Medusa synths, vocals, electronically manipulated organic sounds
Years Active 3? Publicly
Latest Release “Boy of the Year” – 2020
Local Artists We Should Know More About Addie L – they’re a Buffalo-based DJ who does the job so well
Current Album On Repeat “Schizophrenic” by JC Chasez but equally “After Hours” by The Weeknd
Photo by Justin Ruggiero
How is everyone holding up during this time?
I think we are all doing the best we can and taking it day by day. I’ve seen a generational shift more toward communal living, not in a physical sense but in a goods/services sense. It was always sort of the undercurrent of the regional scene in my age bracket, but it’s become way more pronounced now. People in the scene are buying each other’s beats/albums/merch so they can pay their electric bills/get food. People who travelled out of state before self-isolation became so heavy brought in masks/hand sanitizer/medicine/pantry goods that were out locally and post. Almost everyone I know has become unemployed. But we are still finding a way to provide for each other, knowing that if we need reciprocation, we can find it. That part’s heartening.
What would you consider your best show experience?
When 14 Trapdoors and Rodagues threw the Rodadoors 2 festival, they really did something unprecedented (except by Rodadoors 1 I guess) and it was the most fun and wholesome and artistic day/evening. Almost every hip-hop and hip-hop-adjacent act in Buffalo was there either performing or attending, and some travelled from out of the region to play. Every age group from toddlers to elders, every color and gender was there and felt at home, in the least corny and most organic way possible. People brought snacks, homemade and store-bought, pressed juices, drinks; people sold clothes and prints and were making paintings live. I handed out self-adhesive googly eyes and people put them on their faces. For a group of young artists to pull off something of that size and reach is incredible and I think it speaks to the strength of the local hip-hop scene. I spray painted a balaclava pink and performed sitting backwards on a chair and just masc’d out and felt totally at home, which has been historically difficult for me to access, especially after coming out. But there, everyone belonged and was thriving. Also I had just gotten my tonsils out and had open wounds in my throat but loved being there so much I didn’t even care.
Are you working on anything new / specific at this moment?
Boy of the Year was so massive and conceptual and emotionally charged for me that I’ve decided to move to working on releasing singles for a bit. I’m working on several tracks that I’m super into – a song called SKNWLKR, for one, which is an 80s-ish bop about a stalker, and a campy rap about gender that I remixed from a childhood cartoon’s theme song – they’re just unrelated to each other. So I’d rather let them have their moment alone in all their shining glory than hold them until I can squish them together into an album. I am, however, toying with the idea of an album that’s purely features. I think it would be fun to produce tracks for other artists in my circle, hand them off, see what they do it with them, and then finish them up.
What has your recording experience been like?
In a literal “recording” sense: wild to the point of it stressing other artists and professionals out. It’s impulsive, erratic, and highly mobile. Like, I’ve got all my cords in a bag, and I don’t have cases for my equipment, which is low-quality because it’s always in high-risk scenarios. I use a USB mic and my laptop and bring them with me everywhere. When I use my synthesizers (which I do mostly leave home because I don’t need them getting stolen) I sit with my knees to my chest, hunched over them like a goblin, on the bed or the floor. Basically, I don’t have a studio/setup; I use my car. I record in, like, old K-Mart parking lots.
Were you anywhere before Buffalo?
I moved here from Brooklyn. I’m not from Brooklyn, though, or here. I fully ended up here by accident, which is just as well because I also became Medusa by accident. But Buffalo has been my chosen hometown the way you have a chosen family and I love it and am grateful for it, so I consider it where I’m “from” now, at least as an artist.
Top 5 favorite Buffalo bands / artists?
I could name 20 (I will try not to.) 14 Trapdoors are close to my heart, those are truly my boys. Vice Versa is an insanely talented producer. Justin Ruggiero as a scene photographer is a phenom. Chango4 makes fresh, raw songs. Freak The Miighty are so talented – I think about their Lovecry video with Amya (ghosstontape) at least once a week. I know it’s 6 but think not mentioning Spacecubs would be ridiculous because those are some of the most intensely sensory and sensual shows I get to see, between the lights and the riffs and the drums and the otherworldly harmonies.
What are the ingredients to a thriving music/art scene?
I don’t know but I feel like Buffalo has them. It’s a great size while being manageable enough to act within it meaningfully. It is extremely DIY, so very little of its work is diluted by concerns of marketability. It is innately communal rather than competitive. There’s a cornucopia of perspectives and mediums and there’s so much crossover – you want something screen printed? You need a venue for your afterparty? A music video? A visual for a show? Vocals on your track? Somebody to loan you a mic? Promo photos? Graphics? Custom clothes? It’s all accessible. And being able to source or provide all different mediums to supplement your own or someone else’s art feeds the whole scene.
Photo by Justin Ruggiero