Music Spotlight: Disco Shrine
la-based indie/electro pop artist Disco Shrine just dropped her new single everyday, following Up in the Air, a track about her parents immigration to America from Iran, and both tracks have been our soundtrack to the current climate in America. we caught up with her on the releases + her recent video for Up In the air. + catch her set at Dance yourself clean at the satellite on november 17.
Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about the track Up In The Air, released earlier this year and your recent video for it.
Disco Shrine: Up In The Air was my first single since my last EP release. It's one of my most meaningful songs because it's inspired by my parents' journey to America after the Iranian Revolution. When my parents first told me the story of how they came to America, I was just so moved by it. It all sounded like a movie—escaping prison, fleeing the country, taking a military plane to America, etc. It made me look at my family so differently and feel really grateful for who I am, where I come from, and most importantly, the freedom that they made possible for me to have. So, as soon as I got into the studio it all just flooded out of me and we finished the song in an hour. With the video, I definitely took my time in making it. I knew I wanted to make something really special, because the story was so special to me. However, the biggest thing I learned from releasing the song before the video is how common my story really is and how many other people relate to it as well. I don't think a lot of people talk about what it's like to be a first generation American, especially in pop music. So, with the video, we didn't want to just portray my story; We wanted to show the everyday lives of first generation Americans who are working hard to build on the life that their parents made possible for them. I partnered with my director, Andrew Butte, who is also a first generation American, and we just bounced ideas off of each other until it was exactly what we wanted.
AM: What about Everyday?
DS: This song is a follow up to Up In The Air. Up In The Air is all about my parents immigrating to America in order to give me a better life. Everyday is all about seizing that opportunity and actualizing it. The sentiment of the chorus is ‘Every day I'm on my own’, but it's not meant to be a melancholy sentiment. It's meant to represent the hard work and 'grind’ that goes into achieving ‘the American dream’.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue through your music?
DS: I think freedom is a huge theme I tend to write about. A lot of my songs tend to be messages of empowerment, not letting anyone hold you back, and going after what you want. The next song I'm releasing has to do with this theme a lot.
AM: We fell in love with your music at your set at It's A School Night. Do you have any shows planned?
DS: Yay! That was such a fun show! I do! I [played] a ton of shows [recently] actually. I think the one I was most excited about was Hexxfest at USC. I opened for Dorian Electra who just went on tour with Charli XCX. She's such an amazing artist. I was super excited to play with her! [My next is] November 17 at Dance Yourself Clean at The Satellite in LA.
AM: What role does LA play in your music?
DS: LA plays such a huge role in my music. I'm a born and raised valley girl *hair flip*, so this city has always been my stomping grounds. It's where my love for music grew, and it's where I found and still find inspiration. I remember going to FYF in 2010 back when it was at LA Historic Park and watching artists play that are now some of my favorite artists today. LA is inherently filled with artists and dreamers that come from all around the world to turn their dreams into a reality. So, being raised in that kind of an environment and being a part of such an artistic community is what got me into music in the first place.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
DS: I love my fellow pop girls! I’ve been listening to a lot of Dorian Electra, Banoffee, Charli XCX, Phem, Holychild, Becky and the Birds, Tommy Genesis, Zella Day, Kehlani. And then I listen to a lot of sad boy rap too. Tyler the Creator’s last album is so good and Syre by Jaden Smith, too.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self/music?
DS: Weirdly enough, my car. Maybe it's just because of LA traffic culture since we spend so much time in our cars. I feel like whenever I'm driving through nature or down the coast or even in traffic, my mind is able to kind of blank out in a way that puts me in touch with my emotions. Some of the best top lines I've written have been in my car jamming out to a track or getting inspiration from my surroundings. Or even getting inspiration from a feeling I get listening to another song and then taking it all into a studio and turning it into something real.