Meet LA’s New Rock Royalty

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From its iconic venues like the Echo and the Roxy, to its nameless hole-in-the-wall clubs, the West Coast has churned out some of the most innovative rock acts in America. So when we went looking for the freshest new music around, we didn’t have to go further than our own backyard. Gavin Turek, a ’70s-styled pop-disco artist in the Donna Summer tradition, was called One to Watch by Time Out LA last year. Rome Fortune is one of the hottest acts to come out of the Atlanta rap scene, churning out some of the most danceable hits of 2016. Sasha Desree’s work–both on his own and under the aegis of side project Silk Rhodes–has been giving chillwave a newer. funkier disposition. Australian-born Chela is an electro-pop diva to rival Marina and the Diamonds. And vōx has been delivering spooky, ethereal tracks that are infinitely remix-able. Together, they’re bringing the funk back to the LA scene, one dancehall beat at a time. We gathered them together in the Kibitz Room for a rare daylight appearance.

Photography by John TsiavisJohn Tsiavis

NAME: Sarah Winters
STAGE NAME: vōx
WHY? It’s the Llatin word for “‘voice.”’.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Solange, “A Seat at the Table.” I’ve tried listening to other things, and I can’t.
FIRST INSTRUMENT: Piano when I was, like, six. I didn’t like it because I didn’t like
playing other people’s music. I had a great teacher who realized that, and she encouraged me
to write my own stuff. And she taught me how to notate. I wouldn’t have continued
songwriting without her.
CAKE VS. ICE CREAM: Cake
RECORDS VS. TAPES: Records

LAST THING YOU…
WATCHED: “Friends”
READ: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals
ATE: Chips this morning.

John Tsiavis

NAME: Gavin Turek
RELATIONSHIP TO LA: I was born here.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Blood Orange, “Freetown Sound”
WHO MAKES YOU JEALOUS? “So many of my friends are making such amazing music.
There’s so many people that I’m very envious of, productively. I’m so inspired by this wave
of music that’s so honest, and it’s the freedom to not always be happy all the time and to
create this sort of pop joy.”
FIRST INSTRUMENT: Piano. Hated it.
CAKE VS. ICE CREAM: Coconut ice cream
RECORDS VS. TAPES: Records. But I love mixtapes.

LAST THING YOU…
ATE: Oatmeal and blueberries
READ: In Search of Our Mothers’ Garden by Alice Walker
THOUGHT DEEPLY ABOUT: What am I doing?!

 

John Tsiavis

NAME: Rome Fortune
RELATIONSHIP TO LA: Moved here this summer. I was born in Philly and moved to
Atlanta when I was one or two.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: I’m diggin’ that Solange joint. I really like D.R.A.M. I really
listen to old stuff, really, like DMX, Erykah Badu.
FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING: I have this G-Star coat that they gave me two years
ago. It’s kind of short and real warm in the winter.
CAKE VS. ICE CREAM: Ice cream cake.
RECORDS VS. TAPES: I’m not one of those people that thinks vinyl is way better. But you
know, sometimes, it just gets you in a mood. Sometimes you just want to light some candles
and feel classy.

LAST THING YOU…
WATCHED: Jackie Brown, but I watch that all the time. And It Follows.
ATE: Tofu
READ: This book Sarah [Winters] gave me. I don’t remember.

John Tsiavis

NAME: Chelsea May Wheatley
STAGE NAME: Chela
WHY? It was a nickname. And “‘Chela”’ means “crab.” I’m a Cancer.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Silk Rhodes’s stuff last year. Sasha Desree’s band.
CAKE VS. ICE CREAM: Ice cream. Dessert is my favorite meal.
RECORDS VS. TAPES: Records.

LAST THING YOU…
WATCHED: I sat on the couch and watched my friend wearing a silk robe and rolling around
on the rug.
READ: Kim Gordon, Girl in a Band
ATE: Power bars

John Tsiavis

NAME: Sasha Desree
RELATIONSHIP TO LA: I came here four years ago. I’ve been back and forth a lot.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Too hard
FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING: Skin. I also have this pair of latex underwear for
women.
CAKE VS. ICE CREAM: Definitely always ice cream with cake. Ice cream just on a visceral
level and on a desert- island cake. I could make cake out of anything, sand cake……
RECORDS VS. TAPES: Tapes because they’re more portable. I think eighties‘80s and
nineties‘90s kids— they’re just nostalgic of the way it sounds.

LAST THING YOU…
ATE: Overripe Persimmons
WATCHED: Sweet Movie
READ: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. It takes place in another world
where everyone is a hermaphrodite. When they have sex, they go through a process called
kemmering, which takes two days. A and at that point, they create genitalia. So one of them
is masculine, and one is feminine. But it isn’t even the same couples. T they can do it
multiple times and switch up. Everyone in the has the ability to bear a child, and that changes
the culture.

Shot by John Tsiavis
Styled by Alison Brooks

About The Author

Henry Giardina is FourTwoNine's Senior Editor

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