Nite Jewel by Cary Fagan

Nite Jewel by Cary Fagan

Synth-pop sweetheart Ramona Gonzalez of Nite Jewel chats with fashion photographer Cary Fagan ahead of the release of her new record, Liquid Cool. Eavesdrop on their conversation and see an exclusive behind the scenes photo-diary of her new music video 'Kiss the Screen.'

Cary Fagan - 10:11 AM

Hey

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:11 AM

ayyyy

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Cary Fagan - 10:13 AM

So, i just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Cary Fagan, i am a photographer from houston texas and i am interviewing you for soitgoesmag

How are you today?

(is this how it's suppose to go lol)

fuck that, what's up i have like 11 questions for your that i thought of.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:13 AM

i'm still getting over a cold

thanks for asking lol

also still in PJs answering emails

and drinking tea

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Cary Fagan - 10:14 AM

that sounds like paradise. answering emails is fun. getting emails is pretty tight.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:15 AM

lol i just got into a bunch of heated email exchanges this morning

with industry folk

anyway

what are ur questions sweet cary?

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Cary Fagan - 10:15 AM

ehh, not the best way to start your morning then.

so

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:15 AM

its cool...also some fun emails too

about shooting some stuff in london in september

u should come!

cary, u shot some stuff for kanye west, right?

just tryna hype u right now

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Cary Fagan - 10:17 AM

Ah yes, i recently got the honor and opportunity to cover/document kanye's yeezy season 3. That is probably one of the best moment of my life this year right now.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:18 AM

except for....

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Cary Fagan - 10:18 AM

i'd love to come to london, i've been before i was young though - didn't get to experience much.

Ramona Gonzalez - 10:18 AM

what was the other best moment of your life? (ahem)

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Cary Fagan - 10:19 AM

except for... oh there's alot of things that can go after those dotted lines lol just wont say.  OH YEAH, i got to be the lead role in your soon to be released music video "kiss the screen"

never done a lead role before but i've considered making a career debut out of it. (lol)

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:20 AM

haha so yea, so you were the main actor in the "kiss the screen" vid cuz you so KYUT!

and you also photographed behind the scenes and that's what we r talking abt today

so now u can ask ur questions

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Cary Fagan - 10:21 AM

ah, yes. again what a wonderful experience and sharing that with you was even better.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:21 AM

: )

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Cary Fagan - 10:22 AM

my first question for you: who is nite jewel? what started nite jewel (what is the inspiration behind the name?)

the first time i heard your name was on grand theft auto

and i've been hooked ever since

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:22 AM

oh kewl!

yes, nite jewel is the musical version of myself

the one who makes songs

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Cary Fagan - 10:23 AM

oh so a second personality per say?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:23 AM

i was making experimental synth compositions on 8track in my house and they eventually turned into songs

yea, a bit

simultaneously...

a friend of mine who bought me my 8track also started calling me nite jewel

which was a name drawn from an obscure san diego 80s synth record

by a group called nimbus obi

spelled "night jewel"

when it came time to start my myspace page, i just called it nite jewel

and what was done was done

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Cary Fagan - 10:24 AM

i have one of those too, i'd rather not say his name though.. (in due time)

so nite jewel, that name echoes.

did you grow up with a musical background?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:26 AM

psst...cary we should prob focus questions to the video shoot

but i can answer a few backgrounds

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Cary Fagan - 10:26 AM

LOL this is my first time doing this hahah

im just a photographer

ok

i got a good question for you

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:26 AM

we can just talk about the video shoot

like casually

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Cary Fagan - 10:27 AM

ah okay, for some reason i thought u wanted to keep that lowkey until release lol idk why my mindset has been like that

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:27 AM

this is gonna come out after the release so it's all good!

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Cary Fagan - 10:27 AM

Ah okay!

ok then that leads me to my next question

Why stilts?

Ramona Gonzalez - 10:28 AM

hahaha

because the director is prejudiced against my height

jk

the idea was to create to opposing worlds

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Cary Fagan - 10:28 AM

*holds back willy wonka reference*

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:28 AM

lol

like the fantasy and the reality

in reality, she's just a small girl vying over this guy (you)

in her fantasy, she becomes larger than life

the idea was how to create that visually

so the director had the idea of stilts

which is funny because i am SO afraid of heights

so it was a challenge

but the visual effect turned out amazing

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Cary Fagan - 10:30 AM

Ah interesting two different worlds, same kind of love. i get it, yes yes you keep telling me how amazing the video is yet you continue to tease me.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:31 AM

omg! wait i haven't sent it to you yet/???

wait we have to put the interview on hold for a sec

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Cary Fagan - 10:31 AM

lol shit okay.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:31 AM

sent

Cary Fagan - 10:31 AM

shit, watching it now

hold up

ok yo this is so good

lol

worth the tease

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:35 AM

haha

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Cary Fagan - 10:36 AM

really enjoyed watching it.

lol really really good production

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:36 AM

thank you!

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Cary Fagan - 10:36 AM

leads me to my next question

whats the significance behind the blue mask?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:38 AM

basically the costume designer makes these incredible masks

i wanted the dancers to become anonymous in the "dream sequence"

as most background people in your dreams are...

the only person in focus is the person of interest

the blue was drawn from my album cover

i feel the color of this record is a soft blue and wanted that to be somewhere in the video

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Cary Fagan - 10:40 AM

"liquid cool" i get it, that's really interesting that you decided to target the fact that in today's generation people would rather be on their phone than experience actual human to human interaction - is that something you deal with today?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:41 AM

"kiss the screen" was definitely inspired by empirical things. as a song it was drawn out of observing people afraid to reach out and touch someone, and the preference to stay at a digital distance

i don't experience it as much as others cuz i don't date, but i do to some degree

i wanted the video to just show someone repressed and how they get out there feelings in fantasy

"getting your feelings out via fantasy" is something i regularly experience

Cary Fagan - 10:44 AM

i can relate unfortunately, i spend so much time on my phone sometimes to the point where i'm then tapping out of reality, thus becoming a slave to my own device - it's haunting. I do however find myself getting my feelings out via fantasy. and that doesn't just mean i'm always thinking in my head - i get my feelings out through photography or writing for example, even playing grand theft auto.

when the video concept was finalized and you just needed the people, did my name automatically come up? how did that come about - cause as you know for me, this was completely random but also a blessing in disguise

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:46 AM

well i definitely felt you would do well bc you are a photographer and used to being on set

but also you photograph very well

and i thought we had natural chemistry so it would be easy

and we are friends

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Cary Fagan - 10:47 AM

"real friends" again i must mention i really do enjoy the production of this video.

how did you come across the dancers

are they child hood friends?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:48 AM

busy the choreographer and i have been friends sine 2009 when she was touring with the band telepathe

i opened for them lol

and we have been friends ever since

she's an amazing dancer so she choreographed

and her friend myrriah joined in to accompany

she plays with me now live in the band

busy, i mean

she is SO sick on keys too #multitalented

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Cary Fagan - 10:50 AM

i got a wonderful portrait of busy by the door in that photo series. i love her look. i'd say from first impression she's very lowkey and mysterious.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:50 AM

totally

Cary Fagan - 10:56 AM

do you feel that when "kiss the screen" comes out people will relate to it also?

there's a bunch of close minded people out in the world today

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:58 AM

i think so

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Cary Fagan - 10:58 AM

also, Are there any other  hidden references in the video that people may not find out at first watch?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 10:58 AM

that's for them to find out ; )

Cary Fagan - 11:00 AM

i have a question that doesn't relate to the video more for me to know and possibly others reading this

it's something i've battled with

still do from time to time but i'm learning how to create balance within.

How do you find balance between your personal life and your work life, from experience in some cases i've lost myself within my passion, and got caught up. how do you avoid imposter syndrome?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:02 AM

well for your first questions, it's a constant battle. i think the most important thing is having people around you who support you and your craft. and then, being respectful and supportive of them also. mutual love with the right people keeps me in step.

avoiding imposter syndrome? can you explain the syndrome

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Cary Fagan - 11:07 AM

so, imposter syndrome refers to an individual who is high achieving but their marked by the inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud

when i accomplish things, and people are wowed by it then treat me higher i get a little uncomfortable because they're just things i do for myself and not for others.

i always stress that i'm a regular person - people confused that i think.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:08 AM

ah i see what you mean

i think i had those feelings when i was first starting out

bc i never intended my music to be well known

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Cary Fagan - 11:08 AM

Yes! you get it

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:08 AM

so i was afraid of being called out

funny thing is i was at times...seen as an amateur

bc i was in many ways

but an amateur etymologically speaking comes from the word love

a love of something, before you have the skill set or business acumen

so who cares if you get called out for being an amateur...at least you are not some empty shelled business person making art...

that is the worst kind of imposter i would never want to be that

impostor

*

now i don't have those feelings anymore tho

hey i have to go soon

5 min

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Cary Fagan - 11:11 AM

hell yeah, i agree. i think for me right now since my photography is starting to get a "buzz" and people are starting to notice it creates an anxiety within myself that sometimes i'm not sure how to handle - but i do think with time i will fully understand it all

that was the last question i had actually

i was gonna say

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:11 AM

oh cool

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Cary Fagan - 11:11 AM

Kool and the....?

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:11 AM

jewel?

lol

jk

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Cary Fagan - 11:12 AM

sigh, lol

one more chance

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:12 AM

next album title

gang...why r u asking

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Cary Fagan - 11:12 AM

im listening to them right now lol thats why

ok ok

one last question

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:12 AM

hahaha

i'm listening to migos

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Cary Fagan - 11:12 AM

hahaha oh shit

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:12 AM

new song "say sum" is fire

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Cary Fagan - 11:13 AM

ima check it out rn

real quick one last question.

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:13 AM

has some kool and the gang style chords

actually

lol

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Cary Fagan - 11:13 AM

oh shit

then that works out haha

what can we expect from nite jeweler in the next few months

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:14 AM

another single, another video, and touring! coming to EU/UK sept-oct and some US dates in the summer and more in the fall

yay

obv liquid cool is out june 10

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Cary Fagan - 11:14 AM

one last comment, take me to london and you'll have more photo diaries im out.

C.F.

*drops mic*

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:16 AM

lol damn gina

ok i gtg

but luv u boo

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Cary Fagan - 11:17 AM

hahaha, enjoy your may 11th i'm going to get some pizza probably.

loves you, hope this was good

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Ramona Gonzalez - 11:17 AM

nice im gonna go to rehearsal

ya it was dope

xooxoo

byee

Nite Jewel's Liquid Cool is out June 10th.

All photos are courtesy of Cary Fagan