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Artist Features

Olivia Neutron-John and Beyond

Photo by A.F. Cortés

Olivia Neutron-John is the project of Anna Nasty, self-described as post-bro. A new categorization that challenges the idea that we live in a “post-feminist” society. If you open your eyes to it, you will see that Olivia Neutron-John transcends genre and gender altogether. Olivia Neutron-John is more than a one-person act; it’s a musical project with defiant intentions and an earth-shattering sound. We asked Olivia to put together some favorite songs of the last years and asked a few questions ahead of Sunday 3/18 with The Blow @ Elsewhere [zone one]. Read up!

Talk to us about how this project came about for you

I had this Casio for years that I didn’t understand how to play, but I kept it around because I was fascinated by the drum machine, space sounds and fake wood paneling. In 2013, I had a pretty bad concussion that left me bedridden and confused for a couple months. Somehow the Casio was one of the only things that made sense to me. I started to write songs with it, and those songs ended up being Injury Train and I’m Never Getting Off It.

Your sound is extremely distinct and well crafted, how do you go about writing these songs? How do the lyrics come about?

Thank you. I still have no idea how to play piano. The songwriting is all intuitive. I see where the machine takes me. And lyrics, I don’t know, they come from everywhere. Sometimes words are there before any music. 16 BEAT is inspired by a quote from Octavia E. Butler’s unfinished novel Parable of the Trickster.

“There’s nothing new
under the sun,
but there are new suns.”

What are some of your influences when it comes to being a live performer?

Alan Vega for their confrontation and swinging a motorcycle chain around. Adris Hoyos of Harry Pussy for their power, ferocity and humor. And Ron Mael of Sparks for their blank stare.

What are you currently listening to?

I can’t stop listening to CCFX. Anything Mary Jane Dunphe touches is gold.

Any Philly acts that you’d like to shout out?

700 Bliss. It’s a new project from Moor Mother and DJ Haram. I love their EP Spa 700.

Olivia Neutron-John’s favorite recent music – 2018 + some late 2017

CCFX – The One To Wait

Flasher – Skim Milk

Shopping – The Hype

Special Interest – Young, Gifted, Black, In Leather

700 Bliss – Ring the Alarm

Pill – Piña Queen

Plastic Ivy – Ricochet

Haram – عين بي عين “Eye for an Eye”

Wetware – Frequent Dreamlands

Saweetie – Anti

Interview by Ryan Wu

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