lip talk

we caught up with lip talk for an intimate interview

  • question: We are loving your new song “Beauty Queen.” Can you tell us a little about the backstory of that song? When was it written and recorded?
  • answer: Early last year I bought my first pair of roller skates. (Pink Impalas with yellow laces.) Pre-Covid I was going skating in Bedstuy with a group of friends about once a week. I wasn’t very good but I loved it. Late night I’d skate with my friend Nasimiyu and we’d close the place down. She would talk about how dancing was the way she’d work out her feelings. I was thinking about what she said when the lyrics popped into my head one night. The next day I wrote and recorded the song on bass playing with a simple looped beat. Chris Kyle added all the fun ear-candy guitars. I played it for my friend Karl Scholz at his synth lab/apartment and he let me use his mono-poly to add The Cars style synth break. I was happy to get his ears and blessings on this track because he makes amazing dance music under the name, Karlala and I’m a big fan. I sent the track to my friend and frequent collaborator, Ian Hersey (aka fun secret) and he elevated it with another beat he made using his six track FM based groovebox, cycles by Elektron. I tracked some more synths that were hanging around at a studio I was renting for a bit in Bushwick and chopped up a few samples including the sound of keys jangling, tossed it in the stew, and then BOOM. 
  • question: What is your daily routine consist of? What’s the music scene like in your area? 
  • answer: I’ve moved quite a bit during this pandemic so my routine has evolved with me in new spaces. Lately I’ve been waking up, drinking water and forcing myself to go outside to walk/run. I love the graveyard that I now live next to because it’s quiet and full of birds and trees. I also drink at least one cup of strong black tea (or coffee) with oat milk everyday. As far as the music scene goes, it’s still popping under the surface. Obviously no one is touring at the moment but people are still staying creative and busy. The explosion of new releases has begun and won’t stop anytime soon. 
  • question: Who are some of your favorite authors? What is one book you will never forget?
  • answer: I love Octavia Butler, Yaa Gyasi, Arundhati Roy, Audre Lorde, Ursula K. Le Guin, Adrienne Maree Brown, William Gibson, just some off the top of my head. It’s too hard to pick just one book! I will never forget Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem (I’m reading this now very slowly and thoroughly with a group of friends. I highly recommend it.) Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler made my heart flutter and I didn’t want it to end. I’m also reading Emergent Strategy right now by Adrienne Maree Brown and grateful for the powerful message re: imagining and shaping change (self-help, society-help, nature-help). I’m always amazed at the wisdom inside the I-Ching: Book of Changes and will return to it for years.
  • question: What did your album ‘D A Y S’ teach you about yourself? What is your personal favorite song you’ve written?
  • answer: I learned that I can still be a music producer despite my tendency to self-sabotage. I can face my shadows. I found that my default, at least for those years working on D A Y S was making slightly creepy, bittersweet music. Writing songs is an outlet for me to process my emotions and for most of my life it was the only outlet where I felt safe and free. I would like that to change and try therapy too! As far as favorites go, right now, maybe “Gold ^ Pink” or “Doublethink.” “Gold ^ Pink” was a challenge to make work and I’m happy with where it ended up and love Chris (Kyle) on guitar and Ian (Chang) on drums. But Alec Spiegelman’s sax solo on “Doublethink” is so good. 
  • question: Who do you most look up to in the music industry? Do you have an ultimate goal for Lip Talk?
  • answer: I look up to the people staying true to themselves, staying creative, pushing themselves, and those who are lifting people up around them. (CHIKA, Kalbells, Cautious Clay, Chris Kyle, Nasimiyu, Angelica Bess, Hushpuppy, Hayley Williams, Joey Howard, Benjamin Lazar Davis, Ian Chang, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Questlove, Remi Wolf, etc.) The idea of fans and fandom feels very goofy to me but the idea of community feels like the future. I’d like to grow with a community of benevolent people who want and need music and art. I want to resource, be resourced, nurture and sustain creativity as a means of positive impact. A Patreon page is coming soon and I’m also looking forward to teaching at a music camp for girls this summer. 

we are excited for the girls attending the music camp, and we want to say thank you for the interview

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