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Interview with Astronautica

10:44 AM PDT on June 11, 2013


Edrina Martinez, better known as Astronautica, has emerged as a rising artist in LA's globally-recognized beat scene. She's found a home at Alpha Pup records, played Low End and Coachella already this year, and is getting amazing reviews for her debut record. Please enjoy this Q&A with someone you'll want to keep your eye on...

What's your favorite taco spot in LA?
I have a couple- my friend recently took me to El Chavo in Silverlake, I LOVE potato tacos, and they did a pretty good job there, plus they have really awesome margaritas. I’m a big fan of patio dining and they have a really cool spot.

I also really like Guisados.

Where did you grow up? Where did you go to High School?
I grew up in San Dimas and went to an all girls Catholic High School called St. Lucy’s in Glendora.


When did you start making music, and what equipment did you start using? What do you use now?
I started making music about 2 years ago. I was using this keyboard I found at a thrift store with no pads or knobs or anything just the keys, and my friend gave me his M-Audio trigger finger that I was messing around with.

Now I use an Akai MPK49 & APC40 and my guitar mainly, I’ll use other little instruments and controllers I have laying around too.

All-time favorite: album? Emcee? Producer?
This is always such a hard question..
Favorite album- Radiohead- In Rainbows
Favorite MC-Phife Dawg
Favorite producer- J Dilla


What are some of your childhood music memories?
I have a really young family so I basically grew up listening to what they would listen to. In the 90s it was a lot of rap and hip hop. My first favorite song was Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice.” When I would listen to it as a kid though I thought Snoop was singing “orange juice.” So I’d be like “.......sippin on orange juice, laid back. With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.”

I remember my grandma driving my cousins and me around when we were kids (like 5 or 6 years old) and we’d get to take turns listening to whatever radio station we wanted. I would always request Power 106 and would get really pissy if my cousins would request anything else. So I used to bribe them with candy or my Gameboy to say they wanted to listen to Power.

In middle and high school I started listening to some more indie rock and electronic music but I always loved hip hop.

What's your favorite book, why is it important to you?
Paulo Coelho- The Alchemist. The main character is chasing after his dream, and he learns something new on his journey there. It’s a book I can relate to in a more mystical and vicarious way. Paulo Coelho is also my favorite writer for that reason- all of his books are magical. It’s hard to put down once I’ve picked up any one of his books.


How did you meet up with other LA musicians like Daedalus and Shlohmo?
I met Daedalus at a show he played with Tokimonsta and Shlohmo at the Glass House a couple years back. He was just mingling in the front area before the show so I just started talking to him and he was a really cool guy. I told him I was also beginning to make music and he told me to just keep putting it out there and it would eventually get picked up.

I used to live in SF and had mutual friends as Henry. I ended up at his place one night and would see him every once in a while. I was really into what he was doing, especially cause it was the first time I really heard that kind of music.

Do you go out a lot? What are your favorite spots in LA to dance or see performances?
I’m kind of a hermit. I love hanging out at home, watching Netflix and drinking wine with my boy or working on music. I really only go out if I’m playing a show or something. I love eating- I like cooking as much as I like eating out at restaurants so I basically only go out if I’m going to eat. But I occasionally go out to bars and stuff with friends, I like doing that. The Echoplex always has pretty rad performances going on there, that spots cool.


What's it like to play Low End Theory?
Playing Low End is always fun. The crowd is always super hyped to be there. The sound quality too is always prime. It’s also really home-y, usually all my friends come through so it’s cool to hang out with everyone.

Do you have plans to tour? What do you like most about performing?
I do have plans to tour, I just got asked to play Warsaw so we’ll see about that. I’m hoping to do a Euro tour soon. My live set up there will probably be like it is now, pretty minimal I like to keep it.

The thing I like most about performing to a live audience is to see everyone get down to my music. It’s a cool feeling to see people respond and appreciate it.

So what was it like to play Coachella this year?
Playing Coachella was pretty surreal. I've gone for the past 5 years or so and I didn't really expect to play anytime soon. I played a DJ set Friday afternoon. It was cool because it was a day party with everyone dancing, drinking and getting wet. Usually my live sets are pretty mellow, so I was excited to do a more party type set. It was definitely the largest crowd I've played to, it was dope.

Any summer plans?
This summer I just plan on playing more shows, work on some mixtapes and remixes, collaborating with other artists, and I'm working on my EP right now...

Go download some Astronautica tunes on her Soundcloud, and follow her on Twitter.

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