Right. With my record someone may think of it as a failure. But I’m extremely proud and totally honored that the type of record that I did was able to connect with people with virtually no radio airplay or major outlets backing it. I think artists like Janelle are phenomenal. Her music speaks for itself. It may not get a ton of mainstream radio play, but it’s serving it’s own community. And that’s how I see my music.
You recently started DJing. Is this a serious hobby?
I’m so serious [laughs]. I always wanted to DJ, but I never had the time or the equipment to learn. I have too much respect for too many DJ’s to just start spinning with a CD changer. So my sister and brother got me a pair of turntables for my birthday last year. I started experimenting with it, but I realized that I needed a real tutor because it was harder than I thought it would be. So I called Tip and asked if he could give me a crash course. We did a three-day boot camp where he basically put on “Impeach The President” on both sides and made me beat match over and over again. Tip was screaming, “Go!” and I’m sweating crazy because it was totally old school. I picked it up in three days. I started DJing some parties in Houston because there wasn’t a place that musically reached out to the alternative folks. I invited a bunch of my friends and we basically had these crazy ‘70s parties in Houston in this club that was a total sweatbox. I played a bunch of Isley Brothers, Chaka and Grizzly Bear records.
The Isley Brothers and Grizzly Bear? Now that’s an interesting mix.
Oh, it definitely can happen. It’s all about not letting the genres alienate you and learning that the intro to Grizzly Bears’ “Two Weeks” sounds a lot like Jay’s “Hard Knock Life.” That’s so interesting to me as a DJ because I’m starting to have faith in music again. I play to such a variety of crowds and I never sacrifice my playlist. I’ve learned about these records that work everywhere no matter what the demographic: The Cardigans’ “Lovefool;” Dee-Light’s “Groove Is In The Heart”…That always works. And of course Biggie’s “Juicy.” You start dissecting why these records work everywhere from the gay clubs to the ‘hood. I was just glad to be around some women. Because at the same time I was recording my album with a bunch of guys.
Too much testosterone?
Exactly. I took a lot of video footage to use for a documentary, so people will be able to see how crazy it got. I was the only girl with five dudes. So there were definitely times where I would just say, “I just need to be around some chicks!” I was so sick of seeing penises everywhere I looked [Laughs]. The toilets were always up; dirty socks were on the floor. It sounds so girly, but living in the house with five male musicians who are all used to touring, there were some times when I needed one girl-talk. Everybody was waking up talking about chicks and I’m jus like, Yeah…[Laughs].