On Friday, June 17, PC Music signee Namasenda will be making her US debut at LadyLand, a queer music festival hosted outside in Brooklyn and run by New York's nightlife staple Ladyfag. Performing with Namasenda at the festival is her friend and collaborator Goth Jafar, who attended LadyLand years before being featured on the bill. Below, the two catch up on their careers and personal lives as they prepare for their performances this weekend alongside headliners Honey Dijon and Tinashe.
Goth Jafar: I went to LadyLand in 2018.
Namasenda: Is it a vibe?
Goth Jafar: It's a vibe, for sure. It's very gay, but it was 2018, the first one, and I'll never forget the lineup: SOPHIE, Tommy Genesis, CupcakKe, Kim Petras, so it was really cute. It was raining, but that's what made it cinematic. It’s one of those days I'll never forget because I also met one of my best friends at the SOPHIE portion and they're my best friend to this day. So it’s surreal to be DJing there and I’m on a lineup with you.
Namasenda: I'm really excited about seeing Tinashe. I can't wait to go, I just need to go to London first. How's London, by the way?
Goth Jafar: London? It's interesting, that’s for sure. I feel like the food there wasn't really the best food I’ve had, but I really appreciate the clubs there. I feel like New York is not where it's supposed to be when it comes to techno venues. There's really only two main ones and I feel like London has the most.
Namasenda: Yeah, I haven't really gone to any clubs in London. I just hate being there.
Goth Jafar: Yeah, it's just very, very white. I was just saying, I can't wait to get out of here. No offense to the British people, but get me out of here. They're also very rude.
Namasenda: You think? Are they way more rude than New York?
Goth Jafar: New York people aren't really that rude. I feel like British people push into you at a club and don’t even say, “Excuse me.” It’s just like, what is happening here?
Namasenda: [Laughs] Like, you want to start a fight?
Goth Jafar: I don’t think a bitch knows how to say excuse me.
Namasenda: I'm really excited to play my first American show. I can't even grasp the fact that I actually got my visa. I got my passport the day before I came here. I was so nervous about that, but I got it so I'm really fucking excited about it.
Goth Jafar: I'm excited to DJ on a lineup with people I have really looked up to for years. It doesn't feel real, in a sense.
Namasenda: But then it also makes sense because you've been doing a lot of good shit. I mean, we both have, obviously. The venue, Brooklyn Mirage, what kind of venue is that?
Goth Jafar: It’s crazy. I haven't been there in forever, but they renovated the entire thing and it's like a giant arena with the craziest backdrop of a screen. It's a projection using the background of a stage.
Namasenda: That's a vibe. What date do you arrive in New York?
Goth Jafar: I come back on the 13th.
Namasenda: I come on the 16th and then I go to Montreal.
Goth Jafar: I've never been to Canada yet.
Namasenda: Yeah, me neither. Then I'm going to San Francisco, I've never been there either. You had a good time there, right?
Photography: Hobbes Ginsberg
Goth Jafar: Yeah, it’s cute. Perfect and gay.
Namasenda: Wait, are you going to be here for my show on the 11th?
Goth Jafar: I wish, I have to fucking go to Paris on Friday.
Namasenda: This life... I wish I was a librarian, that's my dream job. I would just be chillin, be bored.
Goth Jafar: That’s a vibe. This lifestyle is really hectic, that's for sure.
Namasenda: I'm really fucking tired and I didn't even do anything yesterday.
Goth Jafar: I wish that was me, I went out.
[Namasenda asks to borrow a book to put her mirror on, so she can do her makeup.]
Goth Jafar: They didn’t book you a glam squad?
Namasenda: No, I didn't want one because it just takes time and then I don't even like it. It's just like, let me just do it. So I just have my stylist. Do you know Dominnico? The designer is from Barcelona and they made me a custom piece.
Goth Jafar: I can't wait to see it.
Namasenda: We tried it on at the other hotel. It’s very Hot_Babe_93. I love your shirt, I wanted one.
Goth Jafar: Tama Gucci, I feel like they would send you one. Shoutout to another underground queer artist.
Namasenda: I would love to have one, but this one is my fucking favorite.
Goth Jafar: Yeah, I was like, “I need this fucking shirt,” because of out of all his merch, the teddy bear, the Azealia Banks quote.
Namasenda: It's so good. I really liked the one that said, “Move, I'm high,” with a little exclamation mark. It's a good one.
Goth Jafar: He has very, very good merch. That’s something I appreciate about [Tama Gucci].
Namasenda: And I feel like they're doing it by themselves, no? Like all the screenprinting? I can tell because it's really well-made.
Goth Jafar: Like, this glitter? Where else am I gonna get this? And only a Black person can come up with something so good. I feel like we’re getting some good content. [Laughs] We’re just talking shit this entire time. I'm like, “Are you gonna send us a check?”
Namasenda: Please do, I just want money. Everything costs so much. But also the US right now, what happened? I feel like it's on the brink of collapse.
Goth Jafar: It’s definitely going to collapse. It’s very bad there, right now.
Namasenda: What is going on?
Goth Jafar: I feel like being here has been a distraction, in a sense. Everything is also cheaper, I can survive living here.
Namasenda: I think I'm gonna move here.
Goth Jafar: To Barcelona?
Namasenda: Yeah, and have a husband here [laughs].
Goth Jafar: Oh, your trade was giving. I was very proud of your trade. How did that happen?
Namasenda: He’s making grills.
Goth Jafar: You found the jackpot. He makes grills and looks like that?
Namasenda: Yeah, let me tell you about our first kiss. So we're in the smoking area and he has this tattoo, and I was like, “What does this mean?” He was like, “Fear is the destroyer of death,” and then he looked me in the eyes and we kissed.
Photography: Hannah Diamond and Arvida Byström
Goth Jafar: How romantic.
Namasenda: And yesterday, he took us to the beach. He drove us an hour from the city.
Goth Jafar: I need to go to the beach at least once. I don’t know how the fuck I’m gonna do that. I just need to tan, that’s all I really want to do. How is Sweden?
Namasenda: It's chill, I love it there. I'm having a good time. I'm just in my home, like I sit in my apartment doing nothing. That’s my life.
Goth Jafar: I'm going there next month for a festival
Namasenda: I think I'm playing, too. I just said “yes” because you’re playing.
Goth Jafar: Period. I looked at that lineup and I was like, “Who are these people?” I was like, “You just made that up.” [Laughs] I was like, “This is a scam and you’re just trying to get me out here.” Like, they drive me two hours away from Stockholm into a forest... but then they added people that I know.
Namasenda: I think the whole venue is an old mine... factory. It’s this weird place.
Goth Jafar: Ok fab, it’s gonna be cute. The vibe for this summer is going to be fun.
Namasenda: I feel like everyone is in chaos mode.
Goth Jafar: Especially right now.
Namasenda: And I don't have a manager, so I'm doing everything by myself. It's crazy. Sometimes I feel like I'm gonna have a heart attack, which I might. Rest in peace.
Goth Jafar: You need someone to help you. I don't even know how you got this far.
Namasenda: I don't fucking know, but I feel like I'm superhuman. I can do anything, but also my mom, she helps me a lot, but she's also really annoying sometimes.
Goth Jafar: Aw, you have a momager. Kris Jenner.
Namasenda: [Laughs] Kris. She's trying, but she's learning about the industry. She's like, “Wait, what is that?” Because nothing makes sense.
Goth Jafar: She’s like, “What the fuck is an A.G. Cook”?
Namasenda: [Laughs] She even wrote his name today like “AJ.”
Goth Jafar: Aw, say hi to AJ Cook for me.
Namasenda: So yeah, everything is hectic, But I'm just trying to have good vibes and live through this summer. We'll see how that goes. I really don't want to die.
Goth Jafar: I don’t either. Since it's my first European tour, I'm still getting used to shit. I'm in the trenches, right now. I feel like I have to scream and shout to really get the things I want. I’m in Europe, but I had to find a place to stay because they didn't put me in a hotel. I have to make some sacrifices, but it won't be like that for long. I also feel like I shouldn't have to scream and shout.
Namasenda: When you're in those types of places in your life, you're alone in it and no one else has been through this, but I think a lot of people that we look up to and that are now doing really well have been through this.
Goth Jafar: They’ve gone through this era, yeah.
Namasenda: This is where you sort out the superstars and then... those people.
Goth Jafar: It’s an interesting era, for sure. I keep saying in the back of my head that it won't be like this forever.
Namasenda: That’s what I’m trying to tell myself too. I'm always stressed out.
Goth Jafar: When you come to New York, we need to have a spa day.
Namasenda: I have a shoot there, too.
Goth Jafar: I feel like this is the year for modeling, this is our modeling era.
Namasenda: Me? No.
Goth Jafar: You, for sure.
Namasenda: Next year, just give me some time. Once I lose this baby weight, it's over for you bitches [laughs].
Goth Jafar: I feel like I've accomplished my DJ goals and I can go further with it, for sure. I'm just ready to tack on modeling and DJ more in fashion.
Namasenda: But it's so crazy how fast it's gone for you. I remember your first time.
Goth Jafar: If it wasn’t for you, I genuinely wouldn’t be here right now, so thank you for that.
Namasenda: I felt like you needed that push.
Goth Jafar: I always said I wanted to be a DJ, but I never did it. You were like, “Play for my party,” and literally my first time was at that Zoom party. And now I’m here in Spain having an interview with you for PAPER Magazine.
Namasenda: Life, it moves in mysterious ways.
For LadyLand tickets, click here.
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