Frida K – Paradiso Artist Spotlight
Ready to take on Paradiso and the Pacific Northwest
Frida K is an up-n-coming power stomping house DJ to be reckoned with as she has a way to captivate the crowd. I met Frida K at one of my early USC Events days shortly before she began playing music live and after two years later, I finally saw her live at USC Loves You 2018 and I was amazed by her talent.
Having grown up in Mexico, her parents moved to Washington just 8 years ago and while attending high school, her excitement for EDM grew. But it was back in Mexico that she found her passion for live music with her parents at musical events.
“They had me and that wasn’t gonna stop them from being in their 20’s, you know? So I was always surrounded by them going to shows, going to concerts, taking me to concerts if I can go. I love the aspect that me being there didn’t stop them from having fun. I loved this because it just meant that I was around music all of the time because my parents wanted to be there for that!”
She has been playing sets for two years live and producing music for a year, but within this time she’s been marking her marks in this community. She started playing for WAVES Presents with support from other artists like Quackson and KenDoll; landing spots in silent discos for both Paradiso 2017 and Bumbershoot 2017-2018.
“I was so obsessed over it that I texted every person I was close with that knew how to DJ. I just told them to come over and help me out.”
Taking the Seattle scene by storm, anyone in the area would be able to identify Frida’s iconic logo stating,
“Finding a logo was so hard, because you get ONE thing to represent you. You might not think it’s a big deal, but it has to be simple, it has to be appealing to the eye… I wanted it to be simple and clean looking, so I thought maybe like a crystal, or angel wings? I finally was able to come up with ‘Crystal Wings’. I think it’s the fact that it was the name that I decided. It also described what my goal was.”
This led me to ask what she wanted to do in the future when her visuals would solidify her trademark.
“I’m a really visual person, and I don’t know if you know this about me, but my favorite color is pink! I’m OBSESSED with it… When I think of the bigger picture, I would just want pink lights with strobes!.. Maybe purple but I picture everything pink, shiny, sparkly. It’s a part of me at this point!”
As an advocate of warm colors, I followed up with who’d she identify with.
“My mom named me Frida after the artist, ‘Frida Kahlo’ in which my mom loves her art and her message. My mom just looks up to her so much which is why the name just clicked. I named myself Frida K both for my mom and because of the art, I identified so much with her that I had to give the respect. She is a huge inspiration to both of us and I want to be recognized like she was… Seeing her make her own clothes and look so unique… I love that, the aspect of her getting in that tragic accident and making the most of not being able to walk for so long… She didn’t let it stop her creativity because it made her happy… It’s about pushing through all these fucked up things and making something beautiful out of it… There’s this beautiful message of where she is herself and she didn’t care about what other people thought because she was raw… Being able to tribute to something that inspired so many, especially my mom, it was just a win-win for everyone.”
Being able to form her identity from taking the positive impact of others also rang true with what Frida wanted to represent.
“There’s this feeling I have that I can’t compare to anything else when I go to shows. I want people to have a good time, I want to give people what I get too. I love dancing, so I want to make sure people have fun with me when I’m on stage… I love listening to a song that is beautiful and makes me feel something, which I have this side project for… My main project right now is not only this beautiful side to it [music], but also the party side of it, so not SO much emotion, but also I’m having a good time.”
I wanted her to go into depth about her upcoming project and whatever other big plans she may have within the next 1-2 years.
“Within the year, I want to have more music, I’m more into the artist portion of my life right now, so I’m taking this time to really show people what I’ll have to offer… I want to expand and continue to make my mark to show everyone this idea I’ve had for such a long time… I’m just ready to put myself out there after becoming proud of what I make.”
I couldn’t help but ponder and ask her route for house music since Seattle is viewed as a bass capital.
“Honestly, from my understanding house music has been around for a while and it always comes back and forth. It is ALWAYS there, there’s always a loyal fanbase and I haven’t had any critiques for not playing bass music. I’ve played everywhere I’ve played sticking to techno house and I’m excited that places that are bigger will let me play MY music. I don’t have to play stuff just because it’s what is currently considered the norm. I’m not doing this for anyone else but myself, regardless of whether bass shows may be more packed. We have a huge house music community here in Seattle. When the clubs bring house music it almost always sells out! There IS a stigma in the sense people will say ‘Oh well house music isn’t as good as bass music’ or ‘It’s just not as popular here’ but I always disagree because it has always been big and the demand for it is always there!”
This led our discussion toward Seattle’s gay culture as there has been a stigma surrounding the idea that house music is only comparable in popularity to bass music due to Seattle’s large gay population.
“I don’t think it’s ignorant because it [house music] was really pushed forward by gay clubs and their culture. And that’s not a bad thing because it comes with the support of ‘you can be yourself here’ and ‘you don’t have to be scared of those around you’. From the house shows I’ve been to everyone has always been super accepting, and I mean that for everyone, not just the gay community. For instance, I’ve gone to the Dirty Bird Campout and everyone there is being a fool the entire weekend! They bring stuff to do and give each other gifts and it’s so supportive and loving, I think that’s helped me a lot! I feel there is a lot of individuality that gay culture has brought for both those who are queer and those who are straight. That’s what I feel like is so amazing about it, is that although it could be viewed as a generalization – if it is true then that’s great! It’s about being yourself and there is NOTHING wrong with that!”
Having covered how she believed the positive reinforcement of the community put house music where it is today, I wanted to know how she thought EDM (including her own music) would evolve into next.
“I think about how big shows are right now and I HOPE it gets bigger than this, but I can’t imagine it getting any bigger. We’ve reached a peak point of popularity and I hope it’s where we stay. It is also an opportunity thing, so I hope I can get to that point where I can be a full–time artist. I’m not trying to be rich or famous, I just want to be able to live doing this, what I love. If I did this making the same amount of money than I am right now – living paycheck to paycheck – I would be happy with that as long as it meant that I still get to do this. It is really cool to see the growth of an artist, so I hope I can do something good for those who want that for me… One day I hope I can pay my parents back for all they’ve done for me as well as all the people who were able to bring me to where I am today… I couldn’t have done this without my friends or family, the Frida K project isn’t just me, it is an entire community.”
These strong words had her continue to name off music throughout the generations that inspired her project. From The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk to Porter Robinson’s “The Wild Cat” and “Say My Name”. She always felt excitement every time that something catchy and monumental was newly brought into the electronic music genre. She hopes that moments that have made history in this genre continue to surprise us as much as they have in its past.