Kim Ann Foxman is frustrated with the norm. “I sometimes get worried that there are no longer enough freaks in the world.’ she murmurs ‘I love Grace Jones because she has balls and she’s the last alien on earth.”
This adopted New Yorker is screaming for the dance industry to shake its style like Grace. “Her presence is so immense, any little thing she does, every slight movement, you can feel.” And it is this sense of vitality that Foxman will expand in the next chapter of her remarkable career.
Foxman has now gone full circle. She’s stepped away from singing with New York’s neo-disco collective Hercules and Love Affair to return to her fundamental passions: rocking clubs as a DJ and producing raw electronic music. Channeling such a revived focus she’s also unleashing a brand new record label – Firehouse – in a promising collaboration with London based music and art label The Vinyl Factory.
“Early this year I moved into an amazing space in Brooklyn, it is an old firehouse. It is my base. My friends come over and I have a studio there now. I found the name ‘Firehouse’ very suggestive. I want to represent New York, represent its flavour and be a part of the music history that is so abundant here.”
She’s on the prowl for the freshest tracks: “I will embrace music that I feel. It’s gotta have vibes! It’s gotta have passion! It’s gotta have heart!’ she proclaims with a smile..
From an early age Kim Ann found her sense of creativity jammed open: “My mom has a beautiful voice. Her family is from the Philippines and they are all very musical. So when I was six-years-old they built a stage in the basement so we could do a talent contest at family reunion. I remember my awesome transgendered uncles would do a pageant in bathing suits with lip-syncing performances. My cousin would breakdance, and I remember being so jealous because I wanted to breakdance too. But instead I was forced to sing ‘The Greatest Love of All’ by Whitney Houston. Although I love that song it’s a really big song for a six-year-old to sing… in fact for anyone to sing!”
From here her childhood was peppered with Latin freestyle music and afternoons in obsessive rewinding of cassettes pulsing with idols like Snap!, Shannon, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and Technotronic. As a teenager she moved to San Francisco where she began collecting underground records, and she eventually found herself on stage hammering a sampler and singing in a two man electronic band. In her 20s Kim moved to New York and evolved into a vinyl DJ with a deep respect for techno pioneers like Kevin Saunderson and underground House sounds of artists like Murk: “I grew up loving songs with drum machines, and that tuned my ear’ she nods, ‘that was always my jam.”
Over the last two years she has been incubating and writing furtively. But having recently remixed (amongst others) The xx, and also collaborated with Maya Jane Coles, and Nick Anthony Simoncino’s alias Ron Jason, 2014 is now is the perfect time for Foxman to unfurl into her own space. “I’ve been having a lot of fun by making the production more about the process and events than ever before. I’ve not been afraid to get really weird and experimental which has made things really exciting, and it keeps things fresh. I’m creating my own samples and putting a lot of care into it, creating special moments, creating my own adventures ”
This is a girl ready to put New York back on the dance map with a vivacious approach to producing and sharing music. “I’m physically having so much fun making music. I want my label to represent music that isn’t linear boring shit. Firehouse will be super-dynamic, gorgeous and weird.”
Guardians of credibility and creativity such as Kim Ann Foxman need to be protected and propelled. She is a rare visionary who yearns to celebrate the golden era of authentic dance music whilst feeding from her fluid understanding of its imminent and intriguing future.