Alexia AvinaPerformer name:
Alexia Avina

Where are you from?
I grew up predominantly in Thailand but I’m a US citizen. Most of the time I don’t feel I’m from anywhere, but when people ask and I don’t want to go into it I say I’m from Portland, Oregon.

Who’s in the band and what do they play?
I’m playing solo for this festival, but more recently my lovely friend Justin has been joining me on cello.

When and how did you become a band?
I started writing some horrible songs in high school and began posting things on soundcloud during my gap year. It’s only been since sophomore year that I’ve been performing with, refining, and expanding this project.

How did you decide on your band name?
Ah, well I tried to come up with a pseudonym for some alter-ego, but I struggle immensely with names so in the end I decided to go with mine. Many people have told me my name sounds made up anyway.

Can you describe your music?
Ambient folk pop * ~

What bands, musicians (or other things) are your influences/inspiration?
I would say Blunt Chunks, Sea Oleena, and Jessy Lanza as far as vocalists go. But I’ve always drawn heavy inspiration from Fiona Apple lyrically which is interesting because our songs are qyute different. I have endless admiration for her ability to articulate her deep inner processes in such viscerally blunt and novel ways. I try to remind myself to be fearless like her in speaking my truths.

Do you have any special rituals to prepare for a show?
No, I usually just go to the bathroom.

BFF FEST 2016How did you get into making music?
I went to Rock Camp for Girls in Portland and started playing bass when I was around 12… My cousin used to volunteer there. Basically I have always been very inspired by her and her musical endeavors and wanted to be just as cool.

Tell us about your first show.
I think my first show performing my own songs was in a stranger’s backyard at a barbeque. It was pouring rain out and I was on a little stage they had set up on the back porch with my ukulele.

Does your gender identity/presentation influence your music? Has it presented any issues for you?
I’ve heard a lot from friends and acquaintances about the bullshit surrounding female-identifying persons in the music industry, but I can’t say I’ve experienced that much of it at this point… In general I’m starting to notice male entitlement more in my everyday life and it’s unbearably frustrating.

Gear talk!  Tell us about your instruments/pedals/amps/drum set!
I use a Boss RC-50 looping station hooked up to my guitar + memory man and a vocal mic for looping. I use a second microphone for my main vocals. Looking to add another pedal to my arsenal at some point!

What is your favorite song right now?
Pauses of the Night by LUKA

What is your favorite way to unwind?
Laying down, breathing, stretching.

What do you want everyone to know about your band?
I have a forthcoming album coming out within the next 6-12 months (?!).