When you start making music at 13 because you’re genetically imbued with some sort of intrinsic pop music sixth sense, and then you go on to record a critically acclaimed record alone in remote Mexico, you automatically qualify as an interesting person. Lorely Rodriguez of Empress Of, is that exact interesting person, and to prove it, she’s just dropped a highly adored debut album called “Me,” that’s out on XL Records. Rampant with earth-shatteringly angelic vocals, her brand of self-produced electro-pop is emotive, optimistic and smart in a way that immediately lures you in.
Luckily for us, in the infancy of her inevitable fame, Lorely is still in a virginal state press-wise. Although she’s been frequently questioned by music media outlets about her habits and methods, she remains relatively un-mined for personal secrets … the kind that true fanatics like us love to latch on to and cradle like a fat adorable babies that should never grow up.
That’s where we come in. Hi!
We caught up with Lorely as she was hurtling through Wisconsin on a tour van. She’d been down the same road before on other tours in support groups for headlining bands, but she’d never been in a van in Wisconsin telling us a bunch of secrets about herself that no one else knows.
But before we get into that, check out her cover of Katy Perry’s “Hot N’ Cold” because it’s way better than the original.
Here’s what she had to say:
1. I have a pre-show ritual where every time I have a show, I ask my manager if anyone is coming.
I’ll be like, “Did anyone buy tickets for the show tonight?” My manager is always like, “Yeah. I think your mom bought all of them.”
2. The one thing that calms me down before a show is Rihanna.
Weirdly enough, Rihanna is the only one who can soothe me before I go onstage. Normally before a show, I’m pacing around and frantic and people think I’m being insane, but after I drink a Red Bull and pop some Rihanna on the boombox, I’m cool. “Rude Boy” is my jam.
3. When I record, Oreos really inspire me.
I always have a little reserve of sugar somewhere nearby. So I can tap into creative channels in my brain that I haven’t accessed yet.
4. I record at home, but only after I’ve put on a full face of makeup.
Because I usually record on my laptop, I’m usually just in my bedroom for hours on end. So, to deal, I need to wake up in the morning and pretend I’m going to be the coolest person ever. Before I start recording, I’ll get dressed and put on makeup as if I were going out to meet the world. Otherwise, I don’t really feel like I’m working.
5. I’m really, really, really good at making coffee.
When I was making this record, I became a professional coffee maker. Like pour-overs, and weighing the coffee, and grinding into perfection and then pouring it slowly and with all this attention. Aeropress is good but it’s too high-tech for me.
6. I’m terrified of bees.
That’s my number one arch enemy, fear, of all time. They’re so good for the world and it’s so sad because I am afraid of the one thing that helps the world. I’m not allergic. When I was a kid, I got stung by a bee on my chest and the bee got inside of my chest and my mom had to remove the bee with tweezers. I still have a scar on my chest from the bee sting. Every time I hear or see a bee, I just think of that. But I love honey. So it’s weird.
7. I slept with a knife under my pillow in Mexico when I was making this album.
I was texting my friends from Mexico, and he freaked me out. I was like, “Dude. I’m all alone. What if I get robbed or something?” I found a machete in the house. He was like, “A machete is not going to do anything. You should get a gun.” And he freaked me out even more. I’m pretty sure if my life was threatened, I would figure out how to use it, but I don’t know. I don’t know how to use a weapon. I’m not a violent person.
8. I just got into crystals.
I went to this crystal dive shop in New York and I went up to the guy and I was like, “Look, I’m about to go on a big tour and I need something that will help me be confident on stage every night. I need to be stable everyday because I’m going to be dancing.” She gave me two stones. I can’t remember what one of them was, but the other one is Amethyst. I either keep them on me or I put them on my table top with my midi controllers. I don’t know if they work. It’s like the placebo effect. You believe it. You need something to believe in.
You can catch Lorely performing in LA on Wednesday, September 30 at The Echo (TICKETS), or at any of the following dates provided you’re one of the unfortunate people who doesn’t live in L.A.
09/25 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
09/27 Portland, OR – Holocene
09/29 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
10/01 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
10/02 Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
10/03 El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
10/05 Austin, TX – The Mohawk
10/06 Houston, TX – Rudyards British Pub
10/09 Miami, FL – lll Points Festival
10/10 St. Petersburg, FL – The Bends
10/11 Atlanta, GA – Eyedrum
10/12 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Backroom
10/14 Washington, DC – DC9
* with Lower Dens
“Me” is out and available for your ownership! Click here to get it.