STANDARD CULTURE: I just read that you have been "Cutting your teeth in NYC, blossoming in LA and coming to maturity in Paris" which I think is a good summary of your career so far. What were the greatest memories of those three steps?
LOUISAH: Oh man, what a challenging question! I mean, New York has my heart forever. I was born and raised as a 'boroughbred', so the city has so many memories for me. This is an intense story, but on the night I turned 20, I went up to the rooftop of my apartment at the time, on Mulberry Street, and offered a lock of hair, spit and blood to the night, praying that the city would keep me safe for another 20 years. Less than 5 months later I was in rehab in LA, so I guess the prayer worked.
Was it hard to get used to LA?
It took a while to adjust to the West Coast. For the first year I was here I vowed to move back about every 30 days. Then I got into a relationship, got more settled, found 'my people', started to get comfortable. I do a lot of mountain running here, especially in Griffith Park, and there are numerous occasions that I have been running up a mountain into a sunrise, weeping with joy because I get this life. Like, at least once a month this kind of thing happens. It's kind of ridiculous.
What about Paris?
Paris is all about new memories, but playing Social Club has been really special, a book-end of my experience there thus far. It was the first place I played in the city, in 2011, kind of an inauguration just before Bromance was born. I played the Bromance night there recently, and before my set, Louis gave me a hug and said 'Welcome Home' and it really feels like that. I am so excited for this new phase.
Louisahhh!!! Tap My Wire (Bromance Records #9, out April 22)
'Blossoming in LA' makes me think of Todd Edwards' interview about the new Daft Punk album. He explained that they made him discover LA, cruising on Mulholland Drive and he got it, had this vision of 'paradise'. Do you have the same romantic feeling about life in Los Angeles?
Running into a sunrise weeping wasn't enough? (Laughs) My last couple of weeks in LA before the Paris move were really spectacular. I wanted to savor everything so I tried to stay really present. We threw a massive going away party at an amazing after hours warehouse where Pipes and Thee Mike B played, and it was so special. The whole city felt like it was shining, peacocking for me, showing its best self. It made my heart burst with love for Los Angeles.
What made you come back to New York?
Love of the city. New York might kill me one day but it's got me forever.
You made a very big impression last time you played at Le Bain X Bromance. You seemed very focused, very serious about your mixing, very quiet too and we could feel you had the crowd in your hands. When mixing, do you feel in your own world or are you very conscious of what's happening around?
I am so serious. It's a bit absurd. Manu, who is the 'dad' of Bromance and Savoir Faire, is always like "Louisahhhh! It is not brain surgery! Loosen up!". That last Bromance party at Le Bain was a blast... It's so nice when the crowd is really excited, really willing to be taken wherever you're going. I take the responsibility of 'DJ' very seriously. I want you to have a great night.
Brodinski feat. Louisahhh!!! Let The Beat Control Your Body
As a DJ what is the most satisfying thing for you?
There is this 'sweet spot' where you create a feedback loop between the music and the crowd and your own heart, so it becomes possible to intuit what the crowd wants to hear before they even know what they want, and give it to them like a gift. It is being entirely present, in a state of Grace, certainly... It becomes a spiritual endeavor. It feels like falling in love or something, because you feel what you're giving the audience reflected back at you tenfold.
And as a singer?
This is more scary than DJing because I haven't been 'out' about being a singer for too long, it's a role I am just beginning to own. It's really exhilarating though, to put yourself out there and let that same current I just talked about run through you, through your body and your voice. It's a more vulnerable place - a greater risk, a greater reward.
You are the 'First Lady of Bromance' which probably make a lot of other ladies very jealous. Any weird stories to share with us?
A lady never tells.
Transcend Mix by Louisahhh!!! for i-D
Did you see this Resident Advisor video about Nina Kraviz on tour? It has this very melancholic vibe, which is surprising but seems very right.
I think Nina Kraviz's 'Behind the Beats' was very telling. This is my first year touring at this level, and it only looks like it's going to build from here, which is exciting. I didn't know that getting what I wanted would look and feel like this, though. It is a very solitary place. I do very well with pining, with solitude - I want to cry a little on the dance floor. When you play, and you can get intimate with the crowd and everyone lets their guard down and has feelings, that's something very special. Music has healed my heart over and over again. I only hope to do that favor for others.
What about your perfect Bromantic moment?
It's interesting, I just recently had an epiphany about what 'Bromance' means to me. I abhorred the idea of being a romantic for so long; I don't appreciate saccharine sentimentality or frothy emotional appeal. For me, a true Bromance is to be constantly falling in love with all of it, with life, with people, with experience - with oneself, even - fearlessly and ferociously. It's romance without the roses, it's unsentimental and an incredibly brave and challenging way to live. We are the savage side of real Love, and I am so grateful to be in Bromance, on every level.
This Tuesday April 16, Le Bain X Bromance Records Pop-Up at The Standard, Hollywood. Featuring Louisahhh!!! & Friends, Pipes and other surprises to be announced. 'Transcend' Louisahhh!!! new record is out April 22nd.