Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BLONDE AMBITION | An interview with Becka Diamond

Photo © Matt Black
 Who is Becka Diamond?
Becka Diamond is a semi-fictional character working as a DJ in New York City.  Synthetics include the blonde hair & precious stone surname.

You are most well known as a DJ. What is it about music that you love so much and what is it about your DJ'ing that sets you apart from the rest?
 I grew up with my parents LPs on repeat.  Black Sabbath & Bowie were among my early favorites as a child, before I started to delve into my own taste.  I became a DJ almost by accident.  I had just been collecting records for so long that eventually I thought they should be heard by more than me or whomever was at my apartment.  My first gig was a house party in Boston where I'm from.  It got broken up by the cops.

I was working in fashion in my mid-twenties when I started to get more gigs, and soon enough I quit to pursue music full time.  I love the idea of nightlife in this city.  Those who dress up to go out, dance and be a part of something.  Making people dance never gets old.

You have a very eclectic musical pallet from classic grunge to industrial to retro to electro. What are some of your favourite albums and songs to play?
I used to play a lot more rock music in my sets, but lately I've been tailoring more dance sets.  Right now I love playing tracks from Percussions, Escort, Kim Ann Foxman, Akkord, & Jamie XX.  A big guilty pleasure is Lana Del Rey.  

 Most influential band growing up?
Definitely Hole!

 I've read that you are a huge Nick Cave fan. What era is your favourite Nick era? ...The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party or Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds?
 ...The Boys Next Door,  The Birthday Party or Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds?  Yes, I'm an enormous fan!  I would have to say the Bad Seeds are my favorite.  No More Shall We Part is one of my favorite albums of all time.

 What are you currently listening to?
At the moment my favorites are those listed above, as well as Mazzy Star, Rowland S. Howard, Vatican Shadow, Ninos Du Brasil, and Everything But The Girl.


 Any favourite or memorable DJ memories you can share?
 DJing on Halloween at Output was incredible.  One of the best sound systems I've had the pleasure of playing on, with an amazing lineup (Raime, Vatican Shadow, Silent Servant, & Veronica Vasicka) I was dressed as Cleopatra.

Aside from your musical talents you are also quite well known for your unique fashion style. You've been featured by Vogue Italia, Elle, twenty6magazine among just a few. How would you describe your personal style and what do you enjoy most about fashion?
 I would describe my personal style as favoring well made pieces to wear for years, mixed with an overgrown collection of vintage t shirts.  I can't live without denim cutoffs,  I wear them year round.  Jewelry is a big one for me also.  I adore Rick Owens.  I mostly buy his pieces if I'm going to buy something designer.  Topshop is excellent for fun items once in awhile.  

As far as fashion in general, I love the fantasy of it, even if I might never own the piece.  I definitely find inspiration from runway and  from the vision of designers I love.  Couture week is especially fun because the sky's no limit, and there's really no way you're gonna save up for a piece, so you can enjoy the idea of it without having to own it.

 Who are your personal style icons and your favourite designers at the moment?
Right now:

 Sally LaPointe
Rick Owens
Tanya Taylor
Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy
Raf Simons for Dior
Pamela Love
 Personal style icons: Blixa Bargeld, Kate Moss, Michele Lamy, Carine Roitfeld.

 What are your five staple fashion items you cannot live without?
1. A leather jacket
 2. a disintegrated t shirt
3. black zippered boots
4. black cut off shorts
5. loads of silver jewelry

 From one religious wearer of the colour black to another. Why black?
 It started as a teen.  I've played around with color from time to time but nothing feels as luxurious to me as black.


You pop up across street style blogs quite regularly online. What is it about your style that attracts so many "fans" ?
Haha, I guess in the past I've been a bit of a cartoon character.  White hair, all black, huge heels.  Something people can remember and imitate if they want.  I think now things are a bit different with girls getting dressed to be photographed, with the mentality that more is more and you should wear everything in your closet at once, no matter the color or season.  It's a bit much.  I think simplicity works.  Nothing beats a perfectly tailored blazer with a killer heel.  Kate Moss is a great example of how this works every time.

 Music and Fashion have always had a strong relationship with each other. How true do you think this is today?
I think they will always be related, especially with more designers featuring musicians in ad campaigns or on their runways.  Stylists have a huge hand in what most are wearing though, it isn't really the same as when Debbie Harry rocked her Vulture tee and named her band after the catcalls she received on the street.

You have been referred to as a quasi celebrity in the New York scene. What is it that you love about New York, the scene and the people?
Haha, that's hilarious.  NYC is really the center of the world.  I'm happy to be contributing to the city by throwing parties and honestly there are so many great, creative people here right now.  I'm inspired by my friends making the city happen, whether DJing, designing, training, writing, performing, on and on.  There's a hustle here that I haven't felt elsewhere.

 Can you tell us a little about your site 13:13?

 13:13 started as a website, and has become an umbrella for my aesthetic and brand.  The site houses mixes, photo diaries, and interviews with musicians, artists, designers etc.  I've designed t shirts in the past.  I needed a place outside of social media for my inspiration to land.

 What does the future hold for Becka Diamond?
Right now my focus is on training at the gym, working on my photography, creating music of my own and lots of travel!  
Photography by Becka Diamond featured on Purple Diary
Instagram/Twitter : @beckadiamond