IN CONVERSATION WITH TWEAKS

10

Drum and bass rhythmics merge with melancholic melodies. Electronic realms meet experimental soundscapes. They are bold and intuitive, daring yet romantic. Their name is Zoé Lawrence, aka TWEAKS. Born in Florida and LA based, multidisciplinary artist TWEAKS knows how to make a statement. They started their musical journey in 2020, in the midst of pandemic chaos and lockdown limitations. Music as an escape from the walls of home, music as a way to process external reality. Endless process of creation.
Endless sonic boundaries.

Each one of us has an array of identities, personalities and moods which emerge only in determinate moments of our life. What moment gave birth to TWEAKS? 
A period of massive grief and loss. I was also terribly restless so I stuck myself in my room and made an indecent amount of beats.

Being an artist implies to live under the scrutiny of a public eye- if not always, often. How do you feel and cope with being observed? Or do you prefer observing? 
Hmmm. I’ve had a “micro-influencer” presence on social media since highschool. I’m used to it and it doesn’t affect how I present myself much. If anything, I feel more unhinged on social media because I don’t take it seriously. I  think most  people who follow me pick up on that. I’m pretty honest about  my day-to-day life. I rant. I joke. I get emotional a lot there cause I grew up expressing myself through the internet. Nothing major. I’m just a myspace baby. 

I will say I troll back a lot when people come at me weirdly. I think the biggest way I cope with weird public-eye politics is by clowning the fuck out of people who disrespect me. I love matching disrespect with humour.
Often muses are celebrated as sources of infinite artistic ideas. And often, for artists, muses are an external body which guides the internal act of creation. I have learnt, however, that my biggest source of inspiration comes from within. Do you have any muse which exists outside of your being- or would you agree that the purest source of inspiration has its roots inside of us? 

Introspection leads to knowledge of the self. How do you measure self-growth? 
In a lot of ways. Most things are quantifiable or atleast have a tangible element to it. I’ve had this radio spot (shout out Dublab) since I started DJ’ing last summer and I do a show every 2-3 months. Each time I record a show I can genuinely feel it becoming easier to transition and blend. I like that. I like doing things on a near-strict timeline and writing down where I’ve improved. I don’t worry much about the places I need improvement on because it happens naturally with time anyways and I’m not in a rush to master anything. I like writing down all my therapy appointments. I like writing down all my ideas. My notes are infinite. I have notes from 9 years ago that I circle back on. I adore routine when it comes to my hobbies and documenting it. Documenting is the easiest way for my brain to wrap around growth. A big part of understanding myself is going through my archives. 

Starting a new project, or a new life- let’s say novelty in general- can be pretty challenging. In other words, anything which brings us out of our comfort zone is. How do you deal with the process of adapting to something new? 
I have a lot of comfort trinkets. Pieces of jewelry that I haven’t taken off in years. My waist beads have been wrapped around my waist for 3 years. I have plushies that I don’t travel without, blankies that follow me to every city and boots that I wear when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable or shy. I was a very  shy  child and pretty  fragile so I have a good sense of how to hold myself when I feel that way in my adult life. I assign a lot of meaning to my objects  and I’m pretty sentimental about them because I do believe they hold energy and my memories. I have bawled big tears after losing a favorite shirt or piece of jewelry. 

Each one of us has a soft, delicate spot… the spot where insecurity arises. It’s inevitable and wonderful to get in touch with our vulnerabilities. Is there any soothing ritual you have for those moments in which the safety of the self slips away? 
That’s a beautiful question. Thank you for asking. I’ve been doing this shower ritual since I was 19 where I scrub a limb for each worry. I think I wrote an article about it a  few years ago for this magazine I used to be a contributor for. Physical movement, like scrubbing my legs, paired with soothing self-dialogue helps me the most.

Let’s talk about education. In the creative realm there exists a critical divide between self-taught and academic learning processes. What are the pro’s and con’s of being a self-taught artist? 
In my opinion, you should always start a new craft out of the curiosity alone and by teaching yourself. You can always  go deeper and get more acquainted with technicalities later. Pro to being self-taught is not being  influenced by archaic rules or “refinement” politics. Only once I start hitting a glass ceiling with a craft  is when I’ll begin to forge a more academic learning process but first I wanna just try something out for the fuck of it and I don’t want to hear a bunch of nonsense on how things have always  been “done.”

About your technical preferences. Do you record your own samples, or do you prefer working on and developing pre-existing audio loops?
No preference really, a little bit of both. Whatever works best for the track 🙂

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Creative Director + Producer: TWEAKS, Photographer: Myai Anthony, Interview by Costanza Acernese, Videographer/Photo assistant: Samone Zena, Hair Artist: Fitch Lunar, MUA: Yasmin Istanbouli, Movement Director: Sade Keinu, Stylist: Joanie Del Santo, Styling Assistant: Raea Palmieri, Studio: MSA Studio

Look 1: Archival Junya Watanabe Skirt, Calvin Klein Bolero C/O Artifact, Angel Wings Los Angeles , Hugo Kreit Jewelry
Look 2: Guovarde Dress, Solitude Studios Arm Warmers, Rick Owens Archive Boots C/O Artifact
Look 3: Margiela Gloves, Solitude Studios Leg Warmers