TEEKO | THE INTERVIEW

State your stage name and profession, for the record.

Teeko – producer / dj / musician / innovator

How long have you been DJing, and do you remember your first DJ gig?

Somewhere around 1997-98 I started rolling with bay area mobile dj crew “Divide & Conquer”. After being introduced to the crew by some members I was friends with in high school, I started rolling with them on the weekends setting up speakers and lighting systems. It wasnt until late 98 or 99 that they started letting me open up the events as a dj. I think the very first time was a small family party at a restaurant in top of the hill Daly City. I was terrified! Shoutout to my OG crew for giving me a shot and letting me get my feet wet!

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

Of the past – 1997-2003 – the battle scene was at its peak and the music of the time was still hype – digital djing hadn’t come into play yet so the scene was relatively untapped. You had to really want it and put that work in, there were no shortcuts (only Shortkut)

But really Im looking forward to the next era!!! I see some emerging djss that integrate the tech with their own styles and its starting to come together in the ways I had envisioned. And of course, I plan on coming out with some ideas I’ve been working on myself with the hopes to inspire.


“I don’t really feel like what I do is DJing anymore and as an artist I reserve the right to change my name for stylistic purposes.”


You dropped DJ from your nom de plume a while back — break down why you are known as Teeko these days instead of DJ Teeko?

Yea I decided to drop “Dj” for two main reasons – one is that I started feeling the over-saturation of the dj culture and felt like it was becoming less respected. Secondly, for me personally I started feeling like I wanted to be known as more than just a DJ; as a producer and musician. So it made sense to me to just use my nickname and set myself apart. I don’t really feel like what I do is DJing anymore and as an artist I reserve the right to change my name for stylistic purposes.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 5 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

Fortunately, I’ve had a little chunk of my own music pressed on wax – so I’d grab all that shit and representa! Lately I’m really in the direction of pushing myself as a producer/musician so when I do my performance sets its mostly all my own productions and exclusives.


www.news.djcity.com/watch-teekos-innovative-set-for-the-mikidz-show/


You are a constant innovative creator and put out groundbreaking content on a regular basis. Talk about some of your current and upcoming projects, and maybe even touch upon some past experiences in the last couple of years that have gotten you to where you are today.

First off thank you for the respecognition. Currently I’ve been working on the new T3 (Slum Village) album along with my bro Ruckazoid. It’s such an honor and Im extremely grateful to have been recognized by someone who I’ve been a fan of for so long. He discovered me during last years Playlist Sessions at Jazzy Jeff’s when we were recording the “Chasing Goosebumps” album. There was a night in the “Wave Cave” (aka Jeff’s movie theatre) where I had set up a studio and I was IG snapping a bunch of clips of beats I had been making there. I guess T3 had started following me via Jeff and he messaged me saying he wanted some joints for his new album. I sent all the instrumentals from me and Rucks BeatDiscovery “The Findings Vol. 1 and 2” (available on wax at TouchingRecords.com). We recently released his first single as a teaser check that shit and support that – i’m really hype for him to bless the scene and put it down for Dilla and Baatin!

For more on BeatDiscovery the VST and albums go here (we released 3 albums using this revolutionary sequencer, all recorded live)…


www.beatdiscovery.com


Also, this past summer I had the opportunity to tour the US with the great DJ Shadow. Really amazing show and he’s definitely someone I’ll continue to support as he cares so much about the culture. Dude puts in work! We had a great time and all the shows were amazing. I really enjoyed opening up for him and being able to do my thing the whole way. For the most part, I was new to the crowds and really won them over playing all the styles I produce from boom bap, funk, turnt bangers and all the in betweens. Really great open minded crowd who just wanted the dope! Much love to my man Shadow for having me. I would close each set by performing a live version of my remix of “Best Foot Forward” from his Entroducing anniversary release. Check the recorded version here…

After our last show in Nashville, I headed straight to the airport for a flight to Philly for Jazzy Jeffs 2017 Playlist Retreat. Such an honor again to be invited and not only as a guest but this year myself and Ruckazoid were presenting BeatDiscovery. It was amazing to say the least. Like the previous year, we had another music challenge and I was hype to find that Dres from Black Sheep was on my team (along with DJ Jaycee and Maimouna aka MuMu Fresh). We made a crazy joint that will be released soon along with all the others (super heat in there!!). Dres and I continued to stay in touch and actually have been working since. He has a new mixtape in the works that myself and Ruck both produced on. Def look for that!

Favorite burrito joint?

Not only for the food (which is top notch) but the love and compassion shown for his community and family makes Papalote a top pick for me! I tell people that I was raised on his salsa – and I was! Every month back at Zebra Records on Filmore, Mr. E would bring all the djs chips and salsa!! My dude!!

You travel, like a lot. You just had a couple of healthy runs while rockin’ Jazzy Jeff’s “Playlist Retreat” in between. Please share some insight on how to stay healthy on the road and what it takes to stay focused and productive while being so busy and traveling.

Generally I try to keep it righteous when it comes to intake. On the road it’s definitely a bit tricky. I stick to lots of water and since i’m a vegetarian I like to pack dry snacks like nuts and chia bars. My rider tends to be consistent with my diet. My friend recently hipped me to this app called “Happy Cow” which locates all the nearest vegan/veggie options while on the road. I see health and productivity hand in hand, when my health is up i’m able to maintain high productivity levels and continue to heal the game. 😉

Curry or Kobe? Rane or Vestax? Soundcloud or Mixcloud (or none of the above)?

Curry, Rane, aaaaaaannnnnnnnd i’ll pass.

Shout outs to your folkers, and where folks can find you on social media.

So blessed to have so many amazing people around me who keep me on point – much love to my G Ruckazoid, Starship Connection (B.bravo), Mugpush, 4onefunk, B. Lewis, Diamond Ortiz, Jazzy Jeff and all my Playlist Retreat fam, T3, Dres and all my real ones who been on the wavestrength. Let’s keep riding!

Socials = ayything @TeekoMusic

TRUTHLIVE | THE INTERVIEW

State your stage name and profession for the record.

My stage name is Truthlive and I do a handful of things professionally, but for this interview it’s probably most relevant I’m a DJ.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I first started as a self taught DJ when I turned 13. I took a long hiatus from DJ’ing to fully immerse myself in creating and releasing original music. I’ve come full circle as my current primary focus is once again DJ’ing. I’ve mos def come a long way considering my first gig was during my Freshman year in High School for a birthday party.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

My favorite era in the Bay Area DJ scene is now. I think it’s an incredibly exciting time when tremendously creative and talented people are constantly given new tools and technological improvements to open up the possibilities and push the boundaries of what it means to “DJ.” Social media allows creatives to easily share their ideas and contributions. It feels very communal and cooperative, with a healthy sense of collaborative competition. It’s like people keep building on top of each other’s most recent breakthroughs to improve the baseline standards of the craft. The overall talent pool in the Bay is unrivaled in my opinion, in terms of both technical skills and diversity of taste. I’m frequently blown away by the things people come up with and share.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute set to prove your worthiness. What songs do you choose?

Wow. Fuck. 10 minutes on stage in front of my heroes to prove my worthiness, what do I play? It would depend on the nature of the event, so I can’t really say what songs considering I’m not a genre or sub-scene specific DJ. But I do know I’d go for some of the unexpected, semi-forgotten, underplayed feel good gems. Not too abstract or self indulgent, but the real shit that moves the casual crowd as well as the people emotionally invested in the music. My gut says James Brown, Depeche Mode, Outkast, Kendrick, Wuki, Little Dragon, Dilla, SpydaTek, Tom Budin, Prince, and a Baysik Moombah edit are clamoring to be blended together from left field.

Rebel Pop Radio has has become a bit of an institution here in the Bay. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important outlet in the Bay Area DJ scene.

That’s quite a compliment to call our radio show (Rebel Pop Radio) an institution. It’s sincerely an honor to be able to curate, produce, and ultimately invite such amazing people to contribute to the show. We air on Saturday nights on WiLD 94.9 locally and iHeartRadio globally.

We, my partner Cutso and I, have been at it for over 2+ years now. It’s been semi-surreal to go from my original pitch to a very controlled and corporate entity, to being so well received today. The concept is to embody DJ culture, club culture, break new music, and refresh classics. Which really means cover all ground, hopefully in an interesting, fun way. Vibe, not genre. It’s truly a HELLA open format interpretation of guiding Top 40/Pop familiarity along with lots of remixes and curveballs outside of the safe zone. The weekly guests and resident DJ’s we’ve had are so dynamic, it really makes the show unique week-to-week, yet easily digestible at the same time. It’s a privilege our bosses at the radio station allow us to step outside the general confines of traditional programming, as long as we hold it down with good selections/mixes. It’s been incredible how well it’s gone thus far and how it opens doors at major venues to provide similarly dynamic programming co-branded under the Rebel Pop banner.

To me, community is everything. Rebel Pop allows a space and forum to commercially appreciate and better expose the range of talents and music for Bay DJ culture, and DJ culture at large, on a mega iconic platform. Let the brightly talented lights of others shine. It’s a blessing to do it.


“To me, community is everything. Rebel Pop allows a space and forum to commercially appreciate and better expose the range of talents and music for Bay DJ culture, and DJ culture at large, on a mega iconic platform. Let the brightly talented lights of others shine. It’s a blessing to do it.”


Favorite burrito joint?

Shit, I know it’s cliche and often alcohol induced, but I love El Faralito burritos. There’s so many good choices, probably “better” places for the snob types or long time true SF born and raised in the city natives, but I’m partial to El Faralito… for burritos specifically.

Curry or Kobe?

Ha! Trolling me. Steph or Kobe? Of course Steph! I mean, Kobe’s career was amazing. He’s easily one of the most talented players of all-time with an unrivaled will power and determination. He’s probably the second best Two Guard/Shooting Guard of all-time. But where most saw 60 points in his farewell game, I saw 50 shot attempts!! Who in the fuck does that?! Even in that context. Disgusting and shameful to the game in my opinion. The guy liked scoring, more than winning, otherwise he probably gets 7, 8, 9 rings, not 5. And I’m not knocking the 5– huge achievement, but I really feel Kobe actually underachieved in terms of potential and legacy by being such a selfish decision maker and bad teammate. He’s the greatest ball hog of all-time, in the ultimate team sport. Fuckery.

Steph on the other hand, is the consummate “team first” guy and without question is the greatest shooter, ever. Catch and shoot, self created off the dribble, range, around the basket, mid-range floaters, free throws, both hands, after contact, etc. He’s unreal. And it’s all technique and self made development. He’s not bigger, stronger, faster, born physically superior like most of the other greats. That shit is work and living inspiration. And Dubs up, Beat LA, off top, automatic, duh.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

I don’t do it often enough, but I love to go to Bodega Head to unwind. It recharges me. I like it windy, sorta overcast, and less populated. It’s beautiful. I’m also a semi high maintenance fancy hotel staycation room service and do nothing type. I love hotels. Sleep, eat, lay around, fuck (hopefully), watch movies, shut off the outside world for a bit.

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now and why?

Again, maybe cliche, but hella real– DAMN. I’m 1,000% certain I’ll still be listening in 10 years. I initially lightweight hated on Kendrick when Section 80 dropped. I like bold opinions, but don’t do for blog buzz from internet critics or sensationalized hyperbole. Once I truly took it all in though?! Game over. He’s the truth. DAMN is such important art to me. To be able to mass appeal in the moment, but not dick ride a sound, still take risks, and be authentic to yourself while making relevant insightful commentary, is special. He’s on the GOAT trajectory in my opinion. It’s like NWA, Outkast, Nas, Eminem, Public Enemy, Freestyle Fellowship/CA underground shit, and lots of Southern bass/boom got blended up in a mixer of creation. Dude is the voice of the generation. Dare I call him the 21st century Pac with much better technical skills? Yep. I’m sayin it.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Yo, you can find me @truthlive universally across social platforms and @rebelpopradio as well.

www.instagram.com/truthlive

DJ UMAMI | THE INTERVIEW

State your stage name and profession for the record.

DJ Umami, professional DJ.

I think that’s the first time I called myself that.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I’ve owned turntables for a little over 12 years. Originally just bought them to let off some steam during a really crazy period in my life. The good homie Cutso was patient enough to show me how to beat match and I just kept going.

I was working the door at Gwrex’s party at Poleng called Strut. One day he asked me if I was down to do an opening set the following month. I laughed at first, and he was like, “why not? Fuck it, man.” So I did. That was my first gig. Strut in May 2008.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

I don’t really want to give away my age, but as soon as I was old enough to go out, I was drooling over sets from Music Machine when it was at SOFA lounge. I can’t really pinpoint a specific time, but I know that past vibe is still hanging on by a thread. Where DJs were playing golden era hip hop, soul and funk and it was nutty from front to back.

I remember going there by myself just to catch The Bangerz play. I would also hit up PST a lot when it was at Levende (now Brick & Mortar) and followed it to 330 Ritch. In Oakland, I remember catching The Oakland Faders at Luka’s and wondering where has this party been all my life. I used to follow most of Fran Boogie’s Parties, so I was no stranger to the legendary Triple Threat DJs.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

I’m extremely blessed to know and call most of my influential DJs my big brothers. I’ve learned so much and have been put on by them. When I’m up and playing with some of these cats, trust that I’m nervous AF. The thought of trying to find self-worth next to (usually) men that have been killing the game for years gets me sweating bullets and is a setup for failure.

The only thing that gets me in the right headspace is usually focusing on the crowd rather than which DJ is behind me or in the building listening to my selection or transitions. When the crowd is fuckin with you, that’s when you prove your worthiness. I know that doesn’t directly answer your question, but I guess it’s because it depends.


“When the crowd is fuckin’ with you, that’s when you prove your worthiness.”


Peaches Crew has undoubtedly become an institution. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important collective in Bay Area DJ history.

The Peaches Crew was started by Masaye Waugh at Skylark in SF. She wanted to do a weekly party that featured women DJs, so we were handpicked by her and essentially became a family more than a crew. The core group was Deeandriod, Lady Fingaz, DJ That Girl, and myself. We’ve then since added members Pony P, Deejay Andre, and Lady Ryan and some have also left because they’ve had to move. In our going on 8 years together, we’ve established multiple residencies around The Bay that we all rotate.

It’s been so important to have theses badass women in my corner in this male-dominated field, as they have been such a motivating force within my life (I know I just quoted Aaliyah). From time to time, we get together in a non-club environment and shoot the shit, eat, drink, share music, have mini scratch sessions, and update each other with our dating lives. It’s so hard to get anything productive done though because we have so much fun when we’re together.

Favorite burrito joint?

I try to stay away from burritos these days because they make me hella sleepy. They are, in fact nature’s giant sleeping pill. But if I’m going to spoil myself, Papalote’s adobo burrito with avocado, extra Papalote Salsa please.

Curry or Kobe?

No disrespect to the Black Mamba and the career that he’s had, but Curry all day. Curry’s already had one more MVP awards than Kobe has, one being unanimous, and his career is still pretty young. But, people would say my opinion is totally biased, which it is.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

I love going up to wine country for little staycations. I recently visited Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga for a couple days after a seven gig in four days weekend, and it was just what I needed to reboot. But most of the time, I really love just being at home chillin’ with a cup of tea.

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now and why?

This changes a lot. I’ve had Goldlink’s “Crew” on heavy rotation lately. I tend to lean towards R&B rather than hip hop. I feel like it’s a perfect balance of both, or maybe just enough for me. Music that is timeless versus trendy tends to resonate more with me, so I get juiced when I find soulful artists these days.

Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

Shout out to my sisters in the Peaches Crew. Follow us on IG to stay updated with our shenanigans @peaches_crew.

Shout out to my kids, Demarcus & Ajrien because they’re awesome and maybe one of their friends will read this and my kids will finally think I’m a little cool…or not. Whatever. Love you guys.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat at @djumami
Like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/djumami
Check out some of my mixes at djumami.com

Proof | The Interview

State your stage name and profession for the record.

Hello, my name is Proof. I’m a deejay, connector, and Massive Selector.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

Hella long. Let’s just say I picked up my first set of (mis-matched) turntables sometime in the early 90’s.

What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

The late 90’s, early 2000’s music scene in the Bay Area was my favorite because it was the most influential to me. At the time, I was really into funk breaks, classic hip-hop, turntablism and the Bay was ground zero for that scene. I remember going to Deco on Tuesday Nights for the original Beat Lounge to watch the best turntablists in the world catch wreck. The old Justice League (now The Independent) always had something dope going on (and the Twist mural was hella dope!) My favorite promoter at the time was Future Primitive because they not only produced ground breaking events like the Future Primitive Sound Session with Shortkut vs Cut Chemist (legendary Bay Area shit!) but they always had the illest flyers.

You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute all vinyl set to prove your worthiness. What records do you choose?

It really depends on the situation…time, place, crowd, are all factors of course. But if I only had 10 minutes, I’d probably play 3-4 of my favorite songs at the moment. I’ve found that if you play joints you’re really feeling, and play from the heart, you’ll connect with the dance floor.


Massive Selector has undoubtedly become an institution. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important collective in Bay Area DJ history.

Wow, where do I start. Massive Selector was founded in 2000 by a group of friends who shared a passion for art, music and underground culture. I actually didn’t join until 2001…I rocked a guest set at the first Massive Selector monthly “WORD” at Rawhide (who remembers that spot?) and I’ve been with the crew ever since. Since then, we’ve produced countless events and booked some of our favorite artists: DJ Jazzy Jeff, Gilles Peterson, Dwele, The Rebirth, King Britt, DJ Scruff, Vikter Duplaix, Mark De Clive Lowe, Daz-I-Kue, Peanut Butter Wolf, Egon, Madlib, Breakestra, Rich Medina, Stretch & Bobbito, DJ Spinna, ?uestlove just to name a few. This list doesn’t even include all the local heavies we’ve worked with throughout the years.

After making some noise in nightlife, we ventured off into new frontiers. In 2003, we had an opportunity to open our own venue, Poleng Lounge (formerly Storyville), a tea lounge, restaurant, and night club located in the heart of San Francisco’s upper panhandle. We tried to continue the legacy of Storyville by creating a space that put music first. Little did we know, the restaurant would be the star, and Poleng Lounge became the face of modern Filipino cuisine. In 2010, we launched The Summit (a nod to our monthly at Club Six) a cafe, co-working, and art space in the Mission that became one of SF’s most exciting new venues to open at the time.

Today, Massive Selector still produces annual events Wonder-Full: A Tribute to the Wonder of Stevie and Soul Slam: Prince & Michael Jackson which are going 13 years strong in the Bay. While most of the crew has gone on to do different things, I’m still holding it down. It feels good to know that something we started way back when is still contributing to the culture in a positive way.


“It feels good to know that something we started way back when is still contributing to the culture in a positive way. “


Favorite burrito joint?

Favorite burrito joint is El Super Burrito in Millbrae. I’ve been coming to El Supe since high school and what keeps bringing me back is how they steam their tortillas. They pre-steam their tortillas resulting in chewy, moist, perfection. That is key. I even bumped into Barry Bonds eating a burrito there back in the day, so you know it’s legit!

Curry or Kobe?

I was born in San Francisco, do I even need to answer this?

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

Running thru Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach with no head phones, just sounds of the birds in the trees is my favorite way to unwind. Ok I’m lying, I’m usually plugged into KNBR sports talk radio while I run!

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to now that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now?

This is a tough one. Too much good music out there, hard to pick just one. I’m still bumping Childish Gambino “Awaken My Love.” The Funkadelic, Sly Stone, and Prince influences are undeniable and I’m not mad at that. Not an album, but I’m hella digging the latest from 1-O.A.K. “Lost & Found.” If you’re a Bay Area DJ, this joint needs to be on heavy rotation!


Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

You can catch me every 2nd Saturday at Straighten It Out at Madrone Art Bar in SF with my mellow DJ Jerry Nice playing our fav hip-hop, r&b, classics, and remixes. Check me out at Sweater Funk, the original boogie funk, modern soul, 2 step all-vinyl dance party every Sunday at The Knockout in the Outer Mission. I’ll be rocking Off The Grid in Fort Mason and Picnic in The Presidio this season as well. Shoutout to the original Massive Selector crew: DJ pantyROBber, D-Reel, Malex, Politik, Paul, Marco, Steve, Alex, and Desi. And BIG S/O to Platurn for putting me on!

Follow me:

facebook.com/livinproof

twitter.com/livinproof

instagram.com/livinpro0f

livin-proof.com

massiveselector.com

Sean G | The Interview

State your stage name and profession for the record.

My Name is Sean G and I am a DJ.

How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?

I’ve been Djing since I was 16 years old, so almost 20 years now.


“There have been many great DJ eras in the Bay Area but my favorite were the late 90s to mid 2000’s. As a young DJ those were very creative and inspiring days.”


What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?

There have been many great DJ eras in the Bay Area but my favorite were the late 90s with Maritime Hall, Justice League, Rico’s Loft, etc. and the mid to late 2000’s with Club 6, Levende Lounge, Milk, Mission Rock etc. As a young DJ those were very creative and inspiring days.

You’re on stage in front of some of your music heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute set. Which tracks do you choose to showcase your musical diaspora?

In that situation i’m going to go with whatever vibe is needed for the situation. Whatever will fuel the energy of that specific party/concert is the direction I will go in while also throwing in a song or two that maybe most people won’t know but should.

Favorite burrito joint?

As a Mission native I can’t disclose that info now. Top secret info LOL.

Curry or Kobe?

Curry all day, fuck Kobe.

What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?

Anywhere on the coast north of the Bay Area. I can really just hit Highway 1 and enjoy any of it.

What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to now that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now?

Right now I really like the ‘Tonight Show’ project Rydah J. Klyde & DJ Fresh have just released. I have like 30 new projects on my phone right now but I feel like I’ve been listening to that one almost every day.

Finally, drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.

I currently am doing a party every Sunday Night at Somar called The Collective with Lady Ryan D. Roq and it’s been a lot of fun so shout out to all of them and shout out to my other home away from home, 1015 Folsom. I’ve been spinning at 1015 a lot over the years but recently have become a resident DJ over there and I love the programming and staff over there — shout out Dials and Melissa!

facebook.com/djseang

twitter.com/deejayseang

instagram.com/deejayseang

FIVE MACHINES AND A TABLE

FIVE MACHINES AND A TABLE

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True Clothing introduced street wear to the upper Haight in 1996. 20 years strong, the shop remains a fixture in a city going through an unflinching state of flux. There’s something so San Francisco about it; something that, when talking to the natives, one gets a clear sense of what the city is losing. The culture is on a time limit. As big business and tech creeps its way in, it routinely forces small business out and at the pulsating heart of San Francisco lies small business, entrepreneurship, a DIY mentality, and an inherent need to look out for our own. Brands that gained popularity both nationally and internationally claim their beginnings at True and when one gets to know the shop and the now booming street wear culture orbiting around it, a sense of family and community is clear. So when San Francisco native and Project Runway contestant Jenni Riccetti proposed an in-store pop up, we gladly opened our doors.


“Brands that gained popularity both nationally and internationally claim their beginnings at True and when one gets to know the shop and the now booming street wear culture orbiting around it, a sense of family and community is clear.”


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“Cozy and Clean,” was the first of many titles for this interview we cheekily spitballed. It’s what she describes her line as. Throughout the course of the interview she sewed fabric live via a sewing machine set up in the shop window. The machine whirred every so often, further illustrating the picture her words painted. Her finished product hung up on a rack by the entrance. Running one’s hands through each piece, it is clear why she described them the way she did. She grew up in the Mission, which may be why her line is so fabric-specific. “Everything is soft”, she mentioned with a deliberate tone; yet another title for this interview which was, too, being sewn together in real time. The Mission is one of the major neighborhoods in the city undergoing a cultural gutting. I brought up its fabric stores, which one could only assume left some sort of impression on her growing up. The neighborhood is also characterized by its murals and graffiti, which explains why her logo is styled like a throwie. It is clear she’s a product of her environment. Her grandfather used to custom-make Italian suits. She describes her childhood as one where she was oblivious as to why her clothes were so original and tailor-made to her fit; ironically enough going on to describe how she had a hard time fitting in socially. She wears herself on her sleeve these days and it is clear her misfit-ness is something she perfected with time.


“The neighborhood is also characterized by its murals and graffiti, which explains why her logo is styled like a throwie.”


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She carries herself with a certain confidence; a genuine immunity to adversity. When talking about how she doesn’t mesh with the fashion-corporate industry of SF she decisively stated “that doesn’t mean I’m not good, that means I’m not them.” A Bay girl at heart, she listed off Mac Dre, The Jacka, Andre Nickatina, and Too $hort among the sounds one would hear coming from her workspace. There’s something about the Bay that insists on being itself. It refuses to compromise for the masses, instead makes the masses conform to it, and I suppose she’s just following tradition. “Not everyone understands a creative mind,” she threw out, suggesting it took time for her weirdness to be seen as uniqueness. Fresh off of her Project Runway appearance and onto her first in-store pop up, Too $hort’s early hustle of selling tapes out of his trunk came to mind when she described her space as just “five machines and a table;” the perfect description of this young woman making big moves with her own two.


“A Bay girl at heart, she listed off Mac Dre, The Jacka, Andre Nickatina, and Too $hort among the sounds one would hear coming from her workspace.”


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Interview and words by Temba Kamara
Check out more from Jenni Riccetti @ www.riccetticlothing.com