Annie O x Desert Nights Present: Naomi Greene & The Little Miss
Monday, April 30, 7-9PM
The Standard, East Village Penthouse
Free with an RSVP to AnnieO@StandardHotels.com
Annie O and Desert Nights Present: Naomi Greene & The Little Miss
ANNIE O: When did you arrive from France, and what was the reason that brought you to LA?
NAOMI GREENE: I moved to the US when I was 18. I had just worked as an actor on Bus Palladium and was starting to get attention for my music but I wanted to experience living in another country and it felt important at the time to take a step back and go to university, so that's what I did. I spent two
years at Bard and then went to Los Angeles when I realized I wanted to study harp, so I studied with renowned harpist Susie Allen at CalArts. I'm now living between LA and Paris.
How did you start playing the harp?
I started playing the harp when I was a child at the conservatory in Paris. I was fascinated and in love with that dreamy and majestic instrument. I stopped completely when I was a teenager, taught myself guitar, and started a rock band. That's how I started writing songs, so when I renewed my relationship with the harp in university, it was clear that I wanted to write songs with it.
You had a song in the cult french movie Bus Palladium in 2000, which was early on in your musical career. How did that come about?
My high school friend's aunt was a casting director and she had asked my friend if she knew any short-haired tomboy musicians her age. I fit the description at the time, so I showed up to the casting call and sang my songs. They really liked my song "Iron House," so it made it into the film and onto the soundtrack! It was all very spontaneous.
Are you currently working on a new album?
Yes, I am in the process of writing my first album!
What can we expect from your performance at The Annie O Music
Series with Desert Nights?
A stripped-down set on electric harp with blue velvet textures and cinematic impressions. Intimate music that you can groove to.
ANNIE O: Your upcoming EP is titled American Dream. In this particular social and political climate, what does the American dream mean to you?
THE LITTLE MISS: While the title track has some campy lyrics about blue jeans and apple pie, it's referencing a romantic notion of what, I think, we believe our society to be. Seemingly, at least, we've all bought into the idea that if we work hard enough, we're promised a bountiful future. Increasingly, this is not the case. It feels as though there's more disparity than ever, and yet, a lot of us are still bound to this outdated dream. I'd like to believe that we all want the same things in life: our basic needs met, health and safety, and our loved ones accounted for. We need to ask ourselves what—or, perhaps, who—is keeping us all from achieving this without, say, working two jobs or sacrificing personal wellbeing?
Are all of the tracks socially- or politically- oriented or are some more personal?
As much as I wish that I had cultivated the foresight to create a concept album, these songs are all bound by a feeling more than an idea. "A Ride Along the Mountain Valley," for instance, is a story about the decline of my first serious relationship, while "She's What We Need" was a song I wrote for the women's movement. In the end, it's all under the umbrella of 'living-under-the-conditions-of-our-current-society.' But then again, what album is not that?
You mention the women's movement in "She's What We Need." Is that something you feel passionate about?
I feel passionately about the lack of representation for all people of minority races, genders, sexual orientations, etc. We're entirely unbalanced. One gender and one race has held all the cards for too long. If we're going to cure what ails us, we need to establish—for the first time—balance, representation, and inclusion in all aspects of modern society.
Are you afraid of being outspoken as an artist? Do you fear polarizing a potential audience?
Of course. Nobody wants to be harassed or demonized for communicating their point of view. That said, it feels irresponsible to keep quiet when there are people who are being harassed and demonized just for being who they are. You know, without saying a word—quite literally, just by being themselves. Said another way: "I can't keep quiet."
On a final note, what are your thoughts on blue jeans and apple pie?
Levi's and apple crumb. Don't fight me on this.