Despite being a film festival, live music has always been an integral part of the Rooftop Films experience. We take great pride in bringing innovative new music produced in and around New York City to the rooftops. Some highlights from Music at Rooftop Films include Toro Y Moi, The Antlers, The Drums, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Mr. Twin Sister, TV On the Radio, Mutual Benefit, Chairlift, Deer Tick, Bachelorette and Lydia Ainsworth.
Next up at Rooftop, we have Portland, Maine native Tica Douglas! Tica’s work on their most recent album, “Joey”, has been compared to the greats of singer/songwriting such as Joni Mitchell and Cat Power.
Tica Douglas will play live on the roof of Trilok Fusion Center for the Arts TONIGHT before It Seemed So Real (Documentary Shorts). Learn more about their music, and its influences before you see her live.
ROOFTOP FILMS: From “Summer Valentine” to “Joey” how do you feel your music has developed?
TICA DOUGLAS: I think if anything, with “Joey” I tried to return to a simpler process and the more stripped down sound of my earlier, bedroom-recorded stuff. It’s easy to get lost in the studio process and even though both “Summer Valentine” and “Joey” were recorded in makeshift barnhouse studios, with Joey I was extra careful to keep the arrangements simple and straightforward. It feels like I’m always moving closer and closer to where I was when I started playing and writing music.
Do you feel moving to New York City from Portland, Maine (among other places) has influenced your music?
I think that it has influenced the way I interact with music more than the music itself. New York is a very driven place, very career-oriented. It’s sort of forced me to ‘be serious’ about my music, whatever that means. I’m definitely grateful for that in some ways, but too much of that mindset has definitely made me lose touch with my joy in music at times. So again, more and more I find myself trying to go back to where I started, detach ideas of career and money from my music, and just keep writing, creating, and performing, because those are the things I love about it.
How would you describe your performance style. Is it something you’ve worked on cultivating or does it come naturally?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately actually because I’ve been touring and really reconnecting with performing. I think the key for me is to just be really present while I play. Whatever state I’m in – sad, anxious, excited, hungover – don’t try to overcome that and perform, but use that feeling and channel it into the songs. Sing each word in a new way because you’ve never actually been in this moment singing this word before. This approach is what makes it a euphoric thing for me, and when I’m into it, the audience seems to be too.
You’ve said that writing your newest album “Joey” has helped you illuminate a connection between your personal “in-betweenness” and the “in-betweenness” you feel about the world. Could you talk more about that link and how you’ve managed to translate it into your music?
I’m still working this out. Still thinking about queerness and being non-binary and how that manifests in music. I think when you don’t fit into the rigid categories that are fed to you from day one on every level, you are forced to re-examine everything, which gives you an easier point of entry into the grey areas and ambiguities that are everything. And how could that not find its way into the art you make, both lyrically and musically?
In recent years there has been a bit more media visibility for queer and non-binary identifying people. I’ve noticed it more specifically in film and television, but how do you feel about queer representation in current music?
I think there’s a lot more queer artists being talked about and listened to than I can ever remember growing up. There’s still a lot of underrepresented voices in the music and art world, especially queer POC and trans folks. But it’s definitely great to see other narratives and other experiences being held up and highlighted.
Come see Tica Douglas LIVE on July 2nd at The Roof of Trilok Fusion Center for the Arts!