Singer Nomi Ruiz is fighting against exclusivity in the electronic music industry
We are so happy to announce that artist, Nomi Ruiz, is Galore’s newest Proud To Be Cover Girl!
Nomi, also known by her artist name Jessica 6, is incredibly talented and therefore, incredibly busy. She is currently running a record label, working on her own music, acting professionally, and developing her own TV series – all while expertly using her platform to better society’s negative treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.
Her music, her insistence on working in inclusive spaces, and her determination to stay vocal about LGBTQ+ struggles, all reflect on how positive an artist Nomi is. Her fight for inclusivity in the music industry, and elsewhere, is inspiring, and proves that any artist with a platform can make a difference (no matter how big or how small).
Nomi prioritizes the LGBTQ+ community with her art, and this begs the question – why aren’t others following suit?
We sat down with Nomi to discuss her song, “Get Loaded” (about sugar daddies, we love), her controversial performance in Greece, the lashes she can’t live without, and what Pride Month means to her.
Check out the exclusive interview and photoshoot below!
Your newest track, “Get Loaded,” is about sugar daddies (amazing), and your previous track, “The Storm Inside,” was all about trans-amory. Tell us about these two songs.
My new track is called, “Get Loaded,” and it’s about sugar daddies. The single before that is called, “The Storm Inside,” and it’s about loving trans women in a toxic world. I wrote an essay to accompany it, as well. You can read it here.
Why is it important to you to spread awareness about equality, unity, and acceptance (messages that you mention that your music is about)?
I think it’s important for all of us. Anyone who doesn’t believe in equality and acceptance and doesn’t live their lives accordingly should really seek therapy. They should figure out how their existence should mean more than simply setting up a home and a family for yourself and consuming and consuming while watching the rest of the world on TV.
The average American person seeks out such a meaningless, self-serving life.
Do you feel that artists have a responsibility to spread this kind of message in the current political climate, and why?
As artists, we are forced to face the rest of the world. We are blessed to be highly connected to the collective consciousness. People are constantly inquiring about our lives and the message behind our work. Words are so powerful, and when you work with a pen, it becomes your responsibility.
You’re responsible for feeding the outside world and you can either be careless and serve them shitty food or be a healer and a nurturer and stay aware that the work you put out into the world has an effect.
At your performance for The Resistance Show, you insisted that all the bathrooms at the venue were gender neutral and had signs hanging throughout the venue that said, “No sexism. No racism. No ableism. No ageism. No homophobia. No fatphobia. No transphobia. No Colorism. No hatefulness.” Explain your reasoning behind this, and why you think it’s important for more artists to begin being more inclusive like this.
I remember going to Afro Punk and seeing those huge banners on stage with those statements. Again, it was an example of the power of words. It automatically made me feel safe and included and connected to like-minded people. I wanted to share that message and feeling with my fans.
Daniela and I both feel passionate about making our work mean something – about affecting our cultural landscape. As public figures, we are constantly pressured to respond to social oppression within the trans community, so we decided to use our art as a response. The simplest things affect people. Just creating safe spaces for people to exist in – that should be all of our responsibility.
Tell us about your album, “The ELIOT Sessions.” How did this project come about, and what messages are being told through the music?
The album, “The ELIOT Sessions,” was written with a producer named ELIOT in Greece, while I was falling out of one relationship and into another. I think the record really captures the spectrum of emotion I endured during that time. It’s funny how you write a song about one man, and it suddenly means the same thing for another. It shows me that my choices are to blame and I still haven’t evolved in certain aspects of my romantic life.
This album also contains some songwriting that also has lots of metaphor. One song is about sugar daddies, but really examines the minds of those who look towards relationships as a way to elevate your socio-economic status. Another is about bitches who bite my style, and really examines cultural appropriation and how the mainstream takes from those who are less privileged in order to obtain and maintain a cool factor that is created by minorities.
You two began collaborating in Greece. What’s it like working in such a calm, away-from-the-craziness environment?
Well Greece can also be a bit intense. Especially Athens. We created over a wide span of time, so some of our work was during the economic crisis, which wasn’t very calming. We also were dealing with the press after performing one of the songs called, “Bad Thing,” on national TV with the pop star named, Sakis Rouvas.
The media really attacked me after that, because it was the first time a trans woman performed alongside a cis male pop star on national TV – probably the first time in the whole world. We were singing about infidelity, and he kissed me at the end. The country was really triggered by that, and I was attacked by conservatives, racists, and bigots.
It started an important conversation within the LGBTQ community in Greece – one that needed to be had. Like, why should I not have access to the same stage? Why is a man not allowed to show intimacy towards a woman of trans experience?
How do you two work together?
ELIOT usually sends me a track and I’ll start writing the top line. Then, we’ll get together and see how the production and writing could gel together even more. We had a lot of fun creating. I love his production style. It’s a bit nostalgic, but still feels so new to me. It has a bit of all the things I love – freestyle, pop, and dance.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
It means being unforgivingly visible. Being loud and taking over spaces and conversations that are usually reserved for hetero-normative culture.
How can music change the way people think?
Music gets to you when you least expect it. If you’re aware of what you’re creating and the intention behind it, you can really affect change.
What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ youth that are scared to live their truth?
Fear is a lighthouse, and you should always be moving towards it.
You are currently running a label called Park Side Records. How has that process been, and what do you plan on focusing on?
I started Park Side Records in 2005 when I was tired of playing the industry game. I felt forced to play this game of being a female that had to compete for a label to discover me. I was inspired by EL-P, who started his own label Def Jux, and Ill Bill, who was working on Uncle Howie. I was like, “Fuck this, I can do the same thing.”
I used it to release my own music, and now I’m ready to focus on other artists. I want to focus on giving exposure mostly to women of color and of trans experience. There are so many beautiful voices and powerful messages that need to be heard. My first artist is Martine Gutierrez, who is like a daughter to me. I’m so proud of her work and so excited to share it with the world.
You are going to be a guest star on the new “Sons Of Anarchy,” spinoff, “Mayans M.C.” What was the coolest thing about filming?
I mean it was all pretty damn exciting. Watching these guys perform stunts and seeing them destroy an entire room during a fight scene. Then, watching it all go back to normal within 5 minutes. You would think that working with so many tough guys in leather while riding motorcycles would be intimidating, but I grew up around gangs and have worked with bikers in the past.
Lots of these guys are about community and family, whether or not you are blood related. All of the actors on “Mayans M.C.” really made me feel safe and included and pushed me to perform better.
Tell us a little bit about the TV Series you’re developing!
It’s basically my life story and struggle in the music industry, wrapped into a femme-centric TV series in the vein of “Girls,” or, “Insecure.”
Mascara and a lipliner that matches my nipple color.
Outfit you feel the most confident in?
Favorite song to sing in the summer?
“Get Loaded,” by Jessica 6.
Dream on-stage outfit?
The Blonds meets Gypsy Sport.
Favorite lashes brand?
Shot by Jacob Dekat