbelly of the entertainment industry may be cliche, but it is a cliche that continues to work for me as inspiration. This is also reflected in the weather, of course. Sometimes the consistent sunniness of the city contributes to an ennui and post-apocalyptic flavor that other cities, with predictable weather patterns that revolve around holidays, will never have.
The Los Angeles music landscape is so very varied and vast and is defined differently by everyone. How would you describe the landscape of contemporary music in Los Angeles? Are there any movements or genres that are budding?
When i first moved here I was all about a group of musicians that centered around Ariel Pink‘s music. Now it’s less direct, but I think a lot of the contemporary bands I like are inspired by that kind of music. I’d say that what has been super exciting in the past few years though, is the interest in more electronic music and hip hop as opposed to straight guitar music. That’s just a matter of younger people coming up in the scene and playing the music they grew up listening to. inc. is just one example of these kind of groups.
In terms of specific places or times in Southern California, is there a particular place or time that you find inspirational? Are there any particular people or venues in the area that inspire your work?
I find being around my friend’s to be very inspirational. sometimes when you’re on tour a lot and you come back to LA and you see how cool and interesting your friends are, sometimes there’s nothing better. I like DJing with Jimi Hey at Black Boar in Eagle Rock on Thursdays. So much good music to be heard. I like stopping by the Stones Throw offices. Peanut Butter Wolf and all his projects are always super interesting. There’s much more than that but those are the ones that come to mind.
This is an obvious question, but we have to ask: where are some of your favorite music-related places in Los Angeles? From stores to venues to more, what music-related LA places do you recommend to readers, local and beyond?
Love going to Record Surplus in Santa Monica to buy records. dublab is the best place to go online to find out good stuff that’s going on in LA. Going to Cinefamily on Thursday actually to see a show: that place is super cool.
Saturday’s event is going to be quite a huge affair and we’re super, super pumped for it. What can concertgoers expect? Should we be anticipating any surprises?
Actually the set that I am playing I haven’t performed yet in Los Angeles. It’s solo Nite Jewel. Heavy, exciting, but intimate. I’ve brought it to New York, San Francisco, Canada, but never here. So whoever is coming will have a one-of-a-kind Nite Jewel experience.
Man: we were already stoked for tomorrow–but this made us super, super stoked. Today feels like Christmas Eve! For more on Ramona and Nite Jewel, be sure to check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter. You’ll also be able to catch her for free tomorrow night at the event, of course. We cannot wait to see you guys there–and be sure to say hello! We’ll have plenty of LAIY goodies to share.
Featured image by Matthew Scott.