Angel Haze

Angel Haze sounds like a rapper, but she feels like a one-woman punk band. Towards the end of her recent frenetic performance opening for MIA at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Haze jumped into the audience. She was invisible except for the strobe of cell phones and camera flashes that followed her from one side of the crowd to the other, her powerful staccato booming through the waves of fans rocking out to her words. Haze may be young and relatively new to the game, but she has an insanely smart literary mind and name drops both queer theorists and rappers in the same breath. I spoke with the talented Detroit-bred rapper about  poetry, fashion, and finding her voice in the industry.

In the past you’ve described yourself as the “voice to the voiceless.” Who are the voiceless and how do you feel about the responsibility that comes with being their voice?

Valerie Yum

LADY-DJ

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The first time I laid eyes on Valerie Yum was in the sweaty back room of an infamous, now sorely missed Sydney party called Gay Bash. If memory serves me correctly she was being photographed climbing across a black leather couch on all fours, throwing her long hair back over her head, wearing an American flag leotard and no pants. There is a photo of this somewhere on the internet, but in the interest of preserving our friendship I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Not much has changed since then, although both of us have sensible bobs and Val’s gone from occasional DJ sets at underground gay parties to being the first person you call when you’re putting on a fashion event in Sydney. Here’s how she did it:

The Prettiots

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It’s hard not to fall in love with The Prettiots, and it’s not just because they have a killer band name. The New York-based trio (comprised of Kay Kasparhauser, Rachel Trachtenburg, and Lulu Prat) self-described “indie-girl-pop-but-not-shitty” sound all started with just a ukulele and a loop pedal. “I opened at the Bowery Electric for Rachel, and we shared some interests and ideas about music,” said Kay. “Rachel agreed to drum for me while I did my thing, which made it a lot more listenable. Lulu played bass on tour with Supercute! (Rachel’s former band), and when Rachel and I decided we needed a bass player, Lulu was the obvious choice.” After just one listen to their single “Dreamboy,” we were totally addicted to their “Tokyo pop band meets cat cafe meets Clueless” vibe, as we dug a little deeper, we found out that Kay is a mega fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘s fictional NYPD detective Elliot Stabler. So much, in fact, that she even wrote a song about him. “I’m obsessed with L&O:SVU for a lot of reasons. I think it’s morbidly fascinating, and the fact that it is so popular really speaks to the darkness of popular opinion. I like that every episode is this perfectly compartmentalized moral tale of good and bad, but more specifically, I love Stabler because he is the ultimate dream boy—like a short-tempered badass with strong convictions and a fierce determination to right the wrongs of this cruel world.”  So, while we very patiently wait for The Prettiots debut EP to drop this summer, Kay explains what exactly what makes Elliot Stabler so dang dreamy and premieres her “Stabler” track right here on the blog. —Chrissy Mahlmeister

#MusicMonday: Southern Rap

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Every Monday we send you a killer playlist straight from NGHQ!

“Move over Yeezus. From Cashville to ATL to the 305, the dirty South is full of some serious rap gods. You can dance to Southern hip-hop with your gals, turn it up in your ride, or, what the hell, even listen to it while you’re brushing your teeth, so feel free to rock some overalls and a crop top with this finger lickin’-good playlist. Now hurry up with my damn biscuits.”

—Zarna Surti, Fashion Copywriter

#MusicMonday: Ultimate Karaoke Playlist

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Every Monday we send you a killer playlist straight from NGHQ!

“There’s no denying everyone who’s anyone (in my book) loves a good night of karaoke. (Double points if you and your pals are into duets, trios, or—even better—boy band tributes.) Even my shyest of friends have fallen victim to that glitter-strewn, dive-bar stage at 2 a.m.—microphones and beers in hand. But sometimes even the most avid karaoke-goers are capable of experiencing song-choice anxiety, so I’ve made a playlist that can help alleviate all your karaoke stresses. Get ready to feel inspired with an arsenal of jams to sing/scream/dance/make a fool of yourself to. No thanks needed.”
—Hillary Comstock, Associate Producer

#MusicMonday: Teenage Love

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Every Monday we send you a killer playlist straight from NGHQ!

“Ah, is there anything more tender than young love? Between the messy makeout sesh at a house party, the unrequited stares in Algebra, and the borderline-obsessive daily check of a certain someone’s LiveJournal, it seems love was at it’s most new and raw in our adolescent days. What’s so great about security, commitment, and the dedication of a life partner when you were applauded and revered for dating your BF for a WHOLE 6 months (or at least until prom) back in the day? There was laughter, there were tears, and perhaps an emotional breakdown or two while watching The OC. We here at Nasty Gal want to bring back those oh-so-torturous-yet-super-sweet memories with a playlist straight from your first generation iPod. Get ready to get down to the primest of jams from the late ’90s/early 2000s (warning: there’s emo!) and drift into this Valentine’s Day on a cloud of nostalgia.”

—Keeley Higgins, Merchandise Assistant

#MusicMonday: Love & Anti-Love Songs

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Every Monday we send you a killer playlist straight from NGHQ!

“As we dip into February and get all drunk on love, these two playlists will catch you on whichever side of love you’re on. Love tracks will get you in the mood to fall in love, or if you’re already in love, kick back and find the nearest hot tub. Anti-Love will take you through the wild ride of being single; getting dissed, trying to figure out why, owning who you are, gettin’ nice and sleazy and of course not giving a fuck about anyone else but yourself.

To start off these seriously smooth love tracks here is Connan Mockasin, with his slick side smile. Be careful, he might make you feel a little shy. I mean, his new record is flawless and it’s called Caramel – just add marshmallows and heat.”
—Isabella Behravan, Social Media Associate Manager

#MusicMonday: Play To Win

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Every Monday we send you a killer playlist straight from NGHQ!

“In the Nasty Gal creative studio, we’re no strangers to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The internet’s relentless hunger for pictures of cool girls wearing killer outfits makes every week a series of challenges. Whether it’s finals, a second graveyard shift, or a martial arts tournament fight to the death (oops), you’re probably no stranger to obstacles either. So, I’ve compiled a series of tracks that help get me through anything. The best part? Most of them are from ’80s movie soundtracks. You’re welcome.”

—Brett Spencer, Senior Producer