If you were going to describe the music of Islamiq Grrrls and oOoOO in one word, it would definitely have a “y” at the end of it. It’s sort of sleep-y, definitely tripp-y, a little air-y, and in some ways angsty. Asia, the woman behind the Islamiq Grrrls grew up in western Germany and was born to Bosnian-Muslim parents, but moved to Paris for 10 years. After finding herself worn down by the city, she moved to Berlin where she met oOoOO and things started to click, musically.
Together the pair has created several songs, like “The Stranger” and “All of Me,” which are lo-fi bops with emotional twists. The videos that accompany them give you an even better idea of the type of musicians they are. Asia’s eclectic vintage style of fishnet stockings and exaggerated shoulder tops is highlighted in interesting ways as she sings straight into the camera. In some ways it’s much more art video than music video. “I literally translated my biggest fantasies without fear or thinking about what that says about me or how it positions me socially,” she explains of her work. “It just felt good.”
Below, read more from our interview with Islamiq Grrrls and check out her latest music video with oOoOO.
Can you tell us about the history of the band?
“I was in my tenth year of living in Paris when I started feeling my mind drifting to the verge of madness. I was tired, my soul was tired, my life was slipping through my hands. I was in the middle of a heavy burnout, and I found myself at a life or death crossroads. In consequence, I basically lit my whole life on fire and left it all behind, and headed to Berlin. I started developing a sociological imagination, I had a lot of time to think and hang out in my cave, it could get lonely but it sure helped me find sanity again. I met oOoOO in 2015 and all of a sudden, all these ideas going in circles in my head had found somebody to dock on to.
“I’m pretty sure the two of us meeting caused some kind of mini-implosion of the universe. We started just rioting around, fantasizing about creating our own society, eating and drinking in excess even though we didn’t really have that much money to waste. Walking into a fancy restaurant looking like slobs ordering 50$ steaks is the life. That’s how we started making music, out of pure love for each other and the need to create something of our own, where our truth was spoken. Our music is our Übermensch, it is a better version of us, it resumes everything we believe in and whatever comes after that.”
How is your upbringing incorporated into your sound and your style?
“I’m not quite sure, I don’t really think about these things. I just do whatever comes to me, and it works the same with the way I dress. There is something strange happening in your head when you try to analyze your creative outcome. I still have to fight it, every now and then I try to make sense of it all. But I believe I have looked the best when I literally translated my biggest fantasies without fear or thinking about what that says about me or how it positions me socially. It just felt good.
“We can’t control who we fall in love with either, everything we like in somebody comes from emotional information our memory has processed throughout time. I think it works the same way for music and style, it’s all there for a reason but there’s no way for us to track it down let alone narrow it down to one’s upbringing. The human mind is much more complex than that, everything affects us at all times.”
Is fashion part of your work?
“Not really, but style is. Fashion is something you buy, style is something you have. I collect information from movies, documentaries, and archives and it all collapses in my head depending on how I feel at that time. I’ve been feeling very blue and introverted lately so I felt like wearing eccentric, colorful clothes because they cheer me up. You can play tricks on your psyche depending on what you choose to wear.”
What do you have coming up next?
“We just released a new music video for ‘The Stranger’ which we’re very proud of. We make all of our videos, photos and music ourselves from A to Z. We’re currently working on a new music video for the first single release of our new album. I can’t talk about it much yet but it will all come to fruition in a few months. Besides that, we’re working with our booking agents on a new tour for this fall in the US and Europe.”