N.A.R reads Ponytale at Ooga Booga Store
NAR is a music artist, producer and DJ, based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a musician at heart. At the age of six, she picked up a guitar and never put it down since. A true multi-instrumentalist, not only can she play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix with titties, but she can also play drums, piano and bass. She composes and writes lyrics to all of her own songs. “Making music with your hands and not only on the computer,” is something NAR values and I always fall for an uncorrupted soul.
It was the summer of 2009 when I met Natasha Roozrokh, aka NAR, on her tour through Europe. We met in London over drinks with a friend and connected right away (might’ve been the Capricorn in us). Since then we both have been on different journeys across the world and unfortunately haven’t crossed paths again. So I was very thrilled when asked to interview Natasha for Ponytale through a Skype date. I got to speak with this beautiful, talented, young lady and got an exclusive look inside who NAR really is.
It is nearly midnight here in Barcelona and Natasha is still sipping on her morning Nespresso Latte (a delight she picked up in Madrid) from her beautiful home in Los Angeles. We had so much catching up to do, so unfortunately there was a lot of ‘off the record’ girl talk I won’t be getting in to.
What has been going on with your music projects since we last talked?
I have been producing my own music, collaborating with other artists and playing live in bands. This year I got to go on tour with JD Samson & Men, which was really awesome and right now I’m playing in a surf-punk band called Sandy Pussy. I also did a DJ tour in New York this summer. Soon I’ll be performing as NAR again. My music has evolved immensely over the past couple of years. I’m sitting on a lot of material that I’m really excited to release soon. I’ve been experimenting with so many different styles and sounds, that all my songs are very different from each other. It’s been a long road polishing my sound but now I have a cohesive body of work. I’m excited to share it with the world.
I really like your Instagram. I think I saw Rihanna following you, at this site is that true?
Yeah Rihanna is following me. She has her eye on cool lesbians with cute style and short hair. She always posts photos with this girl that I think is her girlfriend. In my opinion Chris Brown is just a cover up, she’s a dyke for sure.
People are shifting from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram now because pictures are faster than words. When I first started using Instagram I would spontaneously post random things like most people do but now I am very conscious of what I post because so many people are paying attention and using photos at their disposal. Pictures tell a story, so I want people to understand my life better through my images. Especially in the past year, since my life has changed a lot with in regard to my group of friends and what we are doing.
Tell me what’s going on with the scene in LA?
LA has a really fun scene right now. I love the gay club culture here with parties like Mustache Mondayz, Rhonda and Fade to Mind. All the new artists and DJs have changed the movement and it’s exciting again. A lot of people I know are moving back to LA from NY and Europe. I thought about moving to to NY for a while but LA’s life quality is better and cheaper and we have the best weather.
How do you feel about labels and people calling your scene a Club Kid movement?
I don’t like labels because they don’t define me entirely as a person, only the subcultures that I am a part of. I like to party, meet new people and hangout with my friends. It’s a big part of my life. I feel like the Club Kid movement started a long time ago and the people that really coined in the 90’s were Michael Alig and James St. James. I feel my scene gets associated with it because we go out a lot and take a lot of pics. I have been clubbing since I was 16 years old. I have two older sisters who took me out to Hollywood and exposed me to cool people and parties. Once I started going out on my own, I started to see who were my real friends and who were simply opportunists. I love the people I surround myself with, who are mostly creative, like-minded gays. Right now I have a really solid group of friends that are not superficial at all. But, no, I wouldn’t necessarily call us Club Kids. Especially with the rise of Brooke Candy’s popularity, who has coined us as the #fagmob.
How did you meet Brooke Candy?
I had a show in LA and all my friends were there except for this little bad bitch I didn’t know. I saw her in this ghetto fabulous look and had to meet her. So I introduced myself and we started hanging out and making music together. Now we are really close and it’s really amazing watching her rise so fast.
Could you explain Fag Mob a little more? You all look pretty gay-ngster to me…
Fag Mob defines us perfectly: we are gay and hang out almost everyday. We all have a specific role: The Artist, The Producer, The Lyricist, The DJ and The Designer. Everybody is talented and contributes to the group. We are selling a lifestyle and people are buying into it.
Tell me about your roots and how you feel about the cultural contrasts.
My parents are from Iran and migrated here before the Iranian Revolution in 1979. I visited Iran a couple years ago and was arrested for wearing inappropriate clothes. I was taken into the police station and luckily they released me, but they could’ve held me there forever and done whatever they wanted with my body. As a gay woman, it was so difficult for me to conform to their law by wearing a hijab. I hated being covered up in that extremely hot desert weather, being treated like a second-class citizen. I wanted to go out into the streets looking like a boy but my mom wouldn’t let me because if I got caught, they could’ve sentenced me to death. I’m grateful for my freedom in America, were I can be a butch queen.
Do your parents know your gay? And if they do, how do they feel about it?
I was never able to come out to my parents because I got caught first. My mom walked in on me with a girl and found photos of me kissing girls. In the beginning she was depressed because she thought I would never get married or have kids, but now she understands that I can still have that life and that I’m still the same person. She is completely accepting of my sexuality and makes gay jokes constantly. I am blessed. I don’t think my dad knows. If you read this dad, you shouldn’t be surprised why I would always wear your clothes since I was a little kid. Haha…
Do you believe being gay is a choice or is it genetics?
Who would choose to be gay in this world? It’s not a trend. Homosexuality has been recorded in our history for ages. I read this fact that said, “homosexuality is found in 450 species, but homophobia is found only in one.” Who would want to live through the hardships of being a homosexual in this society? I believe it is genetics. I mean, how do explain Tegan and Sara? Lol… It’s that extra chromosome. They say people who drink soymilk often will give birth to more gaybies because of all the hormones.
What are some of your experiences being a lesbian and your thoughts about the gay community?
I have been a tomboy for as long as I can remember. My 1st birthday my sister bought me a Christian Dior dress and I cried till they took it off me. I was one, how do you explain that? I didn’t know any gay people growing up, so I was confused about who I was for most of my life. My sisters are very feminine and work in the fashion industry and they would try to make me more girlie when I was younger. I would try to be more feminine for them and grow my hair out long, even though I always wanted short hair. When I grew out of what my sisters’ wanted I said: “Fuck it!” I am not who you want me to be, this is me, so I shaved my head.
My life doesn’t revolve around being gay; it’s just a part of who I am. In LA I don’t hang out with lesbians because they’re too dramatic and not cute at all. Most of my friends are gay guys. They are amazing, fierce, queens. A lot of straight girls feel confused around me. I had to stop hooking up with them because they don ‘t understand lesbian sex. It makes such a difference to be with a real lesbian than bi-curious girls.
I remember the first time I went to Madrid, it was during the Gay Pride and it was the craziest experience ever. I had never seen so many people out in the streets in my life. Gay and straight people came together and celebrated. It was beautiful. I think Madrid has the best gay scene because the girls are so hot and fun.
During that trip in Madrid there were also the uprisings in Tehran, Iran. I felt a revolution coming from the youth and the homos. It was an amazing experience.
Since you didn‘t have any gay role models growing up, which advice would you have wanted to hear about being gay?
Be yourself always. Never let other people’s judgments stop you from being you. No matter what people tell you. People who bring you down do it because it’s a reflection of how they feel inside. You can’t live for anybody else but yourself. Live the life that you want.
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N.A.R will be dijing at Dilettante Club 12.12.12
120 N Santa Fe Ave – Los Angeles,CA
Photos: Dana Boulos | Text: Maike Gabriela Ludenbach