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Following the dissolution of her band MEN, JD Samson is forging ahead as a solo artist. In advance of her show at Yo! Sissy Festival Berlin, Joey Hansom spoke with the musician, DJ and label owner about her next moves

JD Samson © Sophia Wallace

JD, there's been an evolution from MEN – your first post-Le Tirgre album – to JD Samson & MEN – the second – and now you're moving forward simply as JD Samson. Is it more that you are stripping things down and presenting yourself as a solo artist, or rather that you are building things up and constructing your name and image into a “brand"? I hadn't thought of it either way, to be honest. The reality is more emotional. MEN was a collective of 5 feminist artists living in NYC and working on making conceptual dance music. As shapes shifted with members leaving, we began focusing on different things, and made a lot of changes to the way we were making work. Adding "JD" to the name was a business decision based on both search engines, and another band called The Men. (Boring, but real). The decision to become "JD Samson" had a lot to do with losing the name MEN. I really felt as though the project had changed so much, and that I didn't want to use the name that meant totally different things to me. Different people. Different feelings. At this point I am finding out who I am as a performer, and the best name I could think of was my own! 

What is your new live setup like? Does anyone else join you onstage? YES! My performance (in general) is much about being possessed by the music my bandmates are playing, (it always has) and for me, Tammy Hart and Lorna Dune will be giving me everything to keep me alive for this show. We also play with Aaron Harris on drums, but he won't be joining us for this show, so I will be programming drums for this gig. 

And what are you going to play? Songs from all times of my career, as well as new songs. Taking it back to take it back. You know? 

Is there anyone on the Yo! Sissy lineup you can recommend in particular? Definitely go see Hi Fashion. They will be joining us for a song during my set. Christeene is fucking amazing live and so is Cakes Da Killa. All really hard workers that are really great at their craft. 

And is there anyone you haven't seen but really want to? Really excited to see Born in Flamez and obviously Crystal Waters!  

Aside from performing, DJing and throwing parties in NYC, you're also co-running the label Atlas Chair to expose newer talent. What can you tell us about the Claude Violante EP coming out this month? We are super excited to release Claude Violante's EP in the states. Her song "No Mercy" has been on repeat for the past 6 months, and I'm super excited to propel her music into another realm. 

And what can we expect from the label in the future? The label has a few more releases this year, some of which are on the lineup for the festival! It has been super amazing to promote the work of other artists after so much time promoting my own work. I have felt a new an reinvigorated love for the music listening community, and the music industry in general. I'm really excited to be able to share these artists with the rest of the world, and to be able to give them a boost in the right direction. I didn't realize how much knowledge I had gained from micromanaging my career for all these years, but I feel really confident with my work with Atlas Chair and couldn't be more proud of what Inge Colsen and I are doing! 


Dieser Text auf Deutsch hier

Yo! Sissy Music Festival Berlin featuring JD Samson live, 24.07., 20:00, SchwuZ. And live: Hidden Cameras, Hi Fashion, Justus Köhncke
25.07., 14:00, Neue Heimat. Live: Crystal Waters, Cakes Da Killa, Hard Ton
26.07., 20:00, SO36. Live: Christeene, Born in Flamez, Alexander Geist, Evvol



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