FYIG recently had the chance to chat with Indie/Electro Artist Disco Shrine. Find out more about her new single, the origins or her name, and much more right here!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Jessica. I love Persian Ice Cream. I’m secretly very basic. My two favorite places in the world are Ireland and Italy. My favorite reality tv right now is Bachelor in Paradise. I just discovered “Bird”ing and it’s the best thing ever. And I just dyed my hair blonde for the first time!
You taught yourself guitar and banjo at age 16. How difficult was it to do that all by yourself and what inspired you to do it?
It was very difficult! I remember being so mad when I was first learning how to play the C Chord because my fingers just didn’t want to do it. But practice makes perfect and there was no greater feeling than the first time I wrote a song on guitar. My sister and I were really into folk music at the time and were constantly going to concerts and live shows. It got to a point where we loved it so much we wanted to learn how to make it together. It was great having her alongside me when I first started. We would write songs together and sing them at open mics and venues. It definitely brought us closer together.
How did you come up with the name Disco Shrine?
Disco Shrine came around when I first started writing the first EP, Soft Fur. At that time, I was going through a really hard break up, but I wanted to try and do everything possible to not be upset and to use music as my therapy. So, Disco Shrine is symbolic of this amazing, fun happy place (Disco), and the passion and spiritual need for it (Shrine).
How would you describe your musical style?
I am Electro Dance Persian Barbie Glitter wave trap Pop. But actually, I would say my music is a blend of upbeat dance beats and soft, sensual melodies and lyrics. The singer-songwriter in me is still alive and kicking! But I do love experimenting with hip-hop beats. Give me some 808’s and some trap hats and I’m a happy camper 🙂
You released your first EP Soft Fur in 2015. What did you learn from that experience and how have you evolved since then?
That seems like such a longgg time ago. I’ve honestly grown sooo much since then both musically and personally. Back then I felt like I was figuring things out and clinging on to music as a way of therapy. I feel like now, I have a really clear vision of who I am, what I like, what I don’t, and what is important to me. I also think by releasing up in the air and putting so much of personal self out there to the public; it’s helped me be more comfortable with who I am and with expressing that.
You also became an official Lights and Music Collective DJ, touring all throughout the U.S. and performing at iconic parties like Dance Yourself Clean, Candi Pop, and Beyonce Vs Rihanna. What has that experience been like and is that still something that you enjoy doing?
It has literally been surreal. Sometimes I feel like I live this second life that none of my friends know about. Because I’m traveling to different cities playing at major venues in front of 1000+ people consistently and then I just come home and go back to my normal life. I’m also responsible for the happiness and memories of all those people in that one night. It’s a huge responsibility and such a blessing. It’s really taught me to be so comfortable on stage and how to gauge audiences. It’s also helped me realize how powerful music is and why I love it so much. Like for the Beyonce vs Rihanna parties, for example, people stand all the way in the front the entire time and know all of the songs and go crazy over each song. It feels like this community of people that are coming together for this common love and in that moment nobody cares about the normal social pressures you would care about, but instead, it’s like everyone is family for that one night. I’m probably coming off super cheesy but it’s true! Haha But I’m not going to lie, the dream is to one day have everyone front row going crazy and singing along to my songs <3
Your latest single Up in the Air was inspired by your parents immigrating to America from Iran in the 70s. You just released the music video for Up in the Air. Take us through the video and the decision to make it more about the hardships and possibilities of everyone who has made that journey.
This music video is an ode to all immigrants and first generations Americans who are trying to build a home here and accomplish their dreams. We have a fashion designer making modern Japanese garments, a latina dancer washing her clothes after a long day of ballet practice, a student grabbing groceries after a long day of school, a track racer struggling to practice hurdles, and more. It’s just a small glimpse into the many lives of immigrants or first generations who now have a fighting chance at following their dreams and aren’t taking that for granted.
With this video, I didn’t want to just tell my story because it’s really not just my story. It’s bigger than that. It’s the story of all of my friends and most of the people in America. I mean none of us are really from here to begin with but we’re all out here trying to follow our dreams and it’s scary and challenging but also beautiful and unifying. I really wanted that to come across. I wanted people that watched my video to leave feeling empowered and knowing that they’re not alone in this experience.
When it flashes back to old VHS footage of us as children, it’s to serve as a reminder of our roots and family. I worked with Andrew Butte (director) for my last music video. I knew that for this video, I wanted to incorporate old footage of my family when they first came to America. So I sent him my ideas and together we created this amazing concept. We also brought the same DP and editor back on board, Dakota Adney and Minh Bui, who really helped bring the visuals to life. It was definitely a dream team <3
We also used projection mapping to put visuals over my face that made it so that you can only see my eyes or only my lips and then you would get flashes of my whole face, and in the background, we had old footage of my family when they first came to America. Essentially that was symbolic of how our voice or experiences are sometimes silenced or should be something to be embarrassed about and how our identities are sometimes blanketed.
What’s next for your career? Do you have any plans for a full-length album?
I have so many songs I’ve written and can’t wait to share with the world. I have a new song coming out soon called Everyday and it’s a follow up to Up In The Air. So Up In The Air is all about coming to America, and every day is about seizing the opportunities once you’re here. Can’t wait for people to hear it <3
Is there anyone in the industry that you dream of working with one day?
Kanye West and Charli XCX. Kanye is such a musical genius. I really admire his confidence and his undeniable ability to be himself and nothing else. I feel like I could learn so much from him. Also, Charli is just queen! She’s such an amazing songwriter I just want to get in her brain and dissect it. Is that creepy? lol
What advice would you give to aspiring singers?
You got this! Don’t ever let anyone discourage you. Figure out what you love, what you want, who you are and run full force with it until you get it! Knowledge is power! If you want to be in the music industry, learn how to wear all the hats, because at the end of the day the only person you can continuously rely on is yourself. *mic drop*
What’s a day in your life outside of the studio like?
I’m probably in the jacuzzi reading a book, watching bad reality tv, or scheming my next big move. Most likely the latter.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
Find me online!!