Melissa Carpio - July 2020
Conversations with Artists: Blasfemmeous
BLASEFEMMOUS aka Ali Anglin is a DJ/Producer based in NYC and a former Bay Area resident. We caught up with her on everything music, art and style and the intersection of all three!
Glass empty or half full?
Half full, but conscious of why the other half isn’t there.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of your background and how you ended up where you are?
I'm currently in NYC, where I was born and raised. I lived in the Bay (and Spain for a bit) and moved back to NYC last Fall. New York City has definitely influenced my musical ear. I grew up listening to so much jazz because my dad is a jazz enthusiast. I actually wanted to be a jazz singer when I was little, that's how much I loved it. But I got vocal nodes at age 9, had to have surgery, and was told not to sing again until I was 18 more or less. I channeled my creative energy into other artistic pursuits after that, but when I went to college, I returned to music. I began throwing concerts (I threw a series headlining various women rappers like BIA and CupcakKe), taking some audio engineering classes, hanging out with a bunch of musicians, and ultimately teaching myself how to produce electronic music. A lot of my musical influence is also informed by the time I spent in Spain. Not so much music that is unique to Spain itself, but the greater prevalence of electronic dance music in Europe in general. This past summer, I was in Barcelona and Bilbao for DJing work. When I wasn't working, I spent most of my time in clubs in Barcelona. Nightlife was so different there than my experiences in SF, LA, and NYC, and that also played a big role in my evolution as a DJ and producer.
What are some current projects or obsessions?
Releasing my second single, Girl Galactica in collaboration with F8keChemicalClub, a Seoul-based fashion label.
What’s one thing you believed to be true about your work that you don’t believe anymore?
I used to think that in order to start producing music, I should be a highly skilled instrumentalist in one or more instruments that I use in the music I create. The truth is that’s not what makes or breaks a good producer. Producing music (especially electronic music) requires a variety of different skills in combination, and is uniquely different from being a traditional instrumentalist.
What defines good music for you?
My answer would vary based on genre, but there are some qualities of good music I believe are essential across all genres. One is that the music is produced with care and attention to detail. Another is that, while no music is completely original, the music should be bringing something unique to the conversation (and I don’t necessarily mean through lyrics).
On Inspiration, SF and Style
"ONLY 2% OF ALL PRODUCERS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ARE WOMEN....BUT THE VOICES THAT ARE OUT THERE ARE STRONG AND PRODUCING AMAZING WORK."
What are the biggest challenges you face in your creative journey?
The two biggest challenges for me are pushing past my own hesitations or doubts and also that gear to produce music and DJ at a professional level is expensive.
Who or what inspires you?
Women in music, and especially other women producers and DJs, inspire me. Only 2% of all producers in the music industry are women. Which is insane and very discouraging. But the voices that are out there are strong and producing amazing work (example: Grimes). That inspires me to continue my work.
Favorite SF neighborhood and any underrated spaces?
The Mission. The Immigration Center for Women and Children (beautiful exterior and site of important work).
Least favorite thing about the Bay?
The affordable housing crisis and takeover by the tech industry.
Do you have a personal style mantra?
My high school principal used to say “School is not a fashion show” as justification for his strict dress code. But honestly to me everywhere is a fashion show. My rebuttal was always “Yes it is…?” haha.
I always think about balance when I’m putting together a look. This could be the balance between baggy and tight aspects of the outfit, pattern versus solid color, etc. I think you can definitely have more than one big statement piece in an outfit, but it has to be somehow thoughtfully balanced with the rest of the ensemble.
What are your timeless style pieces?
Bomber jackets!! I have three key bombers jackets in my wardrobe. And jumpsuits! Oh and also colorful mascara. I wear pink and blue mascara more than I do black mascara honestly.
On the World & Random Tidbits
"A HIDDEN TALENT OF MINE – I'M A SECOND DEGREE BLACKBELT IN TAEKWONDO"
What could we be doing more of?
Listening to people whose experiences are different from our own, paying attention to history, and paying attention to what is happening within and outside our own communities. And VOTING.
Guilty pleasure reads/movies/habits/food?
Not guilty about them, but some things I enjoy: La Casa de Las Flores, Insecure, reading the New York Times and El Pais, yoga, cupcakes, pad see ew, spinach, gnocchi, and of course, the clubbb.
Manspreading, mansplaining, and cancel-culture.
How can we save the world?
Increasing access to education, reducing inequality, eliminating extreme poverty, fighting for human rights globally, fighting racism, acknowledging and acting in response to climate change, calling out and resisting all forms of injustice, promoting democracy.
"A lot of my musical influence is also informed by the time I spent in Spain. Not so much music that is unique to Spain itself, but the greater prevalence of electronic dance music in Europe in general."
Shop the Blasefemmeous Edit. Ali's eyewear picks for summer and beyond: