All words: Sam Blodgett
BYGays Ed. Note: You can catch Jessica 6 TONIGHT (!!) at the BYGays AllCity Happy Hour at U Street Music Hall — the last one for the summer. Oh and PS, besides DJs Bil Todd, TIGHT F∆NG, Popchips and $5 Smirnoff drinks, we’ll have sick prizes to raffle off as usual, including tickets to Blowoff, Yelle, Of Montreal, Uh Huh Her, and cover for RAW, Mixtape, Phase 1 and Peach Pit. We love you right.
Jessica 6 is sex. They are also a Brooklyn-based trio fronted by the stunning Nomi Ruiz whose music blurs the boundaries between nu-disco, R&B, and funk. They’ve released a slew of super-hyped singles that cause us to be uncomfortably warm at work and induce irrepressible pelvic movements. Did we say their music is sex?
The band first met as part of Hercules & Love Affair’s live act—Nomi Ruiz sang on tracks like “You Belong”, Andrew Raposo played bass, and Morgan Wiley was on keys. After debuting their track “Fun Girl” in 2009, Jessica 6’s debut album is about to drop next month on May 24th. Their newest single, which makes us want to strut around our living room in a satin corset and 5-inch black velvet heels, is called White Horse. Check out the video, directed by Marco Ovando:
Nomi was cool enough to answer a few of our questions. Check out the interview to learn about Nomi’s favorite Spice Girl, her relationship with the queer community, and the songs she likes best on the dance floor.
BYGays: Before I pick your brain, just want to put this on the table: WE’RE BIG FANS. Really looking forward to the show on Friday.
NR: Thanks so much! So are we!!
BYGays: What is the best thing a fan can say about your music?
NR: That it moved or inspired them in some way.
BYGays: Your music before Hercules & Love Affair was more hip-hop and R&B. What does that background and your time with H&LA bring to your new music?
NR: I really got to fuse some of my hip hop & R&B background into the Jessica 6 album since I was really hands on with Morgan & Andrew while writing and producing the record. You can hear what influenced us while on the road with H&LA as well as what has influenced all of us musically through out our lives.
BYGays: What are your influences for Jessica 6’s music videos? Are there particular artists or films from which you pull inspiration?
NR: The Fun Girl video which was directed by Bijoux Altamarino really came out of her vision. I feel she understood the mystery, danger and power of the song and It really came through in the end. The White Horse video which was directed by Marco Ovando started off with a biker theme. Once Ava Sanjurjo came in as stylist along with Marco & I it really took it’s own shape. It was all very improvised but wound up paying homage to NY and night life. People say it reminds them of a Guess ad which I love!
BYGays: We couldn’t help but notice your dancing in Holy Ghost!’s “I Will Come Back” video. What three artists are your favorite on the dance floor?
NR: Yay! You spotted me! That was fun. I love to dance to Robyn, Nicki Minaj and Boney M.
BYGays: What about Jessica 6 would surprise us the most?
NR: I think the way we switch from dance, to R&B and psychadelia. People expect us to be a straight up dance band but there are many more elements to our sound that you really get to see during our live show and hear on our record ‘See The Light’
BYGays: What was the first song you heard that made you realize you wanted to be a musician?
NR: Tiffany: I think we’re alone now
BYGays: As you know, you have tons of fans in the queer community. How do you feel your queer-ness influences and contributes to your music?
NR: I think there’s a close connection to the queer community with what I do because I really try to represent freedom and being fearless.
BYGays: You’ve mentioned that New York’s music scene is on the rise. Which of these up-and-coming artists are you listening to, and who should your fans check out?
NR: I love this band out of Greenpoint called 2’s & 4’s. You can read up on them here.
BYGays: We heard Jessica 6 had quite the time in Istanbul… it may have involved a hotel fire. How is life on tour and do you have any other good stories to share?
NR: Wow! Word travels! There are definitely many adventures on the road withJessica 6. It sometimes feels like we’re in a movie. I was recently kidnapped by 2 taxi drivers in Moscow. They drove me over 2 hours out of town till I started to cry then they drove me 3 more hours finally to my hotel! I missed soundcheck but made it just in time
for the show…
BYGays: If one thing could happen to you while you’re in DC, what would it be?
NR: Michelle Obama would come to our show.
BYGays: Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary, or Sporty?
NR: Sporty! She’s realness!