GOLDEN BOY PRESS INTERVIEW #237
“ANA LOLA ROMAN is a multi-faceted persona. The New York via London & Berlin songstress is a woman of many talents; simultaneously a producer, DJ, choreographer, multi-instrumentalist and highly skilled composer, she is embarking on the self-release of her new album and EP slated for release this spring.” Her eccentric personality shows in her dimensional sound, creating electronic music that breaks the bounds of limited genre labeling and has moved onto her individual Henna – Pop, now transforming that into a deeper Space Soul sound. Performing live is one of her many passions, her Dj sets are unbelievable, the complete opposite of some of the regurgitated mainstream radio hits. We’re very excited to have had this lovely talk with ANA and we hope this sheds some light onto her story!
Could you introduce yourself?
Roman Sun in Gemini Rising Taurus Moon in Scorpio spirit born on Ionian
Moon of Jupiter
Why music? What started it all?
A horrible fall from gymnastics. Collar bone broken. 6 months in a brace
at the age of 8. Parents thought: no more athletics. Just Piano. Submerge
her in Piano. I had an excessive amount of energy in my body and hands.
I’m happy my parents didn’t subscribe to the “oh dear god she’s too hyper,
she has A.D.D., let’s put her on medication…” philosophy. And to this day
the music mania is alive and still kicking.
What’s your life philosophy? How do you try to apply that to your work?
I try and imagine any endeavor like it’s the first time I’m visiting
space. How did Sally Ride feel on her way there? Well, it doesn’t
matter…what matters is her attempt, her preparation, her determination.
Pure focus. Pure heart. Pure learning. If it’s easy, you’re doing it
wrong. If you’re paying attention to what everyone else is doing, you’re
going to piss off the muses. Stay true, stay fierce, GO AMAZON.
How has touring various places enriched your music?
Absolutely. I win them all, but goddamn it when you lose one you never
forget. I had a producer come up to me in Hamburg, Germany and demand his
20 Euro back after he saw one of my performances. I said, why? He said,
“Because I hear your guts in your recordings but you hid it on stage
tonight. We wanted to see your guts…” From that day forward, I’ve never
failed to BRING IT.
When working a DJ set, what do you feel makes you stand out more in your performance?
My own music stands alone. Producing my own music gives a certain polish
and adds to the DJ sets. However, DJ sets feed the fire of my productions,
writing, and overall creativity. I think it’s important to share your
musical headspace in the world through your DJ sets, and then apply your
overall passions, methods, and techniques in performance and productions.
It’s really like a holy trinity for me, DJ sets, Production, then
Performance. Some take longer than others, but you can’t rush a good thing.
What are your thoughts on the role feminism has been playing in music
today? Do you feel that this generation is making a change for the
I don’t do this because I’m doing it for one particular gender, I’m doing
this because I want to create a space of happiness, a space of wonder, and
a space of innovation for the whole world. If I make a difference in
musical feminism, it’s purely by circumstance. I grew up at a time when
women were already being recognized for their innovations in music. But
back in the early 2000’s and late 90’s there was nothing really being said
about women who produced their own tracks, who programmed, DJ’d, who were purely plugged into the machine. That one was for the boys. But it’s very
apparent that right now I’m on the cusp of a new shift when it comes to
women in music. Being a part of a community like FEMALE PRESSURE and
DISCWOMAN has given me the realization that it’s not about feminism, it’s
something deeper. It’s about our collective musical abilities, voices, and
minds being recognized. One day I yearn for a time and place where we no
longer have to talk about feminism, male, female, gender types. I yearn
just to have conversations about the collective human race immortalizing
our civilization in art, music, and technology. We need to get beyond the
he/she thing. I mean, isn’t that the object of the game, afterall?
Could you tell us your in-depth definition of Henna-Pop?
I’ve moved beyond Henna Pop. Right now I’m building up my own ideas of
“Space Soul” sort of like an Intergalactic Space Mama waving her finger at
the cosmos with a deep beat and sharp synths behind her while she’s riding
What are three of your go-to albums, and why?
Fad Gadget “Back to Nature” – Listening to this album, listening to Frank
Tovey, makes me realize I’m not alone in this world. I had a hard time
feeling a connection with the music around me growing up. Until I listened
to his lyrics, his words, and his composing. I thought, here’s someone
that’s broke out, has moved beyond. He made all his synths when he didn’t
have a penny to his name. He went straight for the guttural. I’m
constantly learning from him.
Autechre- Chiastic Slide
I did a semester in Wales at the age of 22. I would take the occasional
train ride into Manchester on weekends to check out the local record
stores and go to clubs because I secretly knew this was going to be a
wonderful musical education. I hadn’t heard of Autechre until I
accidentally saw them live on one of my excursions to Manchester. A friend
at school got me into the show for free because he knew it was going to
change my life…only because I had no idea what I was going to do after
school or why the hell I was even on planet Earth. It opened up a whole
new headspace for me. The one thing I love about this album is that I’m
hearing something new in it all the time. It’s truly music for the 23rd
Century. It also taught me to deeply push the way I listen to sound
structures, arrangements, and soundscapes.
Fatima Al Qadiri- Asiatisch
I guess you could say my ‘Henna Pop’ phase was about cultural
appropriation, but it’s not. It was about taking my heritage from Spain
(400 years of Moorish Influence, Flamenco, Sephardic, and Jewish
influences) and pairing that with an industrial, dance, and electronic
sound to fully emit the creativity I was feeling at the time.
Miraculously, no one slammed me for it. When done in a mindful way, you
can communicate how much you love another culture and how much it’s in
your blood, how it speaks to you, without having to STEAL it from itself.
Fatima did the same with Asiatisch. The interweb of culture, future
technology, and ancient rites is really felt on that album. It makes me
proud that I pushed Henna Pop, also I see clearly that Fatima is
pushing the doors open for so many other ladies who have something to say
about cultures and what they face in a purely technological future.
If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
What’s the biggest inspiration that lies behind your music?
How would you personally define success?
That I’m doing what I love everyday. That I’m making people happy. That I
currently have enough money to buy an amazing Mexican meal, a nice pair of
shoes, more musical equipment and studio time. Anything else is just
excessive, and asking for trouble.
When you go back to your older work, what are your immediate feelings?
I had to interview Goldfrapp (Alison Goldfrapp) in her Mute Records office
once when I was serving an internship at a school paper. I’ll never forget
one thing she told me: “You need to realize this is a learning process,
it’s not about an end result. Learn everything, listen, listen to your
instinct. You’ll be fine. Just learn.”
Where do you find sanctuary in the rush of the music world, where do you find peace?
I go from one extreme to the next. I exhaust myself tremendously in NYC.
DJ Gigs, writing, recording, vocals, subway rides from Manhattan to
Bushwick, more work, gym, yoga, I go hard. Then I find myself upstate in
Phoenicia, New York where I listen to NO music, unplug, and only have the
sounds of the trees, streams, and wind. I have to hear my thoughts, I have
to hear what I’ve just processed. I have to hear my soul. Otherwise I get
trapped in a wall of sound. Also, I find New Yorkers start to get overly
competitive and self-conscious of their endeavors. People are showing up
for the sake of themselves rather than for the sake of supporting the
cause. In order for this not to affect me, I have to get out sometimes.
Listen to my heart. I’m also a sensitive person. Some people think I’m a
bit of a stone wall, impenetrable, absolutely got it together. Well,
that’s not entirely true. It’s not me being enigmatic, it’s not me being
difficult, it’s me protecting myself. I’m the most vulnerable person I
know….this is why I need to sit by the bonfire sometimes and cry, laugh,
cry some more…and let the banshees out.
Are there any other projects you have your heart set on for the future,
that you don’t mind sharing?
I’m currently finishing my EP out this spring/summer with title track
video. More DJ sets, and focused on Production. I’m also working with
Global Mixx Radio on my new Radio Show coming out this spring. I want to
feature new DJ’s and Producers on it.
What makes you happy?
Fish Tacos, Margaritas with my friends, Laughter, Love, Music, Dark
Chocolate. Wine. Shoes.
Any closing comments?
“I wasn’t really scared. I was very excited, and I was very anxious. When
you’re getting ready to launch into space, you’re sitting on a big
explosion waiting to happen.” Sally Ride, the 1st American Female
Astronaut to visit Space