Nylon Pink is featured in the April 2014 issue of Amped Asia.
It's rare to see all-girl bands in the rock scene, and almost impossible to find all-Asian girl bands. Sure there are some in Tokyo and other Asian countries, but in the United States I can only name one.
(From left to right: Katt, Jamie, Kaila, and Kiki)
And why not have an all-Asian girl band? Everyone LOVES Asian girls these days, and these ladies are extremely talented.
I was very impressed how successful these ladies have become in a short time. LA Weekly has called them one of LA's “sexiest, glitziest bands,” and they've already toured in numerous countries in Asia and elsewhere.
Furthermore, these ladies have a knack for business — besides being a band, they have also created a fashion line and an online startup called “NinjaCrate” (more on that in the interview). Their designs have been worn by the likes of Nicki Minaj, The Pussycat Dolls, and many other celebrities and artists.
As we all know, being a musical artist is not an easy feat, and it's even harder to get taken seriously in a male-dominated musical genre. So for these ladies to have the amazing success they've already achieved is very noteworthy.
I was given the privilege of interviewing all four members of the band about their music, their personal lives, and their upcoming business ventures.
How did the band get started?
Kaila: Me and Katt started the band originally. We also started a jewelry line to go with it. Kiki was the first model for the jewelry line and she also played metal guitar so that was just a perfect fit. We had a guy drummer, TJ, but he unfortunately left the band, and we needed to get another drummer.
Kiki: And then we also wanted a female drummer because we ended up wanting to be an All-Asian girl band. Then we saw this girl named Jamie Scoles performing at this event and so I stalked her and went to the performance.
Jamie: Yes! And I was really freaked out because she knew everything about me.
You ladies are both all-Asian and all-female. What challenges and hardships have you guys faced as a band?
Kaila: I think the challenges are more because we're an all-Girl band. Our genre is dominated by guys, and the girls that are in the genre usually dress down. We do the opposite and we dress very girly and we're glammed up. But a lot of people doubt that we can even play. We get a lot of comments on Youtube where they doubt us or say we can't play.
Kiki: We have haters. It's not that bad though. At least on a positive note, we're pinning a staple on the mark of music life. If people are hating it's a good sign.
How did the idea of being an All-Asian American girl band happen?
Kaila: We had no idea that this is what we were going to be. We started off as 2 Asian girls and 2 white guys. But then after the white guys moved on we realized that by doing this we were really standing out. Most of the other Asian girl groups were not rock bands — they were mostly dance groups. So in that sense we were able to do something very different and we were able to break stereotypes.
Let's go through the history of each of you and how you guys started playing music. Let's start with Kaila.
Kaila: I started playing the piano like every good Asian. Then I did some solo music stuff for several years. I grew up listening to rock & roll so after I met Katt we started the band.
Katt: I started playing the piano, played it for 12 years. I also played the violin. In school, me and my friends played guitar and we just messed around with it. I've always been around music all my life. After I left school I decided to play for real.
Kiki: I started also with the piano. Played it also for around 12 years. But then I saw an acoustic guitar that my dad owned and he showed me how to play my first 3 chords. But they wanted me to play the piano so they didn't pay for my guitar lessons. I just went online and learned myself, I probably played for 6 hours a day just learning how to play the guitar. I played in an indie rock band, a metal band. But in college I didn't really play any music until they found me.
Jamie: I started out playing the violin, but I didn't like that much so I switched over to choir for five years, but to this day I still can't sing. Then I started dabbling in a bunch of instruments – guitar, drums, and bass. I wanted to pick one instrument so I ended up choosing the drums because I liked it the most.
Who are your musical influences?
Kaila: Guns and Roses. Garbage. Muse. Lady Gaga.
Katt: I personally like hip-hop and rap. Old-school stuff especially. Tupac. Biggie. I also like a lot of underground female rappers such as Iggy Azalea.
Kiki: I played a lot of metal. Really heavy angry music. Dubstep. Christina Aguilera. Haha that's my secret.
Jamie: I grew up listening to punk rock, classic rock. I also like hip-hop. I like the newer artists. I like Drake's new stuff. Kendrick Lamar. Logic.
How crazy does it get on tour? Can you guys tell us the craziest stories you've ever had?
Jamie: Me and Kaila are pretty tame. But these 2 get crazy. *Points to Kiki and Katt.*
Kiki: Well here's a story. We were on a midwest tour and we had 8 people in one room. We were just piling ontop of each other. So to cope I drank copious amounts of alcohol. I woke up at the pool and freaked out. I had no idea how I got there. I saw an old guy staring at me from the pool.
Also in Japan I fell asleep at the elevator. Same in Phoenix.
Katt: I like to be relatively clean even when I'm getting wasted. So one time I had to throw up in the bar and I grabbed my make-up bag and just threw up in it. Then handed it to the bartender. At least I didn't spew it everywhere!
Kaila: I was smoking outside in the fire escape but there was a hole in the floor and I fell into the hole and scraped my knee really bad.
What are your upcoming projects?
Kaila: We have a new project coming up. Basically it's a site where you can order a surprise box full of things from Asia that we personally hand-picked. It's called NinjaCrate and you can get it online.
You guys all have unique fashion tastes. How did you all develop your own styles?
Kaila: Well Katt is our stylist.
Katt: Yes, I'm the stylist. I think everyone has their own preferences so I think about that if I'm choosing stuff for them or they're choosing their own stuff. Then we just put it all together. I'm more of a Harajuku style. Kaila is more like a Nasty Gal – which is a website. Kiki is more metal and Jamie is more of a street-style. Everyone's personality is shown through the style.
If you had to describe your band in one sentence. What would it be?
We were told that we're sort of like “Hello Kitty on Acid.”
Let's delve into your personal lives a little bit. Who's single?
*Kaila and Katt raise their hands.*
What type of guys do each of you like?
Kaila: I like tall guys. I like manly men. The super football playing type. I used to like James Franco until I found out that he takes a ton of selfies. That was a big turn-off.
Katt: I like older guys. More mature guys. I like guys that are really funny. I like guys that have style — they don't have to be all wild and crazy, but guys that have good style are good to me.
Kiki: I'm married. Just kidding! Far from it. I really like tattoos.
“I can't get over guys that have tattoos.”
I like rock guys. I also need someone who can accept me for who I am.
Jamie: I don't have a boyfriend. I have a girlfriend. But I'm not a lesbian. I guess I can be considered more bisexual. But I'm open minded. I like Latina girls. I like really feminine girls – lipstick lesbians. For guys I like guys who are adventurous. All my ex-boyfriends drove in souped up cars.
What's one dating tip that you would give to men?
Kaila: I really like extremely aggressive guys. I like the chase. But that only works if I really like the guy. Otherwise it's just creepy.
Katt: Just be yourself. Don't try to front. That happens a lot where guys come up to me and say “Hey what's up girl?” all fake. I don't like guys that say any weird lines.
Kiki: Bonus points if you have an accent.
Jamie: Be original. Don't approach me like every guy. Every guy comes up to me and says “Hey you're hot.” That's what every guy does. Or maybe a normal compliment like – “Oh you have nice eyes.”
For you two that are single, what's the #1 problem you face in the dating world?
Katt: Girls like to give clues instead of saying things directly. So guys that don't get it. That's a problem. Guys don't listen.
Kiki: Added bonus – guys that kiss hands is kind of creepy.
What are the top 3 turn-offs you have in men and/or women?
Kaila: I don't like shy guys. Guys who work out too much is a turn-off. Metro guys.
Katt: I dislike guys who are uncreative in any avenue in life. Also if they're too short. Someone who isn't chivalrous. Rude guys. Guys, you gotta pay the bill sometimes.
Jamie: People that aren't doing anything with their lives. People that have no goals and motivations. I don't like people with no sense of humor. I'm sarcastic so you can't get all butt-hurt. And closed-minded people. You must be open.
Kiki: I don't like it when a guy talks about themselves constantly. Bad breath. Guys that only want to do stuff that they want to do. I sometimes like to watch a chick flick so don't make me watch that action movie every time.
You don't seem like the chick flick type, Kiki.
Kiki: Oh, you're right. HAHA. I just said something totally random and unrelated to myself.
What's your idea of a good first date?
Kaila: Just a good dinner. I don't like dating. I like relationships.
Katt: Nothing crazy. Just going out and having fun. Could be as simple as going to the beach and having some wine. Anything where you could have a talk.
Kiki: A bar. A place with good Kraft beers. But I'm not that picky. Even McDonalds. One of my first dates was at El Pollo Loco.
Jamie: Anything out of the ordinary. I'd totally want to go to the Wax Museum. Some other ideas: The Getty. LACMA. Wacko – it's a museum that has weird trinkets.
Is there anything you guys want to promote?
Make sure you guys check out Ninja Crate at www.ninjacrate.com and follow us on our social media!