We are very excited to kick off the newest section of OXD: Spotlight. Spotlight will focus on select artists and take a deeper look into their lives, their music and what moves them. There’s no better way to start this section than with our exclusive interview with the fierce and flawless princess of disco, Nomi Ruiz.
Be sure to come occupy with us this Friday night at XL Nightclub where Nomi will be performing with her band Jessica 6.
“There are gay clubs, there are straight clubs and then things also get segregated by styles of music. I miss when things were more eclectic and people came together from all across the board. Going out really felt like you were experiencing NY.”
OXD: There is clearly a disconnect with New York City and its nightlife as of recent. Obviously we are running this site as a corollary to that, and to trying to re-cultivate gay nightlife as a culture that celebrates cutting-edge music. We’ve heard unhappy rumblings from many that are a part of New York nightlife about its downward spiral – DJs, personalities, etc. What do you think is missing from the scene?
NOMI: For me it feels like things are very divided now in New York. There are gay clubs, there are straight clubs and then things also get segregated by styles of music. I miss when things were more eclectic and people came together from all across the board. Going out really felt like you were experiencing NY. It’s happening more now in smaller more gritty venues which I love. I also think it’s everyone’s responsibility to make things happen. The people who are usually complaining about the nightlife aren’t doing anything about making change. If YOU don’t then who is?
OXD: WE ARE! It seems that your music resonates really well with audiences abroad, like in Greece, where you have spent much of the past few months touring and recording. Why do you think that is? What would you say is the biggest difference between American audiences and those abroad?
NOMI: In America, people are more attracted to and aware of what the media is feeding them. You have to be in every magazine and on the “trendiest” blogs to even get people to listen to you. People overseas seem to really latch onto things that are underground and new. They want to find something that they can hold up like a flag. Something that represents who they are and how they feel, so they really put their all into supporting you. The feeling is incredible when all the love and support finally hits you out there, then you come back to America and you feel like you’re starting all over again. But now I have a great balance of both. I come home and I know I’ve reached the people who matter. They are constantly reminding me. I’ve finally found my place in it all.
OXD: Remixes have become so popular because they can take a song we already enjoy and turn it into something completely different and amazing. What are some of your favorite mixes of your songs? Are there any that you prefer to the original production? Who is on your wish list of artists that you would like to collaborate with and/or would like to hear them remix your songs?
NOMI: I love what Eliot did with his ‘Prisoner Of Love’ 1987 Remix
‘… and not just because he is in Jessica 6 now :) He really crafted his production around the vocals to take it to a new place. He’s such a talented producer. I also love Dim Vach’s ‘White Horse’ Seduction Mix and Eli Escobar’s mix of ‘White Horse’… he really brought the party out of that song. I would love to work with Johnny Jewel on anything! Xxx
OXD: Some people think that some of the younger gay crowd in NYC is resistant to getting to know artists that are not endorsed by the mainstream media. Why do you think that’s so?
NOMI: I think a lot of them actually do support artists who are not endorsed by the mainstream. I have a very good connection to my young gay fans in NY and I’m not mainstream at all.
“People overseas seem to really latch onto things that are underground and new. They want to find something that they can hold up like a flag.”
OXD: We hear there is a new Jessica 6 album in the works. Can you tell us a little bit about it? How has your sound evolved since See the Light?
NOMI: So far the album has been going in two different directions… deeper into the underground and sweeter in it’s pop moments. See The Light was written as a band with Andrew on bass & Morgan on keys. On the new record I’m working mainly with Eliot and there will also be appearances by others producers who are being kept secret at the moment ;)
OXD: Who are some of your biggest influences? What are you listening to right now?
NOMI: I’m obsessed with Lana Del Rey’s album… it’s all I listen to now. My biggest influences are Stevie Nicks, Sade, Mary J. Blige & Nina Simone.
OXD: In addition to performing, you’ve DJ’ed a few venues as well. We’ve seen many artists start to include DJing as part of their repertoire (for example Jake Shears’ alter ego: Krystal Pepsy). What do you like about DJing?
NOMI: I actually have been DJing a lot. I love it because since I’m a workaholic, it keeps me busy when I’m not on tour with a full band and also gives me the opportunity to get close and personal with my friends and fans all around the world.
OXD: If you had to get a song lyric tattoo, what would it be and why?
NOMI: “…for we creatures are the wind…” -Nina Simone ‘Wild Is The Wind’. I think it really sums up what life is.
OXD would like to send a special thank you to Marco Ovando for arranging this.