Audrey Napoleon, EDM's Electro Queen, Went From Performing in Malls to Producing Her Own Clothing Line
Matt Oliver / OC Weekly
*Eric Prydz & Audrey Napoleon - Yost Theater - 8/16/2012
*Being Underrepresented, Female DJs Say There's No Crying in EDM
*Slideshow: Identity Festival 2011 - The Crystal Method, Jason Bentley, Pretty Lights, Steve Aoki & More
The LA-based DJ/producer Audrey Napoleon is one of the few females on the Identity Festival roster and in the electronic dance music scene today. Following the release of her debut EP Ornamental Egos in July, Audrey has been on tour for the past four-and-a -half weeks playing the album for fans and bringing her underground pop sound to the stage. She played at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana right before the legendary Eric Prydz took over OC on Wednesday evening. We caught up with her backstage before the show to talk about the tour, her fans and future projects.
"Art came to me as a child," says Napoleon. "I grew up in a very creative environment. My dad plays trumpet and drums." She used to sing and do performances at the mall and it was only natural for her to continue into performing and becoming an artist. "I grew up listening to Depeche Mode, The Cure and Kraftwerk," says Audrey. She explored progressive dance music, minimal and many other genres before arriving at her signature sound. "Underground Pop is the dark side of techno that I really love and everything I love about pop music fused together," explains Napoleon.
Aside from creating her own genres, Audrey has shared the stage with an array of talented artists including techno legend Richie Hawtin, Deadmau5, Avicii and Simian Mobile Disco and now the talented roster on the Identity Festival including Eric Prydz, Wolfgang Gartner, Nero and Paul Van Dyk. "It's been a really incredible experience," she says. "I love all the artist on the tour. We are like family." Now as it's coming to an end Napoleon gets to reflect on her experience. "I was definitely exposed to a lot of music that I wouldn't normally go listen to," she said. "It's opened my mind to new and different sounds. I have so many ideas to go back into the studio in the fall and make something new and fresh."
Her EP Ornimental Egos was released on July 24th , which she has been playing throughout the tour including that evening at the Yost. "It's surreal to see everyone sing along," she smiled. Singing along to songs like "Bitchy Queen" and "Only You," Audrey has definitely put her stamp on dance music as an electro queen. Having played at some of the top clubs and venues Napoleon says, "I had the most incredible time in Miami. It was hot and 4pm, but I had 5,000 amazing people in front of me." She can thank her adoring fans and the fact that Miami is no stranger to the EDM scene for that show. "I have the most beautiful fans who are all so talented, stylish, quirky and strange (much like herself)," says Audrey. "From my beginnings I really appreciate all the continued support from my fans because without them I am just a girl in a room writing music."
Having not played in the West coast in three moths, Napoleon seemed very enthusiastic to come to Orange County and heat up the dance floor with her underground pop sound while making the guys fall in love with her playful personality. Tomorrow she hits San Diego's Identity Festival and then gets to play the official after party at Voyeur alongside Eric Prydz once more. "Voyeur was a residency of mine before I started touring and they have always been so supportive of me from day one," shared Audrey. "Before the Audrey Napoleon extravaganza started, Voyeur was my home and I am elated to be back because it's been almost a year!"
Audrey's fashionable ring
Matt Oliver / OC Weekly
The Identity Festival tour comes to an end on Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona and Napoleon plans to go back in the studio in the fall to create a more complete piece of work including some songs she's written on the road. "I'm also doing a clothing line collaboration with Rodnik Band of female, male and unisex clothes and accessories which will walk in this years London Fashion Week," she says. It's only natural as fashion has always been a huge part of her life (her mother would make clothes for her when she was young)."I think [Fashion] adds fuel to the fire to push edge into your performance" says Napoleon. Her sense of style is drawn from idols like Alexander McQueen and her line will be available exclusive at the Nylon Magazine store for those wanting to channel their edgy inner DJ.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.