Izzy Camina, Celine’s Muse of the Moment, on Collaborating With Hedi Slimane
For Celine Homme’s Summer 2022 show, Hedi Slimane transported viewers to the South of France, where the boys walked, with ’70s rock star flair, to the dance-y electronic stylings of the musician and producer Izzy Camina. Among the tracks played was “UP N DOWN,” a distinctive club bop co-produced by Camina and Slimane, which also serves as the heady backdrop to the label’s latest show film, “Cosmic Cruiser.”
Slimane seems to have taken quite a liking to the LA-born, New Jersey-bred, and London-based artist—and it’s not hard to see why. Camina’s music, much like her origins, cannot be reduced to a single domain. Her music sprawls across the realms of hazy bedroom pop, throbbing club beats, and low-strung indie rock, while never failing to center her trademark silky vocals. Below, Interview caught up with Camina to hear more about her time in France, the experience of working alongside Slimane, and the making of her latest EP, Nihilist in the Club.
FRED SAHAI: So you were born in California, and then you moved to New Jersey. What would you say, if you had to choose: East coast or West coast?
CAMINA: Oh fuck. That’s hard, I hate them both. East coast.
SAHAI: Why do you hate them both?
CAMINA: I’m a dual citizen, so I’ve had the privilege of living in London. Once you spend some time abroad and you come back to America, you realize how insane it is here. From a sociopolitical, socioeconomic standpoint, it’s a crazy place.
SAHAI: What are you listening to these days?
CAMINA: I listen to all kinds of music, like most people. But I was at the gym yesterday, and I was combing through Spotify and I realized that I think EBM, electronic body music, is having a little bit of a moment in the mainstream right now. And Spotify just showed me all this new stuff that was released between 2019 and 2021 that was all kind of eighties, German, EDM-inspired. I’m definitely excited to dive into everything that I heard at the gym.
SAHAI: You’re working with Celine and Hedi Slimane. What is it about Hedi’s work at Celine that you admire?
CAMINA: Hedi’s just cool. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s this glamour that still feels fresh and new and interesting. It’s very rock and roll, which to me feels really familiar because it reminds me of my family. I don’t know much about the fashion world, so any kind of familiarity that I feel in it is something that I’m drawn to.
SAHAI: What was it like to collaborate with Hedi and Celine for “Cosmic Cruiser”?
CAMINA: It was super chill. I flew to the South of France and spent time with everybody on the small islands there. It was quite intimate. It was very organic and inspiring to see a small team all vibrate so efficiently and so beautifully on a project together. It was like watching a well-oiled machine just kill it. It really made me realize the value of a lot of high fashion. Before, I really had no idea how much work went into it.
SAHAI: What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?
CAMINA: I just live. I feel we’re always on the search for inspiration. And as long as you just go about your day doing normal regular things, you’re always going to come across inspiration. So for me, this is super boring and mundane, but I’ll go to the gym. I’ll exercise. I feel like I’m cleaning my brain when I exercise.
SAHAI: What do you think inspires you the most?
CAMINA: Just my own insignificant little human experience on this chunk of rock called Earth.
SAHAI: How would you describe your creative process?
CAMINA: I just put it down when I feel like it. Sometimes it’ll start with a vocal. Sometimes it will start with a beat. I never force it. I only sit down and do it when I’m in a good mood. Sometimes that’s once a month, and sometimes it’s seven days a week.
SAHAI: Tell me about the creative process for “UP N DOWN.”
CAMINA: There was no process. I just started rambling on an instrumental and it happened super quickly. The whole thing was written in two hours. I didn’t spend much time on that song at all.
SAHAI: Your latest EP, Nihilists in the Club, what would you say is the common thread that runs through it?
CAMINA: I think that sonically, it’s not cohesive at all because it goes from lo-fi to indie to techno. But I think the overall theme was observation, and the commentary of nihilists in the club. I don’t think the EP is taking itself very seriously at all. I don’t take myself very seriously and I don’t take my music too seriously either.
SAHAI: How would you define your personal style?
CAMINA: I don’t overthink what I wear, and I try to always buy stuff secondhand when I can. I try not to constantly buy new stuff that’s tied to trends. You’ll find me wearing the same Kenny Rogers shirt three days out of the week.
SAHAI: What are you currently looking forward to?
CAMINA: I’m in London right now, so I’m kind of just looking forward to moving back to Europe and putting out new music after chilling in the mountains the past year and moving through this pandemic, just like everybody else.