Los Angeles based producer, singer-songwriter and multi-media artist Ramona Gonzalez has been releasing music under the Nite Jewel moniker for nearly a decade. The project combines elements of contemporary LA dance music with 80’s disco and 90’s R&B, which results in a modern yet nostalgic sound. Her earlier work, like the 2009 LP, Good Evening, maintains an intimate roughness, the subtle white-noise hum contributing to the nostalgic effect. Her most recent release, the fourth Nite Jewel album – Real High – features a more polished sound that retains the funky bass-lines and dance beats while focussing on the lyrical content and stunning songwriting.
This week, she’s taken a moment from her busy Summer schedule to choose a few rad videos ahead of her performance on July 27th @ Brooklyn Bazaar with Geneva Jacuzzi and Harriet Brown.
You provided vocals for the recently released Omar-S track, “Confess to U,” and have worked with DâM-FunK on the Nite-Funk EP. Both projects (along with some of your solo work) hark back to the 80s R&B and funk sound. Do you have a favorite song from this era?
OMG there’s so much from that era that I love, it’s really hard to choose. but I think Prophet’s “Right On Time” 1984 LP and probably the song “The Night Is Still Young” by Z-19 (1983). Both are a home-recorded funk/freestyle sound. lo-fi mad scientist genius.
Rockstar Games included your song “Nowhere To Go” in the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack. Is there a video game soundtrack you particularly enjoy?
I don’t know much about video game soundtracks apart from the one I’m on haha. but I guess when I was a kid I dug the YMO inspired stuff.
Can you choose a song representative of the Gloriette Records sound (outside of the catalogue)?
‘Hardcore Pops Are Fun’ by Ariel Pink
Which Geneva Jacuzzi and Harriet Brown songs are you most excited about hearing live?
Both Geneva and Harriet are putting on some outrageous shows every night. It’s such an amazing lineup. but I’d say my favorite songs are… ‘Cryptid’ by Harriet and ‘Cannibal Babies’ by Geneva.
Your latest album, Real High (Gloriette Records, 2017), has a cohesive sound and narrative, which seems like the culmination of your previous works. What were you listening to that inspired the record?
It was recorded over such a long period of time (since 2011) so i listened to sooo much music over that period. but I’d say one inspiration was DJing more over the past few years and getting deeper into underground dance music, especially from Detroit. but then also music from my hometown the bay area, like G-funk and bay rap.
You’re based in Los Angeles – is there a song that makes you think of home while you’re away on tour?
‘L.A. Nights’ by Yasuko Agawa
Interview by JJ Nozell