I saw my first murder when I was only five years old. Such is life growing up in Camden, New Jersey. Although it was a very dangerous city to grow up in, It wasn’t all bad. Yes, it was tough times; but it helped define me. It helped prepare me for two tours in Iraq. But more importantly, it helped define my music. Yet, it would only take one basketball game to introduce my music to the world.
My name is Ava and Ben, I use they/them pronouns, and I make music as Hegemonix. I’ve recently been exploring online queer aesthetics via electronic music and music videos. I’ve been using digital instruments and my physical body to communicate my exploration of having a non-binary gender identity. I’m interested in using the “precise” robotic language of electronic music combined with the uncertainty of the voice and body to explore what it means to be human in today’s digital world.
The Sun looked like a prison break. I woke up in a suburb of Seattle and stared drowsily out of a stranger’s bedroom window. My wife was talking to an admirer of hers around the scattered ashes of a campfire from the night before. There was a mysterious text message from an unknown number on the blue screen of a broken iPhone. It was clear that the veils to what folks call the spirit world were perceptibly thin. Little hints of future memory flickered with mischievous honesty through the cracked wallpaper in the shadows of the room.
Around the age of 18, I was in a Pop Punk/Hardcore band called “All That.” At the time that was the style of music I wanted to work with, but at the same time, I wanted to mess around with some acoustic songwriter stuff. So I figured, on the side, I’d start my own solo acoustic project. Of course, I needed a name, but I didn’t want to go with my own name. I wanted an artist name, something that stood out. So that’s when I went through the good old music library and came across one of my all-time favorite songs. Among the Wildflowers.
This is the 7th album I’ve released – the follow up to its twin, On The Way. I’ve largely made ambient, electronic-esque music. My first 5 releases were instrumental. On The Way and As A Kite mark a shift towards pop songwriting for me. I would love to talk at length about what I’ve learned about music from making it and recording at home in my laundry room over the years, but I think for brevity’s sake it would be best to keep the conversation to this one album. I hope if you like what you hear that you will explore my older works as well, and find some value in my story and my music, and I hope I can reciprocate something for you. That’s all this is about in the end anyway, isn’t it?