Page Nelson sat down with Ashe Kilbourne ('14) after her show at Art House to catch up on warehouse parties, life as a DJ, and activism, post-graduation.
So, what have you been doing since you graduated?
I stayed in Connecticut for a little. I toured twice DJing and once for a band I was playing in, and those tours together lasted like two months. Then in November I moved to New Orleans, and I’ve been living there since. Now I’m doing a tour for DJing, mostly in the northeast and one show in Canada.
How do you like New Orleans?
New Orleans is really beautiful. I think pretty much everything about it is so magical and makes me really happy. The weather makes me happy. I can’t really deal with the Northeast winters, or even the springs and falls, because it’s spring right now and there’s snow on the ground. But yeah, it’s good. I still need to figure out if I can justify being there as someone in a gentrifying neighborhood.
Have you been playing shows there?
Yeah mostly one-off things. I want to start doing a night with my friends, like a monthly or something around dance music and club music. There have been some really fun shows, like this really big warehouse that’s decorated with really amazing stuff so it looks fucked up and magical, like Tomorrowland on a smaller scale. So EDM. I played in a swamp like 2 days before I left to go on tour, just in an empty building where the roof was gone.
Where have you played so far on this tour, and where are you going after this?
I played in Toronto, New York, Boston, Providence. Tonight I’m going to Philly, and next week I’m playing New York again with STUD1NT also, and a week from today I’m going up to Middlebury College. I’m playing with Rahel and Byrell the Great and Joey Labeija. I’m also playing at Grinnell College in less than a month with Total Freedom and Juliana Huxtable. That’s going to be amazing.
Have you played with them before?
I’ve played with Juliana a couple times, but not with Total Freedom. I’m excited to meet them and see it live.
Cool. You went to SXSW right? I saw that you spoke on a panel about gender in dance music. I know that you were involved in activism at Wesleyan, especially with the bathrooms. How has your approach to activism changed outside of a university context?
I don’t necessarily see myself engaging in a lot with activism right now, in a traditional understanding of activism, but I’m definitely thinking a lot about the politics of what I do. A lot of my energy goes into music, and I’m definitely interested in the implications of what I’m doing and what my peers are doing. I think understanding that misogyny and white supremacy and transmisogyny shape everything everywhere in the world, no matter where you are, and understanding how in dance music and life, one can combat that and create safer spaces and communities.