On the last day of Pitchfork Music Festival we have the pleasure of speaking with up and coming solo artist Lorely Rodriguez, better known as Empress Of. Currently residing in Brooklyn, like most good up and comers, Empress Of dazzled us with hard hitting tracks like “Champagne” and “Don’t Tell Me” back last year and has since signed to Chris Taylor’s indie label Terrible Records. It’s no shocker she was standing backstage watching fellow label mate Blood Orange and hanging out with Solange’s crew.
Though we missed her shared set with Autre Ne Veut last that night due to sheer exhaustion, we still enjoyed hearing a little about her in our Q&A.
Sidewalk Hustle: Where are you from?
Lorely Rodriguez: I’m from LA but I live in Brooklyn right now.
SH: Who or what are you wearing?
LR: I’m wearing this denim jumper from the like 70’s that I got at a Goodwill. I think the tag is called ‘MAIN’ or like ‘EXPRESS’ ‘FUN’, I don’t know. The shirt is Forever 21. It’s got crosses on it; me and my manger have a running joke about having a really simple aesthetic, like just black and white. We always go “that’s so no recording,” actually I only say that, I go “man that shirt is so no recording” because his label is black and white, so this kinda fits the vibe.
The backpack is from Urban Outfitters and it has a cigarette hole on it. The necklace is also Forever 21.
SH: You should get a sponsorship.
LR: Ahem (clears throat).
SH: Who is your favourite designer?
LR: I don’t have a favourite designer because I’m not really fashiony. I don’t really worry too much about what I’m wearing, I just want it to fit me, most of the time. But what is the name… I was doing this Youtube rant for like four hours and I forget the name. She’s like a punk designer from the 80s from London…
SH: Vivienne Westwood?
LR: Yes! I spent like four hours goggling the shit out of her and she’s just so historic and beautiful. Gwen Stefani’s obsessed with her. Have you heard the um… (sings “Spiderwebs”), she’s like “yeah I only had like a thousand dollars in my bank account and I spent it all on this Vivienne Westwood corset.” I think that if I was going to be a fashion icon, which I won’t be, I would wear a lot of Vivienne Westwood.
SH: What is on repeat for you right now?
LR: I’m really into Burial, I’m super obsessed with him, and with Disclosure. I’ve also been listening to so much Arthur Russell and my really good friends back in Brooklyn called Celestial Shore.
SH: Pitchfork Festival Picks?
LR: R. Kelly. I used to be a really huge M.I.A., and I always hear that she’s a spectacle on stage.