On the surface, Ida Chelengar is your typical Brooklyn girl - save for the fact that she's produced a genre of her own, "lightcore"; dreams of auteuring a Disney-style animated film; and has perfected the art of wig-wearing. Take an afternoon to run through her Soundcloud, a stream of blissful melodies that will lift you up into nocturnal, airy delight. First, listen to the addictive “URL FANTASY” and “DIGITAL PARADISE,” both of which will fly you into an electronic dreamland. Then take on her inventive remixes of Major Lazer’s “Lean On” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” and it's clear that she's already made her mark within the "IRL" urban jungle. With her latest release - a chilled out tune in collaboration with CETANA - "Running," out now on Dim Mak, the outlook of the upcoming year is pretty solid, to say the least.
Here are some words exchanged through email with the aptly named "URL mermaid." (And for those in the area, be sure to catch her next show at Good Room on February 4th, in support of Spank Rock.)
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DB: So "Running" is the best thing I've heard all week. Tell us about it - how you made it, the inspiration.
moistbreezy: It started when I was playing around with making a Nicki Minaj remix, but as I was playing around in ableton the lyrics for "Running" started coming to me like almost out of nowhere and I knew I was going to make an original instead. It all came out subconsciously from what I was feeling around that time. I've always had big dreams, but I want to bring all the people I love with me along for the ride, that's kind of where the song comes from. I passed it along to the CETANA guys and they really ran with the track and made it even bigger than I had imagined it being. I was really blown away when I first heard what they had done with the track.
What else do you have up your sleeve?
Right now, I'm working on getting a bunch tracks done. I think it's time I put together an EP or an album of sorts, I'm in the beginning stages of working on something like that.
I feel like I have something meaningful that I can always be working on and growing. I have tons of ideas that I want to work on. And because of that, I don't go out as much anymore. I try to use that time to work on bringing everything I have in my mind to fruition.
Any big shows, appearances, or festivals you have coming up this year?
I have a mix with CETANA for Dim Mak's radio show on iHeartRadio's Evolution airing this Thursday at 10 pm EST, and I'll be supporting Spank Rock at Good Room in Brooklyn on February 4th! Lining up some other mixes and shows - hoping I'll be able to get out to some new cities to play this year.
What's going on with the New York electronic music scene? Word is several popular clubs are due to shut down this year.
I feel like I haven't been as in with what's going on with the New York scene as I used to be. I used to go to something like three shows a week at least. Now I've been spending more time working on music so I don't go out as much and don't feel as in touch with the current state of affairs. But having lived in the city for over five years, I've noticed how NYC is always in a state of motion, always changing. A club will open and be the hottest club for six months, then something else will come along and replace it. It seems that these warehouse parties like Rinsed and BangOn!NYC have really been gaining some momentum the past few years, and Brooklyn's been the place to go out. Palisades and Trans Pecos have had some really cool shows with more of a grime, club vibe.
Favorite genre to play?
I like tracks that feel big and anthemic, but have their own unique edge to them, so I love playing out Rustie and Unicorn Kid and tracks with that kind of vibe. I go more by artists whose sound I like than by strict genres.
I read on another outlet that you're into the French dance scene. it's blowing up, but then again it's always been amazing - people are just now starting to notice. who are your top 3 French artists?
Yesss, I've been super into the French scene for a while, that whole Ed Banger and Bromance vibe. I don't know how to decide! I love Brodinski and Gesaffelstein and Justice, to me it seems like everybody loves them. Surkin, Para One, that whole Club Cheval crew, they're all so good.
One of my goals in life is to make an animated Disney princess movie and write the music for it. I think music and film go very hand in hand.
Best wig shop? Best way to wear a wig?
I get my wigs from Ricky's and Patricia Fields. This one I got form Patricia Fields looks super realistic on me, they have crazy unique wigs there. That's probably just my favorite store in general, I heard that it's closing soon though! The best way to wear a wig is with a lot of confidence c:
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How do you come up with your unique sound? It's not easy to describe. I would be lying if I said the vocals and beats weren't catchy af, and I love the ethereal sound to "Honey."
I have a lot of really different influence and listen to music almost constantly. Somehow that translates when I make music. I try not to think about it much and just let it flow out of me. I like playing around with weird sounds, too. The track "Honey" specifically I started as joke. It was going to be a parody of SOPHIE's "L.O.V.E." and I was planning on just uploading a sample of a kettle going off to Soundcloud, but I got a bit carried away in Ableton and I was like, "This actually sounds kind of cool."
You went to film school. How was it? Are you still going after a job in that industry?
Film school was very intense. I definitely learned a lot, especially about my own creative process. I actually work in the industry right now. My day job is at a production company, and I've also been making some visuals The Knocks' live show. I really want to incorporate film stuff more with my music project, with music videos, a visual album. One of my goals in life is to make an animated Disney princess movie and write the music for it. I think music and film go very hand in hand.
I can definitely see you coming out with "MOIST" merch in the near future, thoughts? I recommend having MOIST in large letters.
A few years ago, I used to do a lot of DJ videography shooting shows and stuff under the name "MOI$T." I had this black beanie that had "MOI$T" written on it in big mirrored-glass letters. I lost it though 🙁
I have a lot of merch ideas for when the time comes, like maybe a shampoo and conditioner, lotion, moist towelettes, cake batter. But some shirts that say MOIST are probably more realistic.
You've really blown up (in a good way) over the last year. Compare your life of a year ago to what it has now evolved into.
Music has really changed my life. I feel like I have something meaningful that I can always be working on and growing. I have tons of ideas that I want to work on. And because of that, I don't go out as much anymore. I try to use that time to work on bringing everything I have in my mind to fruition. I've found a really awesome community of musicians and music-lovers, though. From the outside (IRL), I don't think my life looks that different yet. But I have a new perspective on what's really important to me in my life, I feel it's pretty special.
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