Kim Ann Foxman


Written by Beck Rosoman
14 Tuesday 14th December 2010

Originally rising to fame as part of the phenomenal New York group, Hercules and Love Affair, Hawaiian DJ and shy vocalist, Kim Ann Foxman will be DJing at the Club Motherfucker show in Elephant and Castle this Saturday. Don't Panic had a little chat with the her.

Do you think growing up in Hawaii had an impact on how you developed musically? Did being on a Island mean scenes would hit there later, than they would being in a big city or did you have some kind of access to what was going on elsewhere? (Like a cool record store or something)

Yeah, in a lot of ways things were late in Hawaii. It was really exciting when a band I liked actually came to Hawaii. I did luckily grow up with MTV and VH1 so at least I had that outlet which opened up a huge world for me that was so far away. There was one cool record store in town, called Jelly's. They had a lot of used, alternative and underground stuff. Other than that we had a Tower Records.
Who turned you on to dance music and what early influences made you want to DJ?
Growing up I was really into freestyle and stuff so I was always into electronic music. Technotronic's Pump up the Jam had a huge impact on me. I remember getting that cassette tape and playing and rewinding that over and over again. That pretty much hooked me into that club sound. A friend in high school when I was 15 turned me on to Techno and then that led me to start getting into House as well a bit later.
I got a job in a club when I was in high school making energy drinks at the underage bar. They had some DJs play there that were cool. That got me really craving club culture so I moved to San Francisco where that scene was really happening. When I moved there I kinda really dove into that scene and made friends with a bunch of DJs who inspired me to collect records.
Did anyone teach you your way around decks and a mixer or did you learn technical skills yourself?
Technically, I learned on my own by forcing myself to play out and practice and practice over time. Andrew Butler (founder of Hercules and Love Affair) hooked me up with my first turntables and let me borrow this really old mixer he had. I had been collecting records for some time. It took me a while to learn to mix on the fly but one day it just clicked naturally at a gig, and with a lot more practice, I got better and better. But Andy really was a mentor to me in many ways. He's given me a lot of great records, and has really turned me on to so much amazing obscure music, and encouraged me a lot to play and I think by playing out with him for so long, I’ve definitely picked up a few things naturally.
How did you make the transition to singing, is it something you always wanted to do?
Andy actually encouraged me to sing too, and I did so as his guinea pig. I used to make him leave his room to go to the bodega while I sang and recorded myself, I was really shy. One day he made me cry because he was forcing me so much not to be shy in front of him... and then I SANG! He literally pushed it out of me and I’m so happy for that.
Creature is pretty early 90's influenced in sound, what draws you to that period of house/techno in particular?
I guess I’m so drawn to that sound from experience... That music made me go crazy on the dance floor at the time. I loved Deep House, Detroit Techno, Chicago House and Techno Soul from that era.
How eclectic are your tastes, have you ever like, picked up a guitar or experimented with other styles of music?
I like all kinds of music though my main focus has always been Dance music. I have a big freestyle collection, a big old school dancehall collection, I was really into everything on 4AD record label, stuff from the 80's like Yazoo, Talking Heads, Kate Bush. I love Milli Vanilli, I have fallen in love with The Gossip after touring with them and have a lot of respect for them. I love 80s and 90s R&B a lot. Andy and i have been listening to a little Enya on tour too - sounds silly but it’s true. Ha! But I have never tried to play a guitar. My Mom tried to teach me acoustic guitar when I was younger, but I never really got into learning it for some reason. My mom has a pretty voice though. I generally like lots of dance music, but I like some slow emotional stuff too. 
Finally, what’s next for Mr.INTL and Kim Ann Foxman?
I am releasing more singles on Mr.INTL and eventually, I’d love to put out a full length album.
Kim Ann Foxman is guest DJ at The Club Motherfucker Show - Episode Two at Corsica Studios, Elephant and Castle on Saturday 18th December. For more information see Her debut single 'Creature' is out now on Mr.INTL records. Hercules and Love Affair's new album Blue Songs is due for release in January on Moshi Moshi Records.

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