Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lisbona Sisters

Photo Courtsey Of Lisbona Sisters

NAMES?
Ava Lisbona and Laura Lisbona.

BIRTHPLACE?
Atlantic City, New Jersey.

CURRENTLY RESIDING?
Ava: Los Angeles, CA.

Laura: San Francisco, CA - but often feels like Los Angeles, CA.

CHARACTER TRAITS OF RESPECTIVE SISTER (INCLUDING DEVIANCES)?
Ava: Laura is the nicer sister for sure. She is the sweet one and super smart one. More level headed. But still a totally crazy girl.

Laura: Ava's always been really creative and visual. When she was in high school, people's moms were paying her to custom paint pairs of shoes, bedazzle clothing and design cell phone cases. We always did arts and crafts as kids and she stayed really good at doing them into adulthood. She comes up with things where I'm like, "How did you think of that?!" Deviances? Oh please, Ava doesn't have any of those.

WHY MUSIC?
Ava: Growing up, music was a huge part of our lives, our father was a jazz musician and singer and our mom was always listening to funk and disco. We always hung out with each other a lot. We made up dance moves to TLC, made mix tapes and saved up the money we got from our parents so we could go get a new cassette tape or CD; it's always been a huge part of our lives. We started going out together when we got older and felt at home with dance music, so we figured we may as well make it part of our lives since it makes us so happy.

Laura: It's been a part of our makeup since...forever. One of my first memories in life is lying on my stomach in our living room in Atlantic City while our mom is doing aerobics. I had headphones on and a Walkman and was listening to Frankie Valli's "Big Girls Don't Cry" on repeat. I just remember the song ending and then pressing the rewind button over and over again. Our dad loved Sinatra and that whole era of music. Our mom was a total soul and disco child. Between the two of them, we were exposed to so much and I think listening to such an array of sounds so early in life kept our ears open along the way. I got really into hip hop and gangster rap at a young age and my mom was concerned, so she took me to Best Buy and got me Abbey Road; she was like "Try listening to this." (Still one of my favorites today). I somehow got really into house music when I was 11 or so. I remember one of our parent's friends asking me, "So what kind of music are you listening to now?" and I responded, "Well, right now I'm really into deep house." He had no idea what I was talking about, and it would still be hilarious if a child answered that question that way today.

AND YOUR AVAILABILITY SINCE 1989?
Laura: Our messages are positivity and you'd-better-dance-or-else. I think people didn't take us seriously as DJs and artists at first because we are (as much as I hate to say it) women and, yes, we are really silly. We've worked really hard to improve ourselves on the technical side and, while we're really serious about the craft, we don't like to take ourselves too seriously, if that makes sense. Our vibe we like to uphold really aligns with some of the things early rave culture was founded on; have fun, be creative, be yourself, and for f***s sake, dance. In terms of developing our sound in the dance music space, people like Green Velvet, Jamie Jones, Lee Foss and Justin Martin have been really big influences. I feel like they all do a great job of playing stuff that is driving, dance-inducing and groovy; they can all tap into the underground sound and still keep their sets commercially palatable for larger festivals and shows, which is a delicate line to straddle and is how I see Ava and myself developing.

Ava: We’ve had support from all angles. Friends and family. Our first gig was a happy hour at Monarch in San Francisco. Our sound is all over the place. Music is really all about context. I like everything from dark techno and happy vocal house to weird ambient music, jazz, classical; it just depends on the the time, place and day. I love gangster rap. It’s hilarious to see me rap. I can remember lyrics to everything. I’m sure its awkward for people to see. I will always be a fan of feel-good R&B and happy disco. Again, it just all depends on where my head is at the moment.

HOW DID YOU ACQUIRE YOUR TURNTABLE SKILLS?
Ava: I learned in the basement of a nightclub called Monarch in San Francisco.

Laura: Same. My boyfriend, Chris Smith, taught me. He started Om Records and has an insane music collection, so he's been a really great teacher since the beginning and still is now. He took me down to Monarch at 9a.m. and gave me a lesson. We also have a turntables at our house with a sizable vinyl collection, so I would practice there (and still do sometimes)...as long as it's not too late and upsetting the neighbors.

WHAT IS THE “DIVISION OF LABOUR” WITHIN THE GROUP?
Laura: Ava handles more of the creative and social media. I'm more logistics, business...you know, all the fun stuff. But in the studio we both have our own creative elements to add, and I suppose that's where it matters most.

Ava: Laura is the writer. She is the brains for sure. Not sure how she does it, but she can compose anything really.

WHAT IS “STRETCH SUNDAY” AND WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE TO GO SHOPPING FOR SPANDEX AND YOUR AESTHETIC IN GENERAL?
Laura: STRETCH is our 80s spandex workout party we started in San Francisco (video, here), they were a blast and I know we will bring them back soon. Best place for spandex shopping? Thrift stores and the internet! I love looking online because you can literally type in anything (e.g., black spandex high cut onesies with aqua and pink stripe) and something pops up! Insane. For our day-to-day aesthetic, we both find clothes all over the place. I actually don't like shopping in stores at all -I get overwhelmed and tired  -so I usually find my clothes at fairs, pop-ups and online. I rarely shop somewhere where there are rows of the same item (like a department store); I like when it's a hodgepodge of items that you have to sift through. Maybe it's something mental, but I just feel like when I find something that way, it is specially for me! Ha. I generally like to mix more sensible pieces with crazy ones. Lately I've been into the sporty look, lots of jersey and neoprene with hoop earrings. Esqape and Stampd make some really cool stuff which is where I've gotten some of my favorite current pieces.

Ava: Laura pretty summed up STRETCH above pretty bang on, as she should. As for my personal aesthetic, it changes every day. I love vintage shopping and places Goodwill. It’s always fun to get things from second hand stores and make them better. Again, arts and crafts: Day to day, I am an “all black everythang” girl, its easy. No one can tell if you haven’t been home. My sister describes my style as “homeless chic”… It’s a good thing… I think? Jeans and T-shirts (and sweats) and a super solid pair of black boots is my favorite look. However, I have been trying to get a little more fun and girly with my style these days. Wear dresses, ya know? I’ve always been a tomboy so its something new. Pretty much my style is basics and; Burning Man/Homeless chic. Life is too short for boring clothes so shopping in one place would not work for me. Buy and add, more is always more.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT DOING THIS, WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO?
Laura: I like to write. Sometimes it's hard when I'm not feeling particularly inspired. I love cooking and I also love trying new restaurants. I'm also really into health and nutrition. I love learning about ways I can keep myself (and others) looking and feeling better. I love being outside when the weather is nice...particularly pool side. Ava and I grew up in the Coachella Valley. Being by a pool is my nature. Wearing sunscreen, obviously (don't worry, Mom).

Ava: I make jewelry and paint. I love doing arts and crafts...I’m kind of like a 3rd grade art teacher. Other than that, I love just hanging out with friends and getting into a bit of trouble. When I am not playing, I find myself in night clubs, often. There is nothing better than dancing. It solves all my problems. Never trust a DJ (or anyone) who doesn’t dance.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A PERFECT DAY?
Laura: Get up, go on a walk somewhere cute. Have a perfect cup of Earl Grey and smaybe a scone with clotted cream if we're going deep. Have a really nice workout (I love stretchy ones like Dailey Method and Pop Physique). Have a massage. Have a sour beer (Almanac is my favorite) outside by a pool in the sunshine. Play with some kittens and listen to some R&B. Cook something delicious. See my friends. Write something awesome. Make some music. Win the lottery. Inspire world peace. Not in this particular order.

Ava: My perfect day would be to get up, make breakfast and coffee (which I usually do with my roommate) and clean up my house a bit. I know that sounds weird but its a sense of accomplishment thing. Go for a walk.. to anywhere. Sit in a park and write down ideas. Dig for music (and have a really good digging day, some are better than others) work for an hour or two. Dance around my house in my underwear to all the new tunes. Go to the studio. See friends. Have dinner and nice wine with friends and then get in bed and cuddle (a teddy bear, pillow or a person, whatever). I’m boring, but this itinerary for a perfect day could change in the next hour.

IN ONE RAMBLING RUN-ON SENTENCE: IF YOU COULD TRANSPORT YOURSELVES TO ST. ELSWHERE THIS VERY INSTANCE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHY?
Laura: Sicily sounds nice, or maybe back to the late 80s, just to see my childhood through different eyes.

Ava: Man, as I am writing this from bed sick, it would be anywhere but here but I am pretty happy being in L.A. at the moment where the sun is shining in my room. Yeah, I guess being on a boat drinking a cocktail in Europe would be nice, too.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed this post and the preview…so many fun looks to consider!
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